After the first day of VELD, my expectations for the second day were a lot lower, knowing that it would rain. I was quite nervous about being mauled to death by the storm of people who might not necessarily like trance but would go to the Bacardi tent to escape the downpour. I had little interest to see the DJ’s at the main stage and was also not looking forward to seeing Avicii, I had seen him at Labor of Love last September and was super disappointed by his set. Fortunately most of the rain happened in the early morning and by the time I got to the festival the sky was clear, it soon became another scorching with no shade in site for those who had general admission wristbands. To be honest it was better than rain.
The field filled up much slower the second day, everyone most likely a bit tired from the night before, and hoping to miss the rain like myself. The festival started off with Guvernment’s own resident DJ’s Manzone & Strong on the main stage, and Mark Oliver in the Bacardi Tent. Next were Darth & Vader and Swanky Tunes. Unfortunately I did not catch their set as I arrived for Mord Fustang, who played some crowd favorites including Lick the Rainbow and his infamous remix of, and personal favorite of mine, Morgan Page’s In the Air.
The crowd started getting larger and more excited as Swedish production duo AN21 and Max Vangelli hit the stage. They certainly drew in a crowd with their new single and much talked about H8ters and had the entire crowd screaming and singing along to Benny Benassi’s Skrillex remix of Cinema.
After this I trekked up the hill towards the Bacardi tent to see the trance artists Aly and Fila, Cosmic Gate and the UK’s own Gareth Emery. Aly and Fila gave an uplifting, yet fast paced set. They started their set with Perfect Love and had everyone swaying with closed eyes to their track with Solarstone Fire island . It was beautiful, and was the perfect break from the house and harsh electro being played both days at the main stage.
I was excited to see Cosmic Gate as I had missed them at Guvernment earlier on in the year. The German duo played some harsh trance and traditional trance, including their recent tracks such as the popular Be Your Sound featuring the beautiful vocals of Emma Hewitt, and one of my new favorites Loops & Tings by Markus Schulz & Ferry Corsten. Although the air was thick and smelt of cow manure the energy in the tent was unreal, it was amazing to be surrounded by true trance fans, all singing and dancing together.
I was most impressed with Gareth Emery’s set. He started off with his new song The Saga and moved into some of his older favorites such as On a Metropolis Day and Sanctuary. His set was probably the most upbeat of all the artists in the Bacardi tent that day, and had me non-stop dancing the entire time. The Bacardi tent although half mud inside, was completely packed by the time Gareth came on and had a crowd exploding for meters outside. He ended his set by popping champagne on the crowd and drinking back the rest. Gareth Emery has yet to fail my expectations; it’s always a pleasure to see what he has in store.
After Gareth’s set, people immediately piled out of the tent and started to make their way down the hill towards the main stage to see the final act and headliner of the night, Swedish sensation Avicii. It seemed out of nowhere the entire field was packed full of people, I felt like it was almost busier than the first day, everyone was shoulder to shoulder in almost every space. The sound system was amazing; you could hear the music from all corners of the field, perfectly clear. Avicii impressed me; I did not expect him to be as good as he was. He played his usual favorites, Seek Bromance and Hang with me featuring Robyn. The song that stood out the most to me was Tujamo & Plastik Funk’s “Who” which surprised me as it is very different from Avicii’s usual style. At the end Avicii stopped the music to begin again with none other than the ever popular and overplayed Levels. To my surprise Levels drove the crowd crazy, everyone was jumping and there was a nonstop stream of glow sticks being thrown towards the stage into the crowd. Every single person screamed to the single line in the song, I could barely hear the music, even after “Sometimes I get a good feeling” the crowd hummed along with the song until the end. I have never seen that much excitement and energy for one song. He stopped again, fooling everyone that Levels would be his final song, but afterwards came back on with his mix of Kernkraft 400’s Zombie Nation.
Even after the festival was over the crowd was full of energy continuously humming along to Zombie Nation all the way out of the gates and even singing Avicii songs all the way on the bus ride to the subway station. Overall VELD Music Festival was very impressive, one the most put together festivals I have been to, both Deadmau5 and Avicii stole the show. I expect the EDM trend will keep growing larger and larger after this huge 16+ event and although I hate to see the Guvernment more packed then it usually is, I know this festival will attract more exciting EDM events and more artists to want to play in Toronto in the future. The next EDM events to come are; The Tritonal Boat Cruise on August 11th aboard the Stella Borealis, The World Electronic Music Festival (WEMF) August 17th in Algonquin Park, Contact at Guvernment with W&W August 18th and Labor of Love at the Guvernment at the start of September.
Leanne Feeney – EDM TOR