REVIEW: Digital Dreams Music Festival 2013 – Dreams Stage (Day 1) 29-06-13 by Monika Sobota


As fans of Electronic Dance Music, what more could you ask for than to ring in Canada Day weekend, in Toronto, with a lineup of world class DJs and your closest friends? On June 29 – 30th, 2013, back for its second year, the biggest electronic music festival in Canada took place on the Ontario Place grounds with a massive 25,000 attending daily. Hosted by Electronic Nation, this event exceeded all my expectations and more, and the weekend went off without a hitch – even blowing last year’s event out of the water. With 45 artists, spread out over two days, there was a lot of planning involved in making sure I didn’t miss the best of them. As much as I would have loved seeing every single show, I set my focus on the Dreams Stage where some of the biggest headliners were scheduled to play over both days.

After months and months of waiting, the day finally arrived, and I was eager to get the festival underway. Arriving nice and early, I was there when the gates to opened at 3pm. I encountered no issues when checking in or making my way to the stages. I toured through The House tent, Boom tent and Echo Beach Stage, and it was still early and easy to move around because the majority of the 25,000 EDM-lovers had not yet reached the Ontario Place grounds. With the sun shining, creating the perfect weather for a festival, I made my way to the massive Dreams Stage and began my music-filled weekend.

Here is my recap of Day One at Dreams Stage:

I began the weekend by attending the opening set from Toronto’s own Jelo, and he threw down some crazy electro to kick things off. He had the early bird crowd on their feet, and dancing, right from the start, and his own crazy spirit and consistent smile set the bar high.

While the crowd was steadily filling in, Australian House duo Feenixpawl took the energy to the next level and delivered a set with lots of old and new tracks, including their 2011 collaboration with Ivan Gough and Georgi Kay, In My Mind which made the audience explode into cheers.

When 5:00pm hit, it was time for UK native and current resident of Vancouver, Canada, Lazy Rich, to take over the decks. Since he is fairly new to the dance music scene, I wasn’t too sure of what to expect of this Electro House DJ/Producer, but I was quickly impressed. Currently known for his remixes and collaborations on tracks with Chris Lake and Porter Robinson, Lazy Rich threw down an intoxicating set that had the audience sweating into the early evening hours. As the day went on, one thing I took notice of was how each set was slowly creating more and more energy within the masses and solidifying an unmistakeable atmosphere all around.

Up next was American TJR who embraced his own brand of quirky Bounce House music that blurred the lines between House, Techno and Electro. He delivered a show full of bangers and tracks that had the entire crowd going wild. By this point, the Dream Stage was packed, and I started see how big this festival was turning out to be. As he played his latest big hit Ode To Oi, there was no turning back. TJR himself seemed to love absolutely every second of his own set.

Fake Blood is a British DJ/Producer who I did not know much about. Keeping an open mind, I paid close attention to the music he played. I was unable to identify many of the tracks he spun, although he included quite a few heavy Electro tracks. It was easy to dance pretty hard too, and, observing the crowd, many were shuffling and loving every second of what he dropped.

The legendary Frenchman, Bob Sinclar, made his way up next and totally changed the vibe of the crowd which grew a bit mellower. He mixed many of his classic tracks, some of which had a bit of Reggae fusion to them. Many new fans of dance music had no idea who he was, but I’ve known of him for a long time and enjoyed the throwbacks he decided to play. Closing out with his 2005 hit Love Generation; the sun had set and created the perfect atmosphere for the last two shows.

Thrilled to finally hear some Trance, legend Paul Van Dyk delivered everything I wanted and more. He started his set with many uplifting tracks and had, by far, the most energetic and happy crowd I’d seen all day. Everyone around had their hands up, and were throwing up heart-shaped hands, as Van Dyk dropped one of my favourite tracks of all time The Ocean collaborated with Arty. It was such a special moment to finally hear this track live. Leaving the crowd content and uplifted, he received a colossal amount of cheers as he finished and left carrying the title as one of the best sets of the day at Dreams Stage.

Headlining the last set of the day was twenty year old Porter Robinson who had no trouble attracting a gigantic crowd of people, and all were excited to hear him play. If a producer can successfully pull off playing multiple genres within a single set, he did just that. Playing some of the biggest tracks in circulation at the moment, Porter proved he deserved to be the closing act. A well done production with insanely heavy bass, his best tracks and a crazy light show, created an atmosphere between him and his crowd that went unmatched. Hearing his famous track Language everyone was emotional and singing along – something I’ll personally never forget. As the first day quickly came to an end, fireworks went off over Lake Ontario, and everyone slowly moved their way out. Some would continue to party, others would find their bed, but soon all would be back again, ready to take on day two.

Monika Sobota  EDM TOR



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