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7 Heavenly Questions With ‘Bliss: The Awakening’ Creative Director DARRIUS

Elevation Radio Episode 1 DARRIUS

The Seattle trance scene. Growing slowly, gaining steam, non-existent, all-powerful. Opinions run the gamut depending on who you ask, but it’s hard to ignore the signs of growth. Club nights featuring local titans of the genre are springing up at Contour, The Underground, and other clubs. Lucky 2016 featured an entire stage devoted to the Anjunabeats label. Now, we’re getting our first ever large-scale trance event — Bliss: The Awakening.

Bliss Creative Director (and top-tier local DJ) Darrius Washington told us the plan is a full-scale offensive for all things Bliss: a “semi-annual brand,” festival stages curated under the Bliss banner, and plenty more. “I honestly believe that trance never really went anywhere,” Darrius told us, representing in one statement a massive community of trance fanatics.

We got the exclusive inside scoop on Bliss, so buckle in Trance Family. Your time has arrived.

1. What led to the conceptualization of Bliss: The Awakening?

For the last 6 months or so, the USC team has gone back to the drawing board regarding the shows we throw, and the experiences we create. We wanted to make sure that all forms of dance music were being represented in the NW region. Having a brand like Bliss is not only necessary, but it shows the diversity of the music we are bringing to the masses. Hard Dance and House music, you’re up next!

2. Who was involved in the creation of Bliss? How did the process work?

The creation of Bliss, after the initial naming, was the work of our USC Creative Team. After the inception, we needed to figure out what Bliss meant to us as a brand. What it meant to our city, what It meant to our attendees, so first and foremost we needed to jot down what the definition of what Bliss is. Bliss is perfect happiness, great joy, or contentment–euphoria. If that doesn’t scream trance massive, I don’t know what does!

3. Why take such a risk when many smaller clubs and Trance Families are struggling to sell tickets to nightlies?

We thought long and hard about what would make this event successful. The thing about the Trance community is that it exists in much more than just our region. With this event, rather than a small nightclub, we are able to market beyond just the greater Seattle area. We wanted to make sure that we market this event nationally & internationally.

bliss the awakening hero image

Seattle’s first ever trance massive.

4. What can festival-goers and ticket buyers expect to be different at Bliss?

This event will be a convergence of “trance families” from our region and beyond. A place where we anticipate many new friendships will be generated through mutual love for trance music. This is the first event of it’s kind in the northwest on this scale. What I mean by that is there has never been a trance massive like this in our region. We are very excited to bring something new to the table, and looking forward to what’s to come in the future.

The Bliss Amblissadors is a group of trance enthusiasts that I hand picked to help with this event. These guys are the movers and shakers of the Trance scene here in Seattle. With their assistance, we have been able to come up with some unique ideas to make the weekend one to remember. As of now we’ve planned to have a Seattle Trance Family hosted meet up where all the Trance Families in attendance will have the opportunity to meet each other and share their love of trance. We will also have Blissful Branded events (Yoga Decompression Party, Dinner Meet-ups, etc.) throughout the weekend to keep everyone content & busy!

While creating this brand and concept, I wanted to make sure that there was a certain level of philanthropy that we don’t have at most of our shows. Under the umbrella of our parent company USC Events, we wanted to make sure that we are giving back to our community. Now we are in the process of creating the “Bliss – Save the Music Foundation.” This is a charity that would focus primarily on saving music programs in middle and high schools across the NW region. We are hoping to grow this into something bigger as time goes on! There’s always time to give back to our community!

5. What was your personal involvement in Bliss?

I created the concept, brand and the back story for ‘Bliss:The Awakening.’ Awakening meaning, this is only the beginning. As most of our community may already know, trance has been a big part of my life for many years. It was the first form of dance music that I learned how to play and still to this day has my heart. I put my heart and soul into creating this brand because this music means so much to me. Trance has gotten me through some very dark times in my life, so it was only right to give back to the music that has given me so much.

6. Can you speak to the very affordable ticket prices and how that’s possible at such a large venue with high-ticket headliners?

With this show, we wanted to make sure that we keep our production value high, and our ticket prices low. We want Bliss to become a national brand, so by keeping ticket prices low, we can better cater to attendees that are coming from out of state, even out of the country.

7. Is there anything you’d like to say to all the Northwest trance fans?

I just want to thank the PacNW and all the Trance Families around the world for supporting such a massive event in the NW. We have put so much work into creating a brand that is not only unique to our region, but that represents the PacNW as a whole. A big thank you to my USC family for all the support in creating this new brand, We won’t stop!

Tickets for Bliss are on sale now! Worth noting: Paul van Dyk has been forced to drop out due to health concerns following a fall in February. Replacing him will be fellow trance legend Paul Oakenfold, who will be performing a rare “Full On Fluoro” set.


Bliss: The Awakening

Date: Sat May 7, 2016 @ 6:30 PM
Location: WaMu Theater, Seattle, WA
Headliner: Paul Oakenfold

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Digital music expert, ex-studio engineer, Javascript & Wordpress developer, dog father, outdoor fanatic. Published in Forbes and Huffington Post. I'm the Owner and Co-Founder of Dance Music Northwest.

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