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Life In A ‘Dreamstate’ (Festival Review)

Dreamstate, Insomniac, Trance

A week and half later, and Trance Families across the globe are still in awe of the beauty that was Dreamstate. Even our Editor-in-Chief, a dedicated basshead, had a wonderful experience while he was there. Dreamstate marks the first-ever official trance-focused music festival in the United States. Around the world, trance has always had a strong market. But in the United States, trance has been a hard sell since the boom of the EDM era. Luckily we are starting to notice that the genre is making a sort of comeback. We liken it to a maturity of the EDM fans looking for something a little more complex for the musical palate. Dreamstate is the culmination of that growth and reflection of what the music trends are showing us.

We want to cover the ugly first. There is so much focus on what was great, and little about how it could have been executed better. (So this paragraph will be short.) The only thing that really got to us was completely out of Insomniac’s control: the weather. Yes, believe it or not, it was freezing in So-Cal. Even though the event was held indoors, it was still bitterly chilly. Even the most hardened of ravers could not prepare themselves for the first night. Luckily, everyone wisened up and brought much warmer attire for the second.


Now to the great aspects of this event. One of the things that people often forget is that the concept of PLURR was actually started in the West Coast rave scene, and more notably, in the trance scene. Trading kandi and the lifestyle of free love in electronic music all came from the trance family promoting its pillars: Peace Love Unity Respect & Responsibility. This is important to know, because that was the spirit of Dreamstate. We have never been to a festival with so many respectful and kind people. Granted there were probably a few outliers in there, but it was a negligent minority.

Outside of the main building where the festival was taking place, Insomniac set up a bunch of heat lamps for people to stay warm by as they took breaks from the relentless assault of so many converging forms of trance music. Here is where you met complete strangers and became lifelong festival friends. Every person wanted to know where you came from and what the music meant to you. It was really easy to tell people your story, because we all came for the same reason. Giuseppe Ottaviani has a classic Trance Unity speech from his GO ON AIR podcast, that sums it up completely:

…I’ve been looking for so long across many different types of music til the day has come. The reason why I’m here, is actually the same reason you are here. I finally found what I’ve been searching for. Something that can make me feel good. Something to be proud of. Something that’s able to put a smile on my face. Even when things go wrong. If you hear this message, it’s because you finally made it….

The music itself was absolutely beautiful. Almost every form of trance was well represented. It was uplifting and euphoric, it was down and dirty, it was everything a trance aficionado would want in a trance only festival. (Unless you are an elitist and make distinctions of a few BPMs from one sub-genre to another; but I digress.)  A few of the big standouts to us were Ben Nicky, Giuseppe Otavianni, Aly & Fila, Paul Oakenfold, Rank 1, & Paul Van Dyke. The biggest surprises came from Allen & Envy, and Adam Ellis. We didn’t know much about them before, but they have certainly caught our ear, and we look forward to hearing more.

But the true winners of Dreamstate as far as producer/DJs go was Above & Beyond. Yes, we are aware that they were not performing at Dreamstate this year, but they might as well have pulled out an hour of A&B only tunes, because almost every single artist played at least one track from them. Ben Nicky even dropped two acoustic tracks to start off his set and Aly & Fila dropped a beautiful remix of Good For Me from Oceanlab. (Please note that our opinions of what was good is going to vary slightly from yours and respect that they are just that: opinions.)


Finally we have to give a huge shot out to Seattle Trance Family. They really showed up in full force for this event and came together to show that they are what is needed for this genre to flourish. That goes for Trance Family PDX and Vancouver Trance Family as well. Now if we could just get that kind of support here in the Northwest, we could rule the market. Maybe even have a Dreamstate-esque show sometime soon. Given the recent sell out of Neelix and and the up coming shows of Aly & Fila and Jordan Suckley, we can really hit it out of the park. Well done, Trance Family. Well done.

.Dreamstate Festival - Seattle Trance Family

If you made it to Dreamstate 1.0, what were your thoughts? We would love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment below or give us a shot out on twitter or Facebook.

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Written By

Phillip was raised on so many different genres of music, it has given him a unique perspective into the ever evolving music scene. Trance music began defining his life at the young age of 14, but thoroughly enjoys any type of music equally. He sees the music as an escape from the daily doldrums of life and says music can change a persons life in an instant pulling from his own experiences. His only goal in life is to share wonderful music with people and take electronic music to a higher plain with more accountability and creating a safer environment for his friends.

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