The landscape of what remains of the 2020 festival season is changing on a daily basis, and fans of a variety of genres are wondering when we’ll be able to enjoy a live show with our friends again. Those scenarios will play out over the coming months. Until then, we can always look back at the incredible memories we’ve made during festival seasons of the past.
A great avenue for such reminiscing is perusing past festival lineups. We’ve had no shortage of incredible artists and acts make their way through the Northwest over the years. From Paradiso and Shambhala to Treefort and Sasquatch, the PNW has been routinely spoiled year after year. So, we’re taking a look back at some of our favorite festival lineups of the past in an effort to remember the good times during our current struggles.
Of course, the health and safety of everyone is far more important than whether or not we’ll be seeing our favorite artists at our favorite venues this summer. But doing what we can to stay positive is important, too.
We’re kicking off our series with one of the all-time great festival lineups in PNW EDM history: FreakNight 2013. From star-studded headliners and special performances, to tons of trance and drum & bass, 2013’s edition of FreakNight had everything a Northwest dance music fan could ask for.
Not every great festival lineup is about the big names. Plenty of great rave memories have been made without even knowing who’s behind the decks. That doesn’t make it any less fun when major artists make their way to the Northwest, and FreakNight 2013 had a few.
The #1 DJ according to DJ Mag’s Top 100 poll in 2013, Hardwell brought the big room to the mainstage at the WaMu Theater. He had some help from the likes of Nicky Romero and W&W, the sounds of which takes us back to the EDM boom in a heartbeat. As does fellow FreakNight 2013 headliner Calvin Harris, who in October of of 2013 was about a year removed from releasing 18 Months and guiding dance music to the world of pop.
Sebastian Ingrosso, six months after the “end” of Swedish House Mafia, was on the lineup too. Following the break-up of one of the most-popular groups in dance music, getting a glimpse of what was up next for one of the members was a great addition to an already stacked lineup. And that’s before we even mention Afrojack and Benny Benassi, two of the biggest names in EDM, making their way to the mainstage.
Whether or not any of these major artists are or were your favorite, seeing a Northwest lineup featuring all of these artists, and more, was something else. The fact that it holds up as well as it does is, in part, due to these acts. But, there was plenty more to enjoy away from the mainstage that weekend.
A couple of the more unique performances from the weekend rounded out the two nights of music. On Friday, New World Punx, a collaborative project between trance mainstays Markus Schulz and Ferry Corsten that began in 2013, closed the show. Seattle is known for its love of trance (we’ll get to that shortly), and getting a progressive/mainstage set from a couple of fan-favorites doing something new was a treat for everyone involved.
And then there was Destroid. Another collaboration project between artists that was on its first run of shows, Destroid blew our minds with the final performance of the weekend. Combining the powers of Northwest bass music monsters Excision, Downlink, and KJ Sawka, the live-show was something many in attendance had never seen before, and haven’t seen since. Requests for a return from the group are commonplace every festival season. We’ll happily join the chorus of fans hoping for a Northwest performance in the future.
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