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Raving Saved My Life: A Look Back On Contact 2015

As I write this in the run-up to Contact 2019, I would like to give a personal retrospective as to how I ended up at Contact 2015 and how it changed my outlook on life and raving for the better.

Contact Winter Music Festival 2015 featured the legendary trance outfit Above and Beyond, Dutch House legend Hardwell and Steve Angelo of SHM in its stacked lineup. Of particular interest to me was the grimy vomitstep stylings of Snails and the chill trap sounds of Vancouver local Vanic. It was located at BC Place, a selling point for me as an accessible venue and near the clubs for possible afterparty options.

Plus, it had been planned since summer that my daughter and I would be spending the Christmas holidays with my family on Vancouver Island. Buying a ticket was a no-brainer: I was determined to go and rave my little heart out for at least one evening.

(Myself and my friend showing off our Kandi/festival wristbands)

On a personal note, 2015 was a pretty horrible year. By Autumn 2015 I was in the midst of a high-conflict breakup, living in a one-bedroom basement suite with my 1-year-old and struggling to patch things together between my coursework, struggling to learn how to drive and working in a grocery store. I had also been having physical health problems worsened by the stress, and needless to say, my mental health was poor too.

Luckily, my wonderfully supportive family, kindly friends and new boyfriend (now my fiancé) kept me somewhat sane. But it was all still a serious strain, and I needed a break. I hadn’t been out to any events in ages and seriously missed my old crew. So, several months in advance, I scraped together the cash for the Day 2 ticket and made sure of the travel and childcare arrangements for the trip.

After spending Christmas with my folks, I took the ferry over to Vancouver and bussed my way over to my friend’s place. (For those of you planning a Contact trip and wondering where to stay, fear not! There are loads of hotels within close walking distance of the venue).

A few hours later, we met up with some more pals and made our way into the event. I was told that the first night had had some temperature and sound issues, but in my honest opinion, I found no such issues by my attendance on Day 2. I got lost in the crowd during Jauz and found myself at Snails with my friends, lasers in my eyes and the overwhelming knowledge that I would be okay.  

At that moment in a show of stunning coincidence, my friends tracked me down cheering and I just about cried with joy. It doesn’t sound like much, but when I was able to resurface and not drown in the crowd and be fiercely reminded that “I have friends! I’m not totally alone! I can be fine!” it honestly made a pretty miserable year survivable, and a welcomed emergence into the new year. The next morning I took the ferry home feeling very tired but a lot better, and this memory sticks with me still. 

(The ferry back home, an integral part of the Van Isle raving experience)

For these memories and so much more, I look forward to Contact 2019. See you there!

Tell us your memories and thoughts on Contact Winter Music Festival in your shares and comments!

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