We are officially two weeks into summer and the festivities are kicking into high gear. Just a week after all of the commotion of Canada’s 150th (so many free concerts! So much to do! And who couldn’t miss seeing the giant rubber ducky out on Harbourfront!), the party continues with this year’s Bud Light Dreams Festival! With one of my personal favourite Canadian line-ups of summer ‘17, Dreams Festival promises two luxurious days of incredible sets from the world’s top electronic acts spread across three stages, a ton of delicious food trucks, many different games and even yoga! With so much to see and do, I can only cover so much ground, so let’s get started with day one!
Clouds rolled in as I pulled up to the now named Budweiser Stage entrance with What So Not’s future bass echoing across the lake. After crossing the bridge and getting the much-needed necessities of alcohol, water and cash, I eagerly danced my way towards the sandy stage of Echo Beach to catch the rest of one Friday’s Australian talent but ended up seeking shelter within a canopy of bushes as it started to rain. While not necessarily seeing What So Not, I did jam out to the sounds emanating from the stage with fellow festival goers looking to seek shelter from the lightly increasing rain. With my newfound family of bush ravers, including one infamous watermelon holding individual and another that resembled a raving Raiden from Mortal Kombat, we jammed out to What So Not bangers Jaguar, Divide and Conquer (with the Noisia remix sprinkled in for that extra heavy), and legendary Tell Me before he finished his set with Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams.
It was at the point between sets that the rain started to steadily intensify, defeating the leafy shelter from protecting those inside. The gospel-like introduction of Steve Angello seemingly came from the heavens and made the rain feel somewhat biblical. The roaring sermon of house music had got me amped up to leave the shelter and embrace the now pouring rain, so when the sermon met a song, I rushed out of my comfort zone and onto the sandy shore of the Echo Beach stage. It was exhilarating dancing along with the pounding bass of Steve Angelo’s set with a sea of unfazed individuals paying no mind to pouring rain. At about mid-set the rain had cleared up although the clouds were still hanging around.
About 10 minutes before Steve Angello finished this set, the shuffle inducing sounds were abruptly interrupted by the issuing of a storm warning and encouraged everyone to take shelter in what was formally known as The Molson Canadian Amphitheatre. The proceeding 40 minutes had me waiting and a little restless because the postponing of the festivities was cutting into one of personally anticipated artists of the weekend, Baauer. Even though there was this dreading realization the festival could be rained out for another year, the crowd’s energy was still in high spirits as soccer chant echoes of Seven Nation Army and the singing of our national anthem rang about the temporary shelter. With no more rain, and evident unveiling of the highly praised sun through the clouds, the crowd slowly filed out back towards the main festival area.
While security was holding off the crowd to be 150% certain that everything was ready to re-commence, the faint sound the bass banging could be heard ringing out from the Echo Beach stage. When security had received the go-ahead, the flood gates were open and everyone rushed back to the festival grounds.
At Echo Beach, the Aa producer lit up in excitement as the sandy staged rapidly filled with trap arms and jumping feet. It was at that moment that all the worry of if the first day would end abruptly transformed into excitement as one of electronic trap music’s founding fathers took the stage. The electrifying energy was just the shot of adrenaline needed to kick start the rest of the evening. Baauer went hard with original tracks like Go!Go!, Paauer, and One Touch; his remix of RL Grime and What So Not’s Tell Me; hip hop anthems including the iconic A Milli; and sounds of jersey club, baile funk and hardstyle to keep up that high energy. It was certainly one of my favourite acts of the night and a much refreshing start to the rest of the evening.
Closing out the first night for a second year, the most recently coined crytrance trio of Above & Beyond took to their stage for another session of Group Therapy. Their beautifully melodic trance music blended perfectly amongst the heart pounding house music along with their beautifully uplifting messages which made me felt overjoyed with the positive energy that radiated through the crowd. It was quite magical how any feeling of negativity washed away during Above & Beyond’s set when songs like Blue Sky Action and Alright Now came to play. At the same time, songs like Sun & Moon and Balearic Balls put me in a trance of non-stop dancing. The night ended with a bang as fireworks lit up the lakeside sky as Thing Called Love warmed everyone’s hearts.
With the incredible and exciting turn of events accompanied by unforgettable music, day one draws to a close, leaving Dreamers in anticipation of what the second day will bring!
Stay tuned for day two!