Digital Dreams 2014: A Review

Last weekend was a hopping weekend in the city of Toronto. From Pride Week to Canada Day Weekend to the Blue Jays game and Digital Dreams, Toronto was bustling with eager characters, and the feeling of excitement was in the air.

A natural EDM fanatic, I chose to spend my long weekend at Digital Dreams music festival, and let me tell you, the weekend did not disappoint. With four stages of unbelievable music, a stellar venue, delectable food options and free rides, Digital Dreams lived up and beyond its preceded expectations.

As the sun arose on the morning of Saturday, June 28, festival goers slowly awoke from their slumber to prepare for the big weekend. As I geared up in my festival wear and prepared my flower crown, I was prepared to have one of the biggest and best weekends of the summer.

Our rave crew had wittingly prepared a sign marker in order for us all to be able to locate each other in the massive crowd, a sign that was to become our staple at Digital Dreams. The #digisloth was in full force, and even made its appearance in other concert goers’ pictures and social media feeds.

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Photo by Bunk in the Trunk

As afternoon was approaching we made our way to the pre-game to get hyped up for the fun-filled weekend that was ahead of us. We loaded up for the festival over 50 feet above the City of Toronto, overlooking the beautiful lakefront. The view extended to such a width, that you could even see the festival bumping miles away.

Finally it was time.

We made our way to Ontario Place just at the cusp of 6:00PM. The journey there was frivolous, as we were anticipating the awesomeness that was to come.

We scanned our wristbands at the entrance, fleeting into the festival grounds, eager to see Sebastian Leger who was throwing down his set at the Echo Beach stage at the time. For someone who is not typically a fan of the tech-house genre, I got my groove on and was ready to dance to the beat. In my opinion, Leger was easily one of the better Echo Beach sets of the weekend. The crowd went wild as Leger dropped his unreal “Around the World” remix by Daft Punk, and finished off with a bang. The beach was a massive party, with tons of positive energy.

Next we made our way over to the Dreams Stage to view Carnage’s set. The Dreams Stage was decked out with luminous lights, and had some of the most high quality production that I have ever witnessed. Carnage surprised the audience with some hard-style beats, making the audience roar with approval. We felt the vibes from Carnage’s bass, as we then decided to make our way over to catch the end of Claude VonStroke’s set. His music was a little bit too tech for my liking, but that did not stop the tech-heads from shuffling their feet away.

As we crossed the bridge once again overlooking the beautiful venue from Echo Beach to the Dreams Stage, we decided to get our drink on for the remainder of Nervo’s set. As I jumped and bopped to Nervo’s set  with my drink in one hand and dignity in the other, I watched the stage flicker with lights as the sun started to set.

Following this, our crew thought it was time to explore the festival grounds and that was exactly what we did. There were patios scattered around Ontario Place, where people were able to rest and rejuvenate for the upcoming evening sets. It was here where we recharged, and I ate my bacon poutine to get excited for the incredible night that was to ensue.

After a much need half-hour of relaxation, we retreated back to the Dreams Stage for Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike’s set. The duo threw down their usual bangers, but it was a party nonetheless. A ton of shoulder rides were given, as the #digisloth sign was constantly being waved in the air to attract eager ravers. As the darkness was clear over Toronto, the magnificent lights swept the venue, preparing for an unreal opening of Justice’s set.

As Justice opened their set with a bang and a half, we made our way to the Bacardi House of Boom to hear the dirty dubstep of Flux Pavillion.

The bass was beating beneath our feet as we finished grooving to Flux Pavillion’s amazing set. It was a great way to end the day, for what was to prepare us for the even more action-packed day two.

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Photo by: Visualbass Photography

As the sun rose on Sunday June 30, we got up and were  ready to commence the second day of our digital dream. Despite our bodies being completely exhausted from the day before, we were pumped up for the second day to hear some of the main headliners’ sets. On Sunday, I decked myself out in Canadian spirit, sporting red and white clothing, while also wrapped in a giant Canadian flag.

Since we had arrived a bit later the day before, we wanted to get to the festival grounds early in order to have more time to explore and meander about. We took the subway to Ontario Place, where we scanned our cashless wristbands once again in order to enter the venue.

We arrived at the Dreams Stage just as the Chainsmokers were playing. Of course the duo played their signature hit, #Selfie that made the crowd sing along to the words that everyone hears on the radio. Other than the obvious #Selfie song that was played, the Chainsmokers did not throw down a memorable performance.

Following the set, one of my personal favourite DJs made an appearance on stage, Fedde Le Grande. Fedde’s set was in my opinion, one of the best of the weekend. Fedde played some old favourites, as well as some new tracks, making the crowd dance up a storm. The entire audience exerted such a positive energy during this set. Fedde did not disappoint as the crowd raved and roared, allowing the audience to get amped up for the later sets that were to come.

As we decided to wander around and explore the venue some more, we found the rest of our #digisloth rave crew. Paul Oakenfeld had experienced some flight delays, and as a result was unable to make it for his arranged set time. We grabbed some munchies, exploring Ontario Place as we got prepared for what was to be an amazing set by Dash Berlin at the Dreams Stage.

Unfortunately for festival goers, the rain decided to come down just as Dash was playing his set, forcing anyone who did not wish to get wet to retreat to a sheltered area. We stayed under the ticket booths for about 10 minutes until we decided to brave the rain in order to make it for Dash’s set. We covered ourselves with one single umbrella as we listened to Dash throw down his set to the massive crowd at the Dreams Stage. Dash opened with Sky Full of Stars and mixed John Legend’s hit single of  All of Me, allowing the crowd to roar with happiness, and impressing the audience to the extreme. Overall, Dash Berlin played  a magical set, and ended it off as a rainbow started to form over the venue, making it for the most perfect moment at Digital Dreams.

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Photo retrieved from Toronto Rave Community (Facebook group)

Following Dash Berlin’s unbelievable set, the legendary Eric Prydz graced us with his presence. It was my first time seeing Prydz, and although I felt waves of nausea during his set from the alcohol I had earlier, I was thoroughly impressed. We were able to go on the free Scrambler ride that was offered at the festival, while listening to Prydz throw down some beats, and it was just this that was enough make our ears pop. Prydz dropped tracks such as Insomnia and Not Going Home that made the audience shudder with excitement. I would have to say that I was overall surprisingly impressed with Prydz’s set. As mentioned before, I am not the biggest fan of tech-house, but I really did enjoy it nonetheless.

Finally to finish off an unbelievable weekend , the main headliner, Tiesto performed on the Dreams Stage. Tiesto played some bangers, but overall effectively mixed his tracks. His set definitely added to the extremely positive vibes that were being exerted at the festival. We jumped and dance around to Tiesto’s set, as we finally got ready to head home and reminisce on one of the most amazing weekends of the summer.

Overall, Digital Dreams was an incredible weekend of amazing music, positive vibes and outstanding production. I have not been to too many festivals, but can honestly say, this year has surpassed any others. I cannot wait for Digital Dreams 2015.

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Rave crew 2014

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