Brace yourself, Dreamers, because Dreamstate is on the horizon. Some Americans will be spending their Memorial Day weekend drinking a chill beer and BBQ’ing with their immediate families, saluting the fallen soldiers that have given up their lives for our freedom. However, for some of us in San Francisco, we’ll be honoring those with our extended Trance Families at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on Saturday and Sunday.
On Saturday, fans will hear from the likes of Ben Nicky, Liquid Ace (Liquid Soul & Ace Ventura), Markus Schulz Presents Dakota, Menno De Jong, Paul Oakenfold presents Generations, Paul Van Dyk, Purenrg (Solarstone & Giuseppe Ottaviani) and Ruben De Ronde. Hopefully, that powerhouse of a lineup doesn’t burn you out because Astrix, Binary Finary, Bryan Kearney, Ferry Corsten, Fleming & Lawrence, Gareth Emery, John O’Callaghan and Vini Vici will be closing out Sunday.
It’s honestly hard to say who I am most excited for.
After missing his EDC set last year, Ben Nicky is one of the DJs that I am most thrilled to see on the opening night. The Englishman will be making his way from Chicago to The Bay to astonish us with his energetic style. If you enjoyed his set last year or like banging your head to his Headf**k Radio, then you have to check him out. Make sure your trance-pants are on tight enough, so they don’t slip off while you’re jumping away.
I know this is cheesy, but I am excited for Gareth Emery on Sunday. Yes, yes, yes, I know there are many DJs on this day that are just as good or, if not, better than someone whom I’ve seen many times before. However, there’s something about closing out a trance festival with a man who knows how to put together a perfect combination of uplifting melodies and touching lyrics. For us who have listened to his single “Saving Light” (a collaboration with Standerwick featuring Haliene) on repeat knows that it just feels sooooooo gooooood. If closing out another festival with Emery makes me a basic bro, then I will wear my tank top and indoor stunna shades with pride. #PLUR.
Of course, I would be committing a sin if I don’t mention how EXCITED I am to see Markus Schulz presents Dakota. For those of you who don’t know, Dakota is his alias for the darker, more techno side of electronic music. Read more about his return to this side of music with his interview on Dreamstate USA and his upcoming The Nine Skies project where he explores the “nine steps we go through in our quest for enlightenment.”
Schulz has some encouraging words for us faithful as he prepares for the first show for us in SF: “It’s not just music or a concert; it’s a whole audiovisual art show. It’s one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, but I feel like I need to do something like this right now.”
For those who want to keep the party going Saturday night, the Dreamstate After Party hosted by the Phoria Events team at Ruby Skye. Local acts Alastair James, Joseph Martinez, Dmitri Reign and Jonny Atom will open the stage for the legendary Simon Patterson. Phoria’s headmaster, Niko Zografos, will close out the evening (or late morning depending on how hard you wanna party for THE LAST TRANCE SHOW AT RUBY SKYE!!!).
Get tickets here.
What started out as an answer to the cries of trance fans for a stage that represents their taste in euphoric music and psychedelic synths have metamorph into a festival phenomenon. Compared to big room house or bass music, trance is a sound that everyone can find the warmth of a community, a sense of home for those who have felt like outcasts. Its survival and current zeitgeist in electronic music is a testament its success.
PS, on the topic of Memorial Day, I want to pay my respect to Rober Miles. I have danced my fat Asian a$$ to “Children” many of times on the DDR machine, and I know the Trance Family will be feeling the lost of a legend.