My friends know how much I love EDM and traveling to festivals when I can. In Seattle, we have USC Events which produces great experiences like Freaknight and Paradiso and Foundation Nightclub - host to DJs like Above & Beyond and Bingo Players. Across the country and the world, many are familiar with EDC Vegas and Tomorrowland, debatably two of the largest EDM festivals in the world. However, this past weekend, I had the opportunity to experience VELD, Canada’s largest EDM festival.
Located at Downsview Park in Toronto, VELD had one of the best lineups I have seen in a long time, headlined by Above & Beyond, Kaskade and Deadmau5, among a huge list of other talents.
Still buzzing about how amazing Paradiso was, I knew VELD was going to be great, but it by far exceeded my expectations. Downsview Park was a great venue with flat grassy areas and tons of vendors selling food, merchandise and art. The overall flow of the venue was great, even though there was an estimated 65,000-70,000 in attendance according to producer Talal Farisi of INK Entertainment, the company that produces the festival. The lines into the venue could have been more organized, but overall it wasn't that long of a delay considering the amount of people.
I was able to explore the VIP area which was apparently three times as large as Ultra’s VIP area (I guess Ultra is downtown, so less space). There were private bathrooms, bleachers, covered tents with couches, elevated viewing bleachers and multiple bars. The one thing that was inconvenient was the process to buy alcohol. There was one line to obtain alcohol bracelets, another line to buy drink tickets, and then the last line to trade in your ticket for a drink. After finally getting my $12 beer I was able to enjoy the first set of the festival, Krewella.
Let me tell you, they threw down! Yasmine and Jahan were jumping up the whole time and getting the crowd energized. I got goosebumps seeing everybody jump in unison.
I typically stick to the main stage at festivals, but I felt the urge to step out of my comfort zone and spend a good amount of day in the Bacardi (bass) tent. I got a chance to see Greg Gow, Proxy, Jacques Lu Cont, Pleasurekraft, Carlo Lio, and Victor Calderone, and Denny Tengalia.
The short clip below is backstage in the bass tent during Pleasurekraft's set!
The video below is a short clip of trance step master Seven Lions dropping a mix of Paul Van Dyk's "I Don't Deserve You"
The Main Stage!
At the main stage I saw sets from Dirty South, Thomas Gold, Steve Aoki, Dada Life, Steve Angello, Above & Beyond, Kaskade (I lost it when he dropped his remix of Lana Del Ray’s Young and Beautiful), and Deadmau5 (it was my first time seeing him!). Every single one of them played their heart out. Deadmau5 closed out the festival and everyone went nuts. From Tommy Trash’s remix of “The Veldt” to a bone-chilling mash-up of him and Kaskade’s “I remember” with “Superliminal” it was a set to remember. Video below is Dirty South dropping Alesso and One Republic's "Lose Myself"
The festival as a whole was so much fun. The people in Toronto were so friendly and I had random people coming up to me with their American flags asking me what state I was from since I was also holding my Kaskade American flag. I can’t wait until next summer; I will most definitely be going back for VELD 2014.
Watch this epic video of an awesome fan during Steve Aoki's set getting hit by a cake!