5 Reasons We Loved Digital Dreams Festival In Toronto
For readers who aren't familiar with Digital Dreams Festival in Toronto, it is one of Canada's top EDM festivals. It took place on June 28 & 29, and I still can't stop thinking about it. I've put together five reasons why I absolutely loved the festival, and I wanted to share them with EDM.com's readers. However, before we dive into my reasons, I've put together an aftermovie of the festival. Watch the video below to get an idea of what Digital Dreams was like.
1. The Journey
The Digital Dreams crowd bustled with energy as the sun blazed over the Ontario Place full of explosive music from four stages. When nightfall hit, the journey between stages became as beautiful as the music. The remarkable Toronto skyline, with the bright lights of the CN Tower, blended seamlessly with the bursting lights from stages. All of this reflected on to the rippling body of water. A wobbly bridge on the lake connected the Dreams Stage to the rest of the venue. Food vendors and mini amusement park rides lit up the paths. Modern art installments dangled on grasslands and joyful people scattered over the grounds of Ontario Place.
The Digital Dreams app let you navigate easily through the scheduled line-up, facilities, and info, and you didn't have to use cellular data.. You know how service gets with 80,000 cell phones at the festival fighting for reception. If you didn’t get the app this year, download it next year.
2. House of Boom
Across the wobbly bridge was the Bacardi House of Boom – a massive tent full of bassheads. The energy inside the tent was crazy, grimy, and messy. When nightfall hit, the stage became a filthy circus tent, exploding with lights, lasers, and heavy bass. You could hear trap beats, dubstep, drum n bass, and even the occasional Rick Ross-ish grunts dropped every once in a while. Thugli made the tent attendees jump around and two-step across its gravel grounds. Keys N’ Krates captivated the crowd with a spine-chilling performance, incorporating their acoustic instruments. Andy C headlined on Sunday, shortly after Canada’s own bass-master, Excision, played a monster set.
3. Echo Beach
Sand covered the grounds of Echo Beach and tech house beats soaked the atmosphere of the groovy mosh pit. A colourful mélange of water slides swiveled around the skyline from an outdoor waterpark over the fence. Saturday night, the legendary Deep Dish—making one of their highly anticipated reunion performances—closed the festival at Echo Beach. They played a set full of deep, heart-wrenching drops. Sunday afternoon, Destructo, wearing a ridiculously cool Hawaiian shirt full of pineapple patterns, made everyone get loose when he dropped his monster tune, “Higher,” in broad daylight. Sharam—one-half of Deep Dish—graced us with his presence once again after Destructo’s set. Overall, this stage was an epic beach party.
4. No. 19 Social Experiment
The No. 19 Social Experiment stage was tucked in the corner of the festival. It was in the midst of hills and a trail of trees. The DJ booth was intimately placed on top of a steep grass-covered hill. The fresh air was enhanced by the smell of the green shrubs. The trees blended with the colorful lights that danced in the distance, shooting across the festival from the Dreams and Echo Beach stages. Green Velvet laid down a stunning set despite a rainstorm on Sunday afternoon. Later in the night, Toronto’s own Art Department filled the atmosphere with chill house vibes, as the crowd swayed gently; There was no screaming, crying, or whining over here.
5. Dreams Stage
The pyrotechnics and fireworks at the Dreams stage were extravagant, but the most mesmerizing spectacle I witnessed at the festival was from Mother Nature. It came in the form of a massive rainstorm on Sunday afternoon.
Halfway through Dash Berlin’s set, drizzles of rain turn into a hefty downpour. Gusts of wind swayed in different directions, gushing rain onto the crowd and onto Dash Berlin's face like a massive waterfall. The heavier the rain got, the louder the crowd became.
People started chanting to the beat of Dash Berlin’s set as he embraced the moment. He jumped on top of the decks and waved his arms around as I watched his silhouette move in front of the blazing red sun peeking through grey rain clouds. Laser beams and pyrotechnics shot through the sky through the rain. Arms jumped high in the air as the crowd sang along to the remix of “Underneath the Sky.” The storm started to hit the stage so hard that the enormous LED screen began to swing dangerously back and forth. Crew members ran around chaotically around the DJ booth, putting away equipment and covering up what they could. In the midst of the chaos, Dash Berlin stood firmly on the center stage in serenity, a huge smile on his face, occasionally covering up the decks with a T shirt to prevent damage. The crowd never stopped screaming. Soon, the rain slowed down and eventually stopped. It was a Dash Berlin storm sent from the heavens.
A few moments later, the legendary Eric Prydz stepped into the DJ booth and a long rainbow shot through the sky. I looked up from the crowd at the stage full of blinding red lights, as Prydz’s mesmerizing remix of “Personal Jesus” rang through the atmosphere. It all felt like a dream. What could have been a natural disaster made for one of the most passionate performances I have ever witnessed.
Contributed by Bora Yun
Photo credit: Visualbass Photograph