Dreamstate Park ‘n Rave 2020
Since Thanksgiving 2015, my wishes and dreams …
… were met and exceeded year in and year out at Dreamstate SoCal which has become a part of my life. I plan my life events around this festival and even went as far as telling my cousin to reschedule her bridal shower to another weekend.
When Dreamstate SoCal was cancelled due to Covid-19, my soul was crushed. For months I was in despair and a virtual Dreamstate was not going to cut it. Then in October, car-raves started happening, a glimmer of hope seeped in and then Dreamstate Park n Rave was announced on its original weekend of Nov 20th – 21st.
The trance online community was in a flurry and couldn’t wait. The lineup consisted of Cosmic Gate, Markus Schulz, Paul Oakenfold and more. It felt like 2015 again with anticipation. Tickets went on sale and sold out fast. Like 2015, fans were in shock, some celebrated others were devastated. My group somehow was able to manage one ticket for Friday and one for Saturday. The demand was so high that Insomniac added a Sunday show, which I scored a ticket because that show sold out quickly as well.
The ticket in was good for up to 5 people, but you can purchase companion tickets up top 8 people as long as your vehicle had legal seatbelts for every member. Because the tickets sold out so quickly and we didn’t have enough space, we rented an 8-seater Nissan Armada for the weekend.
Day-1 line up came with some hard-hitting headliners – Cosmic Gate, Christopher Lawrence, Chris Schweizer, Infected Mushrooms, and Paul Oakenfold. The event started at 6PM and ended at 11PM. Located in the parking lot of the NOS Center, entering the venue was smooth and efficient. Parking spots were on a first come first serve basis and getting there early definitely had its rewards as we parked on the first row. Once parked, we set up our area with LED lights, tables, chairs, coolers, flags and a rug because sitting on the floor is no fun and now, we got to cuddle puddle in comfort.
With no posted set times, we had no idea what to expect, but LA pioneer Christopher Lawrence playing a full on 140+ BPM psy-trance was unexpected but great. Following was Chris Schwizer who took the tempo down and delivered a well progressed set. Next on decks, Paul Oakenfold was having more fun than anyone else. A full-on party on stage, this man can do it all and he displayed it that night. Following was Infected Mushrooms who delivered a solid psy-trance set that led into the big guns of Cosmic Gate. Bossi was representing the duo with their signature sound to close out day-1.
Day-2 started off with doubts as a new Covid-19 curfew went into effect for the state of California. Luckily, this meant that the event had to move an hour early so it could finish by 10PM. So, we had to be there early, but luckily most of my friends were staying at a hotel nearby and we were able to get the first-row dead center next to a speaker.
The night started with LA queen of trance Kristina Sky who took us on a magical journey. She progressed perfectly through her set, dropping a few of her originals setting up for a perfect night. Next on was the duo Fatum with their signature sound I like to call “progmada” (a mix of progressive house with the ASOT sound from Armada).
For the first time in my memories, a vocalist had an entire hour on stage instead of the usual 15-30 minutes or a song here and there. Haliene delivered all her best trance tracks, as well as some beautiful covers of Evanescence’s Bring me to life, and Ian Van Dahl’s Castles in the Sky, but the highlight was her closing track of her hit Saving Light with Gareth Emery & Standerwick. Her vocals hit that trance note in all of us flooding that for the first time in months, I became very emotional.
Jason Ross warmed up the decks for the ‘unicorn slayer’ with his energetic set. Markus Schulz played his Coldharbour sound and when he dropped my favorite track Destiny, our group went wild and sang along. The night seemed to be on warp speed and ended on time for the curfew.
Day-3 was bonus due to high demand, but the event only lasted 4 instead of 5 hours with only 3 artists –Cosmic Gate, Markus Schulz and LA’s Dave Neven to open. The versatile local Dave Neven has proven he can produce with the best and deliver a plethora of styles in the process. Dave played another great opening set before handing off to Cosmic Gate.
I enjoyed Cosmic Gate set on Friday, but even more so on this night. Although they were similar track selections, the progression in music was far better. Cosmic Gate dropped some of their biggest tracks again and handed off to Markus Schulz who ended the 3-day car rave perfectly.
What a night, what a weekend. Against all odds, against all hope, three days of Dreamstate Park n Rave for 2020 had happened.
The three days went by too fast. Like a blink of the eye it was over, but those 14 hours at the NOS Center, dancing with my friends, dancing to the best music on earth, dancing to the lights and lasers was more than just a thing that happened. Those 14 hours gave me life and purpose again. It filled my soul the only way live events can, and the only way trance can.