Luminosity Journey and more …

by | Jul 30, 2017 | EVENTS, REVIEWS

Every year for five years, I’ve watched Luminosity videos and listened to live streams always longing to be there. 

My attempts for the past 3 years have been foiled by financial issues and Europe just wasn’t in the cards. But this year was different. After traveling to London for my birthday, I have a new outlook on life and there is little else that will stop me from another trip to Europe. I spent months trying to make it happen and after Dreamstate SF, my passes were confirmed. I couldn’t believe it. I was going to the 10th anniversary of the greatest trance beach party on earth. The best part was many members of my trance and rave family were going to be there as well. Crazy me had already given in to going to EDC which was the weekend before for all three days. I left Nevada at 8am Monday morning driving back to LA and was at LAX by 2pm getting ready to board my plane. I am not one to complain, but LAX needs more comfortable chairs for sleeping in terminal two. I took a straight flight to my favorite city London, and from there, I caught a quick flight to Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is a beautiful city. It’s bright, lively, friendly and there is so much history there. With a tight schedule, I wanted to see as much as I could. Checking into my hotel near the central station, the service was great and I was surprised with the amount of English spoken. I was afraid my Spanglish skills were not going to help me in this new country, but I didn’t need it at all. As I got comfortable and ready to explore, I looked on Google maps to see what was close. I was surrounded by historic buildings, canals, museums, churches and the Red Light District. I called my friend Jacob who landed shortly after to meet up but was running behind. So I got a bite to eat at this little pasta place on the patio looking at the canals and buildings, only realizing it was 9:30pm and as bright as noon. It didn’t get dark till almost 11pm and I was completely thrown off with jet lag.

Once I hooked up with Jacob, we went to the famous sex museum which was amazing and if you are not too prudish, I suggest you visit it. From there, we made our way to the Red Light District. It was as lively as I could have pictured it and was instantly taken to Moulin Rouge. The openness of the area was completely different from anything we have in the United States. Jacob and I continued our excursion only to stop at a local café taking-in the view of the city. The old churches, its architecture and beauty were amazing.

Courtesy of Danielle

I made the responsible decision to stay in for night-one which served me well as I woke up early to explore more of the city. From walking the beautiful streets, to Anne Franks haus, to the “I Amsterdam” sign behind the Rijksmuseum. I hung out with friends, ate ice cream, and played with the bubbles. It was everything I could have asked for of a day in one of the world’s most historic and beautiful cities.

As the day passed, I decided to make my way to our Airbnb in Haarlem. The little city was gorgeous, peaceful, and friendly. The narrow streets and old architecture transported me back in time and I could imagine walking these beautiful streets in a long gone era. Our Airbnb was the perfect weekend cozy flat, and as most places in Europe, had killer stairs. I thought I was going to die trying to bring my over packed suitcases up. From there we made our way to explore Zandvoort to catch up with Trance Family Kansas City friends.  It’s really weird trying to catch the sunset at 10pm, but we managed. We were all beyond ourselves not just at the thought of being in the Netherlands, but on the verge of attending Luminosity. We toasted to an amazing weekend and kept our lively conversation going until we parted ways.

Andrew and I made our way to the cottages to meet up with some more LA friends. I’m not sure why we were surprised, but the party was in full swing as everyone was antsy, and like children on Christmas Eve, we could not hold our excitement as the first day of this event was nearly upon us.

Courtesy of Danielle

Arriving to Luminosity, we started to experience the true spirit of a Summer in Europe with every type of weather in line. A sudden down pour didn’t slow anybody down. In fact, it added to the excitement. The first 30 minutes was a complete blur, but as soon as I saw the trance giant Menno De Jong, I knew exactly where I was supposed to be. As many people took shelter during the down pour in the back, Trance family LA was dancing freely in the rain. It was hard not to succumb to tears, because it was a goal I had set so many years prior, and I had finally made it.

Luminosity was simply amazing and I was in trance heaven with four stages over 11-hours each day. Conflicts up the ass but it didn’t matter. I decided a few weeks prior not to pay attention to any set times. I picked a ‘must-not-miss’ artist a day and for the rest I became a feather in the wind. There was so much ‘Fam’ there I was never alone. And true to our style, we were usually in the same area making us very easy to find. Every set I caught was magnificent and I could care less about the ones I didn’t. Though Perfect, I would love to have brought more friends with me.

It’s difficult to say what sets I liked most but there were some standouts for different reasons: Roger Shah had me in tears the most; Paul Webster had me dancing like I was 20 again; Manuel Le Saux had me in a dreamland during the fireworks; Orla Feeney murdered my soul with her set;  Bae aka John O’Callaghan was solid; Menno De Jong was one of the most memorable sets of my life; Neptune Project was hijacked by Cookie Monster and there was a beautiful wedding proposal during an amazing set; Talla 2XLC was just too good for words and finally Judge Jules took no prisoners as I danced my ass off. I could honestly go on for weeks trying to explain it all but it just wouldn’t do this incredible event justice.

During day-2’s Matt Bukovski set, I had one of the greatest manifestation in my 34 years on earth. I was standing in the middle of the dance floor among friends in the swirl of this poetic sounds of trance. As the dark clouds parted way to the deep blue sky, I realized that I was supposed to be ‘here’ on this very singular point in this immense world of ours absorbing this very moment. Every decision and sacrifice I made brought me ‘here’. I didn’t have a care in the world; I was truly 100% happy. I got it, I got what it was meant to be and I am going to hold on to that for the rest of my life, because there is truly no better feeling.

Seeing some of my all-time favorite DJs taking part among the crowd or just having a drink next to you while dancing to the same sets, was just fantastic. We sometime forget that they are also fans and love being there as much as you. Though it would be nice if DJs do this more often but the harassment for pictures and autograph is tiresome, as I am very guilty of that, but after the initial fandom is gone, DJs are ordinary people like us just enjoying the festivity.

I ended Luminosity flip-flopping between Lostly and Manuel Le Saux set. As the rain poured again, I couldn’t help but smile because we had gone full circle and stood in the rain in awe. The fireworks were going off and better than EDC’s (not for the spectacles) but because I was in Amsterdam, on the beach, in the rain, with my friends listening to trance. Seeing Matt Bukovski, The Thrillseekers, Monoverse, Arctic Moon, Indecent Noise and countless others going wild had me grinning ear to ear just enjoying the moment wishing it never ends.

I skipped out on the after party (some FOMO) and chose to spend it with friends instead before the early AM flight back to London. I woke up late throwing items into suitcases and Uber out of my trance paradise. Not too sad, I was heading back to spend one final night in my favorite city. This time around, I saw the city with a real London tour guide, Craig Townsend. Craig was an amazing host and showed me to a few bars and some fun city views that I could never get tired of. My time in London was too short wishing for another night, but only leaving this city pouting and not wanting to return home as I said my goodbyes to Craig. My epic ‘trancecation’ had come to a close.

I landed in LA to the hot summer sun and gorgeous blue skies reminding me it will be ok. Completely jet lagged with memories of a life time, I cannot wait to go back to Europe returning for Luminosity, London and continuing on the mission to check the boxes off my bucket list.

-Danielle Sanders


CLICK HERE for more picture courtesy of Luminosity