Rong Events 10th Anniversary
Sometimes you just need to buy a plane ticket and have it go Rong
Saturday Oct 9th, 2021 was the long-anticipated Rong 10th Birthday event. For the last decade, Rong has been a staple and gold standard of trance events in the UK. With a solid lineup, I had the ‘FOMO’ in which I caved into purchasing a roundtrip to the UK. Only telling a few folks, I wanted to keep it a surprise. My weekend getaway was just the cure of my post-holiday blues a few weeks prior. I found a cheap flight and with the luck of my friends, Anthony and Tracy, they let me stay in their spare room.
I have been a fan of the Rong brand for years, watching videos and listening to recorded sets. After being forced to halt all events like the rest of the planet, they came back HUGE. For the 10th anniversary, they didn’t hold back with a massive lineup including my favorite John O’Callaghan doing a rare b2b with Fadi from Aly & Fila, a UK exclusive b2b from John Askew and Will Atkinson, Shugz, David Rust, Billy Gillies, Giuseppe Ottaviani, Maria Healy b2b Ashley Smith, Lost Witness, Space Brothers, The Thrillseekers, Ciaran McCauley, Factor B, Craig Connelly, PVD and that isn’t even a third of the lineup.
Rong 10th Birthday took place at the famous Victoria Warehouse, with three massive stages, a VIP room overlooking the main arena with its own bar and bathrooms, a separate bar area, and plenty of restrooms for women as the venue was massive. The sold-out night packed the massive lot and it was bumper to bumper of ravers, but everyone was in great spirits. So happy to be out as things were getting back to normal.
I ran into so many faces I haven’t seen in over two years; Luminosity friends and Trance Family members as we embraced for quick big hugs. Seeing everyone back, mask less, and in the element we love the most made my heart happy. The part that had me smiling was the genuine surprise most people had when they saw me. I only told a handful of people, so for me showing up half way around the world was a shock to most people I knew. So shocking, my good friend Linda slapped me in shock as she hugged me. The bonds formed over trance are incredibly strong and being away for 18 plus months from everyone was too long. Hopefully we will never have to do that again.
The sold-out event had every space in use turning it into a sauna. The walls, the floor, and the roof were soaked, in some areas it was raining sweat. The music was loud and bouncing off the walls, people were in a euphoric place of sheer happiness. It was a proper warehouse. One I have not attended the likes of in the US in decades. If this was how every Rong event is, then I shall be back for sure.
The music was electrifying. Lost Witness had my favorite classic set of the night, dropping his massive tune Happiness Happening. I have been a fan for years and was finally able to catch a set from the legend.
The rest of the night, I dealt with conflicts while catching about half of every other set where the biggest one was Shugz, Billy Gillies and the b2b set with JOC and Fadi. I caught the first 30 minutes of JOC and Fadi then ran over to catch the tail end of Billy Gillies. It was insanity. I then saw my favorite human Shugz take over and trying to one up Billy. That seemed to be the theme of that room. It just kept getting harder. I was in heaven. I tore myself away and ran back to the massive mainstage room to catch the last 30 minutes of JOC and Fadi. The two bald-headed trance giants were in smiles playing together and having fun. You could feel the energy from the crowd as it fed into the music. They ended their set with Aly & Fila’s Somebody Loves You that went into JOC’s Stress Test. What a closing! The two embraced and shared some words of encouragement as the crowd went wild. It was honestly a very emotional experience. From that point on, I just went with the vibes and followed the sounds that filled my heart.
I caught up with my fellow trance traveler from Los Angeles, Kimiyo, and we bounced from stage to stage with an occasional tequila shot as we went. We both take the saying “…will travel for trance…” very seriously.
The night flew by and soon it was 5am. I found my friend Anthony and we walked out the venue soaking wet. The brisk cold Manchester air felt great but I knew my body was going to be screaming at me in pain.
In total, I had spent 67 hours in the United Kingdom, 26-hour flight with four layovers, six flights, one 4-hour bus ride, one 2.5-hour train ride all so I could enjoy 10 blissful hours of my favorite music and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
I have waited 10 years to attend a Rong Event and I can finally call myself a Rong’un. I may have also leveled up on my weekend warrior status in the process.
I cannot wait for the next event.