SoCal – Dreamstate 2021
Dreamstate came and went in the blink of an eye
I found myself loss for words to accurately describe how Dreamstate was and how much it meant to me. Every year since the first one in 2015, I am always left speechless and I struggle to find the right words to say, to paint a picture of just how amazing it is. This festival is something that cannot be described but experienced even if trance is not your favorite genre of music, the vibes are unmatched. Go in with an open mind, let the music guide you to just get lost in the sounds that engulf you.
The first thing that came to mind walking into the NOS Events Center was that I was home. Dreamstate has been home for all trance enthusiasts. I was overwhelmed with joy and excitement, I nearly wanted to cry but instead I had the biggest smile plastered across my face. What a crazy year it has been from the Dreamstate Park n’ Rave a year ago in 2020 to now. It felt so good to roam freely and hug old friends. This year’s Dreamstate edition could be renamed as the ‘reunion’ which for many of us it was exactly that. A reunion of all the different trance families from around the world including those who traveled from overseas to come together under a starry sky to listen to music we all love and enjoy.
Dreamstate 2021 brought back a fourth stage which usually was the Timeless Stage filled with classics, but instead the Void housed the biggest names and up and comers in progressive trance on Friday, with tech/hard trance on Saturday. The only stage indoors was the Vision and Sequence – the psytrance stage took up the other major large tented outdoor stage next to mainstage, The Dream. The mixture of different subgenres was represented really well, with big names from such as Ferry Corsten, Kai Tracid, Paul Van Dyk, BT, Mauro Picotto, Darude, Estiva, Fehrplay, Grum, M.I.K.E Push, Captain Hook, Morten Granau, Astrix and Alpha Portal.
Night-1, I spent the majority of my time at the Vision but wondered to each of the stages to catch certain acts, as well as check out the VIP section by the mainstage. If you’re wondering whether VIP is worth it or not, yes it absolutely is. Aside from having more room to dance, it’s worth it for the bathrooms alone. VIP by the mainstage had a beauty bar, an unspoken ‘dream wall’ where you could write down your dreams, food, a Skydeck, heaters, lockers and more.
The sound system in the Vision stage improved from Dreamstate 2019, and I enjoyed every set I caught there on Friday, especially Kai Tracid, a legend and true pioneer in the scene; he tore the roof off that building. Estiva’s b2b Fehrplay at the Void was the epitome of what good progressive is – sexy, soulful, melodic and driving. Ferry Corsten’s Gouryella took you through a journey of emotions, and the visuals were top notch for that stage. You were in heaven with Aly & Fila and Paul Van Dyk. Darude rick rolled everyone. M.I.K.E Push dropped a bit of psy which shocked everyone around me. Morten Granau and Liquid Hook caught my eye from Sequence stage that night; however, with that said the sound quality was low compared to the Dream stave.
Night-2, I was practically glued to the Void stage. A very apt name for how I got sucked into that dancefloor and hardly left, except to use the restroom. I couldn’t stop dancing and as a result, I only took two videos that night. GVX‘s debut (Ganesh and RJ Van Xetten) did an incredible job of opening up that stage and set the precedent for all of the other acts to follow for hard trance. Trance Family LA really showed up big to support these two artists, who were living their dreams. It warmed my heart to see so much support for the two men that GVX is comprised of, both of whom are friends to many of us in Trance Family LA and absolutely deserved to be up there.
From 8PM to 1AM, I was taken on a musical journey so deep and lost in the melodies and beat, that I did not realize how fast five hours had passed. Greg Downey threw down an incredible rework of Give It To Me by Nelly Furtado. Renegade System‘s Dreamstate debut set destroyed that dancefloor. There was not a single phone in the air but instead people stomping to the beat. The madness ensued with David Forbes, into Scot Project and with the final act and the insanity of Yoji Biomehanika.
Though I was this festival was a 3-day event, Dreamstate 2021 was the reunion we all needed to feel connected together again.