1. The Energy on Day 2
Though mild in comparison to the Saturday storms, Sunday still had it’s fair share of terrible weather. As soon as I got to the Ontario Place entrance what I saw astonished me – ravers, by the thousands, all running excitedly towards the gates ready for the festival to kick off. While the artists, the lights, the sponsors are all integral in making Digital Dreams as successful as it has been these past years, at the core of it all are the fans. Throughout the festival all you could see amidst the rainy weather was fans dancing, jumping, laughing and not having a care in the world as they made the best of what wouldn’t be considered ideal festival conditions. No matter what came at Toronto, the true fans stuck by Digital Dreams and the city, continuing the tradition for years to come.
2. All Gone with Pete Tong
This was hands down the best stage of the entire festival, making my job to leave and cover other sets at the festival very difficult. The second day lineup on the TD Echo Beach hosted a perfect blend of unique sounds that while all being different, came together in cohesion to support the stage as a whole. It almost seemed as if it were one very well established dj playing a marathon set for 7 hours, starting with bouncy deep and tech house from Cosella and Anna Lunoe, then ending with a perfect techno finish from Dubfire’s hand in Deep Dish. Given that the festival was cut short to one day, this stage covered about every sound and genre within the techno and house umbrella, having a little something for all the diverse preferences in the audience.
3. Pete Tong Himself
While the entire stage was impeccably booked and presented, it was the man himself who absolutely destroyed it during his time slot. Having not been to Toronto in quite some while, Pete Tong took seconds to absorb and read the crowds energy to precisely curate his set to resonate perfectly with the audience. The expectations for his appearance were impossibly high which brings us to either conclusion; either Pete Tong is unable to feel pressure or the world’s best poker face. Enjoying himself throughout every song and grabbing the mic often to interact with the crowd, Pete Tong did what a few select legends are able to do – turn a festival stage filled with thousands of attendees into an intimate dance party.
4. Main Stage Effects
Apart from the big room tunes being played out by the dj’s, the Digital Dreams main stage had intense visuals that took the already buzzing energy of the crowd and multiplied it by a thousand. Whether it was flames shooting into the sky, massive dry ice cannons, or confetti covering the crowd like the rain showers earlier in the day; every massive build up and bass drop was intensified by the array of visuals never letting the energy in the crowd decrease even once.
5. Bacardi Stage Bass
The Bacardi Untameable stage catered to a dubstep crowd, probably having had the most outgoing party of all the stages. It was hard not to go absolutely buckwild upon stepping into the general vicinity of this stage and taking in the surroundings. Hundreds of fans all jumping around, unable to keep still from the massive anthems being ripped through the speakers. Highlight of this stage: Flux Pavillion’s “I Can’t Stop” being played and the crowd pushing the earth down ten feet from dancing and jumping so viciously.
Lowlight: Day 1 Cancelation
Due to weather conditions and for safety reasons, a cancellation notice was posted thirty minutes into the festival start time and a lot of festivsl goers were upset they would be missing some of their most anticipated acts. This was indeed disappointing but I think given the choice, we would all take losing a day of raving over an injury or worse from a potential stage collapse, electrical malfunction, or any of the multiple things that could have gone wrong had the festival continued. We can only hope the Saturday artists return to perform in Toronto soon.
Lowlight: DD Only Seven Hours
Being such a massively established festival, it was a downer that Bud Light Digital Dreams 2015 was seven hours in it’s entirety. While the second day still had some great performances, it was a huge bummer waiting an entire year for a one day event reduced in length. Unforeseen circumstances always happen and we can’t really blame the festival, but hopefully Digital Dreams 2016 holds a brighter future.
Written by Kaivan Adjedani