Last Sunday night one of the most anticipated festivals of the year came to a close. The Ultra Music Festival was once again, a history making, record breaking, dream fulfilling event. I think it was necessary to take a few days to let all of the amazing moments to sink in. There are so many incredible festivals that go on all year round but Miami has to be my favourite just based on the fact that every performer brings new music to the table.
One artist that brought a bunch of new music to Ultra Main Stage was superstar DJ Avicii. The young phenom who has been shaking up the scene since ‘Levels’, provided fans with something more than joy. He provided questions. Tim Bergling, better known as Avicii, left a lot of people scratching their heads as to what they had just watched and heard. Yes it was unorthodox, something Ultra had never seen, and a bit country? Well, fans of Avicii shouldn’t say they had no idea. For months, Avicii had been tweeting about some “interesting and unique collaborations” he was working on for his upcoming album.
Of course it was completely off the radar from what people were used to, but that’s exactly what it seems Avicii has been going for lately. Maybe he was getting sick and tired of being called the “soft pop house artist” from many people within the scene. Only a few weeks back he was on Diplo’s radio show with an incredible set that really strayed away from what most people are used to. At Ultra he did the same. As he stated on his Facebook page, the performance in question was a 15 minute breakdown of his set, that changed up 2 straight weeks of hard hitting, fist pumping beats. He stayed true to his emotional, positive energy that he always brings and tried to change the the stereotypical DJ performance. In my opinion, it was extremely creative and amazing as always. Once again, Avicii and his manager Ash Pournouri pushed the limits of EDM, not only with the performance but playing host to an ‘Avicii Hotel’ for two weeks. It may have been strange to some but guess what? It is one of the biggest standout moments of the entire festival. It absolutely shocked the world of dance music. But I can guarantee you, whether it’s playing within a giant head in stadiums across America, performing alongside country artists, or putting his name on a hotel – This is not the last time Avicii throws a curveball at the dance music world.
Words by: Danny Moody
What a start to ULTRA 2013!
In the beginning, the plan to move UMF from 1 weekend to 2 seemed that it may take away from the exclusiveness of the massive event. However, as an advocate of growing the scene and with the anticipation growing for the second weekend, few could argue that its been any less than amazing! It truly is incredible how many people will be attending the extended festival this year. The past few years has seen Ultra host around 150,000 people, and this year the UMF gates will see 330,000 dance music enthusiasts dancing on the Ultra grounds. It allows the growing population of EDM fans to cross a bucket list event off their list. It also brings more pool parties, more club nights, more love, and more unity as people from all countries and cultures come together to share an incredible experience.
Not only has ULTRA made the event two weekends to make it more accommodating for fans, it has broadcasted its stunning live stream for people all over the world. Unfortunately, the crew at Ibizadreaming were not able to attend this year but the outstanding coverage offered by Ultra TV is second to none. Numerous camera’s scanning the crowd, from every angle surely had viewers jumping off the couch and dancing to their favourite DJ’s.
This week, I have personally seen so many people tweeting in fear of the forecast heading into the event, but with the weekend approaching, it looks like you can expect Miami’s beautiful weather. Regardless, after attending Veld last summer in Toronto and experiencing the 40+ degree weather, when it actually did start raining, people looked up into the sky and rejoiced. Rain or shine, nothing can stop EDM fans from having some of the best moments of their lives this weekend.
With so many of the same DJ’s performing again this coming weekend, it will be interesting to see how they switch up their sets, what new music they bring to the table, and how comparable the energy will be from last week’s chaos.
We can’t wait to experience last weekend’s magic all over again.
Words by: Danny Moody
On a weekend when Canadian’s have a habit of letting loose, it would only seem fitting that Guvernment Nightclub would throw an impressive and memorable weekend long party. Every year for Canada Day high-end DJ talent has notoriously landed in Toronto to play in front of countless dance music fans. This year the Digital Dreams Music Festival presented a unique opportunity to extend the celebration from one night to two, something the Guvernment faithful took full advantage of. The result? One hell of a party that had Afrojack and his protégé R3hab take over the main room on Saturday, and Kaskade’s Freaks of Nature sounds engulf the Kool Haus on Sunday. Both nights saw endless energy from the crowds and a full display of the affection our city has for those three talented artists.
The journey to Toronto proved difficult for Afrojack who found himself stranded on the west coast in Edmonton, Alberta late into Saturday night. His ‘Afrojet’ broke down and with all outgoing flights completely booked was forced to miss his Digital Dreams set time of 10:30. As a result the focus for fans shifted to his scheduled show at Guvernment and whether or not he would also have to postpone that appearance as well. Amazingly, transportation was found late Saturday night and he was enroute to the city to play a special sunrise set.
Inside the venue there was more than enough talent to satisfy fan house music desires as an extended opening set from Guvernment staples Manzone & Strong was followed by one of dance music’s fastest rising stars R3hab. The Dutch export is responsible for creating a fresh sound unique to dance music that is often referred to as ‘chainsaw music’. His producing talents were on display for the crowd in the form of records ‘Sending My Love’, a collaboration with Swanky Tunes and his impressive remix to David Guetta’s ‘I Can Only Imagine’, a record that builds around the vocals of Chris Brown. Extending his set to accommodate Afrojack’s delayed arrival only meant more of a memorable performance in his first ever concert at the Guvernment complex.
In 2008 for Guvernment’s 12th anniversary party, Swedish star Eric Prydz overlooked a crowd of eager house music fans for what would end up being his most recent visit to our city as of today. The 4 year drought without progressive house’s most sought after producer is finally coming to an end next weekend as he his scheduled to make his highly anticipated return to Toronto. Its hard to believe it has been so long since that show, but the lack of visits doesn’t come without reason. First off it is well known that Prydz hates to fly, he has been very adamant in sharing that with his fans and until recently dance music was much, much bigger in Europe. Add to that his last Canadian visit to Montreal had him booed off stage for not playing ‘Call On Me’, and you can understand why he hadn’t mandated an earlier return. Now that dance music has exploded, the mastermind will be returning as the headlining act for Identity Music Festival July 21. For that reason we want you to get excited, so here is this week’s Classic Essential Mix from 2011 featuring Eric Prydz at Creamfields.
Finally. It seems like just the other day that Pete Tong debuted this incredible remix by Calvin Harris on his BBC Radio 1 show, and now it has been released. Florence’s beautiful vocals are no stranger to the dance music scene as they have been featured or sampled on countless remixes and mashups in the past few years. There is something about a simple piano melody and Florence’s voice that translates into an addictive combination, something Calvin Harris mastered with this remix. Without question this record screams summer so make sure you check it out!
Last night in Madrid, Afrojack played the second show of his European summer tour in front of thousands of screaming Spaniards as part of the Rock In Rio Music Festival. The festival although not electronic focused had plenty of high end talent to satisfy any dance music fan’s musical cravings. Just like his appearances in Toronto last weekend, Afrojack’s set contained countless unknown records presumed to be his that have fans world-wide anxious for their releases.
Leave it to Erick Morillo and his Subliminal Sessions to bring sensational vocals and Ibiza inspired house anthems to the Spanish capital. The set includes many solid mashups from the Colombian-American as well as big room sounds that brought endless energy to the partiers in Madrid.
A little bit of a different sound came from dance music legend and BBC Radio 1 host Pete Tong, who took Madrid underground with a deep house music set. As always, his superb taste in music translated to a true house music set that served as a lead in to Erick Morillo’s set.