With over 35,000 Dreamers in attendance, and smiles as far as the eye could see, Dreamstate SoCal was quite magical.

Love, positive energy, and healing trance brought together thousands of Dreamers this year for TranceGiving. Insomniac uplifted Dreamstate SoCal even more this year into a fully immersive experience, complete with four unique stages and every flavor of the trance imaginable. Here’s a few reasons why we can’t stop talking about the festival…

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Credit: Mitchel Tilley

Each of the 4 stages delivered an unbelievable experience using top-tier design, unmatched production, and insane visuals.

The Sequence – Occupying a new home (The Damus building) this year, The Sequence took the crowd by storm with its mind-blowing visual experience. Iboga Records and FMBookings teamed up to debut the Iboga Hologram Show in the United States for the very first time and in conjunction with the Dreamstate experience. The hologram show was perfectly paired with the psytrance beats to create the ultimate visual experience. Vini Vici even created a custom live show full of visuals, specifically for Dreamstate SoCal. The hologram was so intense that it felt like you entered a Sci-Fi worm hole and transported into another dimension. Overall, the new location for The Sequence accommodated the majority of the crowds during the weekend except for high demand sets such as Vini Vici.

Timeless – Regardless of when you walked past Timeless, there was always a packed crowd jamming out to trance classics. While the production wasn’t ridiculous by any means it didn’t matter, because the entire focus was on the music. The stage received a face lift from last year with psychedelic visuals and improved sound quality. A few extended sets, such as Judge Jules, really brought out the best of Timeless and properly told nostalgic trance stories using old-school classics. Make sure to checkout his Global Warm Up episodes, as well as his Dreamstate playlist. 

The Dream – One of the favorite stages from the weekend was The Dream due to the elaborate production, high-caliber lineup, and killer sound quality. Lasers, tall LED screens on pillars, and flashing lights harmoniously blended together to form an insane visual experience. The best view for the visuals was in the back of The Dream where people could sit down under the illuminated neon trees. Although the location of The Dream didn’t change, the structure itself switched from a metal superstructure to a semi enclosed tent. Adjacent to the stage, the VIP area provided premium views and perks all weekend long.

The Vision – With a high-caliber lineup for 2017, The Vision was packed wall to wall over the weekend. The Vision took over the smaller Citrus building from The Sequence and didn’t waste a single square inch of space. Similar to The Dream, the production and sound quality was pure bliss at The Vision. 

The visuals were on-point, none of it was excessive and seemed just right —Sebastian

Insomniac put some careful thought into their customer experience.

Insomniac is well-known for its creative and talented performers who roam the crowds at their festivals. Located at the back of The Dream, three aerialists from Zero Gravity Arts left the ground to jump, flip, and spin through the air while memorizing the crowd with their futuristic LED costumes. Many other performers roamed the crowds as well with their elaborate costumes and some even performed on stage alongside the artists.

The food options were somewhat limited between the spread out food trucks and concession stands, but all of it was quite delicious. Attendee top food favorites included the fresh fruit, smoothies, and international food.

The spicy fish tacos from the middle eastern food truck were awesome!  —Meeno

The Mediterranean food was very delicious!  —Natalie

Many people are hesitant to upgrade to VIP, because the added benefits never seem quite worth it; however, Insomniac really knocked it out of the park this year with their VIP experience. Located on the left side of The Dream, VIP offered quick access to the front of the stage due to the fenced off VIP dance area. The luxury VIP trailer bathrooms were kept tidy throughout the night and always had plenty of paper products. Too many Snapchats or Kodak picture moments can kill cell phone batteries, but VIP had you covered with free phone charging stations and charging lockers for rent to keeping those flow toys topped off. 

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Credit: Mitchel Tilley

Some of the popular amenities this year were the glitter station for last-minute makeup additions and the kandi making stations where you could put together some PLUR creations for your rave fam. While it didn’t rain this year, the enclosed VIP tent spaces provided a fantastic warm up area between sets. If you were still feeling a bit chilly, the complimentary hot chocolate / coffee station with unlimited toppings kept you toasty and was absolutely delicious. Speaking of delicious, the dedicated VIP food truck and cash bar had incredible bites and refreshments throughout the night. Even the free popcorn was a nice added touch for those late night munchies.

My favorite part of the whole VIP experience was the fun interactive art that Insomniac setup throughout the lounge area. The mirrored room lined with stringed lights was unreal, it felt like you walked into a futuristic paradise filled with electric wonder. The photo-op station captured special moments from weekend for attendees to take home. There were massive sequin lined walls that people could draw on and leave messages behind for others to see. 

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Credit: Mitchel Tilley

Shoutout to iHeartRaves for spreading PLUR all weekend long at the festival and taking countless photos with fans. 

With over 70 heart pounding and amazing sets during the weekend, these were a few of Trillvo’s top favorites…

Alpha 9Armin Van BuurenATBBen GoldBlastoyzCold BlueFerry TayleGaia (Armin van Buuren and Benno de Goeij), Ilan BluestoneJudge JulesKey 4050 (John O’Callaghan and Bryan Kearney), Sean TyasSolarstone, and Vini Vici

The trance community welcomed the debut of all the projects with open arms, which included: AEON (Paul van Dyk), Key4050 (John O’Callaghan and Bryan Kearney), 3Fect (Jordan Suckley), Tech Energy (MaRLo), Hydra (The Thrillseekers), and GAIA (Armin van Buuren and Benno de Goeij). Jordan Suckley killed his 3Fect project by grounding it around the art of DJ’ing. Using  the latest technology and controllers, Jordan incorporated double-drops, effects, live mashups, loops, mixing, and scratching simultaneously.

After almost 7 years of absence, the return of Arty’s alias Alpha 9 was presented at Dreamstate SoCal and he was warmly welcomed back by the crowd. Similarly, Hydra has been on break since 2003 and returned this past year as well. 

Quite a few DJs stepped on stage in the United States for the very first time. A big shoutout to all of the overseas artists who made their US debut at Dreamstate SoCal and slayed the crowd with their performances: Blastoyz (Israel), BLiSS (Israel), Cold Blue (Germany), Factor B (Australia), Fady & Mina (Egypt), Outsiders (Israel),  Shugz (Ireland), Symbolic (Israel).

The Anjunabeats family was represented strongly throughout the weekend and featured  progressive trance sets from artists like Andrew Bayer, Ilan Bluestone, Jason Ross, and Sunny Lax.

What makes Dreamstate different from other events is the trance community.

The Great Trancegiving was a big family reunion where uplifting and euphoric feelings from tracks unified everyone together with a deep level of harmony. There were smiles on faces as far as the eye could see, and even a few tears during intense spiritual moments. The crowd varied in age, but it was definitely more mature than a typical festival crowd. I discovered that trance is one of the most welcoming communities in electronic music and no matter where you went it always feels like a tight-knit family. As I followed my journey through trance, I encountered so many positive and accepting Dreamers with contagious vibes. 

The atmosphere was pure unity, all hearts vibed as one.  —Lenny

The layout for Dreamstate SoCal changed this year, improving the overall experience and traffic flow.

As you walk into the festival from the security and ticket lines, the first thing you notice is the beautiful lake with a water fountain, soft grass, and lit neon trees. Many attendees used the lake area to hangout, cool off, and regroup with friends between sets. After walking past the lake, the harmonious trance sounds from the nearby stages started to come into focus. The back of The Dream hosted a large area for bathrooms, food trucks, concessions, and the water refill station. Another row of bathrooms were placed in between The Sequence and The Vision to alleviate congestion. A few concession stands and one food truck were placed just outside of The Sequence, which came in handy between sets for a quick snack or thirst quencher. 

One of the major changes Insomniac incorporated this year was adjusting the layout for Dreamstate SoCal 2017. First, The Sequence moved from the Citrus building and found a new home this year inside the Damus building (previously hosted ALL of Dreamstate SoCal 3 years ago). The larger building allowed much more room for attendees to shuffle the night away and accommodate larger crowds for popular psytrance sets.

Second, The Vision was moved from the back of The Dream to the adjacent Citrus building, which reduced sound interference issues. Even though The Sequence faced The Vision this year, the enclosed buildings for both stages keep sound interference to a minimum.

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Credit: Mitchel Tilley
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Credit: Mitchel Tilley

Third, Timeless was relocated from the back of The Dream (last year) to the side just outside of the VIP area at The Dream. The Timeless previously experienced major sound interference issues from The Dream and The Sequence, which is why is changing the location was a smart move. Timeless still experienced some interference from The Dream this year since both stages had an open tent design (compared to the permanent buildings for The Sequence and The Vision) and Timeless was located just off to the side of The Dream. To be fair, if you were standing inside Timeless you really didn’t notice until you stepped far outside the tent. 

Overall, the layout flowed really well and there was always room to dance or take a chill break. Walking between stages was very quick and the pathways never were absurdly overcrowded compared to other large festivals. A few lines were expected during popular sets due to the capacity limits of the stages inside permanent buildings. Even though we couldn’t get inside in time for a few sets, we were still able to watch and hear the full set from the rear entrance or side exits. 

With another Dreamstate SoCal in the books, here is some food for thought on improvements for next year.

The filtered water was delicious, but there could be a few more stations spread throughout the festival.

The lines for the bathrooms were very quick, but the bathrooms themselves were very messy towards the end of the night. Extra help to keep the bathrooms tidy would be greatly appreciated by the attendees. 

Paid parking was super close to the festival entrance for quick entry, but the lines to get out at the end of the night took over an hour. Extra gates to exit will help alleviate traffic congestion and long wait times for attendees to leave.

The Sequence and The Vision had so many killer sets, but not all the fans could experience it together due to capacity issues and long lines. With bigger structures, more people will be able to enjoy!

The new location for Timeless helped with last year’s sound interference issues from The Dream, but it was still present. Adding more distance or structures between the stages will help.

The insane lineup brought so much amazing talent this year, but it created many set conflicts and short set times. Extending set times and adding a third day would  help the artists to properly tell their stories.

Some of our favorite totems from the weekend!

Dreamstate SoCal was absolutely amazing, the trance family transcended into a higher state of consciousness.

A big shoutout to Insomniac Events for elevating Dreamstate SoCal even more this year using their creativity, passion, and love for trance. Insomniac addressed customer concerns on-the-fly and produced the ultimate trance festival experience. Ground Control kept everyone safe throughout the weekend while spreading peace, love, unity, and respect everywhere they roamed.

Love, positive energy, and healing. Trance brought together thousands of Dreamers this year for TranceGiving. Dreamstate SoCal connected everyone into a state of trance and to a higher state of consciousness. Trance is on the rise in the electronic dance scene, we can’t wait to see what Dreamstate does for 2018!

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Credit: Mitchel Tilley

Trance enables you to forget your odds and heal the spirit, which can’t be contained at an event that allows the real you to transcend.  —Shannon

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Posted by:Mitch Tilley

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