REVIEW: Dreamstate NYC 2016


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Dreamstate’s successful inaugural debut in the East Coast

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Last weekend I got to experience night one of Dreamstate. For those who have not heard of it, it is Insomniac’s highly anticipated all trance festival that takes place on the West Coast. This year Insomniac made its East Coast debut at the Brooklyn Hangar. This event hosted thirteeen amazing artists over the course of two nights. It featured performances from (listed alphabetically) Astrix, Coming Soon!!!, Freedom Fighters, Infected Mushroom, John 00 Fleming, John Askew, John O’Callaghan, Markus Schulz, Mike Saint-Jules, Nifra, Pureng, Standerwick, and Vini Vici.

For those who have yet to attend an event at the Brooklyn Hangar, it is quite an experience. Once getting off the train in Sunset Park, you start to walk into an area filled entirely with warehouses. As you keep walking and keep thinking you are lost you faintly start to hear the bass from a distance. As we all got closer the sound of the bass was getting stronger and we were all getting more excited. If Insomniacs goal was to create a more intimate festival experience, then they have certainly accomplished that at the Brooklyn Hangar. This venue brings back feelings of old school warehouse events and is set up in a perfect way to still give you a festival vibe.

Once admitted onto the property you could either go inside the warehouse, which housed the stage, two bars on either side, and a huge dance floor in the center with nothing obstructing it in the middle like at Pier 94. Outside of the warehouse were dozens of porta potties, another bar, a merch tent, an expensive food truck, and my absolute favorite: a free water refill station. That station really helped add a more festival vibe to this event.

When I got there it was towards the end of NIFRA’s set which was really good. Later on I would get to meet her backstage. She was really nice and I cannot wait to see her again if she comes back to New York. Before coming to Dreamstate the only DJ that I’ve listened to was Markus Schulz. The line up on Friday was on point. Each DJ on the main stage left the crowd wanting more.

I must admit the crowd at this event was fantastic. Everyone gave off good vibes which helped add to the experience. Unlike some shows where people tend to constantly push through the crowd to get to the front to either get a better view or for better music quality, people here did not have to do it. Insomniac picked a great venue that allowed the DJ’s to be visible from anywhere inside the warehouse. With the mixture of good acoustics and an amazing sound system it helped keep the crowd satisfied so they didn’t have to push to get upfront. The outfits that people wore ranged from girls in wearing booty shorts and fluffies to people decked out in costumes. There was even one guy walking around in a Predator (like the Alien, not a pedophile) outfit and another guy dressed as Santa with a white kandi beard. All around the venue you could see people wearing gloves giving light shows and an even greater number of people enjoying them.

Dreamstate to me was an unforgettable time but nothing is perfect. There were a few things that they could have done better. For one, the prices of drinks were high, $10 for beer and about $15 for a small mixed drink. As a beer drinker I was happy that they served Heineken but it was the only beer they had. I suppose the high drink prices were to compensate for the loss in water sales due to the refill station. Another thing was that their security, although really down to earth, were a bit confused on the backstage access. That also ties into my last problem and possibly the biggest, they did not advertise that they had a downstairs. Not only was there a basement but there were DJ’s playing down there. I found out about this after my run in with Markus Schulz and NIFRA backstage. I went down there around halfway through Markus’s set just to catch a glimpse and it was relaxing. There weren’t many people downstairs so it left the basement slightly cool, a huge improvement to the heat being generated from the hundreds of dancing people upstairs.

Overall I believe Insomniac did a fantastic job organizing Dreamstate’s debut in New York City. Now it is time to start preparing for Electric Zoo this upcoming weekend on Randall’s Island.