Around 80,000 EDM fans gathered at Electronic Nation’s Bud Light Digital Dreams 2014 in a state of music-induced euphoria during two days of the Canada Day long weekend. Now in it’s third year, the festival offered an expanded site at The Flats at Ontario Place (plus Echo Beach) including the addition of a 4th stage.
A comprehensive line-up of 80+ artists continuously performed on the four different unique stages. EDM is rich in sub-genres and we enjoyed the fact that each stage offered something different. The Dream Stage (headlined by the likes of Tiesto, Eric Prydz, and Justice) had all the grandeur of a big house outdoor concert venue with an explosion of visuals featuring robots, jellyfish, and pyrotechnics.
Those who don’t mind getting sand between their toes planted themselves at Echo Beach, which had an ambiance of a true oceanside party (I particularly enjoyed the set by Destructo). The Bacardi House of Boom offered a semi-enclosed tented environment with hard-hitting beats by dubstep greats such as Flux Pavilion and Thugli. No.19 Social Experiment/Fantasy land had a completely different atmosphere; the stage was framed by two grass covered hills with Lake Ontario serving as the backdrop while the top enclosure of the venue consisted of an origami-like assembly of tensile structures. We spent quite some time relaxing on the grass hills while watching yachts passing past the stage… the trance spinning at the stage was GOOD. Simply said, hopping from venue to venue was an adventure in its own right as well since the vibe at Digital Dreams is next to none.
This year’s festival featured a “cashless” RFID wristband system where party-goer’s accounts can be topped up online or at designated stations found throughout the festival for the purchase of libations or gourmet food-truck items. The advantage here is you don’t have to fumble through your pockets for loose bills and coins because your wrist band now doubles as you wallet and event pass into different areas based on your clearance level. VIP and bottle service areas allowed an elevated view of the stage, while the Cloud Nine Hospitality Package offered all the bells and whistles of a high-end lounge.
With the plethora of unique venues, comprehensive line-up of top DJs in nearly every electronic genre, and a solid infrastructure supporting the seamless operation of the festival…Bud Light’s Digital Dream 2014 was certainly an event made in House Heaven.
Photos by Nick Lee