Photo Credit: Rebecca Hollman
Written By: Rebecca Hollman
Ever After is a 3-day music festival located in Kitchener, Ontario, on the outskirts of Toronto. Known for its heavy bass lineup, this year featured artists like Excision, Zomboy, Getter, Flux Pavilion, Doctor P, Illenium, Snails, Slander, Pendulum, Kayzo, and many others. It also featured big-name drum n bass artists like 1991, Camo & Krooked, Black Sun Empire, Delta Heavy and PhaseOne and big-name house artists like AC Slater, Claude von Stroke, Will Clarke, Drezo, and Dombresky.
This year’s Ever After was held at Bingeman’s Center in Kitchener, Ontario. It featured two stages: the Excalibur Stage (i.e main stage), which was located at the entrance and the Upside Down House Stage, which was located closer to the campgrounds. The Excalibur Stage was massive and had a VIP dance area to the left of the stage for VIP, artists, media, and staff, while the Upside Down House Stage was off on its own and more intimate.
The House Stage was located a decent walk away from the rest of the festival and required walking up a steep, rocky hill to get to. BUT, once there, the second stage felt like it’s own little intimate festival. This was the stage that held the dnb and house artists and so had a totally different crowd than the dubstep at the main stage. Both stages were a bit plain in terms of lights and stage setup, but the sound production was on point.
Besides a few noticeable setbacks like the long water refill lines and the long lines to enter the festival, Ever After was blessed with great weather, good vibes, and killer sets all weekend. Some of the most noticeable sets were Excision, who played the sunset show on Sunday. No one else was playing at the same time so everyone at the festival was at the Main Stage, going hard and headbanging. I was pretty far back from the stage, way behind the sound booth, and I was still surrounded by tons of people raging their hearts out. Everywhere you looked, people were going hard.
Closing out Saturday on the House Stage was Claude von Stroke, who always delivers a funky deep house/tech house set. Other rad sets at the House Stage on Saturday were Will Clarke, who brought some dark, heavy techno beats and Drezo, who played banger hard-hitting bass house.
Friday was filled with drum n bass and we were graced with both old school dnb sounds from Camo & Krooked and new school sounds from 1991 and Tantrum Desire. Both stages were packed with good artists. All the artists deserve a shout out for their performances. I mostly stuck to the House Stage because I really love house and dnb (and smaller crowds) but the acts on the Excalibur Stage threw down just as hard.
FOOD & WATER
To the right of the Excalibur Stage was a paved area where all the food vendors were. There were six food vendors, besides the Ever After food vendor. The food options were limited to pizza, burgers, hot dogs, poutine, and wok-fried noodles. I was a little underwhelmed with the limited food options and lack of healthy and vegetarian food options.
The water refill stations had lines lasting over an hour the entire weekend. Ever After did provide free drinking water, but they severely underestimated the lines. They needed to have more refill stations located in different locations to disperse the lines and people trying to refill bottles.
Between the entrance and the Excalibur Stage was an area with tons of games, blow-up structures, carnival rides, Ferris wheels, and more. It was awesome to have so many activities besides just the music. Part of the games were in an open paved area, and the others were in the woods in the shade.
Ever After also allowed its festival attendees entrance into the Bingeman’s Water Park so you could ride on water slides included in your festival ticket. I didn’t participate in any water activities because I was too busy dancing at the Upside Down House Stage.
THE FACES OF EVER AFTER FEST
As I wandered around the grounds of Ever After, I stopped and took photos of anyone that I was drawn to – either their outfits, their personality, their dancing, or something about them that I found unique. I then asked them what their favorite thing about Ever After and going to music festivals was. Check out some of the Faces of Ever After Fest below.
Caroline, Danielle, and Hannah
Hannah: “My favourite part has to be the community of people. I’ve been to many festivals and concerts but the rave community has to be the most caring and compassionate group of people I’ve met! And I get to dance as hard as I want!
Danielle: “My favorite thing by far is getting to spend quality time with my friends.”
Ashley and Dakota
Ashley: “Both of our favourite things at festivals is getting to meet new people and reconnect with old friends while getting to dance around to our favourite music!”
“My favourite thing about going to music festivals is how liberating it is. I can wear anything and do anything I want. I am able to let go and dance without the feeling of judgment. I also love how open and friendly most people are. It is very easy to make friends and connect with people! Everyone is just there to have a good time. Of course thing I love the most is listening to my favourite artists!”
Luc and Brandon
Brandon: “Honestly, I’ve been going to festivals for 5 years now and I still can’t specifically pinpoint what I love. Everything you feel the minute you walk through the entrance is amazing, as any and all weight is lifted off your shoulders and you can escape for a while. Festivals allow you to do whatever you want, typically judgment free. As you can see with my buddy and I wearing fishnets and skirts! It’s just a safe place to escape for a while.”
“I like the people. You sometimes meet people at festivals that make over priced tickets, leaving my mom and dogs, standing on hot asphalt and being sore for days after worth it. A friendly face in the crowd really changes your mood if you’re having an off day. A friendly face feeling what you’re also feeling makes it so much more than just dancing with strangers. Also unreleased music – I love hearing things before other people haha.”
I had a great time talking to everyone at Ever After this year and really felt like it was full of unique, different, and creative people. Thank you to everyone who let me take their photos and interview them and thank you to Ever After for hosting this festival. Be on the lookout for Ever After 2019!