PHOTO CREDIT: Katarina Cvetko
Last weekend marked the first of many celebrations of A State Of Trance 900. The largest trance network in the world, together with global dance event organisers ALDA, celebrated 900 episodes of Armin van Buuren’s world renowned radio show. The record breaking sold out event saw 35,000 fans from all over the world, come together in Utrecht to commemorate the milestone. After attending previous editions of ASOT festival in Australia and the USA, I was beyond excited to finally tick ASOT in Utrecht off my bucket list.
THE PRESS CONFERENCE
Kicking off the night was an exclusive press conference with Armin van Buuren himself. The Dutch DJ and producer spoke briefly about the celebration before answering questions from the press. He also revealed the massive news that ASOT will be taking place in the San Francisco Bay Area in the United States later this year. The press conference then concluded with Armin van Buuren meeting and taking photos with everyone in attendance.
This year’s celebration of ASOT900 featured five stages spread out across Utrecht’s Jaarbeurs venue. Each stage was dedicated to a particular style of trance and featured everyone from the upcoming talent to the pioneers of the scene. The main stage featured some of the most beloved headliners in the trance world; including Above & Beyond, Cosmic Gate, Vini Vici and of course, Armin van Buuren. Accompanying the music was an stunning main stage design, featuring LED panels lining the walls of the stage, and floating panels, which were suspended from the ceiling and moved in time with the music. This stage was definitely my favourite and I absolutely loved the way the floating panels extended all the way to the back of the room. After wandering around the venue, I also spent some time at the PSY and Who’s Afraid of 138?! stages and marvelled at the stage designs as well as the generous amount of lasers.
With so many incredible names on the lineup, it was impossible to see every single performance on my schedule. Armin van Buuren performed three times throughout the night, including a special opening vinyl performance; and a special return to the Who’s Afraid of 138 stage for the first time since ASOT650! He also debuted a brand new collaboration with Above & Beyond! Aside from the main stage, I definitely enjoyed a lot of the music at the psy stage. Artists such as Captain Hook, Ghost Rider and Whiteno1se definitely exceeded my expectations and satisfied my desire for a more harder and faster style of music.
My favourite set of the night was without a doubt MaRLo. The Dutch born DJ and producer, who now resides in Australia, took to the main stage for an exclusive hour of ‘tech-energy’. The unique style combines elements of hard trance, techno, hardstyle and uplifting sounds. I also had the opportunity to speak to the artist before his performance and get an idea of tech-energy and what inspires him to play it.
“I only play that sound like twice a year – two or three times a year; and I only want to do it at the best events in the world. ASOT, to play at the main stage at the set time that I’ve got (4-5 in the morning) I think is the perfect opportunity to showcase a sound like this”.
After a night filled with your typical trance sounds and sets, I definitely have to agree that this was the perfect opportunity to showcase a different and more fast paced sound. Hearing some of my favourite hardstyle and happy hardcore tracks at the main stage of a trance event definitely caught me by surprise; and had me singing along through the entirety of his set.
Overall, ALDA hosted yet another incredible event and ASOT900 was definitely one for the record books. The star studded lineup combined with impeccable organisation and a jaw dropping production, has definitely made this festival come out on top as one of my favourite indoor events in the world. The ASOT900 world tour will continue next weekend in Madrid; before heading over to Miami, Kiev, San Francisco and Boom later this year. Keep up to date with ASOT900 here and secure your tickets for a show near you today!