Lucky Festival 2016: An enchanting experience

W&W Lucky Festival 2016This year’s Lucky Festival 2016 was enchanting, inspiring, and breathtaking. From the moment we entered the Tacoma Dome and crossed the threshold into the ever-magical festival setting, we were awestruck by the glittering green and gold that sparkled throughout the venue, accompanying the magical tunes that floated from the three stages on March 12.

Attendees were treated to world class artists such as Dada Life, Steve Aoki, and W&W at the Lucky Arena, while trance fans found their pot of gold at the End of the Rainbow stage, where artists such as Grum, Super8 & Tab, Jason Ross, Andrew Bayer, Ilan Bluestone, and Arty took us to trance heaven.

Other featured artists include Andy C, Armanni Reign, Aryay, Crizzly, Crnkn, Ghastly, Kill The Noise, Luminox, MAKJ, Mr. Bill x KJ Sawka Live, Rain Man, and Zomboy.

The USC Events staff went above and beyond for this event. The lines were infinitely shorter than at FreakNight 2015, and security was much more organized and efficient this time around. The weather also cooperated, with the rain staying at bay until late evening and the temperature staying in the balmy high fifties, making any waiting much less painful than those during rainy FreakNight.

Upon gaining entry, we meandered our way through the various stages, briefly peeking into the bass stage, or the Leprechaun’s Lair, before continuing on our way through the Lucky Arena. The Lucky Arena, or main stage, was a soaring sight to see, with four large screens carefully arranged to create a puzzle piece effect around the DJ platform. Ghastly’s electro house sounds rung out from the stage, the bass reverberating through the Lucky Arena as we made our way to the End of the Rainbow stage.

We passed the Clover Park, which was strategically placed between the Lucky Arena and the End of the Rainbow stages to prevent sound bleed between the two stages. This large garden of luminescent flowers and suspended lucky clovers offered ravers a convenient, neon-lit meeting spot to rest and trade kandi.

Finally, we crossed through the final set of curtains that separated the Lucky Arena from the land of all things trance. The End of the Rainbow stage was any trance lover’s dream, boasting a solid trance line-up accompanied by incredible visuals and eye-catching decorations. The finishing touch was the glowing Anjunabeats logos that were gently waving from the ceiling amid large spiked stars.

Grum enchanted festival goers with his hit “U,” which actually ended up being stuck in my head even hours after the event had ended. Super8 & Tab put on an amazing set, followed by Jason Ross. His remix of Above and Beyond’s “We Could Fly to New York” was eerily uplifting, and Andrew Bayer’s remix of Eric Pryzd’s set“Opus” was simply magical.

Bluestone Lucky Festival 2016We slipped back to the Lucky Arena for a spell to catch W&W enchant the audience with their enthusiasm and giant drops. Their pulsating synths and epic drops were especially notable when they threw down their smash hit “Bigfoot.” Because Ilan Bluestone was set to take the stage shortly after, we rushed back, passing the glimmering lights of vendor booths that beckoned to festival goers in need of new apparel, diffraction glasses, and safety gear.

We made it back to the End of the Rainbow stage just in time to catch Ilan Bluestone take the stage. As his melodic music filled the room, we continued to thread our way up to the front of the stage, joining the rest of the crowd, alternating between singing along and swaying to the music. He played a remix of Oceanlab’s “Sky Falls Down,” a remix of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus,” and remixes of Above and Beyond’s “Black Room Boy” and “Peace of Mind.”

The most epic moment of the entire night was the closing of his set when he played his remix of Above and Beyond’s “Satellite.” This was the song that first introduced me to trance, and finally getting to hear it live sent goosebumps down my entire being. The flashing strobe lights, spellbinding lasers, and visuals were the perfect backdrop for Bluestone, as his orchestral music engulfed the crowd, taking everyone on a musical joyride with beautiful synths and entrancing vocals.

Once the final beat of Bluestone’s set came to rest, we made our way back to the Lucky Arena to catch the remainder of Steve Aoki’s set and Dada Life. We arrived just in time to see Aoki’s big room house banger, “Boneless,” and to see him bust out “Cakeface” while parading around stage, launching four cakes into the crowd of eager fans wanting to be caked.Steve Aoki Lucky Festival

Swedish duo, Dada Life, closed out the night at the Lucky Arena, quickly winning over the crowd with their infectious energy and chanting song lyrics. If you haven’t yet experienced a Dada Land show, they are a group whose show presence matches their musical talent. Their set included “Freaks Have More Fun,” “Kick Out the Epic Motherf**ker, “Just Bleep Me,” and “Born to Rage.” However, no Dada Life set would be complete without champagne showers, a giant inflatable banana getting passed around the crowd, and one of their infamous pillow fights in tune to their hit “Happy Violence.” Smoke machines, lasers, and flames only helped punctuate the excitement that continued building throughout the set.

When the time finally came for the show to end and the final lights to come back on, I was sad that the night had to end. Overall, the event was a glowing green and gold success, full of new and old friends, trancetastic music, and magical atmosphere.

If you’re already having festival withdrawals, be sure to check out USC Events’ upcoming events: Bass Academy 2016, a bass lover’s paradise, coming to the Tacoma Dome on April 9, and Bliss: The Awakening, a trance heaven, touching Earth on May 7.

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