Escapade Music Festival 2013: The who, what, where, when, and whys of day one
Escapade Music Festival got under way this Saturday in Ottawa amidst come-and-go showers, running-high adrenaline, and celebrations for Canada Day. Fans looking to celebrate their Independence Day 48 hours early had no intention of easing into the weekend, and neither did the headlining acts at the main stage or relentless DJs at the tech stage. Threats of storms, muddy pastures, and the looming action-packed weekend couldn’t keep artists or fans alike off their feet on day one of Escapade. In the nation’s capital for its biggest holiday, Dancing Astronaut presents the 5 Ws of Escapade Music Festival — who, what, where, when, and why from day one.
Who: Wolfgang Gartner
With an all-encompassing line up at the main stage covering everything from trance to progressive house, and with tech artists occupying their own tent, Wolfgang Gartner delivered the evening’s dose of electro-house. In typical frenetic fashion, Wolfgang brought an energetic, rage-provoking set to a crowd which resisted rest. The unanimous standout artist of Saturday conducted his blowout with originality, stamping his insignia with solo highlights from “Flexx” to “Nuke,” to the recent “Anaconda.”
Wolfgang Gartner – Anaconda (Original Mix)
What: Fire Breath
Fireworks? Check. Dancers? Yes. CO2? Of course. Fire breathers and flame-enhanced performers? Wow. During Ferry Corsten’s closing set at the main stage, acrobatic dancers and entertainers took to the stage, and took production value to the next level. Flirting with dangers and dancing with fire, a group of acrobats waved flames like jump ropes and nun-chucks, danced around the heat, and made time for dragon imitation with acts of fire breathing.
Where: Tech Stage
While a diversified roster of renowned talent donned the main stage – a stage large enough that it could be mistaken for another building in downtown Ottawa, tech all stars flooded the nearby tent which seemed unassuming from afar, but was far rowdier from within. Chus & Ceballas took the decks around 3:30 pm, and the tent was already nearing its capacity. Their tech journey was followed by Mark Knight and his two-hour outing that showed Canada the mystique of a Toolroom affair. With Umek’s delayed performance, Steve Lawler took control around 9pm and refused to let the crowd out of his grips until 11:30pm, closing the festival with a four-hour set.
When: 4pm, an afternoon set from Above & Beyond
The billed headliners of day one took an unexpected time slot on Saturday, opting for a mid-afternoon set opposed to the typical closing hours. When Above & Beyond took the main stage at 4pm, the RA Centre grounds was at capacity with fans jammed-packed to glimpse the act as if it were the festival’s final moments. Escapade and its attendees were in for a treat, hyped for a taste of the trio’s Group Therapy movement and receiving the full-blown experience. Gifting their latest anthem, “Walter White,” early in their set, dispersing beloved productions such as “Thing Called Love” and “Black Room Boy,” and closing with the classic “Sun & Moon,” Above & Beyond illuminated the skyline of Ottawa and the afternoons of admirers.
Above & Beyond – Walter White (Original Mix)
Why: Why are AN21 & Max Vangeli people of the night?
Tim Mason gave the main stage a boost of energy with his early-afternoon set, but label mates AN21 & Max Vangeli put on a showcase to remember as the sun set on Ottawa. Slotted between the headlining act of Above & Beyond and the closing set of Ferry Corsten, the duo paid testament to their notorious People of the Night brand, taking the crowd for a ride into the darkness. Equipped with a revamped People of the Night, AN21 and Max flaunted the newest versions of tracks off their debut album. Kryder & Staar’s remix of “H8RS” set the benchmark for the night hours, Dimitri Vangelis & Wyman’s take on “People of the Night” had euphoria at its peak, and Promise Land’s rendition of “Glow” summoned goosebumps from fans festival-wide.
AN21 & Max Vangeli – Glow (Promise Land vs. AN21 & Max Vangeli Remix)
Stay tuned for our coverage of Escapade Music Festival Day Two, featuring memorable moments from Steve Angello, Krewella, Arty, Candyland, and more!