The Escapades of Escapade Music Festival Day One
This past weekend, the Canadian city of Ottawa played host to the year’s biggest electronic music event in the region, Escapade Music Festival. While the older crowd prepares for the celebration of Canada Day just a few sleeps away, the younger generation is hip to the news: the celebration is here, and Escapade Music Festival, finding its home at a new and enhanced venue, would live up to its high expectations and exceed them with two action-packed days of enticing talent.
An “escapade” is defined, by Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, as an exciting, foolish, or dangerous experience or adventure – and Escapade Music Festival unquestionably encompassed the best of each one of these qualities. We were there on site to get the Escapade experience first hand for those that weren’t able to make it out to Rideau Carleton Raceway. Dancing Astronaut gives you The Escapades of Escapade Music Festival.
If there is one word to describe the atmosphere of the first day of the redone and reimagined Escapade Music Festival, it would be excitement. Fans piled into Rideau Carleton Raceway extremely early for a summer festival crowd and packed the mainstage with fans ready to rock to big room house. The side stages, featuring an area solely dedicated to the Deep House soldiers and another dominated by Trance energy-cravers, remained well populated with ample dancing room throughout the day into the late afternoon, making for a magical three stage experience during the two day festival. The mainstage sat acenter the raceway itself, encompassed by VIP risers on either side, the stage was set for a weekend to appeal to all types of dance music fans. Dancing around the areas between stages were performance art pieces, which could be briefly enjoyed while transitioning between stages, which were placed closely enough to be considered convenient, but engineered with a lack of sound collision in mind. Overall, the festival experience was lively and exciting from the opening gate.
The Foolish: Prince Club’s masterful set to a small crowd
As Catz n Dogz were unfortunately amongst the number of acts that were forced to back out of Escapade Music Festival due to travel-related difficulties, Prince Club extended his (we were only fortunate enough to see half the duo at Escapade) set that had been working so wonderfully to the point that the low attendance should be looked at as foolish that more fans had not attended. A hip-hop-laced deep house set drew in the audience that looked to vibe out to the European refined style of music, and the audience held on tight, even with a new festival ground to be explored. While many DJs may have looked upon the smaller crowd as an opportunity to slack-off for the duration of a set and save creativity for another time, the Prince Club mentality looked upon the crowd as an intimate opportunity to read a crowd and enjoy an extended set.
The Dangerous Experience: Fedde Le Grand vs. Ben Gold vs. The Martinez Brothers
Seeing three names as prestigeous as Fedde Le Grand, Ben Gold, and The Martinez Brothers may have you questioning whether this slot occurred at EDC Las Vegas or Ultra Music Festival, but it was the three stages of Escapade Music Festival that featured this daunting experience of racing from stage to stage, attempting to catch three of the hottest acts in the world within one hour. While the two-steppers got going with the Martinez Brothers at The Deep End, the host of the #GoldRush Arena took a packed hill on an upbeat journey. At the mainstage, Fedde Le Grand launched the crowd into chaos with big room house hits and radio-stylized remixes from Steve Aoki’s rendition of Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness” to a progresisve remix of Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven.” No matter which stage one chose, they were most certainly missing outstanding performances at the other two, making for a dangerous festival choice experience.
The Adventure: Andrew Rayel’s Journey
After a recent peek into his rearrangement of “In My Mind” and his official remix of Hardwell’s “Dare You,” the man who calls himself the unofficial heir to the trance thrown threw down a memorable set for a Canadian crowd begging to be taken on a musical adventure. While Eric Prydz rocked the mainstage, Andrew Rayel dominated an enchanted #GoldrushArena with powerful synths and a well-done light show that made for a rounded-out show experience. While the crowd was slightly smaller than what the trance mogul is used to playing for lately, the producer took advantage of his headlining slot and delivered a set that electrified the night and capped off the trance-centric stage well.
The Escapade: Eric Prydz draws in the crowd, gives a lesson in progressive
Following an exceptionally heavy big room set from Fedde le Grand, the progressive house king Eric Prydz took to the stage as many mainstage fans awaited yet another compressed and pounding fist-pump worthy set. Instead, Eric adjusted his set style for a crowd that the DJ read so well, introducing them to the progressive sound with his most mainstream hits before pulling the crowd down the progressive rabbit hole. In a rare Prydz move, the Swedish producer opened his set with “Every Day” before transitioning into “Liberate,” which many hardcore fans may claim indicates Eric’s desire to play a more mainstream set for the less-educated crowd. However, Eric grabbed hold of the people and took them on a twisting journey, with the day-long big room marathon coming to a close with the stomping sounds of long buildups and low-focused drops. Of all, Eric Prydz’s set holds true to the ideals of Escapade’s definition and message. To close out Day One, Eric Prydz’s set landed perfectly on the mainstage.
Photo Credit: Matt from ThirdEye