Heading into the new reimagined Budlight Dreams Festival on Friday, July 7, you were instantly hit with the excitement of all the festival goers. Everyone donned their very best festival outfits. This year, it was one pieces, glitter, crazy hairstyles, and tie-dye. Whatever the outfit, people were ready for a weekend full of dancing and music.
On day one, the sounds of MK blasting the wild Waterfront Stage started things off right. The stage setting was overlooking the lake in what felt like a secret little pocket of the city. MK was smiling and upbeat, with his hardcore fans shuffling away at the front. Better yet, after his set he made time to say hi to fans on the side of the stage. The Waterfront stage was definitely a highlight of the weekend, providing an intimate feeling atmosphere for music fans.
What So Not blasted at Echo Beach before the heavy hitting Steve Angello, with Delta Heavy and Grizzly taking over the Dream House. Pounding music could be heard from all angles of the festival and smiling fans skipped from stage to stage. When the rain hit, everyone either embraced the rain or grabbed a poncho to keep the party going.
Eventually, the festival paused for an hour due to an incoming storm. Unfortunately, fans weren’t too pleased as the skies were clear, the rain had stopped, and birds were chirping. But, the festival wanted to be safe rather than sorry and got everyone to shelter just in case. After about an hour, cheers were heard as the music began again. Baauer, Doctor P, and Green Velvet hopped on the decks to get the party going again.
Finishing Day 1 with A Thing Called Love
Above & Beyond began their set at Echo Beach a bit late. Being one of our favorite DJs, we were front and center to see them do their magic. The set was absolutely everything a fan could have dreamed of, playing new songs mixed in with classics as they typed their famous inspirational words on the screen above.
Fans went absolutely crazy for Above & Beyond, with tears being shed when two people were called up to the stage to “Push The Button” during Blue Sky Action. Above & Beyond graced the festival for a nearly-two-hour set, making up for the stormy pause earlier in the festival.
Loco Dice closed out Waterfront Stage with bouncy techno that welcomed the dark night sky. Andy C destroyed the Dream House with a set that was definitely not for the faint of heart. Bass echoed throughout the Ontario Place grounds, making it impossible not to stop and dance.
Nothing but sunshine
The festival Gods must have heard every Dreamers prayers, answering with a full day of stunning sunshine for Dreams Festival Day 2. Festival-goers arrived nice and early to try out the House Yoga and catch Toronto’s very own trance talent, Saad Ayub, in the Dream House.
Highlights of the day were Shiba San at Waterfront Stage, followed by DJ Hanzel (Dillon Francis’ deep house alter ego) and Malaa. All three DJs offered unique sets that kept the entire crowd sweating, dancing and smiling nonstop the entire day. Dream House welcomed trance acts, with a slight pause for the energetic Infected Mushroom. Aly & Fila and Markus Schulz finished off the day with incredibly rich trance sets that swept everyone away.
At Echo Beach, Feed Me, DVBBS and Dillstradamus (Dillon Francis and Flosstradamus) ripped up the final hours of Day 2. Spirits were high as the festival came to a close, with everyone dancing their way onto whatever after party they had planned for the evening.
Positive changes to Dreams Festival
Overall, the festival was likely one of the best versions of its self in the past few years. The 19+ age change made a huge impact, with the crowd being much more positive, happy, and energized. People said hi to strangers while dancing together. This year had a much better overall vibe than the previous years, with positivity radiating throughout.
The stages were all well laid out, with a great line-up and plenty of room to dance. The Bud Light Dreams Festival Team walked around ensuring everyone had a great time, complete with freebies, games, and tons of interaction.
It’s safe to say that we absolutely cannot wait until next year to head back to Dreams Festival!