What happens when a self-professed rock music lover hits an EDM festival? Vv Magazine’s Neelam Champaneri takes in the sounds and the scantily-costumed sights of VELD.
What is VELD? A music festival filled with the largest, sweatiest, free-spirited EDM-crazed crowd ever. With thousands of attendees, VELD celebrated its fourth year ecstatically this past weekend by transforming Downsview Park into rave central.
It was my first time at any EDM-related event, ever. My roots lie in rock and hip-hop, so it was a total game-changer for me. The crowd that’s often associated with EDM wasn’t my cup of tea, but after this past weekend, I can safely say that I’ve found a new respect for the community.
But first, the setting. Ferris wheels were set up at the far south side of Downsview Park, just behind the Bacardí Tent that was hosting smaller acts. The VIP tent and balcony stood across the VELD main stage. The balcony offered an amazing view of the crowd and light effects that lit up the sky, not to mention that awesome feeling of the bass shaking your body, as massive speakers were set up all over the level.
Everyone came together at VELD and were dancing like there was no tomorrow. Smiles on everyone’s faces, arms thrown up in the air. It was so homey. Well, suffocatingly homey if you were caught in the big smoke cloud that hovered over the crowd before the stages.
Whether your interests lie in trance, dubstep, trap, or house, there was something for everyone to enjoy.
Internationally acclaimed DJs such as Deadmau5, Kaskade, Dyro, The Chainsmokers, and Oliver Heldens graced the main stage. Saturday suffered from a three-hour delay due to a storm scare, but it went on with a bang. However, the storm attacked on Sunday, and the event was cancelled a quarter-way through.
Following the delay on Saturday, evening turned to night as Steve Aioki, Kaskade, and finally Deadmau5 took over the sound system. Deadmau5 ended off the night spectacularly. Strobe lights lit up the sky as he played Strobe in its entirety. It was fun watching planes overhead and wondering what it must be like for the passengers to be looking down on the park.
VELD brought forward two non-EDM performers: OVO’s ILoveMakonnen and rapper A$AP Rocky. These guys are famous, but it was strange to see them perform on the side stage. If you’re going to bring big names to the festival, your best bet is to put them on the main stage, no?
As with all music festivals, fashion is important. Yeah, most rave outfits are over-the-top. There were hundreds of girls with bad tans and very little clothing on at the VELD, and even on the bus ride from the subway station to the park, half-dressed people surrounded me. The festival field itself, however, was chockfull of cool outfits, and many of them homemade. It was inspiring to see how much time and effort some of the attendees put into their weekend outfits. The best ones were the handmade rainbow tutus and blinged-out bras.
There were also some strange spottings such as the Montreal Canadiens flag being waved in the crowd, as well as people carrying Drake signs. Oh, not to mention that someone came dressed up as Spongebob Squarepants. In short, the people here were quite the interesting characters, for lack of better words.
But that’s the beauty of it all; strangers with different personalities and from backgrounds come together for two days to share an experience that had them leave the park as best friends with amazing (and possibly blurred) memories.
VELD was definitely worth the experience, and it definitely charmed me. I know I’ll be back in that crowd next year. Hopefully the TTC will send even more express buses back to Downsview Station next year. They were kind enough to let everyone ride the buses for free, but trying to squeeze yourself through a crowd to get a spot on a bus is not that fun. But, besides that, VELD 2015 is one for the books!
What was your favourite part of VELD 2015? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below, or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.