Regardless of what anyone tells you festival withdrawals are real. Coming down from two blissful days devoid of anything resembling reality can be hard to swallow. Nonetheless it’s doubtful that any live music lover would forgo the experience for anything.
For years Vancouver has been attempting to nail down our very own self-sustaining euphoric mecca—a legitimate dance music festival of travel worthy caliber. Three years in and #Contant2014 has stepped in to the rare ethos festival fans have been looking for in Vancouver.
On December 26th, Vancouver made contact and the Cultural Revolution continued.
In previous year’s Contact Festival personified the quiet rumble and coming of age of a burgeoning fringe society. This year #Contact2014 was a celebration of the successes we have garnered as a cohesive and established community.
(Pictured: Armin van Buuren headlines the Contact Main Stage – Day 1)
Day one began with the orchestra-electro-glitch of Overwerk on the main stage and the bass-funk of Kill Paris on the #FVDED stage. Perhaps the greatest success of #Contact2014 was the brazen decision to incorporate an entire stage focused on fresh and underground talent. Midway through day one the sheer number of #FVDED converts was astounding. Freed from Beatport confines and armed with live instruments both Griz and Gramatik laid down a magnetizing set drawing hordes of fans regardless of their musical preference. The energy was that of unpanelled authenticity: what you were experiencing was simultaneously live, new-age, and dripping in throwback sensibilities.
(Pictured: Griz & Gramatik go Grizmatik at the Commodore Ballroom for the FVDED After Party)
Transitioning from the #FVDED stage with its Shambhala vibes to the glitz of the main stage was almost shocking. BC Place’s iconic LED windows danced away with every beat as a stadium spanning ring of spotlights flooded 14 thousand attendees in technicolor. TJR served up an astounding warmup set getting festival-goers booty bouncing the second they hit the dance floor and Nervo ensured BC Place was packed early.
(Pictured: Nervo on the massive jumbotron at BC Place – Day 1)
By the time W&W took the stage ASOT lovers were already waiting for Armin with baited breathe. Glimpsing trance as they spanned the big room spectrum W&W worked BC Place to fever pitch before Armin van Buuren set about educating Vancourites with a trance sermon.
(Pictured: W&W on the Contact Main Stage before Armin – Day 1)
Cutting away from the expected Armin served up a healthy serving of classics to sea of lasers and an elated trance family. By the time Trevor Guthrie hit the stage for This Is What It Feels Like #Contact2014 had proven itself a far superior experience, both in production and acoustics, to its 2013 predecessor.
(Pictured: Trevor Guthrie and Armin van Buuren at the Contact Main Stage – Day 1)
On day two the main stage was nearing capacity early as one of the most hyped acts of the night, What So Not, took the stage at 6:15. After a big day one What So Not had the perfect amount of hard hitting energy to shock attendees back in to the festival mindset.
(Pictured: Emoh of What So Not at the Contact Main Stage – Day 2)
It wasn’t until #Contact2014’s late arrival, Feed Me, hit the stage that day two really took contact to new heights. Without the mainstream pull of previous acts Feed Me had to work to reign in the crowd—midway through his set Feed Me’s masterfully crafted bass styling’s had BC Place in the palm of his hand.
(Pictured: Lunice destroys the FVDED Stage – Day 2)
All the while the #FVDED stage continued to keep them chilled out and free spirited bass vibes alive. From Thomas Jack’s island inspired deep grooves to Lunice’s leave no survivors trap onslaught, and Kaytranada’s R&B flare—#FVDED used #Contact2014 to prove itself as a free thinking unique brand more than capable of holding its own against any main stage lineup.
(Pictured: Kaytranada closing out the FVDED Stage – Day 2)
(Pictured: Showtek on the Contact Main Stage – Day 2)
After Feed Me’s bass boot camp Showtek flexed the power of their countless chart topping original productions before delving in their hardstyle classics like FTS: it was festival purity at its greatest. Closing out #Contact2014 Zedd tested the limits of Blueprint’s production prowess through a flurry of perfectly timed lasers, lights, and beautiful visuals. Bass heavy favorites through his original radio smash hits, Zedd tied his set together with a hint of complextro elegance and enough charisma to hold the avid attention of BC’s largest stadium.
(Pictured: Zedd closes out #Contact2014 in huge form on the Contact Main Stage – Day 2)
#Contact2014 was Vancouver’s first real dance music festival, and although the withdrawal hits hard we can hardly wait till next year. Till then we promise that 2015 holds enough surprises to tie you over till next Contact 2015 when the revolution continues.
– Ryan Hayes