Dreamstate SF

Dreamstate San Francisco - 2017 Review

TRANCE: A genre of music that speaks directly through the heart connecting millions of people throughout the world. 

Not quite the actual definition of Trance... but it still holds true. Having already attended three Dreamstate events prior, I knew I was in for an incredible 2-day experience at one of Insomniac’s most anticipated events of the year. If that wasn’t exciting enough, it was my first time traveling to NorCal. Despite the commute from Los Angeles, we were more than ready to be in A State of Trance upon arrival.


As the doors for day one opened, exhilaration filled our hearts when we heard that trance beat as we entered. Day one brought artists such as Ruben De Ronde, Menno De Jong, Ben Nicky, PureNRG (Solarstone & Giuseppe Ottaviani), Liquid Ace (Liquid Soul & Ace Ventura), Paul Oakenfold who presented his Generations set, Markus Schulz, and Paul Van Dyk. The beauty of trance is that there are a variety of sub-styles that diversify the sound, my personal favorite being psytrance. In comparison to Dreamstate SoCal, this one was much smaller in scale as there was only one stage.  However, I found this to be a positive aspect since I did not want to miss anyone throughout the weekend.

It is difficult to say which DJ truly took the first night for me since I am such a big fan of all of the artists on the lineup, but I would have to give my top three sets of the evening to Ben Nicky, Liquid Ace, and Markus Schulz. Ben Nicky started off our night with an energetic set that had us dancing till we dropped. Another great aspect I found the Bill Graham Auditorium to have was it’s seating on the upper level of the venue which had a crystal clear aerial view of the stage. As we caught our breath and took a water break after Ben Nicky’s set, we enjoyed Liquid Ace from the comfort of the terrace. When Markus Schulz took the stage we headed back down to dance to his set, and to end our night with none other than Paul Van Dyk.


Still astonished from the first night, we ventured into the second day of the event. Although I was bummed that the weekend had been going by so quickly, I was determined to make the best of my final evening. Night two brought another incredible line-up for all the dreamers, including: Binary Finary, Fleming & Laurence, Bryan Kearney, Vini Vici, Astrix, John O’Callaghan, Ferry Corsten’s producer set, and Gareth Emery. Night two was my favorite evening of Dreamstate as the music catered most to my style! I was very impressed with Bryan Kearney’s set, as this was my second time seeing him since the first launch of Dreamstate back in 2015 in Southern California. However, the DJ that I was most looking forward to see, was psytrance legend, Vini Vici. I was completely blown away when I heard one of my favorite songs, “Colors”, come on.

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With the night only about half-way through, we were still anticipating amazing sets from Astrix and John O’Callaghan who more than delivered! They both brought one of the most heart-pounding and dynamic sets I have heard in a long time. Ferry Corsten’s producer set was also very impressive as it introduced some sounds that I had not yet heard. Lastly, our night came to an end with Gareth Emery, who had a set that was varying in energy, from soothing trance beats, to 180 BPM. Gareth kept us on our toes and made for an interesting finish to our Dreamstate experience.  


Compared to the three previous Dreamstate events I have previously attended, this one was unique in its own way. I enjoyed the set up with one stage because it avoided all set-time conflicts. The seating upstairs was great when we needed some down time to re-hydrate and relax, while still being able to enjoy the music. The venue was very large with ample space, and one small but defining detail for me was that there was a coat check! Something I find useful for every indoor event, especially during the colder months.

Being the trance-head that I am, this line-up (and every Dreamstate line up) was a DREAM! For as long as Insomniac continues to produce this event, I will continue to attend. I just hope Insomniac continues to host all Trance stages at their other festivals like Nocturnal, Escape, Beyond, and EDC Las Vegas. I have been attending Dreamstate since the first time it came to Southern California in November of 2015 and I have seen significant growth in its production. Having evolved from a one stage event at the NOS Events Center, and expanding into a four stage festival in 2016. I for one am very excited to see more Dreamstate events in Los Angeles, and I can’t wait to attend Dreamstate SoCal November 24th & 25th when it returns to the Nos Events Center.