Ever since Trance Around The World and now Group Therapy, I had always dreamed of attending one of Above & Beyond’s iconic shows. From New York, Australia, and Amsterdam, I followed news of each upcoming show, hoping for a destination near me. So when the Gorge Amphitheater in Washington was announced, I was ecstatic for the chance to see ABGT and check off the Gorge on my list of venues I’ve been dying to explore. Once tickets came out, I secured a hotel package, flights, outfits, and a solid group (aka my rave family) and I was off to the Gorge!
The night before my flight I couldn’t contain my excitement for the amazingness that was coming up and only got four hours of sleep; let's just say that the journey to the Gorge was exhausting. We started our journey to the Gorge by waking up at 4:30 AM and headed to catch a 7 AM flight to Seattle. From Seattle we took the shuttle from the airport another 3 hours to our hotel, leaving us with only an hour to get ready before we had to catch the shuttle (again) to the Gorge.
Once we got to the Gorge, everything was a breeze from there. I somehow ran into many of my Bay Area rave fam I had not planned on seeing, met new friends, and shared the love of music and rave culture with everyone who came to experience a Group Therapy. Luttrell, Yotto, Oliver Smith, and Genix b2b Sunny Lax warmed up the cold night with melodic trancey beats and set the tone, giving us peace of mind. As night fell, we finally heard the epic phrase we hear at every live Group Therapy broadcast:
“Live from the Gorge Amphitheater this is Group Therapy 250. This is Above & Beyond.”
Just hearing that simple phrase brought so much happiness and awe. I could not believe that I was finally there, witnessing a live broadcast of Group Therapy. Being on the beautiful hills on the Gorge with my rave family brought back memories of us when we used to go out and rage every weekend, but now we’re growing up and have to take care of responsibilities. This Group Therapy was a reminder that we’ll always love the music, the vibes, and the culture despite all of the hate going on in our world.
Above & Beyond threw down a beautiful and moving set with new singles and even announced their new album and tour at the very end, Common Ground. Throughout the whole night, we danced constantly trying to keep our balance on the hills of the Gorge and kept one another warm when Seven Lions and Jason Ross took over until we sadly had to part with our friends to take the shuttle to go back to the hotel. Although I missed out on the experience of camping, I was happy that I did not have to walk 30 minutes in the cold back to the campsite and to have a warm bed and shower waiting for me.
As soon as it hit 9 AM, my boyfriend and I were forced to wake up and get ready to take the shuttle back to the Gorge to make it to the yoga set. As I expected, no yoga was done by my group as we immediately bought food, sat by the ABGT 250 sign, and ate as we watched others do yoga. Since the Gorge was closed, the Anjunadeep stage was held at a smaller stage, creating an intimate setting for those alive enough to power through the day. Although I was one of those who was laying in the back relaxing, I used that day to meet up with friends, meet new friends, and explore the Anjunadeep vibes.
Above & Beyond Group Therapy 250 was definitely one of my favorite festivals. After being absent from the scene for a couple months, ABGT 250 reminded me that there are still festivals where people go for the music and don’t just go to get messed up. There’s nothing like a little trance to bring out the love. Thank you to everyone who made the weekend memorable and I can’t wait until the next Group Therapy reunion!