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Dreamstate SoCal 2018: My First Experience at a Trance Event
Photo Credit: Dreamstate USA

Dreamstate SoCal 2018: My First Experience at a Trance Event

Normally, Thanksgiving is a weekend gathering with family and friends and eating good food. However, instead of a traditional Thanksgiving this year for me, it was “Trancegiving” at Dreamstate SoCal in San Bernardino. I got to spend two days with amazing ravers and a weekend full of one of my favorite subgenres of EDM: trance music. This year’s lineup was stacked with some of the best trance artists out there, such as Gareth Emery, Ferry Corsten, Giuseppe Ottovani, Bryan Kearney, and many more.


Dreamstate was my first all-trance festival. I’ve been to many festivals that featured trance artists but never been to one that was solely trance music. With trance being one of my favorite subgenres of EDM, I was ready to be teleported to a different universe through the uplifting melodies of trance. Even within trance, there are other genres as well, such as uplifting trance, vocal trance, and psytrance. Dreamstate had three stages, one mainstage (The Dream), a smaller indoor stage (The Vision), and a smaller stage (The Sequence) which featured psytrance all night for both nights. At all of these stages, the production was out of this world - the mainstage had tons of lasers that were so colorful and bright and looked unbelievable when synced with the music.

Dreamstate Festival

Photo credit: Dreamstate USA


The main stage was hands-down my favorite stage. It was massive and lasers and lights were shining from every direction, even from behind. This stage featured the biggest trance artists, and some of my favorite acts that I saw at this stage were Gareth Emery’s Laserface, Giuseppe Ottovani, Ferry Corsten presents System F, Vini Vici, and Bryan Kearney. Their sets were all unique in their own ways and were trance sets that provided a completely different experience like any other trance set I’ve seen before. Part of this was due to the impressive production and how all the lights and lasers moved and synced with the music. My ultimate favorite set of the weekend was at this stage, and it was Gareth Emery’s Laserface. He has been one of my favorite trance artists forever and I knew Laserface was a different kind of set, one where the primary focus was on the laser show. He delivered an amazing set that was so colorful and bright and left me in awe throughout the entire set. Gareth Emery recorded his entire set at Dreamstate, so check out the craziness in this video!


Unlike the Main Stage, The Vision Stage had a circular structure made me feel like I was in a portal being transported to a different place. There were tons of lasers at this stage, too and together with the booming music that echoed throughout the indoor stage was definitely a unique and breathtaking experience. Some people that I saw at this stage were Craig Connelly and Arctic Moon vs RAM. I absolutely loved the feel that this stage provided and the portal-like structure was so unique in itself.

The Vision Stage at Dreamstate

Photocredit: Dreamstate USA


The third stage, The Sequence, was a smaller but nonetheless special stage as well. This was the stage that featured psytrance all night both days. One of my favorite parts of this stage was the cool trippy canvas art that was on the ceiling of the tent. In the blacklight, it turned into this cool glowing artwork that I could not stop staring at. There were lots of lasers at this stage too, and with psytrance being more on the darker side of trance, this stage was a cool contrast to all the uplifting trance at the other stages. My favorite artists at this stage included Ganesh and Liquid Soul. They were artists that I had never seen before and psytrance was a genre that I never got to experience live much. If I had the chance to go to Dreamstate again (very likely) I definitely would check this stage out a ton more! The vibes were amazing at this stage.

Girl wearing a light up fur jacket at Dreamstate USA

Dreamstate SoCal was such a dream. The trance family is so tight-knit and welcoming and I loved being surrounded by other ravers who love trance as much as I do. It was a weekend full of so many uplifting beats and melodies and combined that with some of the best production I have seen at a festival made me feel as if I was in a different universe. I got to see some of my favorite trance artists as well as discover new ones, especially in psytrance, which gave a completely different and unique vibe that I enjoyed as well. I will for sure be back at Dreamstate again in the future years!

TAGS: Katherine Xu, festival-news, iHeartRaves, music,



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