Since the nineties, pioneers of Trance have entered the spotlight but faded into other genres as the industry has changed. Armin Van Buuren however, has provided a consistently strong presence that has seen the Trance community catapult into one of the most connected out there, thanks to the phenomenal event known as ‘A State of Trance’.
Since it was first conceived in 2001, A State of Trance has evolved into a weekly radio show that attracts over 20 million listeners, spread across more than 74 countries. Every year, the show is celebrated in style as ‘A State of Trance’ visits countries all around the world, to bring the live show to hundreds of thousands, with state of the art production and a stellar line-up which makes it the number one Trance event to attend.
A State of Trance 700 was an important milestone and the first year an entirely new concept was introduced, the ‘ASOT Festival’. The idea was simple, split the event into multiple stages and offer a more eclectic selection of Trance. After a warm-up show in Sydney, the show in Utrecht was the first of many, and home to Armin Van Buuren, curating something we only anticipated as being ultra special.
The arena itself was completely indoors and the pure scale of the building was incredible, making the atmosphere completely perfect for an event of this scale. Split into four stages, including two main stages, a ‘Who’s Afraid of 138?’ stage for those fans wishing to party a little harder and a ‘New Talent’ stage to showcase the up and coming Trance DJs of the future, there really was a wide selection available.
As we arrived to find our bearings, skimming from stage to stage, it became quite clear where we wanted to spend most of our time. The two main stages offered a significantly ramped up production on the other two, with Mainstage One offering the most in terms of visuals. As big fans of the Anjunabeats label, Mainstage Two offered the most appealing line-up initially. Audien and Arty executed none other than flawless sets, with a mash-up of Audien’s ‘Wayfarer’ and Above & Beyond‘s ‘Sun & Moon’ provoking the strongest of reactions from the crowd, which we must say, we weren’t too impressed with throughout the entire event. There was a lot of people there just stood still, with very little dancing happening. As we moved to Mainstage One again to see Cosmic Gate, we could clearly see why.
“Mainstage One is full”
While there was the potential to expand this stage to a wider area, this message became commonplace throughout the night. We attempted to wait for thirty minutes to get in, but security were keeping a strict admission policy to those with Deluxe tickets only. As a result, we were unable to enter Mainstage One on several occasions, which is why Mainstage Two became the main focus for our review.
The production here was nowhere near to the scale of Mainstage One, however the line-up made up for it. As Gareth Emery took to the stage, we saw what we can only describe as one of the best Trance sets of all time executed, to the wildest crowd reaction we saw all night. As his set drew to a close, Armin Van Buuren stepped up to the decks where the crowd continued to party hard. Everyone had finally come out of their cage, and the night had begun in style, albeit a few hours too late!
The night soon drew to a close at 07:00, following a great set from Aly & Fila, who played a tonne of exclusives which left positive memories of the event in our minds. This was also the first time we could get access to Mainstage One.
As for the line-up, it was great but prior to the event, the ASOT team surveyed people on Facebook to see who they would like their the most. Gareth Emery, Above & Beyond and Dash Berlin featured the most, but only Gareth Emery made an appearance. This was potentially due to conflicts with Ultra Festival happening at the same time in Buenos Aires, as well as Above & Beyond‘s current tour of America.
All in all, A State of Trance 700 ‘ASOT Festival’, was nothing short of impressive. Compared to previous events however, we feel as though there should have just been the one main stage, with capacity significantly increased.