On August 2nd, 2014, INK Entertainment kicked off the third instalment of their annual VELD Music Festival at Downsview Park. Following in the footsteps of Electronic Nation’s much loved Digital Dreams, the event certainly had a lot to live up to. Plus, with two stellar outings already under their belt, expectations were high for INK to deliver. But deliver they did.
Neither the rain, nor the muddy field that followed it could keep roughly 85,000 festival-goers (over two days) from dancing their hearts out and singing until they lost their voice. The energy level at VELD was unmistakably high from the get go and the atmosphere was everything you could ask for at an EDM festival.
Things got off to a great start on day one, with some strong opening sets on both of the two stags from artists like Mark Oliver, Overwerk, Oliver Heldens and Nom de Strip. As the first few hours passed, some of the heavier hitters started to emerge. W&W brought a ton of Big Room tunes that really got the crowd pumped and Bingo Players followed that up with an equally impressive set, playing signature tracks like Rattle, Cry (Just A Little) and Knock You Out, as well as a few interesting mashups.
When afternoon turned to evening, British group NERO came out with what many are calling one of the day’s best sets. Somewhat shying away from their more popular stuff, the trio delivered a solid hour of music that really kept people moving and grooving. Even those who weren’t familiar with the group seemed to be really enjoying the sounds they were hearing and almost everyone I spoke to came away from the set very pleased.
To finish things off, over on the main stage at least (which is where most of the festival-goers were at this point), Sebastian Ingrosso come out for a little fun followed by Armin van Buuren. The former Swedish House Mafia member gave the crowd the usual club anthems (In My Mind, Reload) along with several of his old group’s biggest hits (Calling (Lose My Mind), Save The World, Don’t You Worry Child, etc.). Of course, he also brought out some of the new tracks (which sounded really good) that he’s been working on since the band broke up last year and even played Alesso’s recent release Tear The Roof Up, which was great to hear live.
Finally, Armin van Buuren came on stage to deliver an incredible trance set that sent the crowd into overdrive. Nearly two hours of trance had people really feeling the music and desperate for more as he closed off the festival. Like NERO, this was a set that didn’t rely heavily on the DJ’s mainstream hits (though This Is What It Feels Like was definitely a highlight). Instead, Armin simply brought the heavy trance in what was simply a beautiful way to end off the night.