Digital Dreams 2015: Harsh Weather Overshadows A Disappointing Fourth Outing

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Meanwhile, over on the beach, less mainstream acts like Anna Lunoe and Claude VonStroke took things in a totally different direction, laying down heavy beats and injecting a palpable sense of energy into a dedicated, and more mature crowd.

Finally, over at the Bacardi stage, more aggressive artists like Flux Pavillion and Datsik were whipping ravers into a frenzy with pumping basslines and dizzying electro/dubstep bangers that had those in attendance going hard all evening long.

As day turned to night and the headliners started to appear, the overall mood and atmosphere had definitelty improved. Of particular note was Pete Tong’s second to last set over at Echo Beach, where he dug deep for an hour and half and had people grooving through the muddy, sandy grounds right into the following set, which belonged to the legendary duo Deep Dish, who, as always, threw it down in memorable fashion to a very welcoming Toronto crowd.

Meanwhile, over at the Dreams Stage, mainstream fans got a healthy dose of instantly recognizable tunes thanks to sets from Martin Garrix and Zedd. The former’s set was quite similar to what we’ve been hearing from him recently at major festivals like Ultra and EDC. Not that that’s a bad thing, though, given that a lot of Garrix’s new music that he’s been playing out lately is really good. Songs like “Don’t Look Down,” “Dragon,” “The Only Way Is Up” and “Break Through The Silence” all made appearances alongside festival favorites like “Gold Skies” and “Animals,” among others.

Zedd, on the other hand, showed off a good chunk of his new album, as expected, but also brought us back to his roots with a bunch  of electro bangers that most of the audience probably wasn’t expecting. Staples like his “Rude” remix, “Clarity” and “Find You” were all heard throughout, but it was the unexpected tracks that were the most exciting, as the talented producer threw it down harder than he usually does.

Despite some highlights here and there, Digital Dreams’ fourth outing was mostly a disappointment. For the past two years it’s been one of my favorite summer festivals and certainly one of Canada’s best, but the 2015 edition was sorely lacking. Day one being cancelled along with the crummy weather definitely didn’t help matters, but on the whole, I think that almost everyone felt that Digital just didn’t have that same magic sparkle that the past few years have had.

Sure, some epic after parties attempted to make up for what the festival lacked (Martin Garrix b2b Zedd, Porter Robinson DJ set, Carl Cox and Steve Angello, etc.) and almost did, but looking at Digital just on its own, I can’t say that I was terribly impressed.

Fewer stages, underwhelming production and a lineup that skewed a bit too mainstream (at least for what most of the audience had come to expect from the event) all combined for a massive that simply wasn’t all that memorable. That’s not to say that Digital Dreams 2015 was bad, or even unenjoyable, it’s just that amongst a busy festival season that boasts events like EDC Las Vegas, Spring Awakening, Tomorrowland, HARD Summer, Ultra Europe and many more, Bud Light’s Digital Dreams is going to have a hard time standing out when ravers look back on their summer experience.