A State Of Trance, Armin van Buuren’s radioshow that turned into worldwide events and hostings, is getting closer and closer to its 1000th edition. Last Saturday, February 17th 2018, ASOT 850 Netherlands took place in the same venue as always: Jaarbeurs, Utrecht. Compared to last year, the progressive stage has been added which makes the total amount of areas/stage five. With a strong mainstage line-up that features 2 Armin van Buuren sets, Purple Haze, NWYR and Ben Nicky it sure promised to be a spectacular night. Read below what we experienced!
Upon entering the mainstage, since that’s the only stage that’s open at 9 pm, we noticed how they keep improving the stage-design. With led-screen all across the area and huge rings of light in the sky it was a pretty complete immersive experience. These led-screens aren’t too special if you compare it to the production of other major indoor-events however the fact that the huge ring in the sky could move was a really nice touch.
Even though, after several ASOT visits we’re very much aware that loads of nationalities visit the event, it remains beautiful to see so many flags up in the air and a friendly atmosphere amongst the crowd. Trance music unites and the theme ‘’Be In The Moment’’ was very fitting to the stage design since if you were a bit close to the mainstage there were lights and dancing people all around you.
Armin van Buuren warmed up the crowd properly (as usual) and Ilan Bluestone took over the decks. We felt he wasn’t holding back at all from the very beginning of his set, which was a good thing because the crowd loved it. He quickly dropped his very reconizable ‘Make It Right’ remix (w/ Maor Levi), that has a lovely uplifting effect.
Since all the areas were open by now we did a short tour of the Jaarbeurs and were surprised by the Electronic Family area with relaxing beach-chairs and even small indian-tents. On a small stage a guitarist and vocalist were doing ‘Acoustic Trance’ sessions. We went back there later when they were performing and enjoyed that. Electronic Family will be back this year on July 28th!
Due to the fact that Radion 6 stood out for us last year we decided to check out his set at the Road to 1000 stage. It was one the first floor and has a quite intimate atmosphere. The young Dutch Trance DJ delivered once again. It’s pretty difficult to describe the crowd reaction that occurred when he dropped an edit of Tiesto’s classic ‘Adagio For Strings’, you should have been there!
You would expect that it around 1 am we would be heading to the mainstage for Armin’s 2 hour set, however we headed to the interview room for a chat with another mainstage artist: David Gravell. We discussed a lot with him and the interview can be found on our website soon!
Re-watch Armin’s 2 hour set:
The Psy stage was a lot bigger this year but that makes a lot of sense due to the huge popularity of the genre. Blastoyz was smashing it over there and Armin joined him on stage for a bit that created an even bigger hype, but we were up for a bit of faster music at the ‘Who’s afraid of 138?!’ area. Solarstone and Bryan Kearney were the ones that we wanted to catch there but honestly the flashy lighting of the 138 stage was intense and it seriously started to bother our eyes, which made it impossible to really enjoy the music.
Before jumping to our conclusion of the event we gotta mention the legends Purple Haze, the trance alias of Sander van Doorn and NWYR (Trance alias of W&W) who both had a really sick live-set with cool visuals on the mainstage. We’ll definitely be re-watching these sets on YouTube.
ASOT is the biggest Trance event in the world with 30.000 visitors and over 90 different nationalities. It’s simply the place to be if you love trance music and this year with the addition of a progressive stage it was more complete than ever. The show was taken up a notch compared to last year, however as we already mentioned, at the 138 stage the light-show was insanely flashy, which made our eyes hurt. Despite that little negative point, we’re looking forward how to see ALDA events will be taking things to the next level in 2019!
Reporter: Alexander Bouten