What better way to wrap up 2013 and ring in the New Year than a two-day music festival in the heart of downtown Vancouver, headlined by the world’s top DJs? Hosted by Blueprint Events, Contact Festival was a crazy post-Christmas party that was nothing short of festive, imaginative, and dare we say, liberating. It was a departure from our annual Christmas gatherings to an arena of like-minded individuals bonded by the love of electronic dance music. As one approached the stadium itself, excitement built as the dull thudding beat slowly came alive as you neared… the surrounding lights emulated a larger-than-life sound bar that could be seen both in and outside the arena.
However, one major downfall was the long waiting lines to enter the show. People waited up to an hour and a half to get in past the gates. For a cold winter music festival, being out in the sub-zero temperature weather for over an hour was a big problem that should be addressed next year.
Nonetheless, the world-renowned artists were well worth the wait. Opening the show was Vancouver native, Sleepy Tom. He played a powerful pump-up set with his unique house and U.K. bass sounds. Headlining at the end of the night, Skrillex’s vibe was unreal. Proving to be one hell of a performer, his energy held up, and with his performance and music he wrapped the crowd up like his own and made you not just hear the music, but feel it in your bones.
On the festival’s second night, Dirty South played a perfect mix of hard-hitting house. Likewise with Kaskade, the music literally sucked you in and the feeling was euphoric. On a bittersweet note, Mak-J did a tribute to the late member of the Bingo Players, Paul Baumer, playing one of their greatest hits, “Rattle.” During the intermission between Dirty South and Kaskade, a moment was taken to remember Paul as a tribute banner was put up onstage.
This was one of Vancouver’s top music festivals of the year. With a great lineup and an amazing crowd, Contact Festival gave us even more to look forward to in the next Christmas season.
By Anne Truong
Photos: Deo Cruz