EDMANIA pres. Armin van Buuren: another step for Trance in Slovakia
Written by Katrina Merca on July 14, 2017
Last week Slovakia hosted probably its most highlighted Trance event in years, and it’s all thanks to EDMANIA, who invited the „King of Trance” as a headliner. And it doesn’t end up there – Armin van Buuren was also supported by Rodg, Orjan Nilsen, Driftmoon, ReOrder, Major7 and other local Trance DJs, making this journey last not for three, but for stunning 12 hours! Huge experiment for a still young organization, which gave a good result!
Trance in Slovakia
It feels like this very uncommon genre of music receives more of popularity in the region of Slovakia and Czech Republic. Almost every Trance-lover knows about Transmission Festival, happening every year in Prague, but now EDMANIA is making a huge influence on Trance community in neighbor country. Their first event was held only in the end of 2015, and now, in less than 2 years, it brought thousands of people together for a huge magical journey!
I got to know about EDMANIA last year, shortly before Transmission, when some girls were spreading wristbands and other promo-gifts. Of course, shortly after Facebook helped me to find more information about their next event, which was in December 2016. Later I’ve met Alexander Popov, who was also playing there and at another gig in Minsk (day after), which I was attending. He was very satisfied with the crowd and especially organization, which made me remember this promoter. After few months I saw the next event announced, which meant Armin was going to Slovakia in July, and as I’ve always wanted to visit this country because of its nature, a good event nearby was the last drop to encourage me to book my tickets.
There is also another promoter in Slovakia, which usually organizes smaller club events – Ear-Gasmic, but, suddenly, these events are less supported by local public (maybe because of weak promotion?). Sometimes there are some bigger names coming to play in Bratislava, as Markus Schulz or Paul van Dyk, but it’s something different, and easier, because such names will easily attract people to small club than few other smaller names to big festival.
* My advice to everyone – if you want Trance to come to your country, make sure to support smaller local artists first, because nothing comes at once, and you always need to start from something smaller, and with your continuous support it can grow into something bigger and better! I wish a lot of luck and success to Slovak Trance Family, because I’ve seen that your people need all this.
One of the most important reasons for a good event – promotion, and EDMANIA succeded here. Stickers on cars, wristbands, radio, blogs, competitions and a lot of advertisement – even if you need to spend a lot of resources on it, it should pay off, at least with such a name as Armin van Buuren. Making something so huge is a great risk in a country, in which Trance is not the most popular genre of electronic music, but seems like it worked, so let’s see what future will bring to EDMANIA and its followers.
Second important factor – good organization, thanks to providing a lot of useful information to visitors, shuttle buses to event location, some souvenirs for memory, good ChillVill zone, carousel, photo zone and not only, most of it – FOR FREE. Biggest minus, probably – long lines to enter the event due to strict security service, but everyone should understand that it is normal and for your own safety (and I am sure that true fans came long time before the real fun began).
Another level up – the stage. It was the first time for EDMANIA to cooperate with Ministry Rental – company, which supplies festivals like Transmission and Ultra Europe with their equipment for visuals and stages. Bright huge screens, projectors, lasers… maybe some think „Oh, they could be better!”, but can you imagine another festival, which is same new and with such good visuals? I can’t really remember one. Even if there was a moment when stage visuals were not working, overall it looked fantastic.
And, of course – the dedication of organizers. They’ve spent so much energy on this project, which took not just few days, but months. When you are still growing, every failure can lead to horrible results, so no wonder they did their best to make this event as perfect as possible, even if it meant no sleep for days. Huge respect from me to Veronika and Miro for making this happen– it really means a lot to many Trance Lovers in Slovakia and around, because you made some of their dreams come true!
12 hours through music
The new Trance story has began in early evening of Tuesday. Wait… Tuesday? Yes! For me (and probably many others) it was the first event at the beginning of the week, all thanks to national holiday on Wednesday. Who knows – maybe it would be event more crowded on a weekend? You’ll never know.
First hours were looking quite empty. People were arriving slowly, as there was still a lot of time till Armin’s performance. Same as others, I used that time to check the location – lockers, merchandise, food, ChillVill, attractions and the rest. Everyone was simply chilling, making photos and enjoying the atmosphere provided by local DJs – Soul Mirror, Martin Michniak, Milan Lieskovsky and Pico. I didn’t really know these names before, probably as many other attendants, but as I said – it’s very important to support local artists, because – who knows, maybe in few years some of them will become new Trance stars!
As soon as time for a bigger name has come, people seemed to „wake up”. It was Rodg’s first time playing in Slovakia, and crowd loved it for sure, because he always provides listeners with a good progressive sound. Maybe because of the darkness, or a big name, but it seemed to be a real beginning of the festival. (If someone was wondering, why he was wearing his sunglasses for few seconds and then putting them aside – these were Snapchat Spectacles, so he could share his experience with others. #giggle)
Next was Orjan Nilsen’s turn to share his crazy energy with everyone. Even if his sounds can be named as „bigroom”, for such a festival it can be effective, especially for fans, who came only for Armin, not Trance. In the end of his set you could easily see everyone getting closer to the stage, because they knew – time for the headliner is coming soon!
Orjan Nilsen getting ready for fun!
Photo credit: M Vision
It all started with piano version of „I live for that energy” – the track with a story about love to the music; then Armin was greeted with loud screams of the fans, starting his three-hour journey through Trance. Even if he was playing similar tracks as during other events, he used the opportunity to show more than usually, thanks to extended set, but, of course, including his favourite tracks which he plays everywhere. Must admit, in the beginning tracklist reminded me of The Best Of Armin Only show, but not everyone was there to hear it, and even if someone did, it’s always nice to enjoy good music. Of course you could also hear some „non-trancy” tracks, but, before judging, remember that he also has a non-trance fan base.
Ending was also… massive! Waving Slovak flags while standing on the stage, then closing with remix of „Freefall”… and then REALLY closing the set with „Great Spirit”. Stage, screens, speech, fireworks, coming to lucky fans in front row – it was the highlight of the night (or morning already?) for sure, a moment to be proud and happy about – the first set of Armin in Slovakia in years!
Next was Major7, who replaced Vini Vici in the last moment (also a psy-trance duo from Israel, with only one artist playing). You could easily see people going away from the stage after their idol left, but it’s understandable – after three hours you need a break, also it was already 4:00, time when people start to leave. For me Major7 was also a new name, as I am not a fan of psy-trance and can’t say much about his set, but seems like this project has its own fans in the crowd too, even if it became much smaller.
The one to close the night (or morning, to be correct) was a #SlovakBoys duo – ReOrder b2b Driftmoon, who have been supporting EDMANIA events also before. Playing at the end is always difficult, because most of the people are leaving, but at the same time it means that only loyal fans are staying, giving a special atmosphere to the event. It was a moment when I fully joined the front row, because I finally had enough space for dancing. And then – THE END! Another adventure was over…
Trance Family spirit
I was really surprised to see such a devoted crowd, coming with so many Trance-related shirts, posters and not only – they really knew what they came for. I’ve met a lot of people not just from Slovakia, but also from Czech Republic and Poland, which is amazing – it’s all about Trance Family! I’ve seen many who came in the beginning and stayed in the front for a long time, enjoying every moment of the festival, and it’s something which should be always appreciated. Standing in the front during Armin’s set was crazy – everyone was jumping and screaming loud, not just shaking as it usually happens. And, of course, respect to the ones who stayed until the very end and supported all artists.
The only thing which made me feel confused – I don’t speak Slovak or Czech, so speaking English during this event felt a bit weird. #giggle
My hope is that the same people will continue in the same way, helping to bring Trance to another country again, because it’s not about DJs coming to us, but about YOU wanting to hear them!