Lights all Night, the two-day EDM festival event that has been going on in Dallas, Texas since 2011 had a very successful year this year. Living in Dallas since the birth of Lights All Night, this was my first time to attend the festival and after this year’s performances, I definitely plan on going back. The festival has not been at the same location over the past years, seeming to struggle to find the right fit having complications in the past with size, crowd, and security. This year it took place at the Dallas Market Hall, and I think it is safe to say LAN finally found its home.
This year’s lineup had its standard mix of genres, which make it a great event for anyone to attend. Whether you like trap, house, dubstep, or hip-hop, the festival has continuously done an excellent job of providing a little something for everyone. Some of the heavy hitters this year were Kaskade, Hardwell, Datsik, Porter Robinson and Galantis. I was only familiar with a few of the artists going into the festival but left a fan of several new acts…which is always one of my favorite parts about events like this.
The location was not the most convenient to get to when thousands of people are arriving at one time, but what festival site is? Once getting through the traffic, security lines, taking my shoes off and shaking them for security (and, of course, a wave of the metal detector wand) I was able to walk into Market Hall… and it was remarkable. The venue hosted two huge stages, Mothership (main stage) and the Satellite stage that was big enough to be a main stage. Along with the two stages, there was a silent disco going on in the back of the venue called the Super Disco that had rotating DJs throughout the two days. The venue was well organized with plenty of staff and security guiding people in the right direction…which is refreshing when navigating through masses of people.
The setup of the stages and the lights were over the top. The LAN crew outdid themselves on transforming Dallas Market Hall into a true festival experience. There were huge lanterns hanging from the ceilings, all the lasers that have ever been made, flames and confetti shooting out at the front of the stages (not at the same time). Even the VIP area had huge light up palm tree accents to truly make the festival not only an audible experience but a visual one.
The festival is 18 and up which is great for ticket sells since EDM caters to a younger crowd, or, at least, that is the stereotype behind it, but there was a pretty wide age range of people. No matter what ages the people were a lot of them were dressed up. There was not a consistent costume theme in the place; I saw everything from people in onesies and Mortal Kombat costumes to entire outfits made of rainbow beads. There was a positive energy vibe of everyone just having fun and letting loose. It didn’t concern anyone what anyone else was wearing other than getting stopped to take photos and complement each other. Even the dancers that would perform on stage for individual acts were in eccentric costumes, makeup, and wigs for both nights.
The first night was a little overwhelming as it was New Years Eve and there was a good deal of excitement in the air. The crowd was initially moving around a lot trying to find people, check out the venue and get acclimated, but around 10 o’clock everyone started to settle in. It probably didn’t help that when I walked in the venue, Hardwell was already playing. His heavy music had people stomping the ground so hard it felt like the Market Hall floor was shaking. The other big names of that night were Galantis, Porter Robinson, and Datsik. Many of the artists, no matter what genre they leaned towards, mixed in modern hip-hop songs that kept the crowd engaged and dancing. Lots and lots of dancing. Up and comer Jauz also played as well as Silva. One of my favorite sets of the night was Baauer. Partly because he had a lot of remixes of songs that I already knew but also because of the crowd’s reaction to his set. They seemed like loyal fans that were ecstatic throughout the whole performance.
Galantis had the honor of leading the crowd into the New Year. They started their set with their hit song ‘You and I’ and continued with a happy high energy set, and the crowd mirrored the energy. Song by song the crowd filled out for Galantis and when it finally was midnight they shouted to the crowd, “Happy New Year” while cannons shot off tons of confetti. Hello 2016, love Galantis. Porter Robinson and Datsik closed out the night on the two stages. They were the two artists I was most excited to see, so I bounced back and forth between the two. I give an overall thumbs up for both sets.
After the first night of the festival went hard on New Years Eve, I was not sure if it was going to get as busy as early the second night since the big performance of the night was Kaskade at 12:30. I forgot that these 18-year-olds have a lot more energy than I do, and the lines started early for another sold out night. Some of the crowd favorites for night two were Yellow Claw, Flosstradamus, Big Gigantic, and, of course, Kaskade. Yellow Claw, having a new album Blood For Mercy that just came out at the end of November had an enormous crowd with their trap and hip hop inspired music. Their set was difficult not to dance to and ended up being one of my favorite performances of the festival. I will have to say, though, and many probably agree with me, Kaskade is the MVP for LAN this year. He has such a huge fanbase and has been around the longest of the performers on the two stages allowing him to reach people of all ages. He played a lot of tracks from his latest album Atmosphere, which has a light and eclectic sound that anyone could find themselves listening to and enjoying.
Overall LAN 2015 was a big winner this year. One because of the new location, two because of the over the top staging they set up, three because of the diverse and star-studded lineup, and four because the crowd had such good vibes the whole time. I know the whole ‘good vibes’ description has a hippie connotation, but it truly was an easy going and joyful experience. When meeting up with thousands of people in the dark with alcohol involved for two days one never really knows what to expect, but the fans, artists, and staff all did an excellent job in supporting one another and helped everyone start off 2016 on a happy note. I will definitely be going back next year. Thanks, LAN 2015 and Happy New Year!
Written By FestPop Staff Writer
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