VELD Festival Day 1
Downsview Park, Toronto
August 4, 2012
Although the site of Veld Music Festival’s stages and music was at Downsview Park, the party was underway as far away as St. George subway station, nine subway stops south. Fans decked out in Deadmau5 logos and head-to-toe neon celebrated the entire trip to the park, loud and unhindered by the strange looks regular commuters gave them. It was a blistering hot day in Toronto, the mercury pushing into the low 40s, but thousands poured onto the grounds anyway to see electronic masters of the podium such as Chris Lake, Steve Aoki, Knife Party, Steve Angello and the day’s main draw, Toronto based producer Deadmau5.
Aside from the formidable main stages, the Bacardi Tent offered protection from the sun and hosted artists such as Krewella, Savoy, Cazzette, Kill The Noise and Tommy Trash; although to call it a tent diminishes the huge size of the structure. It was more like a warehouse. Unfortunately, having a covered area also has disadvantages. The heat inside was intense and with limited ventilation, the “floor” of the tent had churned up into a pit of mud 6 inches deep. Along with the mud, a very unpleasant barn yard scent permeated the interior. Nonetheless, the bass was pounding and the music was loud enough to be enjoyed outside the walls.
On the main stage, the most noteworthy sets from the earlier part of the day were from Chris Lake and Knife Party, with special mention to the solid electro-house set from Steve Aoki. Just as Steve Angello took the podium, the skies opened up dousing the crowd with a much welcomed shower of fat, cool rain drops. With the daylight waning, Angello’s light display had much better impact and the explosion of confetti mixed into the rainfall was a nice touch.
Last up, the man of the hour Joel Zimmerman, better known as Deadmau5. For his 2-hour set, the left stage, which up to this point had not been used, lit up in with the signature colour-filled light show that make Deadmau5 concerts such eye-candy. The electro-house producer appeared wearing his trademark mouse head in black, but abandoned it soon after, likely due to the stifling heat inside it. Die-hard fans who had endured the hours of unrelenting sun to pack themselves close to the left stage where rewarded with another rain shower that felt nothing short of euphoric when combined with the thundering bass-heavy beats pounding from the speakers. If you didn’t plan ahead, there was no getting close to the stage, but the open-air acoustics are very favorable to the electronic genre.
Rain is in the forecast for Day 2, but with names such as Swanky Tunes, Nicky Romero, Bassnectar and Avicii on the bill, it’s unlikely many will stay away.