Beautiful venue, happy people, and amazing music, what more could you ask for? This was one of the best years for Global Dance Festival at Red Rocks. Kaskade, Tiesto, and Above&Beyond, made for energizing headlining sets. While Flosstradamus, Datsik, and many other amazing artists, kept festival goers on their feet for the entirety of the fest. A completely stacked line up of power house DJs and killer up and coming artists, led to three completely sold out nights on the rocks. From the minute the gates opened people flooded the amphitheater, bringing along their colorful costumes, and amazing vibes. Every day when people returned, energy levels were high, and excitement electrified the air; the crowd truly made this an unforgettable year for GDF.
As eager festival goers arrived, the energy levels were on the rise, there was never a dull moment during all three days. With three different stages, the festival had a large venue feel, but required less walking for patrons who wanted to explore all of the stages. Artists such as Milo & Otis, Slow Magic, Decadon and Paws turned the intimate NRG stage into a raging party. Walking around the concession area at the top of the amphitheater, while listening to the NRG stage, there wasn’t a single face without a smile from ear to ear Throughout the festival, organic interactions led to new friendships and fond memories. From trading kandi to finding a new groove partner, people were branching out and building the community that grows stronger every year GDF comes back. Even the security at the event was amazing, dancing with patrons, dolling out high fives and hugs, all in all keeping the happy vibes coming while making sure everyone was safe!
The stage production seemed a bit lacking compared to other Red Rock shows, but it wasn’t enough to take the fun out of the sets. The main stage was usually comprised of big LED walls, lasers, and lots of colors, but changed according to the artist playing. Some artists had elevated platforms they were standing on, others had stage level platforms, but the standard was lot of LEDs. To be expected, Flosstradamus had the most unique production of the festival. Large barbwire fences, two cars, and a giant DJ platform where they would stand waving their flags. This created a unique atmosphere that those that have been to a Floss show are all too familiar with. From one banger to the next, the crowd kept dancing, jumping and yelling for more. It was one of the more interactive sets on the main stage, with 80% of the crowd singing along with the lyrics, then getting down and weird during the drops.
One artist who really stood out from the rest this year was Slow Magic. Everybody’s favorite imaginary friend played a mesmerizing set that left the audience reprioritizing their upcoming concert schedules, desperately checking for when Slow Magic would be in their hometowns. In the day and age of powerhouse DJs, Slow Magic lit up the stage with charisma and stage presence, that was genuinely humbling to see from an artist and it truly blew the other artists out of the water. Watching the anonymous artist jump up and down with vigor, slamming his drums to the beat, dancing on stage, and entering the crowd to play alongside his fans was more than I’d seen from any other act all weekend. Slow Magic breaks out of the typical “DJ” routine and brings a whole new level of interaction, and fun to his sets. To close the set off, Slow Magic brought his two younger siblings on stage who were wearing similar masks for a heart-warming moment of family music making. Slow Magic brought to his set two of the core values of GDF, community and family. If you didn’t catch his GDF set, make sure to buy tickets to the next Slow Magic show in your area. Don’t be surprised if the next time you see him, he's headlining Global Dance Festival.
Going into day three, many patrons seemed tired, and a little down about the lineup for the day. It was unsure if the day was sold out, and unlike the first two days, it seemed like many were just excited for the headliner. However as the day progressed it became apparent that the night was sold out, and that Global had done an amazing job planning out each day of their festivities. Green Velvet kicked off his set and immediately the amphitheater reached the energy levels achieved during the Datsik and Floss sets. When Kill the Noise took over, fans began to realize that they going as hard as they had been for the headliners of the last two nights. Some people got tired after the three days of partying but with two more sets, everybody collectively rallied to finish out the festival strong. Once Tiesto took the stage, everybody lost it; people were yelling and dancing, some were just standing arms open, absorbing the last of this year’s magical vibes. One track that got a lot of crowd reaction was his Pirates of the Caribbean remix. Some celebrated with shuffling, others did jigs and were swinging each other around, yelling along to one of their favorite songs!
Overall the festival was a huge success and a phenomenal time. By far one of the best EDM festivals in the Rocky Mountain region. With dedicated fans and an amazing community, GDF is truly a festival to put on your bucket list. The weather held out all three days, which truly added to the already amazing venue. Even with the new rules, and the festival ending at 12:35 every night, moral was high, and people left satisfied and ready for next year! If you haven’t already, save the date for next July and get your tickets early so that you don’t miss out on the Legendary Global Dance Festival.
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Written and Photographed by Lee Potter