Stereosonic Sydney: LIVE review

Wow Stereosonic, is all I can really say. The annual electronic-dance festival is held across Australia, cropping up in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne and is currently Australia’s biggest and fasting growing music festival. This year on Saturday 28th November I was off to check out the famous dance festival I had heard so much about. A lot of it had been positive, but many people I met had warned me of the typical ‘Stereosonic crowd’, stating that the festival was notoriously rowdy, full of groups of muscled guys searching for a fight and over-made-up bikini-clad girls seeking attention.

However with a line-up boasting the likes of trance king Armin Van Burren, Swedish dance duo Axwell ^ Ingrosso and electronic music squad Major Lazer, there was no way a few Chinese whispers would sway me from dancing the night away to some of the world’s most impressive dance acts.

And as we flitted through the entry gates, donning clichéd neon paint and flower headbands, I wasn’t worried at all. Sure, there was a lot of bare skin on show, but isn’t there always at a festival? And besides, it is the start of one of Australia’s (hopefully?) super-scorching summers.

After grabbing an (extremely over-priced) can of cider, we made a beeline for the main stage to catch Swedish electronic music duo Galantis set. It was early on in the day and already the mood was electric, with the crowd dancing along to the beat rampantly. Their catchy 2014 hit single ‘Runaway (U & I) caused the whole mob of fans to sing (or scream) along to the lyrics and we all danced along ridiculously to the tune. The atmospheric was euphoric, and I couldn’t help but feel really, really happy. So far so good!

Dutch brothers Showtek took to the main stage next and they sure managed to carry the crowd along with their thumping rhythms and blinding neon visuals. Their impressive hit single ‘Bad’, produced with EDM legend David Guetta, really hit the crowd running, prompting insane amounts of rapid arm waving and extremely vigorous jumping. The music paired with the enthusiasm of the crowd, the colourful showering confetti and the rather humorous inflatables being chucked around (there was a ‘naked woman’ floating through the crowd at one point) made the scene feel absolutely surreal (no, really). Another fantastic set.

It was soon time for Australian electronic duo Peking Duk, and I was eager to have a listen. They were a pair I had only really heard about since arriving in Australia but their name had risen up a fair few times in conversation. I was quickly impressed – the music was exhilarating, feeling like the beat was running tingling through your body. Their single ‘High’ proved to be very popular, with the crowds clapping and singing along to the catchy vocals and bopping along in time. My favourite part of the set involved an incredibly interesting remix of The Lion King’s ‘Circle of life’. I honestly hadn’t heard anything like it before!

Next up was a big one – the notoriously wild EDM group Major Lazer. Having seen them live before, I mentally prepared myself for a crazy performance that may involve me being hurled through the crowd. We certainly weren’t disappointed and were treated to a concoction of exciting interactions including the likes of lead member Diplo crowd surfing across the masses in a zorb ball (!!), scantily-clad dancers dancing vigorously in time to the music and strict instructions for the men of the crowd to whip off their shirts and chuck them high, high into in the air. Ending their set with everyone’s favourite chart-topper ‘Lean on’, I felt satisfied that once again Major Lazer had proven they are one of the most fun and exciting dance acts out there – their continuous interaction with the crowd really is something else.­­

Utterly hooked into the main stage (who can blame us really with that line up), it was Axwell Λ Ingrosso (Swedish House Mafia reformed without Steve Angelo) up next. In all honestly, I was absolutely captivated from the start and their set proved to be my favourite of the whole festival. ‘Barricade’ engrossed the crowd with a long and tantalizing lead up, along with crowd favourites such as ‘On my way’ and ‘Something’. The atmosphere made me feel completely and utterly encompassed in the music and their feel-good hit single ‘Sun is shining’, teamed with fantastic visuals and sky-high flames was a highlight of the set.

Finally, it was time for trance royalty Armin Van Buuren to take to the stage. As usual he was absolutely phenomenal, treating his dedicated supporters to crowd favourites such as the catchy ‘Another you’ along with hidden gems such as the Dan Stone rework of ‘See the sun’. With eye-blindingly amazing visuals, countless bursts of confetti and insane lighting it was an absolutely amazing show to be part of, and crowds and crowds of fans had gathered to dance away to the dance legend. A suprise appearance from singer/songwriter/producter Mr Probz was also hugely welcomed and he joined Armin to treat the crowd to his massive 2013 hit 'Waves'.

Towards the end of the set we were shaken up with the psychedelic and fast-thudding ‘Vini vici’ by The Tribe, before an emotional W&W remix of ‘This is what it feels like’, arguably Armin’s most commercial and most popular hit. I found the slow and dramatic version of the hit rather mushy and melodramatic but didn’t mind too much at all. The whole crowd was singing along zealously, hands clapping and arms waving and it really did feel like the end of something truly amazing. The song concluded with fantastic flashing lights, thumping drops and a spectacle of colourful fireworks. A fantastic end to an incredibly memorable day and night.

Stereosonic – I am utterly impressed and you exceeded my expectations fully. There will always be some rough crowds at music festivals but personally I didn’t even experience that at all and to me, it seemed all about the music.

Balaton Sound announce first set of acts for 2015

2015 for the MasterCard Balaton Sound audience starts with a promising line-up of DJ’s including Hardwell, Nicky Romero, Afrojack, DVBBS, Showtek and more already confirmed to provide the beat for the 4 day long beach party by Lake Balaton in Hungary. As in previous years, in 2014 Balaton Sound closed its gates with a full house of 145 000 fans. In 2015 the event will take place on the 9-12 July, where the program will be mind-blowing, the beach will be refreshing and the festival will ultimately be the best 4 days of the summer.

The organizers of Balaton Sound always aim for the biggest international stars of electronic music and 2015 is no different as the first 15 names are revealed. The party never stops in Zamárdi and all-star acts such as,Hardwell, Nicky Romero and Grammy award winning DJ and producer, Afrojack, will provide the music. In addition DVBBS, Boys Noize, Showtek and British singer and songwriter, Charli XCX, will be bringing good vibes to Balaton Sound this summer. Among the names we can also find Joey Bada$$, the brilliant multi-dimensional Berlin duo Pan-Pot and Dutch DJ and producer Quintino. The Sound crowd will definitely remember the shows by Vinai, Roni Size & Reprazent, Chris Liebing and SBCR DJ, also known as Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo from The Bloody Beetroots.

Stereosonic announces lineup for 2014 feat Calvin Harris, Tiesto and more!

Calvin Harris, Tiësto, Diplo, Disclosure, W&W and DJ Snake will headline the first of the two artist groups with: Skrillex, Alesso, Steve Aoki, Showtek, Dash Berlin and special guest Carl Cox leading the charge for the second group of Stereosonic artists. In a year of domination of world festival stages and charts we are very proud of our Australian acts returning from global shows this year to Stereosonic.
Calvin Harris, one of the world’s most biggest artists is thrilled to be returning to the region’s favourite electronic music festival: “I love Stereosonic! I’m looking forward to getting back out and playing in Australia.” 


Several much loved and respected music brands will be partnering with Stereosonic this year indicating the level of respect Stereosonic has on the world stage within the industry. LA’s HARD, known for its Holy Ship! and HARD LA parties, will be taking charge of Main Stage 2 on one day. The highly respected Dutch brand ‘Awakenings,’ will be throwing down deep house and techno sounds, whilst Ferry Corsten will return with his iconic ‘FULL ON’ arena. Legendary record labels and electronic brands: Armada, OWSLA and Beatport will all make their arena debuts at an Australian festival, for Stereosonic. 
Held over two weekends in five cities, Stereosonic continues to create an incredible experience for patrons, with breathtaking production and immaculate festival grounds, complimenting the world class line-up. 

Stereosonic 2014 Artist Line-up: 

Calvin Harris, Tiësto
Diplo, Disclosure (DJ Set), W&W, DJ Snake
Duke Dumont, Will Sparks, RL Grime, Peking Duk
NERVO, Cedric Gervais, Cosmic Gate, Andrew Rayel
Tale Of Us, Destructo, Ørjan Nilsen, Nina Kraviz
Oliver Heldens, Wilkinson, Scuba, Cash Cash, 
Kölsch, MaRLo, Mano Le Tough, Shogun, Uberjak’d
Mark Sixma, Nina Las Vegas, Timmy Trumpet
M4SONIC, Tigerlily, Generik and L D R U & Yahtzel
Skrillex, Alesso, Steve Aoki
Showtek, Dash Berlin, Carl Cox
Porter Robinson (Live) Laidback Luke, New World Punx
TJR, Ferry Corsten, Noisia, Deorro, Headhunterz, MK
DVBBS, Booka Shade (Live), Markus Schulz, What So Not
Joel Fletcher, John O’Callaghan, Foreign Beggars
Hot Since 82, Alison Wonderland, Crookers, Jack Beats
The Aston Shuffle, Route 94, Simon Patterson, Alex Metric
Deetron, Kaz James, Ilan Bluestone, Acid Jacks and Nick Thayer
MCs: MC Stretch and MC Losty
Arenas: HARD, FULL ON, Awakenings, OWSLA, Armada and Beatport

Sydney – Saturday November 29th and Sunday November 30th, Sydney Showgrounds
Perth – Saturday November 29th and Sunday November 30th, Claremont Showground *
Adelaide – Friday December 5th and Saturday December 6th, Adelaide Showground
Melbourne – Saturday December 6th & Sunday December 7th, Melbourne Showgrounds
Brisbane – Saturday December 6th & Sunday December 7th, Brisbane Showgrounds