Writer Sadé Powell experiences the Ever After Music Festival for the first time, and lives to write about it
In the remote land of Kitchener, Ontario, fairies, genies, cows, South Park characters, fuzzy bears in a multitude of colours and any other outrageous costume imaginable came together in the shared devotion to electronic dance music for one weekend. Rain or shine, but mostly rain.
The madness that is the Ever After Music Festival kicked off at Bingeman’s Place with what seemed to be nothing, but confusion and bad weather. Hordes of people lined up in hopes of getting in some early morning partying.
Unfortunately the event was pushed back, which meant a few hours of the weather oscillating from short periods of siring heat to seemingly endless phases of pouring rain. Not a single person entered the event dry. Forget the hair you spent all morning curling.
Once inside, ravers could scope the grounds for all the essential stations, you know, food, bathrooms, alcohol permitted zones – the important stuff. A huge stage was positioned at the centre of it all where Mija reeled in those eager to boogie. The crowd even sung her “Happy Birthday” at the end of her set. Ear to ear smiles were plastered on every face, and you’d often be met with exuberant waves from groups of strangers or a contagious “woo” in your direction. In which case, you’d be obligated to “woo” right back to demonstration good manners.
By mid-afternoon Destructo’s steady rotation of enthralling G-House was interrupted by an incredible down pour of rain. Throngs of neon-coloured ravers ran for cover like light beams, while about 200 others, apparently made of rubber, remained by the stage dancing without a single care to give. The set was cut short and the event organizers began directing people up the hill from which they came until the rain subsided about half an hour later.
As evening rolled around, the ravers quadrupled in size and the energy grew absolutely wild. Dance battles ignited between newly found best friends, ladies in bejeweled bras crowned the shoulders of topless dudes and signs with the prayer-hand emojis were swayed in the air as French DJ Tchami took the stage.
His manner while DJing was completely cool and composed while his followers were anything but, flailing their hands in any and every direction and stomping their feet as if a gang of beetles threatened to crawl in their shoes.
The sky darkened, the drizzling returned, but the nostalgia thickened. DJ Snake and ZEDS DEAD were the final headlining acts. The two sets garnered praise in all directions and were by far the most lit performances of the night.
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Day two was almost unbearably cold; the temperature dropped to eight degrees and the rain was unforgiving. The festival grounds was peppered with people in red, blue, yellow and green ponchos attempting to shield themselves from the sky’s tears, but that did very little to keep anyone dry.
Others who obviously take regular ice baths in their spare time raved wearing nothing but shorts and tank tops. Things were looking glum as only 100 to 200 people showed up for most of the day. DJs FlicFlac, Matoma, CAKED UP, Benny Benassi and several others continued with their programs fueling the funk with spastic beats and engrossing drum and bass.
Rapper Waka Flocka Flame even joined the crowd turning up with fans and raging with a guy dressed as the Pope. It must have been what the EDM Gods hoped for because the heavens opened up and the rain was no more.
Trap band Keys N Krates stepped up to the platform to welcome the setting sun and played a glut of songs that married boss electric beats and sonically endearing instrumentals. The masses responded to the crew so organically that it seemed new fans were long time listeners.
The clouds shifted from a pinkish-orange to a royal blue as though preparing for something – something big. The screen then displayed a hazard symbol and a man garbed in what looked like an all-white protective suit stood atop the booth as another man remained behind him by the computer.
DJs J2K and Autobot merged to present FLOSSTRADAMUS. This is when the mob went nuts. Immediately hands shot up in the air making the symbol of a triangle and the duo’s hit track “Mosh Pit” sounded throughout. Openings formed like crop circles at random, then the wildest of the wild hurdled into the pits and became human bumper cars.
The two-day festival wrapped up with an unforgettable performance from industry powerhouse Diplo who is worlds beyond just a DJ.
Floss played a captivating mash up of hip-hop infused grimy electric sounds, flipping the most popular hits to make for an insane outdoor trap garden. When the twosome said, ‘party,’ you partied like your life depended on it. When they said, ‘all girls get on a dude’s shoulders,’ the grounds became a sea of two-headed giants.
The two-day festival wrapped up with an unforgettable performance from industry powerhouse Diplo who is worlds beyond just a DJ. As the most anticipated act, he delivered a slew of classic tracks and some new mixes for his beloved Ontarian fans. One of the last joints played was Skrillex & Diplo featuring Justin Bieber “Where are U Now”.
Biebs, whose hometown of Stratford, ON is not far from the event site, was rumoured to make an appearance, but ravers would have to settle for his voice on the mix. The stage glowed a brilliant fuchsia while confetti shot up into the air and descended upon the night in a whirlwind of dancing colours. It was an ethereal close to a radical weekend. And they all raved happily ever after.
Photos By. Sadé Powell