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Contact festival rocks BC Place

Deadmau5 headlines the biggest electronic dance music festival ever held in western Canada

Anyone who thinks that electronic dance music is dead was obviously nowhere near BC Place on Boxing Day.

Those who were enjoyed some of the world’s best electronic DJs belting out six hours of the most recognised electronic dance music (EDM) tracks around. Chris Lake, Lazy Rich, Alesso, Nero, and a certain local boy calling himself Deadmau5 kept 12,000 audience members jumping and fist-pumping.

The first-ever Contact festival is the largest electronic music event ever staged in western Canada. A year in the making, Blueprint Events Director Alvaro Prol says that it was about time a festival of this magnitude was put together for Vancouver’s house fans.

“It was time to take things up a bit,” said Prol. “This is the first time we were able to get BC Place … we’ve been working on it for a year and it took us this long to put all the pieces together to make it happen.”

British Canadian Lazy Rich opened the floor with some brilliantly mixed Avicii to settle the locals before handing the stage to Chris Lake, one of the most exciting DJs and producers from the EDM scene in recent years. Next up, Swedish House Mafia’s Alesso, opener at Madonna’s European MDNA tour, settled into his familiar progressive house and catchy, rock-inspired loops.

[pullquote]“He is a genius. There’s no doubt about it” [/pullquote]By the time Nero came on, the crowd was an undulating mass of sweat and limbs, but that didn’t stop the man from driving out some hardcore drum ‘n bass and dubstep mixes.

Any act would find it hard to sustain Nero’s energy but Joel Zimmerman, also known as Deadmau5, managed to reignite the crowd just by showing up with his legendary visual set. Familiar tracks pumped the crowd up and got everyone jumping all over again.

In the last issue of The Link, we ran a piece on artists who use gimmicks (which are mostly “meh”). When Deadmau5 puts on his Cheshire mau5head, the world is a better place. The music gets better and you’re aware that this is an electronic music virtuoso at work.

“He is a genius,” praises Prol. “There’s no doubt about it. He has a lot of passion for what he does.”

When asked if Contact 2013 is in the works, Prol is quietly confident. The goal of the first Contact was to make it a West Coast event with “a Canadian flag in it,” he says, so Deadmau5 was a perfect headliner. He also wants the festival to expand into bigger, better parties and festivals long before and after the actual show.

“I would like Contact to be a Vancouver thing, a BC Place thing, an event we do every year. That’s what I would like to see.”

Me too, Alvaro. Me too.


– All photos courtesy Blueprint Events.


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