[Event Review] Trance Unity Rave 2020
We're still trying to fathom the plethora of bliss that occurred during the 6th edition of Montreal's Trance Unity Rave. On Saturday, March 7, 2020, the acclaimed Circus Afterhours welcomed some of the biggest trance heavyweights in the industry. We had the pleasure of covering the 13-hour affair and absolutely can't wait to share some of the highlights with you all. So, let's get to it!
For weeks leading up to one of the most highly anticipated events of the season, we could only dream of what the Monkey BuzinezZ team was planning. Dedicated followers were given strategic glimpses into what the organizers were cooking up. Leaving just enough to the imagination and ultimately, enough to get everyone excited!
Being predominantly a fan of techno and house, our love for the genres usually gravitate us to events of this nature. We were counting down until we would get the opportunity to experience all that the world of trance has to offer. The aptly named event was the perfect opportunity to do so and we couldn't wait for the day to arrive.
As the sun began to set, our excitement began to set in. Like many others, we traveled long-distances to be able to attend the Trance Unity Rave. Little did we know this little getaway was about to be the most perfect escape from reality and completely rejuvenate our souls thanks to the power of music...
When we pulled up to the venue, it was at that moment we realized to what extent this gathering was going to be one to remember! The lengthy lines, separated by GA and VIP ticket holders, gave us an even bigger perspective into the magnitude of the event. Despite the amount of people waiting to be granted entry, the check-in process was relatively quick.
The security staff was very efficient. They ensured that everyone was treated as equals and followed specific guidelines provided by the venue's management. It's no secret that after-hours can include some mischief, but Circus' well-trained staff instantly made us feel at ease. The strict policies in place were not overlooked - including no pictures nor videos were to be taken throughout the course of the event.
Circus is a tri-level complex located on Saint-Catherine's Street in Downtown Montreal. Known for its impeccable sound quality and high-tech lights, the venue offers a unique experience for all. Fans can always count on world-class musical acts, interactive and fun decor, among much more! As we began to explore, we were delighted to see the organizers lived up to the promise of having 3 themed rooms.
The Heaven Room:
The Heaven room lived up to its name. Ruben De Ronde set the tone for the event by unleashing a performance worthy to be featured on Armin van Buuren's ASOT radio show. The Dutch producer even took the time to meet with fans following his performance. His contagious positivity made for numerous memorable interactions that won't soon be forgotten. It was clear why he is such an appreciated figure in trance - some would even say, an angel!
Ashley Wallbridge also met with an army of thrilled fans. In the past, the English DJ was hospitalized with meningitis which could have been fatal. As such, his followers are thankful that he has recovered and do not take any of his performances for granted. It's also why his track 'Still Alive' is so incredibly special. Follow this link for a rare video taken during Trance Unity by the artist himself! We caught up with the producer and his love for life was undeniable. It was a great reminder to live in the moment - a concept that Trance Unity prides itself on.
Throughout the night, the Heaven room featured special performances by the likes of 4 Strings, Giuseppe Ottaviani, Ferry Corsten and more! It was truly a heavenly experience for all. The captivating lights, including some seriously stellar laser displays, were a sight to witness! They perfectly complimented the beautiful melodies and stunning vocals. If angels are among us, they were without a doubt on the Heaven room's dancefloor that night!
Speaking of blessings, we had the opportunity to sit down for an exclusive interview with Giuseppe Ottaviani. He revealed some of his proudest moments when it came to his "Live 2.0" setup, some of the key differences between the second and newest "Live 3.0" concept, his upcoming tour schedule, how music continues to play such a big role in his family's daily lives, among much more! The Italian producer also shared some kind words to describe the ongoing event.
"[...] this is a proper rave! At Trance Unity, you're not allowed to take pictures or videos; you're there to, simply, enjoy the music. Whatever happens at the event, you have to be present to experience it - that's what I love!" He stated. "Entering a dark venue and coming out when the sun is up - that's what gives it the authentic feel. This is what I'm missing from most of the parties that I'm playing. Trance Unity is very, very, special to me." Giuseppe explained.
The Hell Room:
The Hell room featured a darker approach to the trance event. As we entered the space, we noticed the bartenders were sporting themed costumes - you little devils! Standout performances included John 00 Fleming's sinister set which incorporated some heavy progressive and tech-trance anthems. His stage presence and impeccable crowd control are truly something special to witness!
When Mark Sherry took the stage, he must have made a deal with the devil himself...The UK born producer had a trapped nerve in his neck, but somehow still managed to push through the pain to deliver what was, arguably, one of the best sets of the night! His upbeat chart-climbers and admirable energy were present throughout his performance. Furthermore, on multiple occasions we caught him taking requests from the crowd, not missing a beat while transitioning from track to track. He also took the time to sign autographs (including the flag below) and took a quick photo - such a rule breaker, the Devil would be proud!
📷 Serge SJ Yehorov
Other equally talented artists such as Niles Baxter b2b Hamm, Jam El Mar and Sean Tyas showcased their devilish side through expertly chosen singles. It's no wonder that so many attendees stayed in that space. The couches were also a nice touch allowing trance demons to relax and soak in the darker atmosphere. If Satan hosted this Hell room, he wouldn't have changed a single thing! Monkey BuzinezZ are a bunch of evil geniuses...
The Earth Room:
The Earth Room featured some of the best and most highly supported local artists, including JCP, Kärl K-otik, Carl Müren and more! Like our planet, the rotation really made our day (pun intended)! Seeing so many talented DJs take the decks to unleash sets of the same caliber as the headliners was a true delight. Without the Earth, we wouldn't be alive and we felt the same about their sets - they gave us life!
Sheridan Grout has quickly become one of North America's most recognized names in trance. Seeing his progression throughout the years is endearing. When he took the stage, he, once again, proved why he is a force to be reckoned with! His instant hits such as 'FreeFall' and 'Love Runs Out' got the crowd moving, but his sheer passion and love for the genre is what kept everyone there!
For many reasons, Ramy Barghoud, owner/operations and bookings at Monkey BuzinezZ, wowed the attendees! He took the decks as Bargz to pay tribute to his late best friend, marking the the first, and only, time, that he will perform in front of a live audience. Not only did he deliver a jaw-dropping performance, he was able to fulfill his pal's wish. To say that this moment meant the world to many, is putting it lightly.
In addition to his memorable performance, he is also one of the biggest team players regarding the execution of Trance Unity. After experiencing our first edition of the event, we were completely blown away! The sheer sense of togetherness, the killer performances, the beautiful decor, the hardworking staff...all the pieces played an important role and we can't be more thankful!
Like many of you, this techno/house enthusiast is looking forward to next year's edition. It will be interesting to see how their team can top this incredibly impressive event. Our hope is to continue to see how non-trance lovers come together and change their perspectives towards a genre that deserves more recognition. After all, that's the beauty behind Trance Unity...