Before the weekend of Veld Music Festival, I had never stepped foot in Canada and of course my first encounter with the country would have to be for a music festival. Having absolutely no idea what to expect, besides the footage from last year, I arrived at Downsview Park expecting a moderate sized festival due to the fact that there were only two stages available. What I encountered was far from moderate. With it’s 35,000 atendees and its expansive venue, Veld was easily one of the largest festivals I’ve ever attended. I started off the first day at the mainstage, briefly witnessing Candyland directing the crowd into a trap filled frenzy. The beaming rays of sunshine in the early afternoon couldn’t stop the fans from going absolutely nuts every time Candyland proceed to drop a bass filled tune. I left a few minutes early in order to catch the opening set of the MPC MVP AraabMuzik. I’ve never been able to catch a live set of the MPC mastermind and I was eager to see what the entire buzz was about. Needless to say I was not disappointed. The large crowd that he attracted to the Bacardi tent, a new addition to Veld Festival, was quite impressive for a 2:30pm time slot that coincided with Mat Zo’s set on the Main Stage. AraabMuzik was not confined by one genre, despite of his hip-hop roots. Capable of seamlessly switching from song to song, genre to genre gave the world of pre-recorded ‘live’ sets a much needed injection of spontaneity. House, dubstep and trap were all represented when the MVP was busy chopping and mixing away. The crowd was eating up every second of the set and even with my camera in hand I couldn’t help but to rage along with them. Fellow performer Deadmau5 arrived on stage during AraabMuziks set, donning a horse head mask, to show support and dance next Araab while he was performing. Easily having one of my favorite sets of the weekend I highly recommend seeing this technical genius in his live element.

I made my way to the mainstage to catch crowd favorites Krewella just as they were playing their new single ‘Live for the Night’.. Be sure to catch them on their ‘Get Wet’ tour if you’re looking for a sure fire way to enjoy your night. When Veld announced that they had randomly added Dillon Francis to their lineup in the Bacardi Tent a week before the festival everyone knew that if you missed that set you’d regret it for the rest of the summer. As I was headed to the Bacardi Tent I witnessed legions of kids with their IDGAFOS hats and t-shirts and a few Dillon Francis fatheads and that’s when I knew this set would be nothing short of exceptional. If I thought that tent was full for AraabMuzik I was clearly mistaken. Dillon Francis attracted the largest crowd of the day to the Bacardi Tent and that should come as no surprise to anyone due to the loyal following that he commands. When crowd favorite Suit & Tie dropped, which is exactly what. I could not have thought of a better way to end the night than the acapella filled house hits of Kaskade giving way to Above & Beyond and their ‘Group Therapy’ closing out the main stage.

I started day 2 off with GTA throwing down on the mainstage and getting everyone amped up for Adventure Club only to find out that Christian and Leighton had missed their flights and would be showing up later. Thomas Gold ended up coming on as scheduled and he played his ensemble of progressive house hits with a flurry of electro house thrown in. This was one of the sets that the crowd just couldn’t stop moving for and arguably my favorite set of the day. French wunderkind Madeon hit the stage next and I couldn’t have been more excited. My first encounter with Madeon was one I would be sure to remember. The main stage was just packed with house heavyweights on day 2 but right before Dada Life was scheduled to appear there was just enough time to squeeze dub heavyweights, and my personal favorites, Adventure Club. Veld festival was also my first time seeing Dada Life and I finally got to witness all the bananas and champagne in its glory. I headed over to the Bacardi tent to see tech-house legend Danny Tenaglia for a bit before trekking it to one of the hills in Downsview Park to witnesss Steve Angello set the stage for none other than Toronto Native DeadMau5. As the stage was set up and the infamous cube was rolled out the yells of “Deadmau5” were nearly deafening in the front row. After what felt like an eternity of waiting the familiar Mau5 head popped out and the crowd was ready to close out one of the best festivals in Toronto. Although the festival was scheduled to end at 11 Deadmau5 played an extended set much to the crowds pleasure. My final moments at Veld consisted of fireworks cascading in the backround as Deadmau5 played Strobe and I couldn’t have asked for a better closing memory of my first Veld Festival.

Written by Mark Wolf & Ralphio Louis

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