If you’re part of the diehard trance community, then the Dreamstate festival ought to be featuring high on your list of things to do. Think hypnotic beats, ethereal electronica, and some of the best light shows you’ve ever seen and you’re barely scratching the surface! Described by the organisers as “a fully immersive experience”, the Dreamstate trance festival hits Mexico in December, offering exotic evenings, beautiful beaches, and spectacular sunsets, all of which combine to make Dreamstate Mexico an unforgettable event.
A world-class festival
Still relatively young, the festival was launched in November 2015 in southern California, bringing some of the biggest names of trance together under one otherworldly umbrella to celebrate this trippy and delicate genre of music. Since then, the festival has travelled the world, with its first show in Mexico taking place on December 2016. Such was the reception that standalone gigs in Mexico look to be a regular thing.
Lord of the Trance
If you’re worried about trancing-out in the winter months, don’t be. While it’s mittens, coats and woolly scarves for the Western Hemisphere, Mexico basks in temperatures between 24°C and 26°C, with around eight hours of glorious sunshine a day and warm nights: perfect for tuning into some rhythmic beats and soaking up some sounds. With Dreamstate taking place each year in Mexico City, there’s always the opportunity to get some shopping in or enjoy a meal in one of the local restaurants, before the show starts.
What to expect
The Dreamstate festival is a festival like no other. Each one is themed, to add a feeling of unity to the whole event; in 2015, the theme was “terraforming our culture”; a theme woven into each set to create a seamless soundscape of dreamy electronica and pulsing beats. Each of the four stages followed the theme, using cutting-edge visuals to enhance the music. The Vision stage used triangular screens and sharp, HD imagery alongside an audience-encompassing laser show to create a multi-sensory experience.
Trance legends PureNRG wove some of their bigger tunes together, slowly building a soaring soundscape, which acted as the closing number. Relatively ‘new kids on the block’, Will Atkinson and John Askew, used their time to enhance the chilled-out atmosphere with some uplifting techno-trance. In the two years since that first concert, Dreamstate has become bigger, better and more experimental.
Getting to the gig
While Dreamstate opens its doors to Mexico in December, tickets tend to go on sale online around August, so it’s worth keeping an eye on their website. The festival has so far been held at the Palacio de los Deportes, an indoor arena and part of the Magdalena Mixhuca Sport City complex. If you’re flying to Mexico City International Airport, you’ve got plenty of travel options, as the Palacio de los Deportes is only 4km away. Packing your Thomas Cook Cash Passport makes things even easier: whether you’re hiring a cab, jumping on the bus or travelling as part of a group in a colectivo, all you need to do is go to one of the airport’s cash machines and pull out some pesos. One of the many benefits of a Thomas Cook Cash Passport card is that it locks you into the best exchange rates, so that you get more pesos in your pocket.
If you’ve opted to hire a car, you’ll find that the Palacio de los Deportes has its own car park, where spaces can be pre-booked online or over the telephone. However, if you’re unlucky enough to miss out on a space, there are other car parks just a short walk from the arena.
When it comes to deciding what to wear, the answer is that it’s entirely up to you. Trancers tend to go to Dreamstate to be lifted by the music, rather than parading round in their gigging finery. However, you’re likely to see the occasional glowing garlands and UV sticks floating about, so dress as you feel, but do bear in mind that Mexican nights can be warm and humid, so don’t wear anything that’s going to see you dehydrate in minutes.
Food and drink at the festival
While you’re allowed to pack a picnic for the festival, bringing alcohol is strictly forbidden. However, there are beer tents and food stalls littered throughout the venue. You’ll also find licensed stands selling official Dreamstate merchandise, if you want a brag-worthy memento of your time in Mexico.
Paying your way
Once again, your Thomas Cook Cash Passport should stand you in good stead; as well as being able to use it to withdraw cash, you can also use it as you would a debit or credit card. Just punch in the PIN and the amount will be debited from your card. Using the card is a great way to keep an eye on what you spend on holiday, as it can be preloaded with a certain amount. However, if you do push the boat out a little too far, you can always add more funds online. Either way, using the card can be better than wandering through the crowds with a pocketful of cash, particularly as there’s Global Assistance on call, 24 hours a day, every day, should your card be lost or stolen.
General admission or VIP?
With four stages at the very first Dreamstate and the promise of more at upcoming festivals, knowing quite what to see can be a bit daunting, especially if you’re a first-timer. General Admission tickets grant you access to the wonderful dream-world of costumed performers and trance artists that the festival has created.
However, if you want to make the event even more memorable, there are a select number of Dreamstate VIP tickets on sale. Although these are more expensive, they do give you entry to the VIP area, which offers extra seating, lounge furniture to unwind in, high-top tables, where you can enjoy a bite to eat or a refreshing drink, and plenty of photo opportunities. You’ll even find complimentary phone-charging stations and VIP mobile phone lockers, where you can stash your phone and, if you want to make sure it’s safe and secure while you enjoy yourself, your Thomas Cook Cash Passport.