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Veld 2013 Review


Veld 2013 Review – Veld Music Festival Toronto – A sea of neon – furry boots, fishnets, and tutu’s

Veld review 2013

Veld Crowd – Cred: Tee Onek


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Day 1 – Steve Aoki
Day 2 – Dada Life


Day 1 – Seven Lions and Pretty Lights
Day 2 – John Digweed and Danny Tenaglia


VELD Music Festival goers indulged in a weekend of dance and song at Downsview Park on Aug. 3 and 4. The festival, presented by one of Canada’s leading lifestyle and entertainment companies, INK Entertainment, certainly didn’t disappoint as they hosted the festival for the second year in a row.





Welcome to VELD 2013 ladies and gentlemen.

The two day festival at Downsview Park began with one of Canada’s own, Mark Oliver . When he dropped the hit single ‘Clarity’ by Zedd ft. Foxes, people swarmed to the stage – they jumped in unison, and sang along.

The festival, which featured over 30 internationally acclaimed EDM artists, kicked off on Aug. 3 in Toronto to a crowd of thousands of electronic music fanatics.

Krewella VELD 2013: Tee OnekBy far, one of the best acts of the night was Krewella. Their stage presence, voices, and energy put the crowd into a frenzy. They closed their set by dropping their catchy single, ‘Alive’, which caused pandemonium amongst the crowd.

The night only got better as Dirty South took to the stage and opened with one of the summer anthems, ‘City of Dreams’. South continued to hype up the audience by playing hits such as ‘Walking Alone’, and ‘If I lose Myself Tonight’.

Dirty South VELD

The party truly started when Steve Aoki  stepped up to the stage and played banger after banger. The sky began to darken, but the audience lit up when Aoki played ‘Turbulence’ – your classic rave track.

As if the night couldn’t get any better, Kaskade dominated the pack. It was the perfect example of early house music, heavy with vocal sampling. The stage spewed fire and the crowd only got more worked up.Steve Aoki VELD

Above & Beyond closed the night amongst strobing lights and soothing tunes. Most people would be satisfied with only one day, however, a second day remained.  If the first day was any indication, day two exceeded everyone’s expectations.

Above and Beyond








“Eat. Sleep. Rave. Repeat.”

Toronto’s own Manzone and Strong stepped up to the plate to open as they played not only one set, but two.

When Adventure Club failed to make it on time, it was Manzone and Strong who stretched out the set before GTA.

It was obvious when DJ, Thomas Gold, dropped his remix of the Fatboy Slim and Riva Starr’s tune ‘Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat’ that day 2 had officially begun. Thousands of fans chanted in unison, which built up the momentum before the big drop. It was at that moment that the crowd went into a frenzy – jumping over the front barricades and toppling into the photo pit. Gold continued to work up the energy by playing ‘What Are You Waiting For’ and a cover of ‘Alive’ by Krewella (by far, one of the most overplayed songs at the festival). Of all the songs he busted out though, everyone seemed to lose it when Gold’s renowned remix of Adele’s ‘Set Fire to the Rain’ pumped out of the speakers.

Madeon VELDGold did a stellar job performing but behind the scenes the day’s line-up seemed to have gotten a bit messy. Gold, who was supposed to be on at 4:15p.m. was pushed ahead of schedule to compensate for the fact that DJ Duo, Adventure Club, weren’t there at the time they were supposed to take to the stage. But, as they say, the show must go on.

Following Gold was 19 year-old French electro-pop DJ, Madeon, who put on a feel good show as he played remixes of ‘Heads Will Roll’, ‘Internet Friends’, and ‘Raise Your Weapon’.  Of course, it wouldn’t have felt complete had he not played his own popular single, ‘Pop Culture’. Madeon put on a memorable performance, but it was low key compared to the other acts that followed.Adventure Club Late VELD

One redeeming quality about the festival’s somewhat disorganized schedule during the second day was the fact that Adventure Club did, in fact, make it to VELD – and rightly so since people paid good money to see them play. Luckily, they did a great job of building up the excitement for what was potentially the best set of the night….Dada Life.


Dada Life late VELD










Known for their outrageous live performances, hard core electro house beats, and signature of chucking bananas into the crowd, Dada Life tore up the stage. What made their set one of the absolute best of  the entire festival was their interaction with the crowd. The DJ duo didn’t simply stand in the booth and hit play to a bunch of pre-recorded tracks, they came right down center stage and whipped gigantic blow up bananas and champagne bottles into the audience. It’s the kind of high energy performance people only dream of seeing, and definitely what one would expect from Dada Life.

It’s without a doubt that Dada Life’s electric performance and playful energy prepared the crowd for the final acts of the night, Steve Angello and Deadmau5.

Steve Angello VELDAngello played hit after hit such as; ‘You’ve Got the Love’, ‘We Are Your Friends’, ‘Cinema’, ‘In my Mind’, and ‘Don’t You Worry Child’. Although most of what he played was mainstream house music,  everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy his set.



Dead Mouse VELD

Last, but certainly not least, Canada’s own DJ superstar, Deadmau5 (aka Joel Thomas Zimmerman), took to the stage wearing his usual getup – the iconic mau5head.  All was dark, creating the perfect backdrop for Deadmau5 to emerge. Probably the most memorable part of his act was the light show. People seemed to be in complete euphoria watching beams of green light flash above them in the sky as tunes deadmau5 VELD ‘Raise Your Weapon’, ‘Sophie’s Ladder’, ‘The Veldt’, and ‘Ghosts & Stuff’ blared from the speakers. Although he knows how to put on a great show filled with all the theatrics of a classic rave, every track he played were ones we’ve heard a million times before. Halfway through his set it all began to feel just a tad stale.







A lot of people left after LA legend Dillon Francis, giving the crowd more room to advance to the front.  The people who stayed were the educated fans who knew who Seven Lions and Pretty Lights were.

Seven LionsThe best part of the experience was when most people left for well-known acts like Aoki and Laidback Luke etc.

This meant that the people who stayed truly enjoyed and knew the artists in the Bacardi Tent and would rather rage on the Seven lions’ set.

Montalvo played a lot from his EP days.  The ‘Still With Me’ remix of Tritonal was a highlight were he came out from behind the decks and interacted with the crowd.  Montalvo came down at the end of his set to shake hands with fans.

Pretty lights is harder to describe.  Derek Vincent Smith shined playing mostly from his new album ‘A Color Map Of The Sun’.  The best part of his set was how the visual transitions connected with the music.

Pretty Lights never dwelled too long on one song.  It was track after track and never got boring, unlike some Djs that play almost the full Pretty Lightssong before changing it.

Pretty lights set was faaarrrr from mainstream and was one of the most interesting sets of the day.  A breathe of fresh air from all the overplayed tracks we’re used to hearing.




There was an ebb and flow of people constantly coming and going from the Bacardi tent until Digweed took to the stage.

John Digweed VELD

John Digweed VELD – Cred: Tee Onek

Five to eight thousand people might not seem like a lot compared to the masses that were gathered at the main stage but for those in the know, it was just right! This gave all in attendance room to dance and enjoy the melodic beats that Digweed was masterfully mixing.

As Digweed prepared to handover his decks to the Legendary Danny Tenaglia there was a swell of people to the tent pushing the numbers upwards of fifteen thousand.

Tenaglia VELD — Cred- Tee Onek

Tenaglia VELD — Cred- Tee Onek

Danny started off by thanking all those who played before him in the tent on this day and then apologized because he would be doing one of his shortest sets in history; only ninety minutes.

Danny wasted no time and went all in creating a vibe that was second to none. Looking out into the crowd one could see smiles, furry boots and booty shorts dancing up a storm. (ya that’s right there was enough space to dance in the tent!)

At different points during Tenaglia’s set you could see him showing the crowd love and they in turn sent it right back at him. At the end of his set he thanked the faithful that had gathered and went on the ninety minute musical odyssey with him.

The best part of the tent shows was that it was all about the music, all the days Dj’s who performed in tent delivered, but Digweed and Tenaglia is one of the best 1-2 DJ combos you could ever hope for. When all was said and done Tenaglia came down from the stage met fans, took photos, signed autographs.



Overall, VELD was definitely a success. However, despite all the amazing acts that occurred at the main stage, it seemed as though the Bacardi Tent was overlooked at times. There were some moments with Seven Lions and Pretty Lights on day 1.   The most memorable performances from the B-Stage on day 2 two were from UK producer John Digweed and Grammy nominated NY legend Danny Tenaglia who challenged the main stage and packed the tent at moments.  Although many of the DJ’s who played in the Bacardi Tent are well-known, anyone at any given time playing at the main stage was of much greater popularity;  a sad but true reality.

One thing is for sure, no matter who you are, where you came from, or what you do, VELD brought together thousands of people all for the same reason – the love of music. Many will argue that EDM isn’t a true “art form” and that it only glorifies drug use, but after seeing how many people united together this weekend it’s fair to say EDM in Toronto is here to stay.


Review By: Sarah Warne
Bacardi Tent:  Tee Onek and Destinee Fa
Photos: Tee Onek & Darrell Shelley
Editor: Darrell Shelley



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