by: Natalie Pereira
Jul 2, 2018
Dream on, Dreamers.
With years of refinement and change shaping its creative direction, what was once known as Digital Dreams led the commencement of Ontario’s annual music festival season. Digital Dreams became a staple weekend over the span of years, fluctuating between the months of June and July. Besides being one of the lasting music festivals in Canadian territory, the now re-dubbed “Dreams” festival has been characterized by attributes that keep attendees coming back for more.
It seems that 2018 has marked the year of the festival graveyard; identical lineups have lead to lower attendance and ticket sales across the nation, eventually causing the demise of past popular festivals like Lost Lake, Wayhome, and Sun City Music Festival. It’s become apparent that if a dance music festival isn’t able to impress their market with more than their lineup, it can no longer survive in this era of competitive nature. Though notable changes in the size and length of the festival have slowly seeped into the 2018 edition of the event, Dreams made the correct accommodations to focus on the future stability of the festival.
Held over the June 23-24 weekend at Toronto’s RBC Echo Beach, the two-day event continued to captivate attendees with the surrounding sights of the city’s landmark attraction, the CN Tower, along with the coastal view of local yachts and boats floating across Lake Ontario. As music tastes have changed and diversified throughout the years, Toronto remains a hub of eclectic and widespread tastes. Dreams 2018 brought in a varied selection of trance, bass, house, and main-stage stalwarts over the course of the weekend with notable moments like the Anjunabeats stage takeover on the first night, and the firework finale during Armin Van Buuren‘s closing slot.
Characterized by an Alice in Wonderland-esque aesthetic, Dreams was structured like a mysterious garden — as more of the grounds were explored, hidden areas like the “secret” VIP area with hoops (topped off with free tacos), and even the Waterfront stage were thoughtful additions that brought about a “scavenger hunt” feel to attendees venturing through the venue.
In the process of completing this transition, Dreams has aimed to change their image from simply a music festival, to an all-encompassing musical, atmospheric, and arts festival. With Toronto’s steady stream of nightclub and summer events, Dreams has taken the correct steps to maintain their reputation and ensure the brand remains strong in the future. The 2018 modifications all seemed to focus on maintaining the festival’s status as one of Toronto’s most popular music events — and this year Dreams undoubtedly succeeded.
Photo credits: Nicole De Khors and Anton Mak.