By Lea Luna
The Mile High City has been privy to electronic dance music since the early days, but what’s become of Denver EDM over the past decade is a frenzy that has grown exponentially in size- a wildly multiplying fan interest calling for a massive production that Global Dance Festival has down to an inventive and exact science.
Global Dance Festival, once called Rave on the Rocks, has formerly been held at Red Rocks Amphitheatre for many moons (15 years to be exact), and since the inception of it has done incredibly well in attendance, multiplying quickly, and this year it was bursting at the seams so much that it sold out an even bigger venue. The new ground at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium was packed out both days, garnering EDM fans from far and wide. Where ridiculously-outnumbered and unhip noise complaints may have planned to threaten partygoers as usual about the over-the-top sound system, Global came through with the master plan to create an unapologetically large and loud vessel for an afternoon-to-evening experience that catered to the ever-growing, bass-hungry swarm of attendees.
The gigantic lineup was a healthy serving of international heavy-hitters that pushed the levels on the towering sound system from 5 until 11 pm, spilling its fan base out into club life both before and after, packing nearby clubs from front to back the entire weekend. There was an official pre-party, after party, recovery party, AND closing party in addition to several others that surrounded the event with full co-promotion to keep the music going almost endlessly (sleep? WHY?!) Global Dance Festival was celebrated across the entire city for the whole weekend- and if this isn’t the peak of the local EDM craze, it’s safe to say it’s fast approaching its namesake and becoming quite literally a global sized party.
The landscape of the event grounds were colorful and exciting; with multiple stages boasting production levels unmatched by any other Denver event, carnival rides, a food truck village, free arcade games, a VIP garden with fire-breathing art installations, rows of cabanas filled with music industry supporters, a silent disco featuring local Denver DJs, costumed performers abound, and yes, a gorgeous display of fireworks!
From Excision and Datsik causing front row headbang whiplash, to Kaskade fans singing their hearts out to his set as the light rain turned to steam above them, to Porter Robinson making thousands of bodies bounce in unison, to classic acts like Green Velvet and Chris Lake holding down the floor for well-seasoned purists, this show was a 10/10 across all sub-genres of the EDM world, expertly curated by a team who is obviously not only booking a show, but clearly comprised of absolute EDM fanatics themselves. As a photo of a fan holding a totem that read “In Ha We Trust” went viral on social media, it drew attention to the fact that Global Dance creator Ha Hau is never reaching a plateau with his efforts, with Skylab and Decadence (his two other infamous annual events) fast approaching the latter part of this year. Dance music professionals Triad Dragons and the widely known event kingpin AEG are hand in hand with the operation, making it completely unstoppable, not to mention the Denver dance music community supporting its own massive weight as the Global expansion continues to grow. This isn’t just an event inside of Denver anymore, it’s practically all of Denver inside an event. When does this EDM takeover actually peak? It probably depends on what sound venues hereafter will fit the entire planet.