Decadence 2019 will go down in the books as another phenomenal success from the electronic production legends at Global Dance. 2019 has been one of the best years for the exploding Colorado EDM scene, with events such as Pardon My French, Global Dub, Dead Rocks VI, and Global Dance Festival.
It was only fitting then, that the decade be capped off with the craziest event of the year. This New Year’s Eve, Global went full out, bringing 26 of the biggest names in electronic music to the Denver Convention Center for the 2-night bash, appropriately dubbed as ‘Decadence.’ As with most festivals of this magnitude, it was unfortunately impossible to catch all the acts I wanted to see—which in this case, was just about all of them.
Highlights for me included the bone rattling beats of Bassnectar, the European electro house of Don Diablo and Oliver Heldens, the flat-out rave vibes of Steve Aoki and Tiësto and the French house gods: Tchami and Malaa. Also, as a newly converted wook and headbanger, I would be remised if I didn’t give a shout out to my boys at SLANDER, Zeds Dead and GWN. A more detailed breakdown of my favorite performances can be found on the Decadence Day 1 and Day 2 posts from last week.
With the exception of a minor technical glitch at the end of night one that temporarily cut the power of Ganja’s audio and visuals (which was fixed almost instantly), the technical production was nearly perfect. I never would have expected it, but the nearly 2 square miles of concert space produced some of the best audio quality I’ve ever experienced at a show or festival. The sound system produced some booming bass and treble, which reverberated perfectly throughout the indoor arena. I was initially a bit skeptical that the audio could be overbearing in an indoor space, but Decadence proved me wrong with some of the best sound dampening equipment, which allowed festival goers to catch their breath, grab some water and relax for a bit before immersing themselves in the wubs once again. No EDM show is complete without a visual spectacle, and unsurprisingly, Decadence crushed this. Both stages were packed with strobe lights, confetti cannons, smoke blowers, and LED laser beams that stretched to the very back of the arena. Possibly the coolest visual component of the show were the massive light beams, which hung above the audience and moved with the beat, providing all the visual stimulation any raver could ever dream of.
The décor in the arena was also brilliantly composed. It seemed almost every square foot of ceiling space was adorned with fantastic light beams, blow-up ornaments the size of school buses, and on New Year’s Eve, about 10,000 balloons for the midnight ball drop. Global showed their commitment to the local community, bringing a plethora of local vendors to sell their homemade rave gear. I somehow managed to lose my favorite pashmina within 5 minutes of walking in, and needless to say was super bummed out. This disappointment lasted all of 5 minutes before I stumbled on a local Denver artist, and purchased 2 of the coolest pashminas I’d ever seen. My other favorite vendor was selling handmade LED strobe light glasses and face masks that responded to changes in audio levels—are you kidding me?!
One last thing that may seem underrated but made the festival 200% better was the ease of access to water. I can say with full confidence, I have never been to a festival with a better water situation. There were 2 massive water stations in the back of each stage that could serve 25+ people at a time. Additionally, water fountains lined up the walls up and down the sides of the stage, which let patrons quickly sneak out the side and come right back in within the span of 2 minutes. This was my first festival where I didn’t experience the omnipresent internal conflict of ‘Do I miss some of this awesome set to get more water or do I stay and progressively succumb to thirst.’ On a less glamorous, but just as important note, the restroom facilities were just as populous and incredibly immaculate—this wasn’t your typical port-a-potty death trap of camping festivals.
This was certainly one of my favorite festivals of the year. With some of the best talent from around the globe and brilliant production quality, Decadence was the place to be on New Year’s Eve. If you were one of the 50,000 people that attended this amazing spectacle with me, I hope you were as blown away as I was. And if you couldn’t make it this year, hey—there’s always 2020. Next year will be the 10th anniversary of Decadence in Denver- as with many other festivals this leads me to believe the lineup will be INSANE. I’m not entirely sure how they can top 2019, but here’s to finding out!