Contact Festival review
By Sonam Kaloti, Arts Editor
Festivals are some of my most treasured memories for countless reasons, and Contact was one for the books.
The annual two-day festival was held on December 28 and 29, making it both the best post-Christmas celebration as well as the best end of 2018 party. The art to be seen at raves and festivals is abundant and often exclusive to these kinds of events. People spend eons on makeup, body art, and customized outfits—and the love given to each other by other festival-goers for their hard work makes putting in the effort more than worth it.
Dance circles are scattered among the crowd of professionals and people just looking to have fun or even learn from each other. Some people put on light shows and spin with trailing fabrics like ballerinas everywhere you look. The main stage at Contact was the biggest stage I’ve ever seen so far, with the set spanning an entire side of BC Place.
Despite being an avid rave- and concert-goer since 2014, I’d never been to Contact before. The experience was thrilling, especially because the lineup was filled with artists I’ve loved since I was a wee lad. Big names scattered both the main and Fvded stages.
Troyboi, Galantis, and Valentino Khan were just some of the performers for day one. However, the headliner for the first day was the one and only Skrillex (or grandfather of electronic music, as I like to call him.) His visuals were nothing too extraordinary and I was disappointed in a couple of his drops. The main point of his performance that confused me was when he conducted the audience to do jumping jacks, since this seemed to be a surefire way to induce heatstroke for most people there (I begrudgingly did them, though, and I lived to tell the tale).
Besides those points, Skrillex was easily one of the best live electronic performances I’ve ever seen. His mixing was skillful, but the best part of his set was how he played songs that everyone wanted but didn’t expect. I’d continuously heard beforehand that he wouldn’t play his old songs because he only played his new remixes. The grapevine was fantastically wrong as Skrillex performed “Bangarang,” “Cinema”, and “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites,” which had the entire BC Place arena screaming, “Yes, oh my God!”
Day two had its own share of bigtime artists, including but not limited to Space Jesus, Borgore, Nghtmre, The Chainsmokers, and Alison Wonderland.
Unexpectedly, The Chainsmokers had a fierce EDM sound, which earned them a lot of cred among the ravers who expected a set full of poppy music much like their mainstream style. They did a great job reminding the audience of their roots in electronic, and in turn the crowd was blessed by the hard drops and intensity of their flashing stage lights.
Overall, Alison Wonderland took the cake for best set at Contact 2018. She played hits off her recent album, Awake, such as “Church,” “Easy,” and “Good Enough,” which thrust the audience into her soul-felt lyricism. Her beats were melodic, the mixing was smooth, and the bass she added was the kind where everyone must stop for a second to just take it in. Wonderland’s mix of heavy and heartfelt topped Contact like the cherry on a sundae.
Wherever my next festival takes me, I hope to see her there once again.