What initially started as a radio obsession, exploded and evolved into one of the most respected and tuned-in channels in the EDM global community.
Attracting around 33 million listeners weekly in 84 countries, A State of Trance is broadcasted over 100 FM stations. It’s a radio show with a force to be reckoned with. This year’s A State of Trance Festival was no ordinary occasion. 2016 marked Armin’s 15th year milestone in his widely popular ASOT radio show.
Armin chose to celebrate this occasion at the Jaabeurs in Utrecht. What better way to commemorate this magnificent milestone than to host it in his hometown of Holland in the Netherlands?
Once more, global Trance loving fans from all across the globe made their pilgrimage as they set sail for the world’s biggest trance festival event. ASOT Festival Utrecht 2016 packed a serious punch as four mind melting stages awaited the die-hard Trance fans. World class DJ/Producer Armin Van Buuren and an army of Trance DJ’s all collected in Jaabeurs to celebrate in harmony and touch the hearts of their fans.
Flying all the way from the United States of America in Indiana, I set course for the most anticipated Trance event this year. I can proudly state that it was destiny for my first trip in Europe to be apart of another voyage to the Trance Promise Land. Traveling halfway across the globe to join my global Trance family, the weeks and months leading up to this event was nothing short of high anticipation and a hunger like none other. After tasting ASOT 750 in Toronto, as Armin celebrated his 750th radio episode, I was eager to satisfy my trance appetite.
I could feel a surge of energy and a powerful sense of purpose as I walked into the gates of Trance heaven inside Jaabeurs. What waited for me inside was indeed a spectacle. A smooth entry is always essential to any show/festival and I was granted access inside Trance Heaven with ease and comfort.
Lockers were placed around to accommodate for any loose items. Taking care of its patrons, the festival sold special earplugs to help prevent hearing damage. Armin shared in his radio show how each stage would have live global broadcasting and streaming coming straight from the halls of the Jaabeurs. Fans who were unable to attend could watch from the comfort of their homes. From 9:00 PM to 6:00 AM, the world was going to witness the biggest Trance festival in the world.
Four incredible stages were locked and loaded with the most EPIC trance DJs as each arena was endowed with a special name in the Jaabeurs venue. “MAINSTAGE” harbored Armin himself, Gareth Emery, Paul Van Dyk and an armada of others while the “I’M IN A STATE OF TRANCE” stage had Jochen Miller, Mark Sixma and a party of producers. “WHO’S AFRAID OF 138?!” had none other than Jordan Suckley, Ben Nicky, Astrix and a entourage of other DJ’s. Last but not least, “15 YEARS AND COUNTING” stage grooved with Andy Moor, Rank 1, Cosmic Gate and a plethora of other talents.
Making my way to the first stage upon entering, I had made it to the “15 YEARS AND COUNTING” stage. Immediately greeted with some soothing progressive bass vibes, I began to capture the atmosphere.
Migrating to the neighboring stage, “I’M IN A STATE OF TRANCE” stage, I was greeted by another talented DJ and a slew of my global trance family members.
Upon exiting the stage, I noticed an enormous poster congratulating Armin for his 15 years of Trance and inviting fans to come and sign. Ecstatic, I joined in as well and marked my distinct signature to be forever apart of the ASOT history.
I could hear the “WHO’S AFRAID OF 138!?” stage calling my name. Magnetized by the music, I made my way towards that sector of the arena where there was a unique step and repeat backdrop for Trance fans to take a photographic souvenir home with them.
Intrigued by the Radio Dome, I then wondered over to find a pleasant surprise as the Trance King, Armin, was housed inside greeting fans. As you entered the Radio Dome, a special pair of headphones was given to tune in to the live broadcast.
Saving the best for last, I made my way to the main stage to witness a massive collection of my global trance family in a gigantic open arena. The Deluxe Decks housed special VIP guests as they enjoyed the epic scenery from above.
Time flew by at the main stage as the grand celebration was minutes away. Showcasing a special tribute to the last 15 years of ASOT, the main stage exploded in special pyrotechnics and zip-line firecrackers glistened the sky from 00:30-00:45. Speechless, I was glued in anticipation for the next surprise as balloons fell from the sky and bounced freely.
I quickly made my way back to the info table in time to catch an interview with the amazing and talented DJ & Producers Gareth Emery & Jochen Miller.
Making some small talk with Jochen Miller, I quickly saw what a great guy he was. Miller shared with me some terrific news regarding his music. He went on to explain that he had just finished 9 new singles soon to be released, “all finished with vocal tracks”. Miller expressed his excitement for his new tour dates with concerts set in India and Columbia in March as well as Canada in April and more dates to come for Holland and Sweden.
After wrapping up my interview with Jochen Miller, it was then time to interview Gareth Emery, an incredibly friendly guy. When asking Emery about the ASOT festival, he expressed his excitement in catching some of the acts in “WHO’S AFRAID OF 138!?” like Bryan Kearney. Diving deeper into the interview, I then asked Emery about his soon to be released April album, “100 Reasons To Live”. Emery stated, “Last 2 years was really an awakening for me…I’m in an incredibly privileged position to fly around the world and play music to people that want to be there and that’s the reason the album got its name…” He also shared with me his personal reasons to live, which include his family, music, health, animals, and nature. Gareth also said that he enjoys playing occasional Mozart compositions to increase his finger dexterity in his free time.
Celebrating 15 years of A State of Trance with Armin and his Trance entourage was an incredible experience. Four glorious stages of pure trance were enough to give me goose bumps down my spine all night. ASOT 750 & ASOT Festival Utrecht 2016 was an astonishing journey to start off the festival season on the right foot.
I finally rejoiced in Trance Heaven with my global trance family in Jaabeurs in Holland.