Bringing in 2017 with a bang was our number one priority when in came to choosing the proper music festival to close out the year. Luckily Decadence Arizona had the utmost stunning lineup we had witnessed this year. It was no wonder that we chose to spend our final days in this desert surrounded landscape in the wake of some of EDM’s biggest rising stars as well as some legends.
It was about five hours after leaving Los Angeles that we landed in Phoenix Arizona with a cool climate that would turn out perfect for dancing all night. After some local eats we prepared for the event with warm clothes and plenty of hydration. The roads going towards Decadence were a bit hectic as there was another Christmas light show (not that kind of light show) that required the use of the same single lane road. After sitting through a ton of traffic we finally made our way into the Rawhide Event Center, which was a western themed event grounds that fit perfectly with the theme of old town Phoenix.
Finally we entered the festival grounds to find something extremely comfortable in size. There were two big stages, the main stage Diamond Arena was outside under a tent and the second was inside a barn looking space entitled Sapphire Hall . There was also another outdoor stage that hosted a lineup of local talent alongside some carnival rides called Emerald Carnival. Everything around the music was easy access, whether it be the water refill stations or the lines of porto-potties, we never experienced any big lines and the flow of foot traffic remained easy to maneuver around throughout our nights.
Some of the things we enjoyed about the festival layout was the amount of vendors that were present in an area between both stages. There was some amazing food vendors and we did not hesitate to grab a bite of Freak Brothers Pizza, a company that cooked personal pizzas in a smokey outdoor oven. Among other vendors we were pretty amazed at the light show toy vendors and refraction glasses that other companies let us try out. Whenever we wanted to take a break from the music there was always something cool to checkout.
We started our night around Sapphire Hall with some heavy hitters such as Slushii, Ookay, and 4B, all throwing down massive bass tunes that quickly lifted the temperature on the dance floor. Luckily there was a handy coat check service at the back of the dance floor for those who found it to be way too hot, we certainly did!
The main stage hosted some tasty acts as well starting off with Sam Feldt and later going to an incredible Disclosure DJ set full of the most banging tech house tracks we had heard all night. Our night continued with an epic performance from French house all-star Malaa and later dropped to half-time with a DJ set from Porter Robinson. Finally with deadmau5 set to begin his performance we took the opportunity to enjoy the VIP section of the main stage which over saw the stage and audience by being leveled above everyone within the tent. Deadmau5 performed an amazing set of original tunes and powerful techno tracks such as Maceo Plex's Solar Detroit. Eventually Marshmello took over and we witnessed a handful of mellowing bangers before ending out the night at Sapphire Hall for a powerful performance by the techno legend Green Velvet.
We returned Saturday for some epic mid-tempo jams brought on by Kill Paris and Vanic opening up the main stage. DJ Snake and Jackal soon murked the audience with their fierce music selections in the main arena bringing a ton of people for some head banging goodness. Our craving for bass only grew more as we eventually hit up Zomboy who had hands down the most epic dubstep performance of the weekend. As usual Slander and Jauz terrorized the decks with a ridiculous amount of variety and we were lucky enough to witness the epic ball drop on the main stage during Jauz’s set; 2017 had officially begun. After plenty of hugs and wishes the night continued with Arty and Chainsmokers yet instead we followed our hearts and ended off with our fellow Dirtybird players Justin Jay and Shiba San for what had to be the perfect ending to our weekend.
Overall we could not complain one bit about what Decadence Arizona had to offer. The people were very much down to dance and ready to party just as we were used to in California yet the layout felt much more intimate than most massive festivals that we were used to attending. Less walking and less long lines brought more energy for the dance floor which is always a good thing. Although this lineup is going to be hard to top, we definitely look forward to seeing what they’ll bring to the table next New Years.
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