Panama's The Day After Festival Is a Young EDM Fan's Paradise

January 28, 2015 -

Daily Beat Staff

Having been to several iconic music festivals in the U.S., it was a refreshing experience to finally attend an electronic dance music event on Central American soil. Disco Donnie Presents partnered up with ShowPro Panama to bring attendees an event they couldn't possibly pass up - The Day After Festival in Panama City, Panama.

Everything was different - the air, the sun, the people, the language, the culture, the entire vibe was one-of-a-kind. Not only is the drinking age in Central/South America 18+, but the festival had an even younger age requirement of 13+. The crowd was very naive but also very upbeat and positive. It was interesting to see the way youngsters reacted to a festival atmosphere, especially when there were people walking around, twice/thrice their age, sipping on alcoholic beverages to maintain the same excitement they naturally felt. Although the drinks were mixed a bit stronger than I'm used to in the states, nothing got out of hand and everyone was fairly well behaved - the ambience was absolutely perfect.


Panama is a beautiful country with many amazing sights to see. The Figali Convention Center, home to the 2nd Annual Day After Festival, is another city spectacle generally used as an indoor sports arena and was originally built to host the Miss Universe 2003 Pageant. Prior to weekend, Figali was carefully transformed into two main areas: The main stage, located outdoors in the most spacious part of the plaza (including all vendors and the VIP area), and the Beatport Stage, located right inside the enormous convention center. The kiddos stayed at the main stage most of the time while adults perched themselves atop the VIP section where they could enjoy the music from a great, less sweaty view.


Over the course of three spectacular days, festival-goers maintained unimaginable stamina. Edm's most sought-after acts like Tiesto, Nervo, The Chainsmokers, W&W, Afrojack, Martin Garrix, DVBBS, Oliver Heldens, Borgore, Cedric Gervais, Jay Hardway, Bassjackers and more consumed the main stage, while at the Beatport stage, we had several more talented producers like Art Department, Claude VonStroke, Damian Lazarus, M.A.N.D.Y. + others throwing down some of the dirtiest beats Panama has ever seen.

tuFriday's festivities were, in fact, one for the books. Not only did Tiesto close out the night (elaborate fireworks show and all), but it was his 46th birthday celebration as well. Tiesto along with DVBBS, Oliver Heldens, Dzeko & Torres, Connor Cruise, Jack Novak, Luis Lopez, Gian Varela, Kenny Van Gomez and Cassanova brought the crowd a party they would never forget.

dvbbsOver at the Beatport stage, Art Department, Damian Lazarus, Fur Coat, GiGi Oro, Charles Bell, Michal Scheffler and Sara Castro threw down cutting edge grooves that had the crowd vibin' until the wee hours of the morning. This room was definitely one of my favorite areas to be when I needed a more relaxed setting with lots of space to move around and socialize.


Saturday's main stage madness started off with Marc-Oh, and then continued with Dano, Billy The Kit, Baggi Begovic, and Jay Hardway. The guys kept the energy high until it was time for some of the bigger headliners to divvy out festival anthems. Bassjackers, The Chainsmokers, Afrojack and W&W couldn't have closed out the night any better. The crowd ate up every minute and stayed raging up until the very end. Even world-renowned singer, songwriter, dancer, and actor, Usher showed up to hang around during Afrojacks set. All in all, that night was absolutely wild.


For the last night of the Beatport performers, we experienced the magic of K.E.E.N.E., CID + TBC, Ely Lopez, Caleb Calloway, Guti, M.A.N.D.Y. and most importantly the Dirtybird head honcho himself, Claude VonStroke. The best of dirty bass, funk, tech-house, electronica and even some jazz-influenced sounds were thrown into the mix of things. Overall, the Beatport stage gave #TDAF a chance to indulge in some of the finest underground acts around today.


On the Day After Festival's final night, we had a few amazing DJ/producers to wrap things up brilliantly. DJ Remex, Fidel Coronado, FTAMPA, New World Sound, Michael Brun, Cedric Gervais, Borgore, Nervo and Martin Garrix put things in motion from the beginning until the last second. Attendees knew it was their last night until next year to dance inside the Figali Convention Center's walls, so they had better go all out while they had the chance. The evening eventually concluded with Garrix kicking it into high gear to go perfectly with a slew of elaborate fireworks, signifying the end of a great weekend.


A huge shout out to every spectator, festival performer, all of the incredible artists, and most notably every individual who put in the hard work to make this event happen. A big THANK YOU goes out to the Disco Donnie Presents team for making every experience greater than the last and, of course, ShowPro Panama for also working hard to create a beautiful 3-day music festival that will definitely be hard to top. Be on the look-out for news on next year's #DAF in due time! (


Photo credit: RUKES

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