A Rainy Celebration: Countdown NYE 2016

January 5, 2017 -

Fadi AbuZaineh

In its third year running, Insomniac's premiere New Years event Countdown has improved itself yet again. Now boasting 3 stages with spectacular lineups causing the set conflicts of a lifetime, there was no way you would not enjoy a set at any stage you found yourself at. This new format Insomniac has been trying out of keeping the words "main stage" out of the festival map has been working well in keeping the minds of festival goers open and ready to take on new sights and sounds.

Day 1 brought out some of the best that dance music has to offer from the entire spectrum of styles. Headliners were treated to sets from up and comers like Rezz and Anna Lunoe, to the god tier trap lords known as Baauer and RL Grime. Even the legend himself A-Trak paid a visit to showcase his scratch virtuosity.


Photo by The Holy Mountain

The final day of 2016 wasn't going to pass without some tests in the form of weather. From late Friday night all the way until around 8PM on Saturday, we were caught in some heavy rain that made the trek to the festival quite the challenge -- those who know what driving in California during rainy weather know it best -- but that didn't stop the crowd from getting there by 7 to catch the legendary Diplo's early (but lit) set at the Infinity stage. Diplo played a set chock full of hits ranging from his early days to his highly acclaimed work with Skrillex and Justin Bieber. For it being my first time seeing Diplo, I was glad it was at that moment.

Photo by Blaise Joseph

It felt like 2013 all over again after getting to see Diplo and other heavy hitters like Morgan Page, Showtek, Alesso, and Zedd (mostly at the same stage too!). But for the countdown I decided to try out a new type of sound and caught San Holo's set. I was highly impressed, it basically gave me an idea of what real future bass music was, and not that pop mainstream stuff that has been blasting over the radio waves over the last year. It goes without saying that San Holo is underrated and is definitely heading to the top with his sound.

After getting filthy to some Zomboy, I had to take a break to walk around where I found this neat little tent where the Cats & Boots fam were dropping some prime tech house. The inner house snob in me was pleased. For a lineup that was pretty deprived of any sort of deep electronic music, this little getaway tucked behind the infinity stage was a good place to get away from the crowd and vibe out without worrying about getting bumped into.

There is no place like an Insomniac an event when it comes to celebrating anything. The end of a year is a special time where we reflect on our lives in the last 12 months, and aspire to be better versions of ourselves. A lot of people would say that 2016 was a bad year, but with raves like these...who needs enemies? Cheers to a bountiful new year!

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