The Dose: EDM festival Lights All Night brings it both nights

The Dose: EDM festival Lights All Night brings it both nights

The Dose: EDM festival Lights All Night brings it both nights
January 04
12:35 2016

Erica Wieting | Features Editor

@ericawootang

People hobbled in on crutches. They rolled in with wheelchairs. Some walked. Many danced. A few ran. No matter how they arrived, everyone was there for one purpose: to have the experience of a lifetime.

Lights All Night Kristen Watson | Visuals Editor

Festivalgoers wait in the entrance to Dallas Market Hall for their turn to take their shoes off and shake, get their bags inspected and have a security employee run over them with a handheld metal detector before being allowed into the venue. Kristen Watson | Visuals Editor

Uncharacteristically cold weather and dauntingly long lines didn’t deter crowds of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) fans Thursday and Friday nights at the Dallas Market Hall. Nearly 20,000 people steadily poured through the gates for two consecutive nights during the sixth annual EDM festival Lights All Night.

Light-up leg warmers and fuzzy footie pajamas were not uncommon sights among the waves of people who made their way into the Dallas Market Hall on the evenings of Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. Hordes of beaded necklaces, flashing animal-ear headbands and a few superhero capes were also in the mix.

The music lineup included established artists as well as up-and-coming. Festival organizers Scott Osburn and Hank Keller have consistently made it their goal to incorporate both famous acts and rising stars into the program.

Various artists simultaneously played on separate stages, and the light shows for each were spectacular. Colton Carlyle, Kill Them With Colour, Mile High and Toro kicked off the first night with Galantis, Baauer, Closed Caption and Vaccid bringing in the new year.

“The music was amazing, and the artists stepped up to give us an amazing start to the new year,” UNT English literature senior Victoria Baghaei, who has attended the festival for two consecutive years, said. “Galantis bringing in the new year was an unforgettable experience for me and my friends, and I feel it’s a memory we will treasure for a long time.”

Lights All Night Kristen Watson | Visuals Editor

A girl dances with a light-up hula hoop during Datsik’s set on New Years Eve. Kristen Watson | Visuals Editor

Another crowd favorite was Porter Robinson, who would perform as one of the last acts of the night. Two other artists, Flosstradamus and Kaskade, would perform the following day.

“I came most excited to see Hardwell, and they didn’t disappoint,” first-day festivalgoer Connor Weaver said after the artist’s performance on the Mothership stage.

Large, color-changing LED spheres, part of a lighting package from Berlin, hung from the hall’s ceiling. They often moved up and down with the music, morphing into several different shapes and formations.

Lights All Night Kristen Watson | Visuals Editor

The Mothership stage featured color-changing LED spheres that would move and change colors to the music. Kristen Watson | Visuals Editor

Many aspects of the festival were innovative this year, something that Osburn attributed to the availability of the Dallas Market Hall. He said he and Keller have had their eyes on the venue for a while, but this was the first year it became available.

In one corner of the venue was a silent disco, offering a break from the large crowds of jumping bodies amassed in front of each stage. Attendees entered a small, square, disco-looking area after picking up a pair of headphones that had two different options of music to listen to: a mellow, repetitive rhythm, or one buoyant and upbeat.

But not everything about the change of venue was beneficial to festivalgoers. In the past, the festival has been held at the Dallas Convention Center, which Baghaei said she preferred to the Market Hall.

“[The Convention Center] is better-suited to hold the amount of people that attend, and the stages seemed set up better…giving people more room to see the artist and not be so far back they couldn’t see,” Baghaei said.

She also criticized the parking, a major downside to the venue. The closest option was a parking garage, located across the street from the center and was $20 per day.

Water fountains were also few and far between at the venue, and lines for the restroom could require 15-20 minutes of patience—unless one was willing to wait five minutes for a Porta Potty. But despite its downfalls, the festival was undeniably a success.

“Getting past the small issues with the venue, Lights All Night was everything I thought it would be, plus more,” Baghaei said. “I’m grateful I got to experience starting my year with the music and friends I love.”

Featured Image: Festivalgoers in the front row pose during Hardwell’s set on New Years Eve. Kristen Watson | Visuals Editor

Click here to see the photo gallery from this event. 

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