A TRANCE WEEKEND IN PRAGUE
It was in late summer when Above & Beyond announced that their Group Therapy Episode 350 (ABGT 350) will be held in Prague, the day before Transmission Festival, exactly at the same venue, O2 Arena. By the time I heard the news, I was waiting for the ticket release date, and when the time came, I booked the ticket package, ABGT 350 & Transmission Festival. We were about to live a weekend full of trance music in Prague!
Our trip was beginning on Friday and ending on Sunday, but on Thursday we saw that Above & Beyond were doing a secret live set on a boat, and only a few people that found out on Thursday were able to get on board with them. Even our friends that arrived earlier than us on Thursday didn’t know that and missed it! It would have been an amazing pre-party before the main event on Friday, but as we were not there, we could not attend anyway.
We arrived at Prague on Friday, and we headed to our accommodation at the old town of Prague, to find our friends. We let our luggage there and we went out to explore the old town. While we were walking on the Charles Bridge, we saw hundreds of ravers wearing t-shirts and hoodies of either ABGT350 or Transmission Festival. I even saw a guy holding the flag of Japan, imagine his love for the music, this is the unity that I am talking about, people coming from every corner of the earth at one place to unite with other festival goers and share their love and passion for the music.
After our walk, we went back to the flat and started getting ready for the night. Some of our friends were thinking of attending the Transmission Pre-Party at EPIC Prague instead of attending ABGT 350, but I told them there was no way of missing ABGT 350! Finally, after a short discussion, we all took an Uber to the O2 Arena where ABGT 350 was about to begin. As soon as we got in the venue, we went to the Merchandise stand in order to buy merchandise of ABGT before the sold out. Fortunately, I was lucky enough and I bought the official t-shirt of ABGT 350 with the logo on the front and the lineup on the back! We then went to the lockers to leave our jackets, and after that, we were ready to experience one of the magical and full of love and feelings trance night ever!
We got in the venue, almost fully crowded by ravers, and we ran into the arena to find a good spot for the rest of the night. At the top of the sides around the arena, there were LED screens displaying live comments from the social channels of ABGT 350 from the people that didn’t make it to the event, and their comments were making us feel lucky to be there! On the stage were Tinlicker, warming up the place with their magical progressive music. Towards the end of their set, the venue began to fill and the arena was already fully crowded. As Tinlicker played their last song, Spencer Brown was about to get on stage. He got on stage and made the place even more magical with his music. We were raving under the sounds of his progressive techno with our fellow ravers, we were all one. Genix came up next on the stage, continuing the magical vibes at the O2 Arena. I was seeing many people hug with others without knowing each other and raving together as they were old friends. Gabriel & Dresden came up next, making the crowd almost ready for the next act with their progressive trance beats.
And then, the time came for above Above & Beyond. I remember hearing the whistles and voices from the crowd out of their excitement, goosebumps! By the time they got on stage, a screen displaying different quotes behind them during their entire set, made us feel more alive than ever, made us feel we were living in a dream, made us feel the love, freedom, unity that music provides us, giving us motivation to continue living life to the fullest. Anjunafamily flags were all the time up in the air raised by the ravers who were living the moment. During their 2-hour set, they dropped many unreleased intros and we felt lucky that we had the chance to listen to them live at ABGT 350. The best and most magical moment though, was when Above & Beyond called up on the stage the lucky ravers for the ‘Push The Button’. The dream for every Anjunafamily raver and not only! (I was lucky enough though to meet one of these lucky ravers from my video on Instagram of that moment and chat with her for a while). Imagine the feelings of these lads the time they were on stage with Above & Beyond in front of those thousands ravers! Some of those were crying as it was too emotional and magical at the same time! Even though they didn’t play all their tracks that I was waiting to hear, I loved every single second of their 2-hour set, wishing it wouldn’t end!
After their magical set came to an end, many people left the place, but I stayed there for Ilan Bluestone’s set. The truth is that I wasn’t ready to leave the venue after all those feelings! Before the end, I went outside to meet a raver that I met on socials, who is also passionate about festivals, and I enjoyed the conversation that I had with him, after sharing our experiences from festivals and talking about our future festival plans! And then, that magical night, the ABGT 350 came to an end, a night to remember forever!
On the next day we woke up a little bit late, and we went to the old town to eat, then walk to explore the remaining sights. During our walk, we were lucky enough to see MaRLo strolling around, and we ran towards him to say hi and took a photo with him! After a very short chat, we went to the canals to take the boat cruise. We chilled at the back of the boat enjoying the sunset behind Charles Bridge. We then went back to the flat in order to get ready for tonight’s main festival, Transmission Festival. We took the Uber to the O2 Arena, same place as yesterday! The venue was already crowded by thousands of raver who were waiting to get inside. By the time we got inside we went again to the Merchandise stands, and this time I bought a Transmission Festival x Electric Family wristband!
The theme of this year’s Transmission Festival was ‘Another Dimension’ , and by the time we got inside, we were given a hint of what was going to happen! During that time, the set of Thomas Coastline was towards his end, so we went in the middle front of the arena to take a spot for the upcoming artists. As we went to the bar to get some drinks, Darren Porter got on stage, dropping his trance beats to the already fully crowded arena. We raved under his sounds, waiting for our next favourite act, Giuseppe Ottaviani, who for almost every raver was the headliner of the festival. As he was playing his music with his musical keys and instruments, we understood that indeed Giuseppe is not just an ordinary DJ, but he is also a musician and a music lover. By listening to his trance beats and watching the mindblowing lasers, we were taken to another dimension!
The next act was Ferry Corsten presenting System F, retaining us in that parallel universe of trance music. During that time we lost each other as everyone was in his own universe (LOL). MaRLo came up next, and it was my first time seeing him live. He literally set the place on fire with his unique show ALTITUDE, he dropped all his bangers one after another, he didn’t let us to calm down even for a second. His set was a pure madness, he was full of energy and simultaneously he transmitted it to us. The flames made the place even hotter and the laser beams were hitting us during the whole set. After the end of his set, there was a 15-minute Transmix so we took the chance to rest for a second.
The next act were my favourite Cosmic Gate, and I have been waiting for months to see them live again at such a huge venue. They dropped all my favourite tracks of them, making me feel happier than ever. By the way I was so thirsty as my cup was empty from Marlo’s set, but I didn’t want to miss even a second of their set, so I waited until the end to go to the bar and grab a drink. After their unbelievable set, KEY4050 were next, the newly formed collaboration of trance titans John O’Callaghan & Bryan Kearney, and I wanted to rave under their beats despite the tiredness I had at that time. During their set my friends went to the seats of the arena as they got tired, but I stayed at the arena alone to rave with the other ravers. I raved till the end of their set with the laser beams hitting me all the time.
Blastoyz was the final act on the lineup, but my friends were about to leave the venue, I stayed though a little more at the arena as I didn’t have the chance before to listen to Psy-Trance live at a festival and I was curious to experience it. After a few minutes I realised that it’s not my type of music after all, I went outside to find my friends, and we then left the O2 Arena. It was at that moment that we came back on earth, after the Another Dimension that Transmission Festival took us for the whole night! Transmission Festival, you hit me hard with those laser beams.
After all those magical feelings and emotional moments of those two trance nights, I fell in love with Trance music even more. I can't wait to rave again at the next editions of these 2 major festivals!