A State Of Trance Festival, Asia – Review


India has seen a barrage of massive festivals, artist tours and electronic music frenzy over the years, with each event paving the way for the next, taking it a notch higher every time. We’ve been witness to Armin van Buuren’s magic on the decks more than once on Indian shores, only to be amazed and out- awed with every experience.

A State Of Trance has been a brand synonymous with trance music ever since it’s inception, with the brand gaining massive popularity with an alarmingly successful trajectory over the years. The curator, Mr. Armin van Buuren, of course has been on the forefront of the scene ever since, pioneering 700 odd episodes of his weekly radio shows, curating several ASOT themed tours as well as his own album tours over the last few years. With all that said and done, we waited with baited breath for what’s next. How could the next level be achieved, when the bar was already so high?

The answer came in the form of an announcement of the ASOT Festival, on Armin’s own radio show, A State Of Trance, which was to be an international tour across the world with each continent playing host to the tour with just one city as the venue.

“This year, we’ll venture into new territories by bringing you on a brand new musical journey that infallibly captures the true spirit of A State of Trance. Divided over several continents in the most incredible locations, A State of Trance festival will deliver the unique ASOT vibe and electrifying atmosphere in its ultimate purest form”Armin van Buuren

The tour kicked off with it’s first stop being Sydney, Australia followed by Utrecht. Mumbai, India was announced as the Asia representative for the next installment of the tour, which quite honestly had us going mental at T.H.E Headquarters.


10.000 odd souls gathered at the SVP Stadium of Mumbai, bursting with energy and a common love for music. They were part of history, witnessing the biggest trance event in Asia. The buzz escalated to enormous levels.


Prior to the event we attended the press meet with Armin, indulging in an informative yet enthralling conference with the man himself. Post the meet we made our way to the venue, to catch the warm up set by Armin introducing the evening where Armin gained an alternate avatar to provide the audience with a more deeper and chill sound. It was a rather rare opportunity for Armin fans see him in this avatar with the sun still blazing outside the venue and the crowd walking in hours after noon.


Image courtesy: Nishant Matta Photography

Preparing the stage for his comrades, Armin then handed over the reign to Ruben de Ronde, who dished out one sublime tune followed by the other, set against the inky blackness of the arena, sending lasers and strobes off into the night. Ruben paved the way perfectly for a mental night ahead, with his own tunes like ‘Decade’ and ‘What About You’ and the classic ‘Yimanya’ by Filterheadz.


Image courtesy: Nishant Matta Photography

Super 8 & Tab then took over for what proved to be one the main highlights of the night. Never a dull moment, with the infectious excitement and energy in their music, much to the fans delight. 3 hours into the event and the crowd still went strong. There were a lot fan favorites in the set with Above & Beyond’s Mariana Trench being beautifully mashed with Nadia Ali’s mesmerizing vocals on ‘Rapture’.

Their remix of Yai by Cosmic Gate got the crowd going in a uncoordinated mix of rage and ecstasy. They then went on to drop their own classics, like Aika with BT and Rubicon with 7 Skies proceeding to end their set with the delightful ‘Peace Of Mind’ by Anjunabeat head honchos Above & Beyond.


Image courtesy: Keval Chheda Photography

The master of many talents, Orjan Nilsen then made his way onto stage with what seemed to be a mammoth introduction to his further exploits. With his diverse productions and broadly classified genre bending sound, Orjan kept the energy at maximal levels throughout his set. Influenced by Electro – Progressive – Complextro – Trance is the only logical description of the set with tracks ranging from his own classics such as Xiing, Violetta, Mafioso and Fair Game amongst others to tracks by big room pioneer Sander van Doorn such as Ori Tali Ma and Phoenix with R3hab. Adding onto the classics list was his rendition of Just Be by Tiesto which was the highlight of his set!


Image courtesy: Nishant Matta Photography

Leaning towards the end of the night, Cosmic Gate introduced the crowd to a dose of Eric Prydz’s Generate. The atmosphere was soaring. The powerhouse duo led us on to a journey through an amalgamation of finely crafted tunes and raised a barrage of emotions beholding the crowd. The visuals played a perfect companion to enhance the musicality of each set and Cosmic Gate used it brilliantly to unite every member to surrender to the music. Their set progressed with a number of bangers such as their remix for Gareth Emery’s Long Way Home as well as their single with Eric Lumiere called Falling Back, proceeding to the people’s favorite Going Home with Emma Hewitt. The crowd erupted with the highly glorified Sandstorm by Darude making its way to their set, with Mark Sixma on the remix, followed by the hard hitting So Get Up and finally closing with their classic Exploration Of Space!


Image courtesy: Nishant Matta Photography

The chants grew louder as the intro to Armin’s set echoed around the stadium. Every individual in the arena, had their eyes glued to their stage to catch a glimpse of the biggest trance artist on the planet. ‘Panta Rhei’ kicked in and Armin stood perched on the stage against the backdrop of the gorgeous visuals encompassing the screen.


Image courtesy: The Moneta

A true showman, Armin jumped, bounced and mouthed along easily matching the energy of even the most energetic person in the crowd. An enthralling atmosphere of euphoria graced the arena with the best of trance music echoing from the stage. Armin’s signature arm movement and his graceful synergy with the music and visual representation had the crowd enamored and how. Tracks such as Another You and Save My Night graced the crowd before the crowd readied their fist movements to the sounds of The Hum by Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike. Armin’s set then progressed onto his unreleased collab with Hardwell besides others such as his remix of Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield. Classics by Andrew Rayel, Above & Byeond proceeded onto the anthem for ASOT 700 came on, titled “Together” which then paved the way for the crowd favourite, “This Is What It Feels Like”.


Image courtesy: Nishant Matta Photography

An exhilarating wave of emotion then enveloped the arena with pure trance gracing the speakers while the crowd properly adjusted to the change in tempo. The night proceeded to end with Armin dropping his own edit of John Lennon’s masterpiece Imagine before the crowd was introduced to the hardstyle infused mayhem in the form of a remix by Frontliner for Armin’s Shivers.


Image courtesy: Nishant Matta Photography

Like all good things, the festival came to it’s closure, with the crowd still not quite in a position to leave. They’d been floored by a wave of euphoria and rightly so, were in a State of Trance. The experience has been nothing short of thrilling for us and as firm believers of the power of music we were mesmerized by the show and would advise every fan to soak in the experience whenever possible.

We also had a chance to catch up during the show with Orjan Nilsen and Cosmic Gate backstage. Check out our chats below. :)

A State Of Trance Festival, Asia – Backstage Interview with Cosmic Gate

A State Of Trance Festival, Asia – Backstage Interview with Orjan Nilsen