[EVENT REVIEW] VELD 2023, For The Books

VELD returned for its tenth edition at Downsview Park, Toronto last weekend for three days of a magical musical experience.

VELD advertising.

For those of you who don’t know VELD is one of the biggest EDM festivals in Canada. Held at Downsview Park, Toronto, this fest previously followed the two-day module. After the pandemic, when we were deprived of partying INK Entertainment revamped it into three days of nonstop partying. As if the days weren’t enough, they teamed up with the hottest names in electronic music for the afterparties. Multiple clubs hosted these to give you a vast choice to pick from if your quota of partying wasn’t maxed out during the day. The city was bustling with energy and I don’t about you but I definitely did not sleep! Read on for some highlights through the weekend.

The Venue

Since VELD is one of the bigger EDM festivals in Canada, to accommodate at least 30,000 attendees a day it screams for ample space. Downsview Park is just the right fight. It is located well near a subway line making it convenient for festival-goers to have a safe journey to and from. As you enter the Park you cross a variety of food trucks that are there from start to finish. It is perfect for everyone to relax between sets, and enjoy the famous Canadian poutine to veggie stalls, you name it and there is food for everyone. As you cross the food trucks, on your right there is the Mainstage.

VELD 2023 Map.

The setup was altered a little this year. If you are a regular at VELD you would have noticed the shuffling of the Sirkus stage and the Hillside stage. I would say I appreciated the change in scenery. The sound at the Sirkus tent was better than ever this year. The one thing I do appreciate about this festival is the immense amount of space there is to dance. And then retreat and sit on your mats to enjoy your food, music and Finale fireworks.

Stand Out Sets

Let’s dive into this year being the second year Ink Productions hosted VELD for three consecutive days. For the first 8 years (before the pandemic) this festival was a two-day affair. I dig the new format of this spanning across 3 days. Who says no to more days of our favorite artists, dancing and socializing? This also helps spread out headliners and reduces the clashes we usually face at festivals! With Gorgon City, Illenium, Rezzmau5, Above & Beyond, Bob Moses, Dom Dolla, Tiësto and James Hype headlining, it is difficult to pick the top sets of the weekend.

Friday

The highlight for me was the Sirkus stage – the domination of Tech House was unreal. Gorgon City and Eli Brown engaged the crowd from start to finish. There wasn’t a minute of either of those sets that I could stand still. If you saw me, you would have seen the trance these two acts had on me. Zedd and Illenium had the crowd reeling at the Mainstage. The nostalgia I have every time I see Zedd… it takes me back to simpler times. The crowd singing along and dancing to classics like ‘Clarity‘, ‘Beautiful Now‘ and ‘Spectrum‘ was a great way to see the sun setting on a lovely Friday evening!

The afterparties for Friday included Zedd at Rebel, Matroda at Toybox and Sosa at Vertigo.

Saturday

Above & Beyond, Trance veterans returned to the VELD 2023 Mainstage on Saturday. This was their third appearance and have been playing at VELD since 2013. Obviously, that set was magical, with die-hard fans in jerseys, all the different A&B merch, and the unmistakable crying to the classics. There were shufflers with their choreographed dances, and honestly, the energy of that set, just like every other A&B set, was out of this world. Of course, we had a fan go up to the stage and push the button! All in all, a classic feel-good set by our favourite legends.

The much-anticipated debut of Rezzmau5 was what all of Toronto was waiting for. Two of the biggest DJs in our times performing together in their hometown was a ray of hope and inspiration. That closing on Saturday hit differently. We hope to see more of Rezzmau5!

Tech house fans were in for a treat with the likes of Jauz off the deep end, Dom Dolla and Bob Moses. Sirkus Tent was definitely bustling with high energy and a magical evening.

Sunday

The finale of the tenth VELD edition saw the likes of Tiësto, Sofi Tukker, and Timmy Trumpet on the Mainstage. The finale (Tiësto set), as always, was supported by fireworks. Sirkus was buzzing with Meduza and James Hype. We were saddened by Korolova‘s last minute cancellation, but CID stepped up to the occasion with an extended set.

The after-dark edition (APs) had the city packed. Fans had a difficult choice with Tiësto, Loud Luxury at Rebel, CID at Vertigo and Sullivan King at Toybox.

The tenth edition was a success and I had a great time. Can’t wait for 2024 as I am sure Ink Entertainment will be getting a bigger-than-ever lineup.

Stayed tuned to EDMTunes for all your musical updates.

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