Music Festivals

Festival Report Card: Decadence Colorado 2023

Decadence, the vibrant music festival, is held annually on December 30 and 31 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.

This festival is renowned for its electrifying music performances, stunning production, captivating art installations, and a unique silent disco experience.

The event displayed an impressive lineup of top-tier EDM artists which left attendees very satisfied even when compared to the other New Year’s festivals available.

During this New Year’s Eve festival, the spotlight shined on many prominent artists such as John Summit, Skrillex, ILLENIUM, and Zeds Dead.

In addition to these artists, many EDM enthusiasts were treated to memorable acts by Galantis, Two Friends, and Steve Aoki, which further enriched the festival’s diverse musical tapestry.

Decadence is an 18+ indoor music festival with two main stages and a third stage that features a silent disco experience. EDM Maniac attended both days of this “Digital City” aka Decadence Colorado 2023 and is here to talk about the experience.

Vibes: A

The Denver raver community, renowned for its laid-back vibe, was exemplified at this year’s Decadence festival.

Amid a minor miscommunication about the opening of the venue’s doors, which saw attendees congregating outside in the cold, the atmosphere remained buoyant and charged with anticipation.

The spirit of camaraderie was palpable as attendees effortlessly mingled, exchanging greetings, and forged new friendships within the crowd. Even in moments of congestion, there was a collective effort to accommodate those wishing to move closer to the stage.

The ambiance at Decadence was one of collective euphoria, with the community radiating enthusiasm and a profound sense of joy in the present moment. The approach of New Year’s Eve united everyone with a shared anticipation, counting down to midnight in unison.

Throughout the festival, interactions with staff members, including merchandise sellers, bartenders, and security was notably amiable and conversational.

The crowds, even during performances by the most popular artists, maintained a respectful balance, mindful of personal space. There was also never a time when I felt like my belongings were being touched or messed with.

Production: B+

Both days of the festival had different production elements. Day 1 had artists displaying some amazing laser shows while day 2 artists gave a huge ball drop moment.

Production shined on both days with lasers during every set of the night, fog machines during the bass drops, and a decent amount of LED screens. Tons of work went into building the stages and it was noticeable when you looked up and the ceiling was covered in air-filled structures that shone LED lights through them.

Once the ball dropped at midnight, the floors filled up with giant balloons that fell from the sky and green lasers swayed left and right as the bass of the music shook the ground.

In addition to the stage production, the other areas had small LED light poles covering the ceiling and placed together in the shape of triangles that decorated the grounds.

Shipment containers were reconstructed with interior LED lights that moved in a certain rhythm which was great for photo-ops. This festival was not shy when it came to displaying LED lights and it started to make sense as to why the festival calls itself The Digital City.

Although the production was great, more screens would have been great since we had a challenging time seeing the artist, even while in VIP.

We also noticed that some of the balloons did not fall from the ceiling during the ball drop which would have added to the moment at midnight.

Lastly, since it was an indoor venue, there was no chance for fireworks and that would have been an amazing cherry on top but unfortunately that was out of anyone’s control considering the circumstances.

Music: A+

Out of all the music festivals that were happening in the United States during New Year’s Eve, Decadence Colorado was at the top of the list for best lineup.

We had to arrive at the festival right when the doors opened each day so we could catch the early sets from artists like Steve Aoki, Justin Jay, John Summit, HE$H, and Brondo.

One of the special experiences offered at the music festival was the silent disco stage where you can grab a headset and toggle between listening to three different genres from three different artists.

It was no surprise to see the silent disco stage full of ravers during the last hour of the night since it was  right before passing through the exit doors and made for a quick adventure with friends as we departed the event.

Some other artists to highlight for this lineup were Two Friends, Galantis, Skrillex, Fisher, Dab The Sky, ILLENIUM, SOFI TUKKER, Zeds Dead, Subtronics, Ganja White Night, Deathpact, and many more. Both nights were filled with such great music, that it was hard to decide which stage to go to at times. Venue: C-

Music festivals in Colorado during the winter are not an easy task to orchestrate due to the constantly changing weather. In previous years, Colorado has had heavy snowstorms during December and January and the only smart option for music festivals are indoor venue events.

The bright side about the Colorado Convention Center was that it was a constant temperature once inside.

The venue also offered paid coat checking and for some of the attendees that was a desirable choice to make if they plan on walking back to their hotel after the show since temperatures dropped drastically after midnight.

The venue had three men’s restrooms and three women’s restrooms which seemed like a good amount until the night went on and lines developed that were 30 people deep with wait times as long as 15 minutes.

One of the downsides of having a music festival in this convention center was the lack of ventilation which caused the fog from the fog machine to linger making visibility difficult. There was not much light aside from the LED light installation, so a flashlight was necessary this weekend.

The reception at this venue was also horrendous, so expect to not be able to contact your friends.

Lastly, something that made us question if it was a safety concern or not was how much the ground was shaking every time we were at a bass set.

There were times when we thought something from the ceiling was going to fall on us since the venue did not seem capable of handling the music.

Overall: B+

Choosing this year with Decadence is an excellent choice. There were not many other events that stood out in comparison to Colorado’s “Digital City”. Would I go back to Decadence next year?… absolutely.

The only real complaints about the festival were about the venue and the prices of the resell tickets with some tickets shooting up to $1,600. We can expect tickets to rise in price, especially during a holiday, but $1,600 as a resell seems a bit insane.

Some advice for anyone attending the festival next year is to bring a coat and pay for coat check, have meetup times and spots, bring a flashlight, and stick with your friends at the beginning of Day 1 since will call is only available after doors open and the lines to enter through security on Day 1 are lengthy.

All images credit Decadence

Related Articles

Music FestivalsNews

Suwannee Hulaween Reveals Full Lineup For 2024

Suwannee Hulaween has unveiled its 2024 lineup, bringing another eclectic mix of...

Music FestivalsNews

Subtronics Shares Full Lineup For Cyclops Cove 3

Subtronics has shared the full lineup for the third edition of Cyclops...

Music Festivals

5 Artists You May Not Know, But Should At Day Trip 2024

The inaugural Day Trip Festival in Southern California kicked off on July...

Music FestivalsNews

Kygo’s Palm Tree Music Festival Brings Swedish House Mafia To The Hamptons

Kygo’s Palm Tree Music Festival always seems to bring out big stars....