Festival Report CardMusic Festivals

Festival Report Card: Escapade Music Festival 2024

Escapade Music Festival 2024 took place from June 20 to 23 in the heart of Ottawa, Canada. The festival attracted thousands of EDM enthusiasts from all over North America with a vibrant, bass-filled lineup and a scenic urban setting. This year’s festival featured three-stage designs: two open stages and one enclosed stage.

Credit: Serena Yang.

Vibes: A

The overall atmosphere at Escapade was electric, filled with immense energy that could be felt from a distance. The crowd was lively, with many attendees climbing on each other’s shoulders and dressing up in costumes. One standout was a Spider-Man outfit during GorillaT’s set, exciting the crowd with energy alone. Despite occasional rain showers, the festival’s spirit remained unbroken, with attendees dancing and enjoying every moment. At times, it was hard to tell if the crowd was sweating, drenched from the rain, or both, but it showcased the good vibes from the crowd.

Even though the festival was canceled on Day three, everyone stayed in a good mood. The energy and vibe among attendees were remarkable. The festival did everything possible to make the event happen, including opening the gates and letting people in. Ultimately, it was out of their hands, and they had to close the festival. Despite this setback, everyone continued to party in the city’s bars and clubs, keeping the party spirit alive. The community came together to make the best of everything, with everyone in a surprisingly positive mood, knowing that the fun would continue regardless of weather concerns.

Credit: BigLaurPhotographie

Production: B

The production quality at Escapade Music Festival was top-notch. The main stage boasted a stunning array of lights, lasers, CO2, and pyrotechnics that complemented the heavy bass and dubstep beats. Pyro was a significant element this weekend, with lots of fire and CO2 effects that thrilled the ravers. Even though there were limitations on the amount of pyro for some artists, the production team exceeded expectations by allowing the artists to use more pyro and CO2 than initially anticipated. The main stage had an impressive LED screen setup but lacked the same quality as the other two.

Something that caught our eye was the number of vendors and the activities they were supplying. One sponsor vendor booth was seen giving out haircuts and hair styling. This year did well to entertain attendees who wanted an experience in addition to the music but still lacked performers who would walk around the festival to give off a form of theme to the event.

Credit: Matthew Perry

Music: B

The music lineup at Escapade was a bass lover’s paradise. With a mix of big-name headliners and emerging talent, the festival delivered a well-rounded experience that catered to a wide range of musical tastes within the bass and dubstep genres. Highlights included unforgettable sets by AC Slater, ILLENIUM, ACRAZE, Tape B, DIESEL, and Zedd. Other standout acts included heavy hitters like ISOxo, Chase & Status, and Knock2, whose high-energy performances were met with enthusiastic responses from the audience. Dog Eat Dog (Crankdat B2B Riot Ten) displayed a unique set of sounds that left the crowd going crazy, with both artists visibly getting excited every time they switched songs. 

Although the sound was good on the main stage, the second stage was not as loud, leading to sound bleed issues. There were moments when the speakers would randomly decrease in volume, completely out of the DJ’s control. At times, the speakers stopped working altogether, requiring staff intervention.

The festival also featured sets by up-and-coming artists such as CELO, Zubah, BUNT., and GorillaT, who brought fresh energy to the stages. A surprise performance by Micah Martin added an unexpected twist to the weekend, delighting fans. While the lineup seemed diverse, there was a large amount of bass music in this year’s lineup.

Credit: BigLaurPhotographie

Venue: B-

The venue for Escapade Music Festival was well-chosen, providing ample space for the large crowds while maintaining an intimate feel. Located in downtown Ottawa, the festival grounds were easily accessible and well-connected to the city’s amenities. The proximity to hotels, restaurants, and public transport made it convenient for attendees to navigate and enjoy their stay in the city. One of the venue’s highlights was the variety of food options available inside and nearby. With vendors offering everything from meals to quick snacks, attendees had various options.

The venue was a good option for this type of festival. The location made it easy for attendees to use ride-sharing services, and food was available at every corner. Scooters were readily available for ravers staying nearby. One issue with the venue was the lack of mitigation for the abundance of rain, resulting in large puddles. It was noticeable that the venue lacked covers to shield the attendees from the sun and rain. In addition, the venue being in the city’s center also had its limitations due to noise ordinances, causing the festival to end each night at 11 pm.

Credit: Serena Yang

Overall: B

Overall, Escapade Music Festival 2024 was a memorable event despite the challenges faced. Combining a stellar bass lineup (which included Shaq’s Bass All Stars), high-quality production, and a well-chosen venue made for an unforgettable experience. Even though the rain caused the cancellation of the last day, the artists and venue staff worked together to provide amazing afterparties where attendees could continue the festivities. The Chainsmokers played one after-party, Tape B B2B Subtronics played at another venue, and SLANDER B2B Kayzo played at a third location. This ensured that the festival’s energy and spirit continued throughout the city.

The festival’s resilience and the community’s ability to adapt and keep the party going were truly impressive. Despite the weather challenges and the cancellation of Day 3, Escapade Music Festival 2024 showcased the best of the EDM community’s spirit and the dedication of its organizers and performers. It was a unique and unforgettable experience.

Featured image credit: BigLaurPhotographie

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