Last weekend I attended the annual Above & Beyond Group Therapy event at the picturesque Gorge Amphitheater in Washington. This was my second time returning to the Gorge and my second time attending a Group Therapy event (I attended ABGT 200 in Amsterdam last year). If you haven’t been to the Gorge yet, put it on your bucket list, the stunning view accompanied by great music is a must see for any music lover.
The extraordinary weekend began on Saturday September 16 in the afternoon where Above & Beyond warmed up the stage with a deep set followed by Anjunadeep’s Luttrell and then Yotto. At this time, people were slowly showing up and soaking in the view as the sun was going down during these sets. Anjuna fans filled the grassy hills and the pits with their custom made Anjuna and Above & Beyond outfits, creative totems, and positive vibes. This year had a very different crowd than of the crowd in Amsterdam last year where there weren’t as many “ravers”, kandi, or totems. Although the crowds were different, there was still that sense of love, great vibes, and the feeling of family throughout the weekend.
After Yotto, Oliver Smith came out and pumped the crowd followed by Genix and Sunny Lax. Above & Beyond then took the stage for two hours and played new songs, old songs, and even announced their new album ‘Common Grounds’. Followed by Above & Beyond, Jason Ross and Seven Lions took the stage with a fire set. Although they have different styles they did a great job with their b2b set. To our surprise, after their set Above & Beyond came out and closed Day 1 with their massive hit and crowd favorite ‘Sun & Moon’. I was in the pit during this and the moment was so beautiful hearing thousands of people singing the words. Chills up and down my body never fail during this song and I got emotional towards the end. It was a wonderful way to end the night.
Day 2 was Anjunadeep day which started early at 11 AM. This day began with a yoga set by Above & Beyond which was something unique and special to be a part of. This session took place at the second stage, Anjunadeep, where lots of people participated and brought their yoga mats with them. After a short break, Moon Boots took the stage followed by Eli & Fur. The vibes on this day were very chill and relaxed throughout the day and evening.
Midway through Jody Wisternoff & James Grant went back to back with 16 Bit Lolitas playing right until sunset. Later in the evening it started to rain a little bit and we even got to see a rainbow towards the end of the day which was a beautiful sight to see. As I mentioned before, I went to Amsterdam last year for ABGT 200 and there happened to be a rainbow during the Anjunadeep day at Thuishaven as well so it was a nice coincidence that I got to experience the same thing again at The Gorge. The day ended with Yotto and Luttrell going back to back with an amazing set which closed out the entire festival.
This annual event put on by Above & Beyond never fails to disappoint with what they promise, a place where you can be yourself and be surrounded by love and positivity. Everyone from all over the world comes together to one place to celebrate life with music and friends. Everyone comes with peace, it doesn’t matter what background you are or where you come from. The message that Above & Beyond bring through Group Therapy is that life should be like that where you treat each other with respect. My favorite part about the weekend was seeing people hugging and holding each other. No racism, no differences, just love where you are accepted and free. For a short amount of time, you forget about the chaos occurring in everyday life and experience something so spiritual. This doesn’t only apply to Group Therapy as this practice can be seen through other events in the dance scene. Despite the occurrences that happen in the world today, an event like this is always a great reminder of how there is still good in the world. This made an impact on me because it reminds me to take all that positive energy from the event and use it in everyday life and spread the good vibes all around.
Another milestone is in the books and I’m so happy I got to be a part of it all. So much positive energy filled both days of the event. Can’t wait to see where ABGT 300 will be held next year.
Check out Above & Beyond’s set in full below if you haven’t yet: