Mad Decent Block Party promised and delivered
Mad Decent held their self-proclaimed Block Party festival at Fort York on Friday July 26. This festival is considered to be one of the most frugal festivals of the season, yet attracts mass crowds of reggaeton, drum and bass, and electronica fans.
The festival started in the late afternoon and had a solid lineup of headlining artists such as Dillon Francis, Toronto duo Zeds Dead, and Major Lazer.
By the time I arrived and found parking the line had largely dissipated, still there was a lack of organization that was disappointing to see with this caliber of festival. It took almost 40 minutes for me to get in with no line in front of me, and once inside there were massive lineups to see or do anything.
Luckily it was a beautiful day and the venue was really well set up inside. It provides wide open spaces, and grass as well as some concrete areas. Places to sit, relax and ample room to dance. I had never been to Fort York prior and really liked the look and feel of the somewhat vintage valley area in the middle of the city. It did however interfere with the acoustics of the stage, and sadly, from the back of the venue, you could barely hear the music.
I made my way to the beer gardens to prepare for Zeds Dead’s set to commence. The drinks were expensive, and as a very short person I was trampled over when attempting to get my adult beverages because there was no line system, just a large swarm of drunk, annoyed festival goers pushing their way to the front. By the time I finally got out, drink in hand, I only had the opportunity to see 2 songs by Zeds Dead.
Needless to say, the festival had started off on a low note, but the evening was rescued by Major Lazer. Once the dancehall electro mixes starting pounding bass out of the speakers, the spirit of the entire crowd started to lift. The field with the main stage was flooded with people, and a wave of relief washed over the audience.
As the set played on, and the sun began setting the night sky was filled up with, you guessed it – Lasers and enthusiastic screams from thousands of fans. The stage show was exuberantly energetic.
The lights included spiraling vortexes in Rastafarian colors and a man on stage waving an enormous flag proudly. There was also poi being spun, and someone in a large inflatable orb-like ball walking on top of the crowd.
Major Lazer had no reservations unleashing the specialty track where Snoop Dogg (a.k.a Snoop Lion) name drops him, and represents Toronto as the festival goers went wild.
He played his most famous songs like “Bubble Butt” featuring Bruno Mars and Tyga and a remix of “Get Free” featuring Amber of “The Dirty Projectors” near the end of his set, and played an unreleased hit.
The atmosphere and vibe of the entire event had shifted, and after a somewhat stressful beginning the payoff was definitely worth the wait.
Story by Madysun Ball