To many, USC Event’s Paradiso Festival is home, and last weekend saw one of the biggest homecomings in Pacific Northwest history! In what has become Washington State’s largest, and most anticipated, electronic dance music festival of the year. Paradiso sold out earlier than ever before this year. In the past, Paradiso has sold out the week before or 2 weeks out, but this time it was nearly 5 weeks before the event started.
Each day and night was filled with non-stop dancing, head-banging, laughter, and good vibes at one of the most gorgeous venues in the world- The Gorge Amphitheater. Here’s how it went!
Entry and Exit
We headed in early with hopes of catching the first sets of each day. Even though we did wait in line for a while, we were able to get into the venue with time to spare. Security was fast and efficient. Leaving the venue took a while, as everyone seemed to stay until the closing set- although not terrible at all. With the stacked lineup that we had this year, we don’t blame everyone for wanting to stay until the very end.
Stages and Vendors
This year, they brought back the old stage locations to the approval of the general consensus. The Wreckage and the Digital Oasis were bigger than ever! We had the usual carnival rides, giant art installations, chill domes, hammocks, and so much more for Paradiso attendees to enjoy. Water stations and rest areas were accessible and offered great help for people in the heat.
This year’s selection of vendors was definitely impressive. When it comes to food, aside from the usual selection of chicken tenders and fries, hamburgers, and pizzas, they also offered acai bowls, slushies, bubble tea, and more!
Music and Highlights
We went in early to see LICK take on The Wreckage, as he was one of the Paradiso debuts that we were most looking forward to seeing. Boy, did he not disappoint! He kicked off the festival with a heavy set that tore up the Wreckage stage, even bringing out vocalist Tori Letzler to debut the second single from his debut album The Dark Vibe Order, titled Runaway– released just this week!
Troyboi stunned the crowd by bringing out Skrillex, as a special guest, to unleash their latest collaboration: WARLORDZ.
Kayzo went from playing at The Wreckage stage two years ago to taking the main stage by storm this year. He didn’t come alone either, bringing out best friend, and fellow Binch, Yultron, who wasn’t even listed in this year’s lineup, to drop an unreleased collab! We were left stunned, and our necks broken, after his performance.
Probably the most anticipated set of the festival, Skrillex finally made his return to the Gorge since his appearance at Paradiso 2015. Closing out the Paradise mainstage playing a mix of unreleased tunes, Dogblood material, and Skrillex classics, day one had a perfect conclusion.
On the second day, we were more than excited to see the words “Deadbeats” after walking into the venue. Zeds Dead’s own record label, Deadbeats did the first ever Paradiso Festival stage takeover. The Deadbeats Takeover featured a perfectly curated roster of bass artists including performances from Doctor P, Rusko, the mysterious 1788-L, and, of course, Zeds Dead themselves.
We got in our feels for Illenium after the sun went down. Since we were not able to catch Kaskade at EDC, as the stage was closed due to extremely strong wind, we were excited for our chance to see him perform at Paradiso.
While Kaskade closed out the mainstage, Zeds Dead’s closing set left the Wreckage in complete ruins. It was safe to say that it was a perfect set; the boys played a well-balanced mix of both new, and old, songs that were pure gold. We even got to listen to ZD’s classic Coffee Break going into Toot Toot– what a treat!
To Sum It All Up…
This year’s Paradiso was nothing short of amazing. With breathtaking sceneries, a venue that shows the beauty of the state, incredible performances going back-to-back, and one of the friendliest crowds, it’s safe to say that we are already counting down the days to Paradiso 2020!
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