Escapade Music Festival in Ottawa – June 25, 2016


Dutch Duo Vicetone at Escapade Music Festival on June 25, 2016 (photo by Danceclubgirl)

I’m posting a little late on this, but you can chalk it up to a super-fun summer, a personal artistic project and a break-up with a boyfriend (warning: another cougar is on the loose).

Heineken Escapade is an outdoor electronic music festival that has been running in Ottawa, Canada  since 2010 and is the city’s biggest EDM event. When I saw the lineup, which included Diplo, Dash Berlin and Garrix,  I knew I had to go.

EDX at Escapade Music Festival on June 25, 2016 (photo by Danceclubgirl)

It wasn’t easy finding someone to go with because it was two days long, but through an EDM social group I was able to find a really enthusiastic young guy, Jason, who had attended the festival several times in the past and was a pro.

Escapade festival goers picking up their wristbands in Ottawa’s ByWard market (photo by Danceclubgirl)

The festival was at Rideau Carleton Raceway, a pretty dusty venue that’s normally used for horse racing, and I quickly realized that wearing sandals and a light-coloured dress was not the best idea.

The music started at noon, but because of the extreme heat (30 C/86 F), I decided to go there around 3 p.m. The line-up to get in wasn’t too long, and Jason and I soon met up near one of the stages. 

Festival goers making their way to the stages at Escapade on June 25, 2016 (photo by Danceclubgirl)

It turns out Jason is a diehard trance fan, so we made our way to the Electric for Life Stage and started to dance right away to the music of Ben Gold.

Trance DJ Ben Gold at Escapade 2016 (photo by Danceclubgirl)

Then we headed over to the Main Stage, where Vicetone, a Dutch duo in their mid-20s, were performing.

Vicetone on the Main Stage of Escapade 2016 (photo by Danceclubgirl)

For the rest of the day, we split our time between the Electric for Life stage and the Main Stage (which had the headliners I was most interested in), dropping into the No Xcuses Stage occasionally.

We barely stopped dancing all day – except to drink and eat and at one point rest on a bean-bag chair. Despite the heat, we managed to keep hydrated with water and electrolyte freezies, and I had some iced coffee too.

Audience gets down at Escapade 2016 (photo by Danceclubgirl)

Throughout the day, we saw quite a few people in wacky outfits, including this guy:

20160625_170027Aside from the visual spectacle, one of the unexpected highlights of the day was a high-energy, super-long set by British DJ Gareth Emery. He’s definitely someone I’d like to see again.

Gareth Emery on fire at Escapade 2016 with a 3-hour set (photo by Danceclubgirl)

Meanwhile, Laidback Luke and American DJ KSHMR were on the Main Stage, which had us running back and forth to try to see everything (one of the challenges of a multi-stage festival).

KSHMR on the main stage of Escapade 2016 (photo by Danceclubgirl)

Jason had been talking all day about Aly & Fila, one of his favourite acts, and we headed to the Electric for Life Stage again to see them. Aly was there alone, but had a powerful sound and great visuals.

Aly of Aly & Fila at Escapade 2016 (photo by Danceclubgirl)

I managed to pull Jason away from Aly & Fila for a short time so that we could go back to the Main Stage to hear American DJ Diplo, that day’s headliner.

Diplo headlining the Main Stage of Escapade on June 25, 2016 (photo by Danceclubgirl)

After dropping in on Swiss DJ EDX at the No Xcuses Stage for a while, we ended up back at Aly & Fila, finishing off the night.

The music ended around midnight and I drove Jason, who lives out of town, to a campsite he had rented. I got back home around 1 a.m., clothes and face covered in dust, but ready for another day of partying. For Part 2, click here.

What: Heineken Escapade
Who: Diplo, KSHMR, Aly & Fila, Gareth Emery & more
Where: Rideau Carleton Raceway – Ottawa, Canada
When: June 25, 2016 (Day 1 of a 2-day festival)
Cost:  A 2-day pass was $200
Drinks: Water/iced coffee was $2-3, a large beer was $9

Danceclubgirl Rating: 9.5

I would love to hear from you. Post your thoughts, comments or questions here or send them to You can also follow me on twitter at Danceclubgirl@Danceclubgirls.


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