Neverland Stage @ Timeless Festival. Photo by Owen Wiltshire

For this first installment of DJ DIARIES I am taking you behind the scenes to the 5th edition of The Timeless Festival, this summer’s biggest psychedelic electronic music festival in Quebec. Four magical days of nonstop music in a beautiful forest campground with a waterfall, a river for swimming and a suspension bridge with a breathtaking view of the falls. Being fully immersed in nature provides a unique outdoor festival experience.

Swimming at the Neverland Stage @ Timeless Festival, Photo by Owen Wiltshire

Timeless Festival is the brainchild of MAXIME LAROCQUE aka DJ Hibou and SUMI aka DJ Enakim. After the 4th edition, Sumi left the team and MARILYNE PARENT aka Maline jumped on board. Together with Jonas Abel and Étienne Labelle-Sylvestre they created the Good Vibes Festival in 2018 which was a huge success. For the 5th edition of Timeless Festival, Jonas and Étienne left the team and Seb Pilote Gazelle (Logistics Director) and Michael Pépin (Technical Director) stepped up to the plate.

My posse and I arrived on Friday evening and quickly set up our tent just before nightfall. After a scouting mission to explore the festival, we posted up at the BASSIX ME LUV stage, named after the two crews who joined forces for this event: Bassix and Musik Me Luv. Focusing primarily on BASS music like Drum and Bass, Breaks, Dub and Jungle, it was located in a large clearing in the woods. The stunning stage design by Beasts Underneath set the mood. When DAVE DIALECT hit the decks, our festival cherry was officially popped. He got the party started with his Bass House Acid Breaks, everyone was jumping, dancing and grooving.

Dave Dialect
Dave Dialect rocking the Bassix Me Luv stage. Photo by Owen Wiltshire

Then we headed to ILE COSMIQUE, the Techno & House stage. Located in a large tent, Artventure Immersion decorated it to have a kind of trippy kaleidoscope effect leading to a backdrop of a Third Eye. The lineup was lovingly curated by DJ SABI NON STOP (Sebastien Robillard) a key figure in Montreal’s rave scene since 1994. After some dancing and shenanigans, at around 3 am we went back to my tent to be well-rested for my set as DJ GUAPO coming up at 7 am.

After my nap I had a quick breakfast of fruit and tequila. On my way back to the stage I ran into my buddy DJ Groovy Ufo who insisted that I come with him to the water and do a yoga session to prepare for my set. Reluctantly I followed him. We both just kind of stood there looking expectantly at each other.

FInally he said “So uh how do we do yoga? Show me some moves“.  I replied “Me?? I don’t know how to do yoga!“. So instead we drank tequila and did some half-assed stretches I remembered from my high school soccer team. The way true champions do it.

I then headed to Ile Cosmique and played an Afro Latin Tribal House set. After so much digital music the night before, I wanted to give the people some organic melodies to start their day: African and Middle Eastern chants, kora, marimba, Afro Beat guitar, Fela Kuti horns, Latin flutes, percussion, etc… Ironically, after my set there were yoga and meditation classes for a few hours before the music started up again on Ile Cosmique.

DJ Guapo playing Afro Latin Tribal House @ Ile Cosmique stage. Photo by Dave Dialect

Once again it was time for a quick disco nap to be at full strength for my Glitch Hop & Ghetto Funk set at 3 pm on the main stage called NEVERLAND. Set on the beach next to the waterfalls, the musical theme was primarily Psy Trance, although Maxime programmed some Techno, World Beat and Electro Swing, artists. The sound system provided by Silent Monkey was excellent. The melodies were clear and the bass was powerful, all without making your eardrums bleed. The mind-blowing stage design by Mr Sun Eye Candy came alive at night due to a laser light show by Glitchy Visions and the insane mapping and video projections by VJ’s DMTeam.

    Neverland design by Mr Sun Eye Candy. Projections by VJ’s DMTeam. Loompa performs. Photo by Betty Bogaert

In daytime the dancers splashed around in the water and danced barefoot in the sand. Various acrobats, pole dancers and tightrope walkers entertained the crowd while festival-goers were lovingly body painted by Cornelia Rose, none more magnificently than Silver.

Body painting at the Timeless Festival
Silver bodypainted by Cornelia Rose. Neverland Stage. Photo by Owen Wiltshire.

We grooved to an amazing electro swing set by YATIRI who had the crowd nicely warmed up by the time I took the stage. From there on it was sheer pandemonium! Three songs into my set these amazing Blade Runner Unicorn Ladies dressed in wigs, unicorn horns and lingerie climbed up to dance on top of the speakers in front of me and the crowd erupted! Within ten minutes the dancefloor tripled in size, swirling like a maelstrom. It was a Glitch Hop Hootenanny.

                                   Bladerunner Unicorn Dancers shaking it with DJ Guapo. Video by Olga Puzanova

In 20 years of performing, I had never had such an incredible interaction with a crowd. The communication, give and take energy exchange, laughter and joy was contagious. A sea of smiling, beaming faces that would transform into bad ass Heavy Metal / Maori Warrior Haka Dance monster faces when the bass dropped. They were bouncing up and down in unison like at a Primus or Rage Against the Machine concert! After my set at least 20 strangers ran up to me to give me massive hugs, freaking out about what had just happened between us. I was levitating for hours.

DJ Simon Wayland performs at the Timeless FestivalDJ Guapo’s Glitch Hop & Ghetto Funk set @ Neverland Stage. Shirt by Zuzanium. Photo by Owen Wiltshire

But the most incredibly touching moment was with my friends Brandon and Kaley from the USA whom I had met at Good Vibes last year. Thirty minutes before my set they got engaged! They appeared in the crowd with Kaley flashing her ring at me to share the news. So happy to have provided the soundtrack to this pivotal moment in their love story. Can’t wait to play the wedding!

A Proposal of Love at the Timeless Festival
Brandon & Kaley got engaged! Photo by Olga Puzanova

That evening we wandered up to the BUISSONNIÈRE stage which focuses on experimental music, live performances and vinyl DJ sets. Located in a massive wooden gazebo accessed by a scenic walk in the woods along a wooden boardwalk, the highlight set on this stage was MR DERASPE. He blew my mind at the Good Vibes Festival as he is an insanely talented Squarepusher style madman. Un vrai bête de scène. Once again, he delivered an incendiary set of Techno IDM Drill N Bass with tempos that went up to 200 BPM!

Music plays all day and night at the Timeless FestivalMr Deraspe live @ Buissonniere stage. Photo by Owen Wiltshire

Other killer acts on this stage were a vinyl DJ set by SABI NON STOP who finished with a superb remix of Beethoven’s “Für Elise”, a micro-house performance by PACHYDERM and a live set by The Queen of Timeless MALINE !

DJ Maline throws out some beats at the Timeless Festival
Maline live set @ Buissonniere stage. Photo by Owen Wiltshire

Some other highlights of the festival at the Bassix Me Luv stage were sets by GROOVY UFO, MR LION, DICKLEE and a pole dancing & contortion routine by SILIKA. At Neverland we saw a solid trance performance by SEB MAARI followed up by RIKAM (head honcho of Tech Safari Records & the Eclipse Festival) whose Psy Trance featured world music elements and a superb remix of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall”.

At the Ile Cosmique stage, I was blown away by the live world beat grooves by SWA SWALLY & BRAVE. The vocals were outstanding! Performances by QUANTALOOP and by SPO_ONANI were also top-notch!

Quantaloop at the Timeless FestivalQuantaloop at the Ile Cosmique stage of Timeless Festival. Photo by Owen Wiltshire

In conclusion, I give major props to the organizers and staff for their excellent job. Shoutouts to Dorothy Rioux (Stage Manager) and Jesse Scott (Sound Man)  for their work on the Neverland stage. The sub-bass sounded so badass during my set! And a big thank you to my friend Kim Dupigny for all her assistance, patience, dancing and positive energy. Can’t wait to see everyone again in summer 2020 for the second edition of Good Vibes. Timeless 6.0 will be coming your way in 2021!

Check out DISCO CAPITALE on Sept 13 & 14, an outdoor disco dance party in downtown Montreal!