It’s one thing to read about the largest end-of-the-year music event in Texas, its 200,000 square feet of dance floor spread across two stages and its 30,000 attendees. It's another thing to experience it.
On Friday, Lights All Night entered its eighth New Year’s Eve weekend in Dallas with a lineup boasting some of the biggest names in EDM, led by Marshmello, Bassnectar, Porter Robinson, Seven Lions, AC Slater and Tokimonsta. The two-day event also had a deeper roster of hip-hop acts than in years past (Ugly God, Smokepurpp, Maxo Kream).
More than two dozen acts brought enough variety to Dallas Market Hall to satisfy every raver's delight. The two stages, Supernova Stage and the Satellite Room, operated simultaneously and kept the massive crowd flowing back and forth between radically different environments.
The Supernova Stage was the life of the festival. The stage was a massive structure featuring a wall of LED panels that lit up the entire space. The panels were also equipped with laser lights, fog machines and confetti canons.
The Satellite Room was intended to replicate the feel of a European nightclub. It was fashioned out of a sterile, concrete warehouse space. Camouflaged netting was draped from the ceiling, and transparent water tanks adorned with neon lights lined the walls. A lot of effort was put into this space, and it felt like a completely new environment.
This attention to detail is what makes Lights All Night a succesful event, and it carried to other aspects of the festival. Even at its peak capacity, there was still plenty of room for attendees to cool down and catch their breath in a disco ball foyer or grab refreshments from two food truck lots.
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“Fan comfort and safety has always been our top priority, and we have gone to great lengths to ensure this year’s event is our best one yet,” festival co-founder Scott Osburn said earlier this year. “With this is in mind, we decided to reduce our overall capacity from years past and focus our efforts on the experiential and production elements.”
For eight years, Lights All Night has delivered the freewheeling warehouse rave atmosphere that its attendees are seeking while also implementing all of the safety and security measures necessary for a well-run festival.
Over the course of this year's fest, the only obvious hiccup was technical issues during Illenium’s set. The sound cut out at the peak of several drops, and the artist was visibly upset. However, the festival was back on track within five minutes.
Lights All Night is so well planned and executed that walking through the grounds is like experiencing an EDM playground. The music is pumping, the crowd is dancing and bedecked in elaborate costumes or almost nothing at all, and most people are friendly. It's no wonder it has quickly become one of Dallas' best-loved traditions.