All Day I Dream Festival: Vibes, Magic & Dreaminess
May 23, 2022
Ana Monroy Yglesias
15 min read
On Monday, May 18, I awoke from a dream on a deflated air mattress, packed up my rainbow outfits and headed out on the five-and-a-half-hour drive back to reality, or whatever alternate reality Los Angeles is. That dream was the vibe-filled inaugural All Day I Dream (ADID) Festival, held at the gorgeous Woodward Reservoir campsite in Oakdale, Calif.
Lee Burridge has been throwing ADID events around the world for 11 years now. And after the hugless, eventless year-and-a-half we faced, it felt like the perfect timing for an extended All Day I Dream sesh featuring many of the regulars from his parties and label. The ADID parties are beloved for their dreamy, chilled brand of electronic music, sunny vibes, and magic and whimsy that seem to follow Burridge around like a woodland fairy. Expanding this into a transformational music festival feels natural and is something Burridge had been dreaming up for a while. The magic and whimsy were plentiful, enhanced by the fact we were all living together under the bright sun and full moonlight for several days.
On Thursday, the festival grounds opened, dreamers began to head in, pitch their tents, and park their RVs at the campsite surrounded by a cool and inviting body of water. The festivities began promptly at 9 am the following morning with the Waking Hour Experience, a grounding hour-and-a-half deep house yoga flow session with White Light on the decks and Erika Van Gemeren guiding the movement. The Waking Hour, who've led similar classes at (my favorite) San Francisco ADID events held at Golden Gate Park for six years, kicked off all three days of the fest at the waterfront Wellness Sanctuary dome.
It was the perfect start to the day and the weekend, leaving me feeling grounded, open, connected, and excited for what was to come. Even though it was early and people were still arriving, the class was packed. White Light's selection was stellar, starting with more ambient sounds and moving into deeper grooves as we flowed, including a Björk remix, Cubicolor, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs—everyone danced in tree pose for that one—and James Blake for savasana. Chimes dangling from dome added ambiance and whimsy, enhanced by helpers dancing around the dome with more chimes at the beginning and end. Right after the class, the socializing began, and was non-stop through the weekend. The ADID Fest crowd so friendly, joyful and colorful and was one of the main highlights for me; it was so fun to be a part of and was so easy to talk to people and make new friends.
Next to the Wellness Sanctuary was another healing space, one I found rather miraculous. It was the Archimedes Banya sauna tent, heated to 180 degrees by a wooden stove cared for by staff of the beloved San Francisco spa. After my blissed out post-yoga breakfast at camp, I headed to the sauna to sweat and then take a dip in the water. I haven't sauna-ed in years, in the past mostly accessing them at gyms and finding calm in the post-workout dry heat. I told everyone who'd listen to check it out, and am still in awe there was a sauna in the middle of a camping festival.
Next up was dancing, of course. The music began at main stage, Cloud Nine, a little after noon with Christian Voldstad doing the honors. My campmates (my close friend Claire, her husband Pierre and a cute group of five of their friends) and I found our way to the dusty dance floor as San Francisco staples (and brothers) Borzu and Rooz were tearing things up with the second set of the day. The music was lively, the perfect soundtrack as everyone began the marathon of dancing, magic and friend-making. My favorite part of their set was a synthy new wave moment that really set things off. Bona Fide followed and kept the dancers reveling into the sunset.
Cloud Nine was reminiscent of other ADID outdoor setups, the dancefloor flanked by laser-cut wooden columns draped by purple flowers with fresh flowers in front of the friend-filled DJ booth.
But the stage itself was a gorgeous new creation, with the DJs performing under a colorful translucent blue dome reminiscent of Moroccan architecture. The water surrounded this corner of fun, encouraging dancers to cool off and socialize in its mellow waves, as well as the other shores that surrounded the fest (the scenic Woodward Reservoir campgrounds are surrounded by water, like a peninsula).
Two of the three art cars at the fest were camped out there, the mobile Golden Gate Bridge that shone like a beacon at night, and the furry pink Byte monsters, whose big round eyes were mirrors during the day and trippy lights at night.
Byte was an inviting place to sit and enjoy the music, and even offered some shade during the day and coziness at night, with a cushy hammock and ADID flowers hanging from the bottom level. It was also a playful and serendipitous meeting space to easily find new and old friends. I was called to jump onto this piece right away, during Borzu and Rooz, and am very glad I did. A guy hopped off to help me and three others up as a human step, and I met some of the lovely people involved in building Byte, who became my friends over the course of the weekend.
One of these new friends reminded about the opening ceremony sound bath / yoga class starting at six that I'd wanted to attend but lost track of time in the vibes and stimulation of Cloud Nine (that continued all weekend).
Jeremy Falk led a lovely vinyasa class focused on opening our hearts for the magic of the weekend, and even created space to meet our neighbors and look into their eyes and really see them. This session ended at sunset with a dreamy extended savasana as we received a sound bath of gongs, crystal bowls, rain sticks, and more by Danny Goldberg. After we rose from this dreamy space, we learned that one of the many cute ADID couples had just gotten engaged by the Cloud Girl art piece nearby.
While I did make it back to the sauna for another rejuvenating sweat and dip before dancing on Saturday, I didn't make it back to the Wellness Sanctuary for any of their other stellar programming. In addition to the variety of great yoga classes offered there every day, there were workshops and sound healings, including a meditation DJed by Lee Burridge, Milky Way Radio's Singing Forest showcasing the music of plants, and a dreaming workshop.
After regrouping for the evening at camp with a costume change, of course, I reunited with my crew. We checked out the nighttime version of Cloud Nine, and the nearby Nimbus Nights Stage, a red and yellow circus tent where we were the animals and the DJs were the ringleaders. This stage offered warehouse vibes and sets that crept into the wee hours. Hoj was conducting the joyful madness when we entered.
After bopping between those two stages, I needed to go witness the beauty of HoloRealmz, one of the main reasons I attended the fest (in addition to loving ADID, Lee, and many of the other artists). HoloRealmz, referred to as the Dream Dome stage at ADID, was created by Öona Dahl and multi-media artist Julia Sinelnikova a.k.a. Oracle666, a cozy, pretty and trippy art-filled space to chill, dream and decompress.
The DJ sets were ambient-leaning, weird, and trippy, with Öona and Julia playing every night, along with other DJs and circus-esque performers Öona curated. Julia's shimmering, wavy "fairy organs" with laser-cut designs inspired by nature hung from the ceiling of the dome she custom-designed, and visuals projected onto the space added an extra layer of trippyness. Before the pandemic, they'd created the first HoloRealmz club experience in Brooklyn, and now they were finally able to continue the dream and make its festival debut. Their goal is to bring the inviting, immersive space to other festivals as the much-needed and often overlooked ambient music chill zone.
In line with the magic and synchronicity that was already unfolding into a perfect day, as I was about to head to HoloRealmz for Julia's upcoming set, I ran into them. As we headed over, someone stopped us to share how amazing the space was and how stoked he had been when they announced it was going to be a part of the fest. He then offered us fortune cookies with a big smile, instructing us to add “in bed” to the end of your fortune. (Mine was: It is time to help a friend in need. Give your best in bed.)
When we entered, Lauren Ritter, who played at Nimbus the next night, was leading the sonic journey into other realms, with a friend facilitating the mind expansion through spoken word poetry. Julia was next, and in between chatting with my new Dream Dome friends, I locked my eyes on the fairy organs, transfixed by their beauty, trying my best to absorb their magic.
At one point, sleepiness took over my dreamy state, and I felt the need to move my body to stay awake and extend the magic of the perfect day. (There was a guy napping there next to his friends at one point, and honestly, he looked blissed out.) Öona asked if I wanted to dance and handed me fans adorned with white flowy silk and fairy lights for me to twirl around with and feel ethereal a.f. It worked. I kept dreaming.
Öona's set was next and closed out the magical space's first night. She felt the energy and let us know she wasn't going to do ambient this time and that we could dance, and the full space vibed out and caught her groove. During her upbeat, trippy set, a performer awed us as she did aerial moves secured by holding on just with her mouth, and later spinning with chains instead of silks. When introducing her, Öona explained they met while getting tattoos at the same parlor in San Francisco She introduced herself after hearing her talk about psytrance.
When I later ask Öona about her love of the aggressively high BPM genre, she gives me a "How'd you not know?" look and explains she's played Boom Fest in Portugal and often plays slowed-down psytrance tracks. Amazing.
It was time to head back to Nimbus for the last set of the evening (well, morning by then), none other than the legendary DJ Three, Öona's husband and fellow purveyor of good vibes and strange sounds. He didn't disappoint, serving up plenty of weird noises to soundtrack the early morning circus dance party.
As we were walking out, a friend of one of my new friends rolled by in his pedicab, rocking good tunes and a pirate hat. He and I jumped in and the friendly pirate took us on a joy ride around the grounds, with multiple trips through the Dream Vortex, rainbow-lit wooden archways reminiscent of Cloud Nine's etched pillars. We rolled over to the campgrounds in search of a renegade to catch the lost hour of morning dancing, and found a quiet one tucked between two RVs. Unfortunately, we brought attention to the party and security came to shut things down.
The sky was getting lighter and, as I rarely am ever awake this early, I decided to find a good place to watch the sunrise. I witnessed nature's light show from a hammock near Cloud Nine, sound tracked by birds hunting their breakfast with chirps that sounded amazingly reminiscent of '90s dialup internet tones. This was just day one! There is no way I could've planned such a magical day myself, so I was grateful for being present in this special dream vortex of a fest.
I caught a little sleep before my tent got too hot to continue. After, I walked back from the bathroom, the breakfast and sugar boost I needed was handed to me in the form of a chocolate-covered cream-filled donut (my favorite kind), the last one in a kind stranger's box. Next up was another sauna steam and water dip—word of the sauna magic got around because there was even a short line to enter!
Marking the perfect middle of the fest was a three-hour afternoon set from Lee at Cloud Nine. As I walked over to the stage, a pedicab drove by playing ice cream truck music. My inner five-year-old wants to eat ice cream daily, she started shouting at me upon hearing this joyous twinkly tune.
Upon not seeing a truck to cart out frozen treats, I shouted towards the driver, "That's rude! Now I want ice cream." He smiled and said "All day I scream," and stopped outside of the joyful madness taking over the stage. I noticed a large cooler on the back of it and paused. Actual small children lingered around with their parents, and soon enough, the cooler was opened to reveal a variety of ice cream bars. I triumphantly walked into the crowd with my chocolate caramel drumstick, looking for my friends and letting people know it was time to (ice) scream.
The vibes were at their peak and Cloud Nine was at its most packed, with the revelers reflecting the sunlight and Lee's sunny energy. It felt like almost everyone at the fest was there together in that moment, enhancing the upbeat sunny vibe with our smiles, dance moves, bubbles and creative, colorful, sparkly 'fits.
Argentinian vibe maestro Facundo Mohrr took over after Lee and kept things upbeat, sunny and flowing up until sunset. Since I'd seen the sunrise, it was essential to also admire the evening edition of nature's lightshow. I met a friendly, sparkly girl named Universe who introduced me to her friend Kim that flew in from Denmark specifically for ADID! He trekked there with another friend from home, who he implored to get tickets as soon as they went on sale. He'd been to one ADID event in London that he loved, and followed the music of Lee and the other dream fam. I found him again on Sunday and asked if he thought the trip was worth it. It was, and he was having a lot of fun. He explained that there's nothing like this in Denmark, so they have to travel to Germany and the UK for raves.
There were other international folks there as well, including a solid portion of the artists, which always makes a party better in my opinion. (Look at Burning Man!) From talking to people, it seemed that the largest chunk of the attendees were from the Bay Area, which makes sense, because that jovial, sun-drenched Golden Gate Park ADID energy was there. There were also quite a lot of dogs and kids in attendance, which really enhanced the playful energy and everyone seemed to enjoy having around.
DJ Three and Öona's adorable one-year-old Aura even made an appearance, thriving in HoloRealmz during the day, greeting everyone she met with wide eyes and a smile. It was a festival family reunion, with literal families and chosen families meeting, growing and celebrating.
On Sunday, I finally checked out the fourth stage, the Lenticular Live Stage, a breezy setup decorated with strings of orange puffy balls that swayed in the wind. I visited the vendor area on the way over, upgrading my rainbow sherbet fairy princess look with a cream hat with sequin netting that hangs over your face from Gitana Gold, my go-to fierce fest accessory peddler. It made me smile to see her hats adorning smiling faces all weekend, including on Little Dragon frontwoman Yukimi Nagano.
I spent the day at Lenticular with my new friends and Jan Blomqvist, Poolside, and Little Dragon, who closed Lenticular with pure joy and golden hour full moon magic. The Swedish electro-pop band's joyful set continued beyond their hour slot and through the full expression of a gorgeous orange and purple sunset on one side and the full moon lunar eclipse behind them. The sunset would have been more than enough to complement the lively, colorful journey they took us on, filled with their buoyant hits and jubilant fan favorites, but when we began to notice the full moon being eclipsed behind the stage…there truly no words to fully express that magic moment.
The expansive long weekend was closed out by Lee, the mastermind dreamer nurturing and co-creating the magic and great vibes with all of us. His four-hour B2B with Matthew Dekay ended promptly at midnight, and though we'd all spent hours dancing and chatting and others had to be exhausted as well, we lingered on the dance floor, on Byte, on the Golden Gate Bridge, getting a few more laughs and smiles in before heading back to our tents one last time. We lingered with tired bodies and full hearts because we knew that the next time we opened our eyes, this dream would be over.
While I've woken up from this dream (and am still sleepy from it), the friendships, connections and memories I created are real and have left me glowing. And there's always next year! At the end of Lee's final set of the weekend, they announced the county had already approved them to return to that special space.