Global Dance Festival: A Field Guide to Tonight's Event

A Global Dance Festival attendee during the event's stop in Colorado.
A Global Dance Festival attendee during the event's stop in Colorado.
Aaron Thackeray/Westword

Downtown Tempe is in no danger of running low on electronic dance music or off-the-chain dance parties anytime soon, what with the clubs of Mill Avenue pumping out four-on-the-floor jams and killer drops most nights. The clamor of beats and bass coming from Tempe is going to get even louder tonight when the Global Dance Festival, one of the region's biggest up-and-coming dance events, rolls into town tonight boasting EDM thrills and plenty of opportunities to rage.

The tour, which originated in Colorado in 1999 as a one-off called Rave on the Rocks, has become a multi-city electronic wonderland and rage fest that's not only making its debut in Arizona but will be the first-ever dance music massive staged at Tempe Beach Park.

Befitting its name, the GDF will feature a few dance music practitioners from around the world, including Montreal-based dubstep/electro-house duo Adventure Club and Australian-born singer and vocal trance performer Emma Hewitt, who has topped charts both in her native land and Europe and recently appeared on Cosmic Gate's hit track "Going Home."

The festival's Tempe stop also will star crunkstep king Crizzly, Montreal-based dubstep duo Adventure Club, Grammy-nominated progressive house practitioner Morgan Page, and L.A. hipster party prince Steve Aoki, who may (or may not) debut some of the new deep house tracks that he's been reportedly working but probably will douse the crowd with champagne, as he's wont to do. Good thing it's being held outside.

Adventure Club performs at the Global Dance Festival in Colorado.
Adventure Club performs at the Global Dance Festival in Colorado.
Aaron Thackeray/Westword

Upcoming Events

There also will be plenty of room for locals as well, including both DJs and performers. Phoenix pop chanteuse Luna Aura, the trap-loving wild boys of Trapzilla, and the members of party crew Wig Mafia will all be featured on the main stage, while the Global Bass Stage will host nothing but Valley DJs dropping beats.

If you happen to be heading out to the festival tonight, we've put together a guide will all the information you need to know about the event, as well as a few tips.

Time/Place: 5 p.m. to midnight on Friday, November 21, Tempe Beach Park, 54 West Rio Salado Parkway.

Price: General admission is $50 online while the VIP treatment (which includes quicker entry, a special lanyard, and access to a special are with private bathrooms) is $75.

Age Limits: Members of the underage brigade needn't bother bringing your fake IDs since the festival is open to those 18 and over.

Getting There: Consider light railing it, as there's a station a mere block from the park. If you're rolling up in a car, however, parking can be had at either the Mission Palms Hotel, 281 South Mill Avenue, for $2 per hour, or at the Hayden Ferry Lakeside Garage, 68 East Rio Salado, with a rate of $1 every 20 minutes that caps off at $12.

Weather: We encourage you to dress both warmly and colorfully, as the current forecast states that it will be 68 degrees when the festival begins before getting down into the mid-50s by midnight. Then again, if you happen to be raging hard, you probably can get away with a t-shirt or tank top, but only if its a neon one.  

Global Dance Festival attendees at the event's Colorado stop.
Global Dance Festival attendees at the event's Colorado stop.
Aaron Thackeray/Westword

Bring: An ID, for starters, since its required for entry along with your ticket, as well as earplugs, since its gonna get loud. A good attitude and willingness to avoid drama also helps, as you're going to be in a huge crowd with hundreds of others. And be sure to be in the mood to dance, because that's what you're there for, right?

Other than that, hats and bandanas are allowed, as are sealed packs of gum or chapstick, lighters, and non-professional cameras. If you want to stave off thirst, bring an empty, clear water bottle and fill up at the park. Small bags are also permitted, but only if they are 10-inches by 10-inches or less.

Bring: An ID, for starters, since its required for entry along with your ticket, as well as earplugs, since its gonna get loud. A good attitude and willingness to avoid drama also helps, as you're going to be in a huge crowd with hundreds of others. And be sure to be in the mood to dance, because that's what you're there for, right?

Other than that, hats and bandanas are allowed, as are sealed packs of gum or chapstick, lighters, and non-professional cameras. If you want to stave off thirst, bring an empty, clear water bottle and fill up at the park. Small bags are also permitted, but only if they are 10-inches by 10-inches or less.

Global Dance Festival revelers.
Global Dance Festival revelers.
Aaron Thackeray/Westword

Don't Bring: If you're hoping to rock that hipsterish Native American headdress that you bought online and saw being sported at other music festivals, better leave it in the closet, chief. It won't be allowed at GDF. Just like at the Mad Decent Block Party back in September, stuffed animals, dolls, those fuzzy backpacks, spiked jewelry, or masks (sorry, Deadmau5 fans) won't fly either. Ditto for unsealed cigarettes, vape pens, or e-cigs. Drugs, laser pens, eye drops, outside food and drink, and weapons (either real or toy versions) and also a no-no.

Food and drink: A number of vendors will slinging sips and eat at Tempe Beach Park, including beer and wine.

Lineup and schedule: The rundown for both of the stages at the festival is as follows:

DJ Hemmesphere
DJ Hemmesphere
Benjamin Leatherman

Global Bass Stage

5 p.m. -- BetaXtract (funk, bass, electro, mashups) 6 p.m. -- Phillip Talieh (trap, house, electro) 7 p.m. -- DJ McBoy (electro-house) 8 p.m. -- Joey Williams (house) 9 p.m. -- Burman and Deejay Autopilot 10 p.m. -- Hemmesphere (house) 11 p.m. - DJ Ascension (house, hip-hop, electro, dubstep, breaks)

Luna Aura
Luna Aura
K.C. Libman

Main Stage

5 p.m. -- DJ Eclair (all EDM) 5:40 p.m. -- Wig Mafia 5:50 p.m. -- Luna Aura (pop, electronic, hip-hop) 6:10 p.m. -- Trapzillas (trap, twerk, hip-hop, hardstyle) 6:50 p.m. -- Ecotek (house, electro, dance) 7:30 p.m. -- Crizzly (crunkstep, dubstep, electro-house, hip-hop) 8:30 p.m. -- Adventure Club (dubstep, electro, drum 'n' bass) 9:30 p.m. -- Steve Aoki (house, electro, indie) 10:30 p.m. -- Emma Hewitt (vocal trance, electronic dance, rock) 11 p.m. -- Morgan Page (progressive house, electro)

Morgan Page
Morgan Page
Courtesy of Ten In One Talent

Pre-party and after-party: Rusko's gig at Monarch Theatre later tonight will serve as the official pre-party for the Global Dance Festival. Locals J. Paul, Sensone, and BassClass will open the evening. Doors are at 9 p.m. Tickets are $20, VIP is $40, and a combo package that includes GDF admission is $60.

Newly opened Scottsdale spot BLUR Nightclub will host the official after-party on Friday night that will feature a set by Morgan Page. Tickets are $30 or $75-$105 for both the festival and party.

What to expect:

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