The Beauty of Trance – ASOT 850 Utrecht Review

If you could choose one evening Trance music, where would you go? The answer is undoubtedly A State Trance Utrecht, the pinnacle Trance music and the apex  Armin van Buuren‘s ASOT brand. If you’re a massive fan Trance, this event sits at the top your bucket list. Catch it all after the jump!

The Venue

ASOT is now a yearly tradition hosted every February in Utrecht. As you can well imagine, February in Holland isn’t the best time to have an outdoor festival so the event is held in doors at the Jaarbeurs. Located less than 500 meters from Utrecht Centraal, the main train station, the venue is absolutely perfect if you want to combine the festival with an extended weekend trip to Amsterdam. Logistically speaking, the organizers this event did a fantastic job coordinating additional transportation to and from the venue.

The Jaarbeurs sits on about 25 acres land, which is quite massive for an indoor facility. A total 32 thousand people attended ASOT (with another cool 10 million viewers online) yet the venue never felt crammed, a credit to Armin’s team. It’s not easy to pull f a 5-stage indoor event with 40+ artists, but the hosts did it with no major issues.

The Acts

If you take one look at the lineup you will understand why this event is at the top a Trance fan’s bucket list. Trance has so many different subgenres, whether it be Psy or Progressive, hence why we were treated to five stages. The Psy stage hosted some legendary acts such as Neelix Ace Ventura while the Who’s Afraid 138 stage was treated to Jorn van Deynhoven Bryan Kearney. Heading over to the Road to 1000 stage we witnessed some Trance’s upcoming stars, such as Davey Asprey and the young Russian DJ Max Meyer. Lastly, this years’ ASOT edition hosted the inaugural Progressive stage with the likes  Anjunabeats very own Spencer Brown.

These four stages truly showcased the wide variety talented Trance DJs around the world, but the main focus was always going to be on the Mainstage. Every set on the Mainstage was mesmerizing, something which is attributed to the production. The stage was commanded by a set circular shaped LED lights suspended directly in front the DJ, coupled with LED panels suspended in a U-Shape formation enveloping the DJ. To top it all f, the lasers certainly had their way putting you in a state trance.

The opening act on the Mainstage was none other than Armin van Buuren, playing a deep, dark warm up set to start f the night. NWYR brought out 9 new songs, and paved the way for an epic himself. Armin live never ceases to amaze me; his usual 90 minute sets at festivals are great, but giving Armin an additional 30 minutes allows him to showcase his genius abilities. The legend mixed every aspect Trance into his set, from classics to progressive, to Psy and Big Room. I highly recommend watching the set instead just listening to the audio, there’s something about seeing Armin’s massive grin (knowing he’s blowing our minds) which gives the utmost satisfaction.


Are you obsessed with Psy yet? Nearly every Mainstage set had Psy mixed in, but we’re not complaining. The Psy genre has gained immense popularity in the last year or two, with the explosion songs like Great Spirit by Armin & Vini Vici (which happened to be the closing track Armin’s set).

One trend I’ve noticed at various Trance events is the friendliness the crowd. The atmosphere from start to finish was consistently peaceful and happy. There’s virtually no pushing and shoving, and everyone has a smile on their face.

Top 5 Sets

  1. Who else would you expect? Armin van Buuren’s 2 hour set takes top prize. The hype surrounding Armin’s set was so big that the mainstage entrance had to be shut nearly one hour before he began playing. Check out the epic .
  2. Jorn van Deynhoven. For those you who enjoy an epic, thumping Trance this is for you.
  3. What a joy it is to have Sander van Doorn go back to his trance roots with his Purple Haze alias. Purple Haze’s was a transcending, dark, beautiful set.
  4. David Gravell‘s put an epic jolt energy into the Mainstage crowd. The mix Big Room Trance & Psy Trance kept the crowd going late into the night.
  5. For our last pick here we go with our , Spencer Brown. What an incredible talent this young DJ is.

What’s Next

Next up for the ASOT tour is Ultra Miami on March 25th followed by ASOT Sydney on April 21st. This year’s Utrecht event was the first time the festival was sold out, so make sure to get your for Sydney today.



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