Contact Music Festival Showcases EDM’s Rise In Vancouver With Subtronics, Above & Beyond, The Chainsmokers and More

BC Place will serve as a host stadium for the 2026 World Cup, but 2022 marked the year that Vancouverites reconnected with a Winter tradition after years without Contact.

Contact Music Festival returned to the city on Dec 29th and 30th after a three-year absence, predating COVID lockdowns. The event’s organizers made a point to be heard not just in the stadium, but across all of Vancouver. The festival was so loud that neighbors beyond the water in Kitsilano—a 45-minute walk away from the venue—made noise complaints, according to Daily Hive Vancouver.

Contact Music Festival 2022.

Opening night headliner Subtronics set the tone with a massive performance that can best be described as hyperactive. Constant misdirection, unexpected transitions and creative drops kept fans on their toes. The set was so imaginative that it would be frustrating if it wasn’t so damn entertaining.

Subtronics was with the crowd every step of the way. Regardless of your height or vantage point, the DJ’s long hair whipped around like Willow in a frenzy. A standout moment was his double twist on Excision’s fan-favorite track “Rumble,” wherein he flexed the full breadth of his technical mastery. It was as fresh as it was familiar and a wonderful ode to his “Bunker Buster” collaborator.

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There was a palpable buzz in the air as Above & Beyond took the stage. Longtime fans rushed to the mainstage to begin their journey through the iconic trance music trio’s mesmeric catalog. The Vancouver crowd was treated to a magnetic audiovisual experience that tugged on the heartstrings for the evening’s penultimate performance.

Earlier in the evening, Madeon’s fans were treated to a rare and unplanned performance after laptop crashed partway through the show and he was forced to pivot from a live set to a DJ set. The French superstar expertly played the cards dealt to him, rinsing dance hits “All My Friends,” “Pay No Mind” and “You’re On” to keep the crowd locked in a perpetual groove.

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The Day 1 dark horse was most certainly James Hype, who gave the festival a much-needed jolt of energy. Thumping tracks like “Ferrari,” “Disconnected” and “Dancing” made it impossible to sit still. Hype’s set warmed up newly arriving festival-goers and reinvigorated early birds.

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Other standouts from Day 1 include Wax Motif, Matroda and Huxley Anne. Vancouver’s own Seb C kicked off the day, showing off for his hometown crowd. LEVEL UP, 4B and Madam Lola rounded out a fun and eclectic first-day lineup.

Wax Motif At Contact 2022

Wax Motif At Contact 2022

Contact Festival alumni The Chainsmokers came back to prove a point this year. The chart-topping duo’s wild set stomped through a variety of genres, including dubstep, techno and even a drum & bass remix of their hit record “Roses.” At one point, they invited the crowd to join in celebration of Drew Taggart’s 33rd birthday.

The Chainsmokers performing live at Contact Music Festival 2022

The Chainsmokers performing live at Contact Music Festival 2022

There is no question that SVDDEN DEATH claimed the title of the most vicious set of the weekend. The electronic music star, who was recently named one of‘s best music producers of 2022, threw down his unique dubstep-metal fusion and controlled the crowd in a manner only he could. It was almost like hypnosis.

SVDDED DEATH performs at Contact Music Festival 2022.

SVDDED DEATH performs at Contact Music Festival 2022.

Tech house dominated the FVDED stage, where Dombresky, Cedric Gervais and Westend kept us moving with their signature pumping drums and pulsing basslines.

Day 2 also featured local artists Reezy and Steph Tsunami, who delivered memorable performances and showcased why Vancouver’s local electronic music scene is one of North America’s most promising.

Steph Tsunami at Contact Music Festival 2022

Steph Tsunami at Contact Music Festival 2022

Contact, which was one of the first major electronic music festivals in the heart of the city, has continued to inspire the next generation of ravers. If this year’s event was any indication, the future of electronic music in Vancouver is blindingly bright. We can only imagine what the city has in store for 2023.