The first Global Dance Festival was held on July 17, 1999. However, it was not called Global Dance Festival, but 'Rave on the Rocks' and was hosted by a local radio station, KTCL. The show only had one stage and only two artists: The Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim, who called Red Rocks "the most beauitful venue in the world". Tickets cost less than $20. Despite only having two artists, the festival drew in a few thousand guests and was an immense success. This was the first event of its kind ever to be held at Red Rocks.
MTV featured Rave on the Rocks on their show 'AMP', which aimed at showcasing electronic dance music by showing live recordings of concerts. The show is often credited for helping electronic music break out of the underground and exposing it to the mainstream. AMP also featured acts such as The Prodigy, Future Sounds of London, and Photek.
Rave on the Rocks 1999 kick started what has evolved into the largest electronic music festival in the Rockies.
July 2000 marked the second year of 'Rave on the Rocks', still hosted by the radio station KTCL. This year the talent was expanded to four artists: Paul Oakenfold, BT, Static Revenger, & Aprhodite. This was not the last year any of these artists would play Global Dance Festival. Rave on the Rocks was still completely different than the Global Dance Festival we know today; there was still only stage, gogo dancers were nonexistent, LED handlights were swapped out for glowsticks. . . and yet the event still possessed the same vibe and energy it has today; as if it has been preserved in the rocks all these years.
Unfortunately, 2000 was also the year lawmakers and government officials began to get a worried about "raves". Underground raves had been gaining immense visibility and government officials were starting to become aware of the dangers associated with some of these smaller, illegal events. However, in contrast to these illegal raves, Rave on the Rocks was as aboveground and safe as a music event could get. Rave on the Rocks was simply a celebration of top-notch electronic music in one of the most beautiful venues in the world, not an unsafe, illegal, underground drugfest. Despite the event's clean record and spotless reputation, Denver officials were still uneasy with it due to the negative stigma associated with the word "rave". Consequently, the next year Red Rocks refused to host any event with the word 'rave' in the title and many people began to worry about the future of the event.
2001 was a landmark year for Global Dance Festival. This was the first year the radio station 93.3 took over the festival. This was also the first year the festival was expanded to two days! The first day, August 16th, Rabbit in the Moon, Roni Size, Dynamite MC, & Keoki performed. The second day, The Crystal Method & Uberzone performed.
This was also one of the most controversial years of the festival. Government officials were beginning to crack down on "raves", as they were becoming aware of the dangers of the small, illegal, underground raves. Although Rave on the Rocks was not one of these dangerous events and had a perfect safety record, officials did not condone the event simply because of the word 'rave' in its title, associating 'rave' with drug abuse and promiscious behavior. Furthermore, Red Rocks Ampitheatre refused to host any event associated with raves. The only option was to change the name of the event.
The promoters of the festival were amused by the fact that their festival was being perceived as an drug-rampant event and that 'rave' was a questionable word. So, in order to prove a point that this stereotype was ridiculous, they renamed the event 'A Weekend of E', 'E' standing for electronic, of course.
Despite the expansion to two days, ticket sales slumped this year, perhaps due to the changed name, although many believe it was because of the lack of trance talent. However, the event did help the electronic music scene take a stand about what it is really about and prove to officials that these events are not focused around drugs, but around music. In fact, every year the Global line-up seemed to get bigger and bigger.
In 2001, Global Dance Festival lost a huge amount of attendees when they changed the name of the event from 'Rave on the Rocks' to the 'Weekend of E'. However, the City and County of Denver was still unenthusiastic about the connotation of the word 'rave' so the promoters (still 93.3) had to find a solution to the problem that allowed them to keep their brand and while simultaneously satisfying government officials. As a result, they settled on naming the event "The Event Formerly Known as Rave on the Rocks." The logic behind the new name was that 'Rave on the Rocks' had a history and it was unfair to let this history go because of a new negative stigma to the word 'rave'. The promoters got around the name change by putting 'The Event Formerly Known as' in tiny print on all the flyers.
Another culprit to the slump in attendance at the 2001 event was the lack of trance artists. In 2002 the single-day lineup blew up with trance headliners including Paul Oakenfold & George Acosta. The event also had Bad Boy Bill, Max Graham, Liquid Todd and Ty Tek, as well as a stage for local DJs up top. There was also an official after party at the Gothic Theater with George Acosta.
Of course, the festival was still very different than it is today. It featured break dancers instead of gogo dancers, who were picked from a contest and included a 12-year-old. A ticket cost $40, the event ran from 6pm to midnight, and Paul van Dyk mixed U2 in his set!
In 2003, the esteemed Rave on the Rocks did not return to Red Rocks; instead, Global Dance Festival took its place as a new, ground-breaking event. It is also the first year Triad Dragons promoted the event. With a change in name and promoters, the event began to evolve into something different: a celebration of electronic music combining technology and natural beauty.
Triad Dragons took the event to new heights by bringing in top notch technology including state-of-the-art lasers and intelligent lighting as well as the best sound system ever to be used at Red Rocks. The experience was unparalleled.
..::Saturday July 26, 2003 Lineup::..
Paul Van Dyk • George Acosta • DJ Irene • Kostas • Dragon • Trajikk • Alan Endorfun
2004 was the 6th annual electronic music festival at Red Rocks and the second annual Global Dance Festival hosted by the Triad Dragons.
This year, the festival was advertised with professional commercials on E! and MTV as well as over 100,000 flyers across the state. People began flying in from other states to attend the festival; Global Dance Festival was truly becoming a highly anticipated annual event.
..::Saturday July 24, 2004 Lineup::..
Paul Van Dyk • IIO • Deepsky • Richard Humpy Vission • Alex Gold • Jerry Bonham • Dieselboy • Kostas • Dragon
Up until 2005, Caffeine Music Festival had been the Triad Dragon's major annual music festival, but now Global was beginning to accelerate in popularity as electronic music enthusiasts began to become aware of the magic in experiencing electronic music in a natural, outdoor setting.
The first two years the Triad Dragons hosted Global Dance Festival, only a few thousand people attended. In 2005, however, attendance nearly doubled with around 7,000 people.
..::Saturday July 23, 2005 Lineup::..
Paul Oakenfold • Deep Dish • Bad Boy Bill • Junkie XL • Dieselboy • Motorcycle Live • Steve Smooth • Kostas • Dragon • Trajikk • Ty Tek • Shawn Mitiska • Kevin Alves • Friends in Stereo Live
2006 was truly a landmark year for Global Dance Festival.Attendance catapulted from 7000 the year before to over 10,000, the biggest it had ever been. Production was more impressive than ever with LED screens behind the DJ booth, giant screens on the stage, and three amazing laser systems. Break dancers and GoGo dancers in extravagant neon costumes entertained the crowd all night long. The festival's hours expanded to 5pm-2am.
..::Saturday July 22, 2006 Lineup::.. Armin Van Buuren • BT • Jes • Kaskade • Jon Bishop • Dieselboy • Kostas • Dragon • Trajikk • Hycloud
July 21st, 2007, almost 11,000 people packed into Red Rocks amphitheater for a truly historical night for EDM. Global Dance Festival 2007 marks the first year the event completely sold out and officially became the largest electronic music festival in the region. It was also the first time an electronic music show sold out Red Rocks. Production at Global Dance Festival was really evolving into a perfected art. This year, there were two giant screens, an LED DJ booth, and a brilliant display of lights and lasers. Performers and dancers were also becoming an innate part of the festival with extravagant costumes and props.
..::Saturday July 21, 2007 Lineup::..
Tiesto • BT • Richard Vission • Jes • Aphrodite • MC Dino • Kostas • Dragon • Trajikk • Hycloud • Fury • Wyatt Earp • Shawn Mitiska • Gift • Smyle • Technical Endevour • MC Curious
Global Dance Festival 2008 took place on July 19, 2008 and was another sold out show! Although the event took place on an extremely hot day, the venue filled up within an hour of the gates being open.
..::Saturday July 19, 2008 Lineup::..
Ferry Corsten • Deadmau5 • Junkie XL • Dieselboy • Messinian • Kostas • Dragon • Trajikk • Hycloud • Fury • Technical Endevour • Kevin Alves
Global Dance Festival 2009 had the most impressive lineup to-date featuring one of the world's greatest dance music duos, Sasha and John Digweed. It was another a sold out event, packing Red Rocks with over 10,000 electronic music enthusiasts dancing under the open sky.
Saturday July 18, 2009
..::Saturday July 18, 2009 Lineup::..
Sasha • John Digweed • Benny Benassi • Markus Schulz • John Debo • Alex Gold • Mystical Influence • Kostas • Dragon • Trajikk • Hycloud • Fury • Manufactured Superstars • Kevin Alves
After several consecutive sold out events, Triad Dragons broke records by adding a second day to the festival, allowing more people to experience its magic and more outstanding artists to be added to the lineup. The addition of the second day proved to be a brilliant idea with over 17,000 attendees over the two days and Friday selling out fast. The energy over the two days could barely be contained within the gigantic monoliths of Red Rocks. Production put all the other years to shame with its 4 watt lasers, a giant LED box that pulsed with the music, and huge screens across the stage. The audience packed the bleachers for full-on dance festival madness.
..::Saturday, July 17 Lineup::..
Paul Van Dyk • Kaskade • BT • Jes • Steve Aoki • La Riots • Morgan Page • Ecotek • Elijah • Dragon • Trajikk • J Flash • Hycloud • Kevin Alves • Cognition • T-Rav • Satori-C • Anomaly • Soulshocker • Ston-E • Joman • Jontron • Sergio Santana • Digga
..::Friday July 16, 2010::..
Deadmau5 • Infected Mushroom Live • Savoy • Pendulum • Rusko • Ana Sia • Kraddy • Heavyweight Dub Champion • Axis of Evil • Manufactured Superstars • Fury • Technical Endeavor • MC Dozha • Sir Thomas • Ishe • Soleil • Spectre • Alert • Jason Roth • ((Diverse)) • Just Ben • Coult 45 • ServeOne • Dayquill
Global Dance Festival 2011 made history by adding a third day of live music! Thursday featured live bands for the first time in Global Dance history that added an eclectic mix of styles and sound that provided a great start for the exciting weekend to come.
..::Thursday, July 14th lineup::..
Empire of the Sun • Kid Cudi • Big Gigantic • Innerpartysystem • Sam Adams • Hottub • EVS • Robotic Pirate Monkey • Food Chain • MTHDS • Broken Tongues • Caramel Camela • Nalepa • Half Color • Jantsen • Slim Thugz • Raw Russ • Zeno • Mikey Thunder • Thick Chick
..::Friday, July 1th lineup::..
LMFAO • Major Lazer • Skrillex • Nero • Dieselboy • Porter Robinson • Zedd • Paper Diamond • Manufactured Superstars • Axis of Evil • Fury • Ishe • Coult45 • Dodger • Thorazine • RumbleJunkie • Fresh2Death • Just Ben • Unlimited Aspect • Dirt Monkey • Curlyone
Saturday, July 16th lineup:
Benny Benassi • Gareth Emery • Avicii • Dada Life • Morgan Page • Dave Aude • Emma Hewitt • Ronski Speed • Metropolis • Dehasse • Just Fine • Ecotek • Dragon • Trajikk • James Egbert • Riot Gear • JQ&A • Kevin Alves • Hycloud
Global Dance Festival 2011 was filmed from beginning to end and the documentary produced from the filming is nearly ready. The documentary showcases the magic of the festival, complete with behind-the-scences interviews, mind-blowing performances, and a taste what goes into creating the sensational experience.
Watch The Global Dance Festival 2011 Movie