For Adam Stark, “trance family” is much bigger than a buzzword. He’s emerged as the genre’s poster boy in the Denver nightlife scene and made a name for himself elsewhere along the way.
Whether behind the decks or curating an event, Stark’s ability to unite trance enthusiasts has made an undeniable impact. If you’ve seen him perform then you know it’s justified. He’s remarked that there’s no greater measure of success than how able one is to help others succeed, but his DJ skills give him all the credentials he needs.
Born in Fort Collins, Colorado and raised throughout the Denver area, Adam Stark was an orphan raised by an adoptive family. Childhood alienation led him to explore the digital world, and he discovered artists like Paul van Dyk and ATB when electronic music was still obscure in the United States.
Stark taught himself to DJ in middle school, grinding the needle of his belt-driven Stanton turntables to dust while practicing transitions over and over. In high school he paid his dues the old-fashioned way by spinning at weddings and private events with a small local production company.
In the years to follow, he embedded himself so deeply in Colorado nightlife that his name has appeared on innumerable local lineups. In addition to one-off performances at such mainstays as The Church Nightclub, Bar Standard and Red Rocks Amphitheater, he’s held down residencies at Club Vinyl and The Aggie. In 2014, he also launched his own production company, Stark Contrast, billing the likes of Noel Sanger, Adam K and Lea Luna for events in theLOUNGE at Denver’s most prominent nightlife destination, Beta Nightclub.
The following year, Stark began performing on Beta’s main floor – often as direct support for major international headliners. At present, that list of artists includes the likes of Paul Oakenfold, Markus Schulz, Dash Berlin, BT and Gabriel & Dresden. He also opened up for Paul van Dyk when the German trance icon topped the bill for Colorado’s first-ever Dreamstate event in 2017.
The same year, Adam Stark began to leverage his influence in the electronic music world to reinforce the presence of trance in Denver. In July, Global Dance tapped him to book artists for the Denver Trance Family stage at their flagship event, Global Dance Festival. It was such a success that they enlisted him to curate the Explorer Stage at Skylab 2017 two months later. He also partnered with the label Elliptical Sun Recordings to organize the inaugural Elliptical Sun Sessions Live in theLOUNGE at Beta Nightclub.
A DJ’s DJ who holds true turntablism in high regard, his showmanship sends ripples through the wall-to-wall crowds at his performances. No matter the event, he sees every single set as an opportunity to connect with his audience emotionally. Adam Stark plays music for the person in the crowd who absolutely needs it, because he knows firsthand how much of an impact that it can have.
Every city’s trance scene ought to have an Adam Stark – and even as he becomes a bigger player on the global stage, his love for Denver will remain. If your finger’s on the pulse, chances are you’ll see him perform in a city near you in the years to come.