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Some people will swear by the superstitious belief that the way you spend New Year’s Eve is a sign of how the rest of your year will play out. While I’d normally tell those folks to check their lore at the door, the next 12 months will be golden if they come even remotely close to the good times that were had at Countdown (here’s to hoping festival foreshadowing is a real thing).

As we rolled out the welcome mat for 2016, Headliners really went for it and festival’d their hearts out in the name of new, banger-filled beginnings. It was an awfully on-point affair, with many moments you could rightfully call unforgettable. These are just a few of them.

Catching the Last Sunset of the Year

The best part about doors opening before sundown was being able to grab some prime real estate by the lake and watch everyone’s faces light up as they strolled through the gates. People rarely look as good as they do during the golden hour, and seeing their glow amid the final sunset of 2015 was one those satisfying sensations you wish you could freeze and frame forever. Bless up!

Oliver Heldens Breaks out His HI-LO Bits

The year most definitely belonged to future house, and no one held it down quite like Heldens. After taking the baton from What So Not—who had the Infinity stage quaking in a low-freq frenzy—the hit-making hero broke out a few bits from his HI-LO side project. Everyone was getting it real good when “MHATLP” and “Renegade Mastah” started blasting, and Heldens had everyone cutting shapes on command.

The Trippiest Totem Ever

Thank the stars for this totem bearer who somehow figured out how to take the lens material from those dope diffraction glasses—the ones that can make you go cross-eyed from their kaleidoscopic visuals—to create the trippiest totem ever. Life is all about enjoying the view, and this one felt like I was staring straight into the eyes of a rainbow. Good stuff, you crafty mystery person, you.

Chilling at the Ice Skating Rink

The Citrus building was the place to be if you were looking for a change of scenery between sets and didn’t mind gliding across some ice while shakin’ your posterior to the booty-est of house. You can thank the Cats & Boots crew for the monster cuts. Ice-skating at a rave—I can finally cross that one off my to-do list.

The VIP Life Hits the Sweet Spot

Normally, VIP packages mean being sectioned off in an area nowhere near the dancefloor. It’s not how I like to get down, but these weren’t your average VIP amenities. It was hard not feeling like a baller with things like an open bar to get the night started. The real party got going with on-the-house grub from the Grilled Cheese Truck, washed down with hot cocoa and the fully loaded s’mores station. It was a confectionary come-up.

Onesies in Full Force

As temperatures reached the snuggle-up-against-your-neighbor range, you could tell which Headliners saw the forecast as an opportunity to show off their favorite onesie. The floor was filled with herds of fur-clad festivalgoers, most of whom were conceivably channeling their spirit animals. Nothing says “beast mode” like ravers roaming around dressed up like wild animals.

So This Happened

These two zebras were crowd-surfing. There’s not much else to say.

All the b2b Action a Basshead Could Ask For

The bottom-end feeders got more than they bargained for with all the b2b business that went down at the Quantum stage. The Bassrush team really went all out when they handled the bookings, perfectly pairing up crossbreeds of names. There was a seven-hour block when bassheads could catch heavyweights like Cookie Monsta and Funtcase, or Minnesota and G Jones, going track-for-track like madmen. There was a moment when it got so rowdy, Metrik stopped the music to record the crowd going ape-shit. Do it for the Insta (that’s me breaking my neck way in the back).

The Magic of Midnight

With three stacked stages to choose from, it didn’t matter where you were for the actual countdown, as long as you were next to the people who matter most. I situated myself at the Resolution viewing deck with the best friends and coworkers I could ever want. Once the clock struck 12, champagne flutes were clinking, confetti filled the air, first-of-the-year kisses were swapped, and it was clear everyone in the place was already owning the F out of 2016.

Kaskade Sends Us on Our Way

It’s a herculean task to cap off a momentous celebration like NYE, and Kaskade was given the honors this time around. A tried and tested closer, he tore through anthems like they were nothing. By the end of it all, the space was overflowing with feels and he hopped on the mic to say, “Look around—this is a West Coast massive, and I have news for you… We don’t stop.” You can take a guess at which track he finished us off with (hint: It was “We Don’t Stop”). We walked away with those lyrics echoing in our heads, knowing that even though we were nearing the end of 2015, things are barely getting started.



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