AND HERE for the first time the Trance Zone.
A gasper, I tell you. Awe inspiring. Like reaching Mount Aoraki's summit, the unhindered horizon, its sheer scale terrific. Set into a natural amphitheatre the size of a football field, it was collared on three sides by the same set of slick, tangled trees that towered.
Inside, creating a ring, I counted ten sideways blue funnels - each at least twenty feet high, half again as deep - and each overflowing with enough speakers to be worthy of their own sound systems.
Ten of these.
Deep at the back was a raised DJ platform, a blue headstone arch flanked on either side by wall-sized screens, and in the zone itself, clusters of green and blue columns, some taller than the speaker funnels, crowned by closed multi-coloured flowers or stacked pink planets.
And all above a gleaming green field that looked in severe need of several thousand people jumping on it.
It was beyond all expectation, and in happy admiration we stood on its edge awhile, boisterously discussing which DJs we championed and where the best speaker crossfire points were - those sound oases of the dance floor - and generally just soaking in the atmosphere,
until, just as we were about to leave, had just started to turn away, were wet and dripping and intent on hot beverages - coffee? Yeah, yeah, coffee - we were stunned still and silent by a sudden sonic boom that came crashing out of the zone, boiling and crashing, flailing towards us, cacophonous arms, huge, a tsunami of sound, a thunderclap collapsing.
It roared around us, vibrated through us, shook us up for a good half minute or so.
It was an impossiblity.
The sound faded, running away and down like an expiring earthquake, as I exclaimed, "What . . . the hell . . . was that?"
"That, my boy," answered Darius with a grin, "is what they call a sound check for the Trance Zone."
I’m sure I was slack-jawed as I heard someone mutter, "Fuck me."
It was probably me.
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