After rocking Johannesburg in South Africa, Miami, Buenos Aires and his native Netherlands at Den Bosch, trance music superstar Armin van Buuren will round out his all-star-DJ-five-events-over-five-weeks-on-five-continents celebration of the 500th episode of his popular weekly radio show "A State of Trance" in Sydney, Australia. The commemorating series, known to 15 million show listeners in 26 countries around the world as ASOT500, warps up this Saturday at Sydney's Acer Arena.
Van Buuren, one of dance music's most iconic DJ/producers, is certainly pleased at the scope of the globe-spanning endeavor. But what has the world's #1 DJ, as voted by fans four years in a row in DJ Mag's highly coveted annual Top 100 DJ poll, particularly proud is the sense of community he's found with the high-caliber DJs that participated in his ASOT500 celebration.
"I asked the listeners back in September of last year which DJs they wanted to see," van Buuren told MTV News. "So I had a poll on my website and we got over 25,000 reactions, and I basically approached the DJs from the top of that list. It's the cream of the crop, and I'm really proud because it shows you this community wants to work together, which for me is the biggest thing. This scene can only grow if we work together. That's the idea behind 'A State of Trance 500.' "
Indeed, the long list of contributing DJs for ASOT 500's festivities is star studded: Lange, Markus Schulz, Gareth Emery, ATB, Ferry Corsten, Sander van Doorn, Above and Beyond and Cosmic Gate are but a small few of the supporting acts. At Den Bosch alone, ASOT 500 boasted five rooms, each with more than seven performances over sometimes more than nine hours.
It makes sense then that the video for the festivities' theme song, a van Buuren-produced (under the name Gaia) tune titled "Status Excessu D" (Latin for "A State of Trance 500"), features five outer-space mascots planting flags in five countries, uniting the world in one giant trance music groove. So when it came time for van Buuren to release his first apparel line — the DJ/producer recently signed a multiyear clothing and footwear deal with Quick Sports International — naturally his affable space cadets presented themselves front and center.
"The first batch of clothing that we will release are for A State of Trance episode 500," van Buuren said. "[With five events on five continents] we have the five puppets, they are the mascots of the five events. Like the space cadets. And in the video [for 'Excessu D'], you see the five puppets coming from outer space and connecting the world globally. The world has become one big dance floor."
"All DJs unite for a state of trance," he continued, "and it's not about the brand, A State of Trance. It's so much more about the trance family feeling. Celebrate trance, and share it with the community out there."
For now, van Buuren's putting out this limited-edition ASOT500 "Q by Armin van Buuren" offering of white, black and gray shirts and footwear, a collection he designed based on what the superstar DJ normally wears to "club." But he intends to release subsequent collections of clothing, for men and women (his wife has also taken on designer duties), with "On the Beach" and "In the Club," the names of the two discs that make up his latest release, A State of Trance 2011, in mind.
"When you go on holiday, you have to go to all of these stores to get your swimming shorts, to get your sunglasses, to get your T-shirts. It takes a lot of time, so I told the guys from Quick, I'm thinking about the people that like trance. I'm thinking about my fans. What they would like would be to have a one-stop shop for women and for men."
A State of Trance 500 broadcasts live this Saturday from Sydney, featuring van Buuren, Alex M.O.R.P.H., Aly & Fila, Menno de Jong, Shogun and tyDi. For more on this event and "Q by Armin van Buuren" gear, visit AStateOfTrance.com.