Open Air Festival, Amsterdam
So here it is, festival season has greeted us again across Europe with a continuous plethora of fun filled line ups. Additions to the masses of festivals this summer has seen the clubbing world in disarray from a punters point of view and a festival organiser. Where do we go? Will our festival sell out? Who have the best line ups? Do we have this act exclusive? Which one is the cheapest? Is our site the best? All valid points from both sides.
Open Air Festival in Amsterdam was a festival that stood out me, so to start off my summer I headed over to the land where anything goes to check out the soiree first hand. Only in its 3rd summer and first time undertaking camping allowances the line up spoke for itself with a heavyweight mix of techno hitters and house producers. Ticking all the boxes of festival things I hadn’t managed to cover was to arrive in style, so the organisers where kind enough to offer me a blacked out Audi Q7 to enter the festival site in. Not only that I was also greeted by models dressed in French maid outfits to show me to my amazing Tipi, talk me through my stay, bring drinks and food over and take me to the festival site. Not bad considering I had only been there 10 minutes. The impeccable hospitality extended to the main entrance when we were issued with passes, drinks and food tokens and walked round the site. Immediately it was clear to see no expense had been spared as all the stage were fitted with the finest in sound system and lighting equipment, the masses of toilets and food emporiums meant that no one was left waiting. Not to mention the site was a beautiful location on the edge of city, centered around a lake. The stages all had different decor, hypnotic strobes and different themes from the last 30 years in music, very Glastonbury influenced as most festivals are these days, but who cares it works. To add they were nicely situated and only two minutes walk from each other, which meant there were no sound clashes. The guys who are behind Vallhalla here in December certainly know to pull a line up together. Something that impressed me also is that they brought all the brands on from local areas so everything was from the city of Amsterdam, which you never here of these days. Both days of music seriously hit every note with perfection. Whether it was heavyweight hitters like Paco Osuna and Derrick May who man handled the Format stage with perfection of local hero Tom Trago who blended an elegant set when the sun went down. Tanzmann and Sneak supplied the house bombs on the Sunday to a packed out stage while Guti and tINI offered their Desolat routes to an amazed audience on the Saturday. The highlights for me were San Proper, Gerd and Plus 8 front man Paco, all added their musical knowledge to their sets to get the crowds going in their respected ways. At certain points I turned my attention to the quirky hideouts and stage settings that allowed you to take a break from it all. Something festivals this size don’t always offer. They even held official afterparties on the camp sites to keep the party going… Festivals that are organised and are as much fun as this was are ten-a-penny now. With so many to choose from its hard to gauge which will create those summer memories you’re looking for, but this certainly did. From the music to the setting, warmth and production, next year is already on my hit list.