About a week ago DGTL kicked off the festival season and it was a blast. Enough time to retrospect on the two day event. Here’s day two of the festival report.
The easter sunday started with quite a long train ride for me. I spent the weekend in Germany, got into the train to Amsterdam, put on my headphones to get into the mood and tried to rest before kicking of the festival season. After a strange train ride, a fight between a ticket controller and passenger included, I finally arrived in Amsterdam. First good sign: the sun is shining, which you couldn’t really take for granted after the last weeks. No time to wait for the bus so I walked home as fast as possible. Dropped my backpack in my room, got a fresh sweatshirt, lighter and smokes, jumped on my bike and off I went to central station.
DGTL doesn’t start with entering the festival site at the NDSM wharf. DGTL starts with entering the ferry to the north of Amsterdam. Again no time to wait so I just took the next ferry to the Eye museum and biked to the festival site. After arriving to an industrial area I could already hear the booming sound of DGTL. Passing by the chalets I saw the first attendees and realised that I was in a privileged position as I couldn’t felt more relaxed and ready for the festival. Even though you didn’t have to camp because the organisation offered chalets, it must have been a rough night. Those guys definitely looked like their night wasn’t energizing.
When entering the vast festival grounds you don’t really know where to go and where to look first, even when you’ve been at the festival before. Industrial art, steel dragons and huge digital eyes. So many strange but mesmerising things to discover. But the music goes first so I tried to contact my friends who have been hear for a while already. No chance to reach them. Nothing new at a festival so I just sent a message and dashed into the festival experience on my own. A quick glimpse at the time table and I knew where to go. DJ Koze playing the biggest stage sounded like a proper starting point. I saw pictures of the stage before but after I saw the actual DIGITAL stage I was ready for the day. There aren’t many festivals that put so much love into the stage design as DGTL does. Just like the stage Koze didn’t disappoint me either. His melancholic yet uplifting vibes definitely got the crowd going.
Next up was the INNERVISIONS stage, with Innervisions owner Dixon playing. On my way I already doubted my decision as I knew from all previous festivals where he was playing how many people are attracted by him. Which is of course nothing bad but going to a stage where Dixon is playing after he started can be a huge hustle. Especially if you’re planning on finding your buddies. Well it didn’t really matter. Seeing Dixon hypnotise the masses is always worth it. When arriving at the INNERVISIONS stage my “worries” where confirmed. The space was packed like a sardine can. But packed with dancing sardines, lost in the moment and dancing to Dixons clean, mesmerising sound garnished with many unreleased tracks like Show-Bs remix of Jaap Lightharts ‘I Know Change’ and bangers like KiNKs ‘Cloud Generator’.
After finally getting a message and connecting with the group it was time to leave Dixon and enjoy some beers in the declining sunshine. After catching up on what happened so far and discussions which stage was worth to go to next, which will always take a while when having six stages, we decided to head back to the INNERVISIONS stage where Culoe de Song was playing next. For some reason all of us had explored the South African scene a bit during the last weeks and we couldn’t wait to get a grip on the feeling of House Culoe de Song had to offer. The stage was definitely less packed than before and we were able to stand close to the stage and dance to the African-inspired sounds. Suddenly the track ran out and the music stopped. What happened? After being lost in the music I turned my head towards the DJ booth, but there wasn’t anybody. Suddenly a guy with a mask pops up again. Confused faces around us. It seems like nobody was sure if it was him again. Then the next track. It was him! Dropping his hit “Y.O.U.D” and the people went crazy.
Next on our list was Job Jobse b2b with John Talabot. There was no chance I’m missing this. My personal Amsterdam hero and the Spanish maestro spinning records together. In the mean time the sun disappeared and it got colder. Time to put on a jacket and jump into the crowd. By then you could feel more and more what I expected when arriving. People where exhausted and the masses started to dance like in trance. Just what you need when those two DJs are performing. It looked like they where meant to play records together. With banger after banger they where the perfect ending to an amazing day.
DGTL Festival 2015 was as good as a festival can be. Especially if it’s happening in northern Europe in April. The weather played along, the crowd was ready and the artist where more than ready for some festival feeling. Coming from abroad I can assure you that the Dutch know how to throw a party. The organization more than satisfied the expectations. There where more than enough things to do and see. DGTL Revolution with its sustainability and green energy initiatives. DGTL Art with impressive installations and showcases. And last but not least an exceptional line up of artists. Enough reasons to come back next year. Until then we look forward to DGTLs very special event outside of the Netherlands. On August 14 DGTL is going abroad for a spectacular 2-day festival at Barcelona’s Parc Del Fórum. Keep a close watch on the event page for more info.