Now there are a lot of good quality festivals, however, Welcome to the Future, is really in a league of its own. Not only because of the incredible line-up, carrying some of the most renowned artists, but because of the crowd as well. People weren’t there for the perfect weather (thanks again God!), to just hang out or to check out all the beautiful people. They were there for the music and it seemed like everybody knew exactly who was playing where and what they wanted to see and dance to. It made me happy, because that’s becoming rare nowadays. I would spend most time at the Future stage, but had time to check out some other places as well. In this report I will be telling you about the artists, the spots and the people that gave birth to the Future.
I walked onto the terrain in the early afternoon. While standing on the hill in front of the entrance there was a thick cacophony of melodies, bass and percussion coming from all around me. The majority of the happy ticketholders was already on the terrain, and you could almost taste the excitement that was hanging in the air.
So where to go to first? I thought it was appropriate to go and support our own Prunk who was laying down a nice, deep set at the Future stage, which he opened. After grabbing some lunch at one of the quality food stands that were on the terrain, I went to see the Amsterdam rebels of Homework. They were playing at the Garden stage. It felt a bit cramp there because the dance floor also served as the passageway that led to other stages on the terrain, so there was a constant stream of people trying to plough their way through the crowd. But Homework’s funky, disco-flavoured Chicago house quickly turned every frown into a smile.
Next up I had to see de Sluwe Vos, who was performing at one of my favourite stages, other than Future: Forest. Forest was one of the smallest venues on the terrain but it was also the most cosy, filled with a great vibe (it almost felt like I was visiting an illegal rave). De Sluwe Vos was laying down an amazing house set in which he pulled out all the stops. Of course he showed off his signature scratching tricks, but sometimes took you by surprise through his track choice as well. One of the best moments was when he made it sound like he was closing his set, lowering the BPM to a minimum, only to kick in some hip-hop by Opgezwolle. Everybody’s expression turned into total amazement and surprise, and in a few seconds the entire crowd picked up on the brutal and sudden change of style and went just as nuts as before. After a minute or so he mixed out the track, only to play his own party-anthem ‘Two Shadows’. It was insane.
But it was soon time for me to go because I needed to be at the Future stage, where I stayed for the remaining part of WTTF. The boys from Thugfucker would be playing at 5:30 and I definitely wanted to check them out before the interview I had planned with them. They started off with an ominous, dark track that you would only hear at a drug-fuelled after party at some ungodly hour. They chose to open with it. While standing front-row, the bass literally went through my gut. The hot, sweltering tent was filled to the brim with half-naked, sweaty ravers who were ready to dance like there was no tomorrow. The tone was set for the coming two hours. During their set, energy levels were constantly tinkered with by the twosome due to their diverse style of playing. They mixed techno, tech-house and house with some elegant softer tracks to calm everybody down after yet another carefully built-up climax.
After an impressive set, Thugfucker made way for Maceo Plex/Maetrik, the crown prince of dark, vocal techno/tech-house and one of my personal heroes. When he rocked his perfectly chosen opening track the place exploded. It was an incredible moment, not only for the crowd, but for Maceo as well, who was visibly enchanted by the atmosphere and vigour of this dancing army in front of him.
Unfortunately I had to take a break it was time for the interview with Thugfucker. I didn’t expect a conventional interview after reading their previous ones, which were all hilarious because they never, ever gave a single serious answer, but just making up bullshit on the fly. And thankfully I got the same treatment.
After the interview I ran back to the Future stage to see the last part of Maceo Plex’ set. The place now felt like an oven ,I think that’s probably the reason why everybody was drinking water all of a sudden, but the crowd was just as wild as when I left. I quickly went to look for my friends who were standing somewhere in the enormous crowd of people, to experience this American force of nature together.
After an indescribable two-hour performance it was time for Solomun’s closing set in which he pumped out one smoking deep house tune after another, leaving no time to give your burning muscles a bit of rest. Solomun was the perfect choice to end this amazing evening at one of the (literally) hottest stages of the festival. At half past eleven the news got through that there was a storm coming, so the event had to be blown off half an hour earlier than planned. It seemed like everybody took the news really well because there was an ocean of content, happy faces leaving the terrain. I loved the sets, the public, doing a totally over-the-top interview with the worlds two craziest DJ’s and I loved the awesome weather that really completed this magical festival.