Summer’s end is upon us, but the dutch won’t give up on their summer so easily. August is one of the busiest months when it comes to open air festivals. After seeing and reading about the three days of Dekmantel, it was time to turn our eyes and ears towards one of Holland’s pioneering dance music organizations. Established back in 1995, Loveland to this date maintained their vision of bringing people together through love and music in a formatted environment. Over the past weekend, the lake by the Sloterpark transformed into a playground for music crusaders where music and nature secured the ring for what was about to follow. A total of six areas, all with their personalized allure, paved the way towards 11 hours of cherishing house and techno.
We made our way onto the festival at the break of dawn. A couple of vodka glasses down the thought just to mimic the pre drink festivities and we were off. While entering the shuttle bus that took us to the location, music started blasting all of a sudden. The organizers took to the care of festivals attendees so they don’t lack music while transitioning to and from the festival. As we we’re reaching Sloterpark, you could feel the air becoming more dense due to the sounds that were propagated through the trees. The impact couldn’t be more fulfilling.
The line leading to the entrance gate didn’t take long. As we passed through check points we were directed by a loving hippie dancer that was blasting over a mouthpiece… WELCOME TO LOVELAND. Getting lockers and drinking coins took less than 2 minutes as there were more than enough counters at the entrance and throughout the festival.
As we made our transition from the entrance to the festival itself you could see it. A vast lake on the close horizon and a sea of people that were buzzin’ in between stages. Due to the overwhelming number of topnotch artist that were performing at the same time, we had to make a quick decision and follow our feet; we decided to take on the stage where Rodriguez Jr was performing his live set. As we were heading towards the UNDERGROUND stage, the environment was shifting with each passing moment. From a park like environment, to a kids park, Sloterpark had everything. UNDERGROUND featured a stage mimicking a concealed glade within a forest. Decorated with radiant arranged barrels, fog machines and covered with a drippy cover. Rodriquez’s sound was one with the nature. A warming techno/house was playing in the back of our ears as the crowd was lost in the continuous fog in front and behind their sunglasses.
Looking over the lake, you could see numerous inflated boats with drifters enjoying a drink, drifting away to the sound of the festival. We decided to go and catch Doctor Dru’s finale of a set and we stumbled upon what can only be described as a magical stage. A miniature castle, half sunk boat, floating water houses and a corner of a beach all intertwined in the middle with thees and goa-like sun protectors, that was the NEST. Over the course of the festival the stage will contour itself according the music and time of every DJ’s set. By nightfall the likes of Adana Twins or Oliver Koletzki will offer the stage a dreamlike transformation.
In the meantime we turned towards the RISE tent to see Laura Jones play. The name of the tent could very well describe the sensation as you were in it. It was slightly inclined towards the beach but that didn’t matter. People were still lost in Jones’s murky and dark deep house sound as they were hopping in and out of darkness.
By mid-afternoon we decided to take on the DANSANT stage were we heard MK blasting his own remixes for the duration of his set. The stage gave you three option of placement. Either you were in the nature piece by the speakers, the shuffle corridor which was a small wooden paved ally that lead you toward the powerful bass or on the concrete raft which last year was made out of floating and moving barrels. The frost of the stage served as a mini swimming pool full of inflatable dolphins, real life mermaids or water fanatics. The overly used vocals of MK didn’t go so well with the vodka glasses we were pouring down for the entire day so we headed back towards the NEST to dip our feet into the water and catch a glimpse of Adriatique’s sound. There were quite a handful of people on the zip line and there was a constant confusion on how some of them got stuck in the middle of the water.
The sun was merely burning onto the sky so we turned again towards the UNDERGROUND and catch Kollektiv Turmstrasse put on their slow-mo deep house sound. Even with the bpm so low, the crowd before them were undulating to the beats and still grasping onto their vibe. It was time to complete the Diynamic trio tour so we headed out to see Solomun perform over by DANSANT. His rolling progression of eclectic trembling sounds and uprising tempo got people into an immense hype as the locked up concrete raft was moving onto the wasters. Nightfall was upon us and with little time to spare we chose to head into the opposite side of the festival towards the techno areas.
The TECH area was a colossal circus-like tent, where the bashing minimal techno sounds of Minus’ Matador was overwriting the immense stage. In complete darkness inside and out, the only noticeable elements in the tent were Matador himself and the swirling lasers.
As 11 PM was drawing closer and closer, the music eventually came to a whole stop and no lights appeared to be on. People around me were still dancing around me, not coping with the fact that the music was off for the first couple of minutes (myself included). As I turned towards the exit and went to the neighbouring small beach. On the far side of it, the rainbow of different lights reminded me of what just happened. It was LOVELAND.