Review

Drumcode Festival 2019

Two days of thumping techno under the scorching Dutch sun

Following last year’s successful first instalment, international super-label Drumcode, and legendary dutch brand Awakenings collaborated once again, this time extending the festivities an additional day to cater for the thousands of travelling fans from all around the globe. The 24th & 25th of August saw two days of thumping techno under the scorching Dutch sun in the docks to the north of central Amsterdam.

Venue

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Both editions of Drumcode festival have been held in the iconic docklands of NDSM-werf. A swift and enjoyable ferry ride from central Amsterdam, the large events space oozes an industrial yet creative feel, with striking and eye-catching architecture in the shape of huge derelict warehouses, shipping containers, and large machinery which have been soaked in colourful artwork and vibrant graffiti. An unmissable crane stands tall on the edge of the festival, overlooking the custom-designed stages, numerous bars, food & merch stalls, and 30,000 ravers over the weekend.

Stages & DJs

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Blue
Drumcode festival consists of four color-coded stages, with the blue stage being the first seen upon entering the site. This area hosted the likes of ANNA, Ida Engberg, Pleasurekraft and many others. Formed of shipping containers, the stage also held a rooftop garden.

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Purple
Up next was the purple stage, a huge blacked out tent which featured heavy hitters throughout the weekend. Charlotte de Witte, Dense & Pika, Alan Fitzpatrick were all found blasting out tunes here, with the signature awakenings production creating an underground warehouse settings.


Orange
Running on the first day only, the orange stage was a smaller, more intimate setup which saw some of the hottest names in Dutch techno performing. Secret Cinema b2b Egbert, 2000 and One and ROD all tore down this cosy stage throughout the day.

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Red
Finally, the jewel in Drumcode’s crown – the red stage. The largest arena was locked & loaded with a mesmerising display of lighting, lasers, and pyrotechnics. This stage showcased leading names from the Drumcode label throughout the weekend. On day one Enrico Sangiuliano, Sam Paganini and Amelie Lens all performed before the label boss Adam Beyer closed the first night off with a blistering set and amazing fireworks display.

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Day two started with a b2b set from Adam Beyer and his wife Ida Engberg that eased fans into the second day. Marco Faraone, Bart Skils b2b Monika Kruse, and Joris Voorn kept the crowd’s feet stomping throughout the heat of the afternoon before the secret headliner act; Pan-Pot rounded off the festival with their action-packed closing spectacle.

Organisation

With decades of experience in throwing unforgettable parties, Awakenings never fail to pay serious attention to every aspect their events. Transport to and from the festival ran like clockwork, queue times were minimal when entering, and all stalls/bars inside the event had very short wait times thanks to an efficient token system and professional team of staff.

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Food and Drink

Tokens were available from numerous booths and were priced at €3 each with a minimum purchase of 5 tokens. Fast serving bars were located throughout the festival and also inside some stages, serving a wide variation of drinks which were made cheaper when using the event’s eco-friendly recycling system.

Soft drinks : €3
Heineken : €3
Desperados : €4.50
White wine/Rose : €4.50
Spirit & mixer : €7.50
Cocktails : €9

A wide variation of food was available on the day, including vegetarian and vegan options, serving delicious food from sate chicken, wraps and hotdogs to ice lollies and smoothies.

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Overall

Drumcode and Awakenings have certainly spared no expense in the creative design and tight-knit organisation of this spectacular two-day festival. The signature Drumcode sound combined with the captivating production of Awakenings proving to be a perfect match, leaving thousands of techno enthusiasts in awe. Bring on next year! 8.5/10

 

Words: Omar Thorne
Images: Drumcode, Awakenings