City of Dance started out as a dance-parade in 2001, not as big as the love-parade in Germany, but for the Dutch city of Middelburg it was already a big happening. Since then it has changed location, switched up genres and survived the test of time. These days it’s taking place at the festival-terrain at the Oude Veerseweg and there’s even a small festival-camping for those that want to party for 3 days straight.
It’s super practical to take the shuttlebus to the festival-terrain and on Saturday sun-screen and sunglasses were an absolute must due to the lovely hot weather. The very first thing we did upon entering the festival-terrain was grabbing some tokens in order to be able to stay hydrated.
The Go Dutch stage (as the name already explains, you can here typical Dutch music there), was decorated quite nicely with all sorts of inflatables and even-though it was still early in the afternoon there was a fun atmosphere there from the start, thanks to a party DJ who knew exactly how to keep the crowd entertained.
Moving on to the Hardstyle area, local talent such as Killa B were warming up with some oldschool tunes, like scrap attack and ‘rage’ by technoboy which included a summer-like melody. Arguably, this stage was the second busiest of the day thanks to performances of hardstyle heavyweights such as B-front, Ran-D, Sound Rush and Unresolved who blew away the local crowd. We gotta mention that this stage was hosted by Glorification, a local concept of an organization that’s making big waves within the local scene, for which they deserve a lot of respect.
The mainstage was as you can expect the most impressive stage of the entire festival. The line-up was quite a bit more latin/urban-oriented than we’re used to, but to be honest, latin vibes and sunny weather are a very decent match. Freddy Moreira, clearly a crowd pleaser, dropped his new track ‘Guitarra’ with The Partysquad and that made the mainstage area a lot more crowded than at the start of the afternoon.
A full-on house stage created by a lot of Heineken crates in castle-shape, which featured artist like Lucien Foort was set up in a very nice spot at the event. We checked it out when Lucien Foort was on the decks, but it seemed that his style was a bit too ‘’experimental’’ for the local crowd, since the amount of people that were dancing was a bit disappointing. We’ve noticed that exact same situation as well at Dancetour in Goes a while back so it’s definitely nothing bad towards Lucien Foort, but there’s simply not a perfect match with the local crowd.
A new aspect which hasn’t been there yet for a long time yet is a silent disco, this year it was hosted by Team Peach, a dutch house duo which were also playing at different stages throughout the weekend. Their logo, as you can expect it’s a peach, looks super fun and got the girls to shake their bootyyy!
After a quick bite and a refill of our drinks we went to the hardstyle stage to check out Ran-D who opened his set with ‘Zombie’ and got even the older-segment of the crowd to sing-along. A beautiful moment! B-Front played a brilliant set as well and included ‘Paradox’, his collab with Phuture Noize, which still totally works to get any crowd hyped.
Back at the mainstage Childsplay did an edit of ‘Casa de papel’ (from the popular Netflix series), which proves that anything that’s recognizable automatically works well with any crowd. Of course, there are currently remixes of the Casa de Papel tune in loads of genres so you can’t really have missed that hype. It had been quite some time ago for us that we saw Kris Kross Amsterdam, but we followed their social-media channels and noticed they’ve played at Ultra Music Festival in Asia so they’re clearly doing very well. Kris Kross Amsterdam mash up the old with the new within an hour. They brought a little part of Amsterdam to Middelburg with some lovely André Hazes, which obviously the whole crowd could sing along to.
Besides the music and the areas there’s more to City of Dance, there are a lot of food-trucks including some vegetarian options, a Ferris-wheel with a great overview of the festival-terrain and a bubble-machine for entertainment purposes. We actually heard people saying that the bubbles made them feel like a kid again.
The endshow was unfortunately without fireworks, but no festival was allowed to do a fireworkshow due to government regulations following the high temperatures and dry soil in the Netherlands last weekend.
So, City of Dance offers a lot of genres and fun for a lot of locals in the south of the Netherlands. It’s a big plus for the scene here, so the chances are there that we’ll be back in 2019!
Reporter: Alexander Bouten