At the 18th July we visited City of Dance Festival in the capital of Zeeland: Middelburg. The Festival is one of the major events taking place every year in Zeeland. With a part that’s free in the city centre and a part of the festival that’s taking place in Hof van Tange the festival is for everybody. With a total of 7 stages and about 90 artists and the fact that it was the 15th anniversary it was something we didn’t want to miss! Check out our experience in our report below!
We arrived at about 17:00 and were directly impressed by the big amount of stages in a relatively small area. Before arrival we were afraid that with this many stages the sound would be mixed but that was absolutely not the case.
As usual we decided to walk straight to the mainstage knowing that the legendary DJ Jean was playing. His synergy with his regular MC Maron Hill was visible as always. Despite the fact there weren’t that many people gathered in front of the main-stage yet DJ Jean created a nice atmosphere with tracks like Dada Life’s – the great fashion swindle and the popular ‘Are you with me’ and Sam Feldt’s ‘Show me love’. As there was obviously much more to see than just the main-stage we decided to make a quick tour of the festival terrain.
The STTRBSTN hosting took place in a massive church which was filled with air, a fun view for sure. Pokoe, the techno area was dressed like a jungle and was surrounded by containers. The fact that it was surrounded by containers was of course to keep the sound in the area but as you got a bit closer to the DJ the sound was way too loud, so we walked on to the Hardstyle area that they called ‘the candyclub’ and was located in a tent. Ruthless was tearing the roof of there with already some Raw tracks which definitely promised something good for the rest of the night there. Probably the stage that surprised us most was the beach-boom stage. Located just perfectly in the shade near all the foodtrucks it was very easy to get that beach-vibe. Of course the music really helped with that; Deep-House obviously.
Pep & Rash
Next up at the main-stage was the local duo Pep & Rash which we spoke and saw recently at Southpark festival. Once again they surprised the audience with their skills. They managed to put all the deep-house summer hits in one big set including their track ‘Rumors’, ‘Fatality’ & their really cool remix of Alesso’s ‘Sweet Escape’, Don Diablo’s ‘My window’ & Martin Solveig’s ‘Intoxicated’.
A duo we hadn’t seen recently but certainly need no introduction is Deepack! Together with MC Renegade hosting the stage they put on a great show. Playing tracks like ‘Nothing else matters’, ‘Shiverz’ and ‘Stampuh’ they gave the crowd exactly what they wanted. The loud kicks & cool melodic breaks were clearly appreciated by the fans.
Walking back to the main-stage we were pleasantly surprised by the great vibe & energy supplied by Andy & Dorothy. Dorothy’s voice remains absolutely amazing & not for no reason the Shermans keep being praised as one of world biggest musical families. The passion those people show on stage is very cool to see and as well the fact that they always include some amazing old-school house in their set.
The Partysquad doesn’t need to introduction either & when they started playing that became instantly clear. It was not suprising that they played ‘drank en drugs’ which became a big hype recently. The Partysquad put some trap & hip-hop in their & went up to 150 bpm with the LNYTNZ remix of ‘Last Night Ever’, ‘Lose My Mind’ & ‘Tsunami’. Even though those tracks were enjoyed by the crowd we think it was a pity this set was quite predictable.
Just before DJ Dyna was up next City of Dance showed that the festival is not just about music but also about art & dance by putting some dancers on stage with a nice routine.
DJ Dyna managed to represent the real Dutch dirty house in his own unique way. Just like his sexed up concept is doing well so is the owner himself. It was nice that he didn’t limit himself to his signature sound but also included the ‘Destination Calabria’ remix of Firebeatz and the extremely popular Galantis ‘You & I’ in a house remix. He even played Icona Pop’s ‘I don’t care’ in a kind of Freestyle remix which got a great crowd reaction. This was the first set where they showed a bit of the features of stage: some confetti popped out of the canons & fire came out of the tops of the stage.
COD Anthem show (DJ Aryss ft. Eva van Leeuwen)
At this point it was getting dark which was the perfect moment for the anthem show. We heard the anthem several times at the office to be prepared for the festival & we liked it. So we were curious how that was going to sound live. By coincidence we were able to have a short chat with Eva near the Beachboom stage and she told about how the anthem was created. For us this was just building up the tension even more of seeing what it was going to be like. Together with some dancers on stage Eva did a great job singing the lyrics of the anthem & the DJ’ing by DJ Aryss was on point as well. After the anthem we thought it would be time for the next DJ but that was not true. Drummers from a marching band came on stage & drummed beautifully on DVBBS’s smashing hit ‘Tsunami’. That was really unexpected and therefore one of the highlights for us.
DJ BIGGI perfectly anticipated on the darkness of the sky by playing Alesso’s ‘Lose Myself’ & asking everybody to put up their lighters in the sky; a really cool view! He further played a really cool remix of ‘We will rock you’ and Swedish House Maffia’s classic ‘Save the world tonight’. We hadn’t seen DJ BIGGI playing many times before and we must say he positively surprised us with his set.
Darkraver B2B Reza B2B Ruthless
Yes you are reading this correctly, when we decided to get something to eat at one of the foodtrucks we passed by the Hardstyle area and heard Darkraver & Reza playing a Hardstyle edit of ‘Dark & drugs’, the vibe there as predicted was amazing so we decided to stay there some longer. After a couple of tracks Ruthless came back on stage & played B2B with the Darkraver & Reza. That was really cool to see!
Outsiders vs The Darkraver (Closing set)
Yes Darkraver actually played twice! Outsiders began the set solo but quickly took Steve (The Darkraver) on stage. We instantly got really happy because of the freestyle & 90s sound in this set. Cherrytraxx – Acid Moon as opening track is something we always can appreciate. The two well-known DJ’s played a set packed with known classics like ‘We are your friends’, ‘Love is gone’ Oasis’s – wonderwall in a Hardstyle remix we had never heard before, ‘Have you ever been mellow’ & many more. The closing was amazing with some real Hardstyle bangers like the Xqlusive Holland DJ tool ‘Dikke vette bassplaat’.
This was our first visit to City of Dance and it surely won’t be our last. Despite the points of improvement like the amount of decibel at the techno area and the main-stage we really had a nice Festival day & enjoyed many great DJ’s. If you’re in the area next year we definitely recommend this Festival because it’s not expensive, there’s a big variety in music styles & the atmosphere is nice. Thumps up for You Dance for organizing a cool 15th anniversary of this event!
Reporter: Alexander Bouten