The Flying Dutch, a concept of ALDA Events, has reached its fourth edition this year. Time flies! Because we can remember the excitement within our team when we heard that they started with this concept in 2015. For those of you who aren’t aware of it, which is nearly impossible due to the massive amount of media coverage both online and on TV and radio they’ve received, The Flying Dutch brings home a lot of top DJs. As mentioned in a trailer, ‘’There’s no party anywhere else in the world, because all the best Dutch DJs are here!’’. What’s unique is that these top DJs perform 3 times in 3 different cities (Rotterdam, Amsterdam & Eindhoven) on the same day transported by helicopters.
It’s not our first time at The Flying Dutch, but needless to say we were curious what the stage was going to look like and which other non-musical activities would be around this year. We have to mention that they did a clever campaign this year by declaring the 2nd of June (event-day) as the ‘’Day of Dutch Dance’’ which gave them some extra media-attention. The outdoor mainstage was as Dutch as can be, with a windmill (unfortunately not a moving one), tulips, a boat with the Flying Dutch logo (since they’re sailing to Curaçao in October) and a characteristic blue color just like the typical Dutch pottery from Delft. In addition to that there was massive blue cow, picnic table and huge tulips to really set the mood for the day.
Estiva, a Flying Dutch talent, had the honor to kick of the day. He took it slow, but definitely achieved to get people in the mood for the Dutch Dance day. With a few progressive trance tunes and oldschool house tracks we were quite happy with the way how he opened.
Label-owner and well known hardstyle DJ Brennan Heart was up next so time to raise the volume! His concept I Am Hardstyle is gaining worldwide recognition and his label We R Music is releasing quality tunes for a number of years already. Obviously he adapted a little to the early timeslot and played a bunch of EDM remixes as a true hardstyle set would be a bit too heavy for the majority of the crowd. It’s striking how his hit ‘Imaginary’ still hits you right in the feels.
We went to check out the second area which was a bit crowded already and themed as ‘Après Ski’ and hosted by an Après Ski bar. We saw that some people were enjoying it, but it’s for us a bit of a miss if you consider The Flying Dutch is essentially about Dutch dance music.
Lucas & Steve have been all across the globe with their unique future house music sound and they played loads of their radio-hits during their set. Obviously, that pleased the crowd, because if you know the track from the radio it’s easy to move to it & sing along.
Don Diablo aka mister Hexagon did a little tribute to Avicii during his set which fortunately enough everybody was able to appreciate. Hexagon to us, is one of the labels that keeps releasing a string of monster tunes so that got us very happy.
Well yeah, what can we say about the urban segment; besides the fact that we completely get why the organization did this with the goal to attract more young people (because Dutch hip-hop is quite hot amongst youngsters), it didn’t seem to work out at all for the crowd. Only Jebroer was able to get some crowd-reaction, but only did his best-known tracks. Clearly the crowd was disappointed and so were we.
W&W were extremely refreshing after this urban segment. They only needed a few minutes to get the crowd completely hyped and proved once and for all the big-room isn’t dead yet at all. They absolutely teared it down with their collab with Darren Styles ‘Long Way Down’, which they actually played twice because of the amazing crowd-reaction we assume.
R3hab is hardly ever playing in the Netherlands anymore so we were quite curious about his set. His new direction towards producing music with trap-influences did seem to work so well with the The Flying Dutch crowd. However, his very collab with Quintino ‘Freak’ and older collab with Nervo ‘Revolution’ did the trick. His collab with Mike Williams ‘Lullaby’ was certainly one our favorite tunes of the day.
Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano will be joining The Flying Dutch overseas in Curaçao this October. It felt like they were warming up for that with their set that sounded very Caribbean & contained a lot of percussion elements as we’re used to from the duo. There was a special Curaçao brand-activation at the grounds with promo-girls and the chance to win a trip to the event. We actually met press from Curaçao who had come to do some interviews & create a promo video. It was lovely to hear how enthusiast they were about the event & the Curaçao edition.
Tiësto is not a trance DJ anymore, but we always hope to hear one of his legendary trance tunes when we can see him. It remains special to see him, because he’s hardly ever around. This was actually his only outdoor-show in the Netherlands this year. Oh yeah, regarding the trance tunes, he dropped ‘Adagio For Strings’! Weirdly enough the crowd hardly reacted to it, but we went completely nuts!
Fedde Le Grand has been active in the DJ/producer business for a long time and that showed during his set where he dropped a lot of 90s house classics, mashed up with some more ‘modern’ sounds. Fedde has a unique style that you’ll be able to hear at a bunch of mainstages this summer, so if you’ve got the chance to see him, do it!
Afrojack, who we would have expected to close the event, since he’s from Spijkenisse which is super close to Rotterdam clearly felt at home. Opening with ‘My city’ he quickly got the crowd on his side. With very decent build-ups & typical Afrojack drops he got the crowd ready for the closing of the day: Armin van Buuren! Unfortunately we weren’t able to watch his full closing set due to transportation issues, but we saw the fireworks closing on video and it looked great!
The Flying Dutch is fun for everyone who loves Dutch dance music, but contrary to previous years we felt like there wasn’t as much energy from the crowd as we were used to for this event. DJ-wise we don’t see a lot of points for improvement and they clearly did more brand-activations this year & we had a very fun day! Let’s see what’s in store for their 5-year anniversary! We’ll be keeping a close eye on it!