At the 27th April it was time for Kingsday, that Dutch national holiday when everybody dresses up in orange and celebrates the birthday of Dutch king Willem-Alexander, which is known all over the world because it always has a unique atmosphere and not to forget offers a huge amount of Kingsday-parties to choose from! Like every other year it was difficult for us to decide where to go but we must say the royal line-up that Kingsland Festival had to offer was convincing!
Kingsland Festival Den Bosch was organized for the first time ever this year taking the Festival to the next level. In the last 2 years there had always only been the event in Amsterdam but for the third edition ALDA Events, E&A Events and 4PM didn’t think that was enough.
We arrived at Den Bosch station around 11 am which gave us the chance to check out where the shuttlebus would be leaving from exactly. After a little confusion, because it said on the bus ticket it would leave from Leonardo Da Vinci square it turned out to leave at the other side of the station, we were on our way to Pettelaarse schans (the name of the recreational area where the festival took place). The entrance was arranged professionally & very quick. When we went to get some tokens we spotted that you had to pay 1 token if you wanted to go to the toilet which was quite disappointing but could have been expected since the ticket price was relatively cheap considering the artists in the line-up. 3,5 tokens for 10 euros can actually be considered as normal. The stage had a couple of confetti canons, lasers, lights & 7 towers with on top a crown. The Kingsday atmosphere was integrated well.
So, talking about the artists now, when we entered D-Wayne was already warming up with some smooth house vibes and obviously he played his new track ‘Modus’ which had just been released at Wall Recordings.
The next act, Yellow Claw, had a little issue with the sound system but they anticipated well on that and after a couple of minutes could start with their set. Yellow Claw is one of those acts that manage to play a set with many genres mixed together. Their set contained hip-hop beats, hardstyle and of course those trap drops which they are famous for, unfortunately the building of their set was a little slow. The absolute highlight of their set was the last track ‘Till it hurts’ ft. Ayden for which they brought Ayden on stage!
Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano
It can definitely be considered special to see this House duo live since they are touring around the world most of the time (Sexy By Nature tour). An instant surprise during their set was the presence of Sunnery’s son who was having a lot of fun on stage & clapping along with the crowd. With their catchy drum loops and beats it’s impossible to stand still so at this point the atmosphere got a lot better. Their set featured ‘SOTU (Sound Of The Underground)’, their new track ‘Karusell’ ft. Leroy Styles, ‘Watch out for this’ and Hardwell’s ‘Sky full of stars remix’ which always is received well by crowds. Sunnery had fun with the CO2 gun on stage which was cool to watch.
Armin Van Buuren
Armin needs no further introduction. We saw him playing at A State Of Trance last February & that was very impressive so needless to say we looked forward to this moment. The intro took quite a long time but he opened strong with his collab with Mark Sixma ‘Phanta Rhei’ and quickly also dropped his latest track ft. Mr. Probz called ‘Another you’ which is very likely to become a huge summer-hit in the Netherlands & many more countries. Additionally Armin played ‘Together’ (ASOT 650 anthem) which like in Utrecht managed to get everybody in a state of trance.
After this set we decided to refresh with a drink & some food. We probably should have chosen a different moment because at all the stands it was rush-hour. It took us like 10 minutes to get a drink but the crew kept smiling & was serving everybody as quick as they could which is a plus. While we were relaxing a little we could still hear W&W smashing it. The MC actually announced them as ‘W&W’ with the Dutch pronunciation which sounded a little strange since they always get announced with the English pronunciation.
As is quite common the Dutch duo opened with their popular hit ‘Bigfoot’. They further played ‘Timmy Trumpet – Freaks’, a mashup of ‘someone to lean on’ & countdown and an interesting mashup of ‘I’m blue’ and Yellow Claw’s ‘Till it hurts’. Throughout the set some really nice big-room drops got the crowd jumping in the air.
Dannic keeps doing really well in the charts & with no. 30 in the DJ MAG top 100 in 2014 that proves he’s capable of putting together an awesome set. Unfortunately today the set was quite standard with ‘Blueprint’, ‘I don’t care’. Luckily he also played new tracks like the greatly anticipated ‘Survivors’ which was played at Ultra Miami for the first time and his release ‘Wait for you’ that was remixed a lot lately. Even though Dannic played well it seemed the crowd wasn’t completely into it, a pity, but probably they needed to take a break after the big sets so far.
Ummet Ozcan had been touring a lot lately so it was actually a long time ago we saw him play. As expected his set contained quick, smooth transitions and of course he played his latest track, the Emporium 2015 anthem, ‘Kensei’. When he played ‘Tiesto & KSHMR ft. Vassy – secrets’ it hit us that it was only the first time that was played. ‘Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike – The hum’ set the mood for a massive set. The strong melodic build-ups and hard hitting drops made it one of the best sets of the day.
Luke obviously also needs no introduction. The Dutch DJ and producer has surprised many people with his set at Ultra Miami and he did it again in Den Bosch. The skills he has and the live-mashing up of tracks is something that makes his set always a pleasure to watch. This time his set featured the rework of ‘Rocking with the best’, some hip-hop and 90s beats and vocals, ‘Firebeatz – calabria’, ‘La Fuente – Selecta’ and ‘Laidback Luke ft. Angger Dimas – Beat of the drum’. It was really fun to watch so one of the strongest sets of the day.
This duo always delivers a very energetic set in their very recognizable style. As always ‘Snake’ and ‘Rocket’ made the crowd go nuts. What we found interesting is the fact that they played 2 DBSTF track, their collab ‘Beautiful world’ which made everybody sing along and the recent DBSTF release ‘Do you thing’ that also was received really well. The breaks within their set were timed well and it was great to see the all-time classic ‘Guru Josh – Infinity’ really move the crowd.
Showtek have successfully completed the switch from making Hardstyle to making EDM which is nice to see. It was funny that as almost the final act they decided to play the Dutch national anthem which was a great moment, for a couple of minutes you could feel the Worldcup atmosphere which has been very intense last summer. The typical Showtek bangers ‘Get Loose’ and ‘Cannonball’ were obviously played and that created people to jump together. The rest of the set was a little standard which was disappointing but the fireworks definitely made up for that! Unfortunately we had to go because otherwise we wouldn’t be able to get home but we’re sure Wildstylez closed the party with a bang!
Kingsland Festival has been a great experience with mostly sublime DJ sets. The best of the day came from Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, Ummet Ozcan, Laidback Luke & Armin van Buuren according to us. As for some points of improvement it might have been better to use either more drink-stands or more crewmembers because it took a long to time to get a drink, next to that we were surprised by the fact that we had to pay for going to the toilet. However most was definitely positive: the royal line-up, the fact that it hasn’t been extremely busy & you had enough room to dance and we liked the big selection of food & drinks. We actually ate a monkey waffle (Nutella, caramel waffle & banana) which honestly has been one of the best festival-snacks we ever ate. We suggest introducing that to more festivals! Finally we would like to thank ALDA for the good reception & we recommend you to check out Kingsland Festival next year!
Reporter: Alexander Bouten