On the 21st of November it was time for Qlimax! The 15th edition of this massive indoor festival & definitely one of the pearls within the indoor-festival landscape. Q-Dance, the organization, had promised a journey in which we would immerse in a unified fields of vibrations. The theme Equilibrium is Latin for balance and the anthem by Atmozfears sounded promising. Needless to say we were very excited for Qlimax. Curious what we experienced? Check it out below!
With loads of different nationalities representing themselves with flags we arrived at the location of Qlimax. Qlimax takes place in the Gelredome in Arnhem where normally the Dutch football team Vitesse plays its matches. Obviously for this massive event they took out all the grass again and transformed it to another world, a world called ‘Qlimax’. It’s hard to describe but for us arriving at the stadium and walking down the big stairs feels like coming home. This year there was no big curtain around the stage but all the lights were obviously out, not revealing its abilities. Across the length of the stadium big lights were placed across the sealing. Lasers from above were projecting the Qlimax symbol on those big lights which was something we hadn’t seen before this festival season.
Then.. it was time! Guided by the magnificent track ‘Tonight’ by Noisecontrollers, Wildstylez & Headhunterz the attributes across the sealing came to life in a spectacular show including green fireworks. We were amazed & looking aside many more people were too. DJ Isaac took the decks and instantly managed to make the whole crowd join in. With a relatively oldschool set & a generous amount of reverse bass he guided us with our first steps into the story that was set up by the creative minds of Q-Dance. Isaac played tracks like: Ease my mind, 2 best enemies – Phases & Blademasterz – One Blade.
We were already warmed up quite well & then realized that it had not even officially started yet. Bass Modulators had the honor to do the opening show this year. According to us since they had several amazing years it’s very much deserved they got the chance to do that. The usual deep voice said: ‘Welcome to Qlimax!’ and what happened next went so fast.. The new Bass Modulators track ‘Shadows’ started playing, fireworks behind the DJ booth, a crazy amount of lasers & after some time the led-screen went on & a very cool detailed landscape was revealed. Now the journey had really begun! The Bass Modulators played a very strong euphoric set with basically all of their popular tracks like ‘Our Dreams’, ‘Oxygen’, ‘Solar’ and also some oldies like Pavo’s Communicate. The best moment of the set, besides the opening show was the bootleg they made of Adele’s ‘Hello’, what a tune!
The young anthem-maker Atmozfears was up next! In a recent interview with Q-Dance he promised that his set would be both euphoric & raw, so basically have a perfect equilibrium. We have to conclude that Atmozfears managed to play an anthem-maker worthy set with a cool mashup of starting over, accelerate, sparks & just as easy, overall nice melodies & some raw tracks. He closed his set with the anthem-show playing ‘Equilibrium’ which was as usual for a Qlimax anthem received very well in the Gelredome. We must say that when we heard it for the first time we had our doubts but with the magic of 27.000 people in the Gelredome & a great soundsystem it was amazing. We noticed that there were actually Chilean & American flags at the stadium during this set. Hats off to those people because such a long flight is real dedication!
Another thing that Q-Dance had promised was motion. This was definitely something we looked forward to because you never know what they come up with. Exactly when we were wondering when that was going to happen it took place! The iron frame of the stage switched from left to right. In our view a nice touch before the legends Noisecontrollers & Wildstylez took over the decks. The amount of experience those guys have combined is quite hard to actually comprehend. The amount of classics played by Noisecontrollers & Wildstylez was insane. Standing still was impossible & it seemed every single one of the 27.000 people in the stadium knew literally EVERY tracks. Our personal highlight of the set was when they started mixing in amazing tracks after each other: ‘Year Of Summer’, ‘Lose My Mind’, ‘Art of Creation’, ‘Yellow Minute’ etc. We looked at each other in disbelief & felt really grateful to experience this set.
Brennan Heart, another very experienced artist, had the tough task to play next. Opening with his very own Qlimax anthem from 2010 ‘Alternate Reality’ he had a very good start. A great moment of his set was when he took the microphone & announced that ‘Imaginary’ would be played as a tribute to Paris. Seeing 27.000 people from all over the world showing their respects for Paris gave us straight goosebumbs.
Ran-D joined in & that instantly obviously made the set more Raw. The animations created for his first track ‘Firestarter’ were done beautifully on the LED-screen with loads of fire. As could be expected Ran-D played his anthem for this years Defqon. 1 edition ‘No guts, no glory’ and a Gunz4Hire track: ‘Plata o Plomo’.
The next 2 DJ’s have also really earned their footsteps in the scene: DJ Zatox & DJ Adaro! The time for holding back was finished so from the very first track the kicks became a lot harder than in the previous set. Their set featured Warface’s FTP, regain’s remix of ‘For The Street’, a pretty cool sample of Kygo’s firestone & wild wild west by The Wild Motherfuckers. We were quite confused when they actually went from Raw Hardstyle to a track with even higher bpm, in our view strange considering the time of the night.
Frequencerz posted on social media before going on stage that they had been dreaming about this moment for over 10 years. This could be seen instantly when they got on stage, their enthusiasm & smiling faces worked infectious for the crowd. But yeah if you add that they started with ‘Wolfpack’, ‘Smack my bitch up’ & if we counted correctly played 3 brand-new tracks you can understand how awesome the atmosphere was like during their set. They also played the B-Freqz track reality which is always received well, especially with a great soundsystem.
The only female DJ of the night and queen of Raw Deetox got her time to shine after Frequencerz. Well she showed why they call her the queen of Raw Hardstyle with hardly any breaks & a destructive tempo. When she played her track ‘Do you want the Rawness’ we looked at the crowd & thought to ourselves; ‘Ah that must be a rhetorical question!’
Just when we realized we already called the set of Deetox destructive it was time for the really hard ending of Qlimax. Hardcore DJ Tha Playah got the honor to close it down. MC Villain made room for MC Jeff & the artist and MC proved to be a nice duo. If you had any energy left, Tha Playah made sure you got rid of it within the 30 minutes he had.
There’s no denying in the fact that Qlimax remains a very cool & special indoor festival with a huge amount of people, many nationalities, an absolutely top notch show and world-class hardstyle DJ’s. We absolutely loved the show elements and would like to give loads of credits to the creative minds of Q-Dance who created the whole ‘Equilibrium’ story. As for the stage design itself & the motion it was cool but we expected a little more motion. The DJ sets have been in general of a very high quality like basically every year. In conclusion we would absolutely recommend you to visit Qlimax if you love the harder styles. Due to the fact there’s a real build-up in styles at Qlimax there’s something for everyone.
Reporter: Alexander Bouten