Sensation is back and hopefully it’s here to stay! One of ID&T Group’s flagship events returned to the iconic Johan Cruijff ArenA on Saturday July 2nd. We obviously had to be a part of it. Enjoy our review about Sensation 2022 ‘YES.’ To All!
The very first Sensation edition took place in 2000 and it was a yearly tradition in July until 2017. Sensation has experienced many editions abroad as well, both in Europe and beyond the European borders. Fun fact: in 2002 Sensation came up with another type of concept called ‘Sensation Black’ which focused more on the darker/rougher sides of dance music, while Sensation White was all about the accessible types of house and trance music. This has evolved a lot over the years, since music obviously evolves as well, but something that will never change is Sensation’s slogan: ‘’Be part of the night, dress in white’’.
Sensation = unity!
he fact that this dress code has been around since 2001 makes it an iconic event and honestly, upon entering the Johan Cruijff ArenA with tens of thousands other people dressed in white gives you a sense of unity. Considering it was completely sold-out and there were almost 40,000 visitors, it makes you wonder what it is that gives Sensation the strength to still be going strong within the full landscape of electronic music events.
When you see the stage, designs, and show-elements of Sensation though, you definitely understand why this concept remains a successful one. If you can surprise thousands of critical house music fans with the opening show (actual fireworks), that certainly proves how well thought-out the concept is. The theme ‘YES.’ was very well-connected in the storytelling during Sensation. Huge LED-screens with faces and a voice-over and a massive DJ booth – high up in the sky – in the middle of the ArenA, we instantly gotin the mood for a party and so did the audience.
When Noizu had the honor to drop the first house beats, it was clear that everybody was ready to make this a great night. Usually during an opening act people are warming up a bit, but after some years of waiting, a warm-up was definitely not required. Franky Rizardo made sure we stayed in the right flow by playing loads of recognizable, famous house music vocals during his set that made the crowd sing along.
We have to mention a special show-moment which involved massive blue and yellow beach balls while John Lennon’s iconic track ‘Imagine’ was playing, a pretty cool tribute to everything going on in Ukraine.
American DJ and producer ACRAZE, known for his massive hit ‘Do It To It’ could be considered as one of the surprises in the line-up this year. Apparently, ‘Do It To It’ was an idea he came up with and produced in only 30 minutes, which is pretty amazing if you ask us. As expected he teased his hit slowly, so everybody anticipated the drop which hit harder than we ever expected, because of the massive venue. ACRAZE is definitely not a one-trick-pony, because he managed to keep the audience interested and the energy levels high throughout his set.
For this year’s edition of Sensation, ID&T partnered up with the new Heineken Silver brand for the second stage as well as lots of activations within the ArenA. By the way, yes Heineken Silver is tasty, we can confirm that for sure. Many visitors received a special Heineken bracelet that was incorporated within the show a couple of times by lighting up based on the beat of the track. We’ve taken a look at the Silver stage, and we were pleasantly surprised by Martin Ikin who was killing it behind the decks. It was also really refreshing that the Silver stage wasn’t super crowded like the main floor and the vibes were easily just as good. You could say that it was a little hidden gem. We do wonder why Mr. White, one of the big show-elements of Sensation, played at the second stage and not at the mainstage as has happened every year before that. One small thing that we also noticed was that when the LED-screens with the faces for the show were turned around you just saw some cables and that took away the magic of Sensation a little bit, perhaps it might be a good idea to cover that in some way if they decide to do something like that again.
Music-wise besides ACRAZE we’ve got 2 clear highlights of the night, one is Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, the second one is Oliver Heldens. Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano have played at many Dutch Sensation editions as well as abroad, and they just know exactly what the audience is looking for: nice house vibes, tribal beats and super catchy tunes. They’ve done the special ‘Monument Of Light’ tribute set when the event unfortunately couldn’t take place due to the Covid pandemic. Oliver Heldens is also a perfect addition to Sensation, because his sets and productions are diverse. We love ourselves some diversity, from ‘Gecko’ to ‘String Theory’.
Time flew by and before we knew it, Malaa closed the event and rays of sunlight broke through the glass roof of the Amsterdam ArenA. Thanks for having us Sensation and we hope to see you again next year!