DGTL Festival Review @ NDSM Docklands, Amsterdam
Thursday 8th May 2014 | Annalisa
Kick starting the festival season off with a bang we headed over to Amsterdam for DGTL. We celebrated the Easter weekend partying in the glorious sunshine at an old docklands listening to some of the best electronic music around.
The shenanigans all kicked off on Saturday, the sun was beaming down and it was a perfect day to be outside with a beer enjoying some great music. Boarding the ferry over to the NDSM docklands, excitement and anticipation filled the air and we were eager to get stuck in. Hearing the pumping bass that was rippling through the water, and spotting a predominantly huge crane carrying the four letters DGTL...we knew we had arrived!
Walking through the festival grounds, I was instantly taken aback by the sheer detail of the infrastructure and organisation. Stamped with a clear theme and identity, this years special focus was DGTL Revolution and Art. Their aim was to connect innovation of industrial nostalgia of past and present. Embracing the warehouse and industrial vibe, the dockyards were transformed into a playground of madness. As well as live music there were live art installations, innovative lighting, epic sculptures and dancers, DGTL went above and beyond to provide us with the ultimate festival experience. Situated in the heart of Amsterdam, the old shipyard on the seafront of the city harbour was home to over 80 artists based on 6 stages throughout the two days. With a lineup forged from the crème de la crème of emerging and established musical talent, from both Dutch and international grounds this festival had all the right ingredients for a great weekend.
Heading to the Audio greenhouse German duo Niconé and Sascha Braemer were getting things warmed up, the tent reminded me of a huge bubble with the transparent ceilings and was full of smiling faces buzzing with a great atmosphere. Wandering around exploring the site we passed by the Kompakt Arena in front of the backdrop of a huge tower of hexagon lights German electronic DJ, Robag Wruhme was layering a mix of minimal techno. Finishing off a beer to kick off the mid afternoon vibes, we made our way over to the Red Bull Arena to catch some of Wolf Music graduate, Medlar. Setting the mood with some chilled beats the suns rays were beaming through the arched tent, with an amazing view this was definitely a good spot. Shadow Child stepped up next, blending a mix of bass and house grooves,the crowd went crazy as he weaved in a remix of his summer tune '23'. With the luminosity of the purple lights scattering across the ceiling and against the packed out room, we made a dash for the Crewe Love tent where Wolf+ Lamb and Soulclap were playing on rotation with a handful of other special guests. With an intimate ambience, the guys laid down some serious disco and house tunes that got us hungry for more. The sun continued to shine down on us and looking effortlessly cool, the crowd was dressed to kill. Topping off the night we enjoyed a hard hitting infused set from Agoria in one of my favourite tents of the weekend, DGTL.
The following day offered a serious lineup, with some heavyweights topping the bill from Jamie Jones, Skream and Ame. Though my musical highlight had to come from man of the moment Hot Since 82, taking us on a musical journey he got the crowd going crazy in the DGTL Tent. His rise to prominence has been nothing short of astounding, gracing the cover of last months issue of Mixmag this guy is smashing it right now. Rocking up with his entourage of mates, about ten very down to earth Yorkshire lads these guys definitely brought the party and even managed to get the crowd to participate in a sit- down on the floor whilst Hot Since 82 unleashed one of Maceo Plex’s ultimate tunes 'Under The Sheets'. With the beat dropping the sea of people jumped up going absolutely bonkers, it was a classic moment and a definite highlight of the festival.
The atmosphere was electric, and stepping up next was head honcho of innovative label Hot Creations, Jamie Jones. Firmly cementing his place in electronic music this guy sure knows how to put on a good show treating us to some warm, melodic sounds. Wandering around we found ourselves lured into the Innervisions tent where German duo Âme, were dropping a deep house set fused with that classic Detroit edge of soul that we love. Losing ourselves to the thumping basslines and deeply hypnotic beats, these guys delivered a ridiculously awesome set. Back at the Red Bull tent we were looking forward to catching a bit of British homegrown talent, Huxley. With his own distinctive mark on house music, dancing away he delivered a high energy fuelled set that got the crowd jumping. Closing off the festival for us was one of house and techno’s finest producers right now, Dixon. Taking over his own Innervisions tent, this was an incredible end to the weekend.
This was a definite success story adding to its history and looks set to get better and better. Exceeding all of my expectations we highly recommend that you check this out next summer and we look forward to what next year will bring.
Words by Tab Taylor @tiptoptab