Funktion 1 Sound Systems Everywhere at Welcome to the Future

welcome to the future

Isn’t it beautiful?! Welcome to the Future is one of the very best techno festivals in the Netherlands, possibly in the world, and I was not disappointed. Some of the best techno music artists were there, including Carl Craig, Pan Pot, Secret Cinema and Len Faki (who I haven’t seen in a long time and was happy to get the chance). Unfortunately, Carl Craig and apparently some others had some rather serious technical problems during their sets, making it perhaps not the best musical experience for everyone. They placed a Funktion 1 sound system at all 7 stages. The sound was impeccable, everywhere I went – and I suppose that amazing sound system made every mistake audible to the audience as well!

wttf4 I think what I like best about WTTF is the sheer beauty of their sets and the lovely location, which is one of the prettiest party places in the Netherlands. It’s so very flat here, it’s nice to go someplace that has a few hills to wander around for a change in scenery.

They are also a very green party, with all organic food, free tap water and everything is recycled. They also have a “leave no trace” policy, which must be a feat, the way people just throw their trash on the ground.

The artistic highlight of the day for me was Pan Pot at the end. I wasn’t sure about them, because the first few times I saw them they seemed to repeat much of their set from place to place, which didn’t impress me. What I heard on Saturday was almost all new and all great, and combined with the amazing location and set, it convinced me to stay til the end rather than leave early, as I had planned. Thanks, Pan Pot!panpotwttf

 

 

Psychedelic Trance. A little break from techno.

shut up and dance 1016

I really like psychedelic trance music. A lot. However, as with all genres, there’s a range of styles and types, and the most common type of psy trance, a very frenetic, fast (and fun) , style of trance, can exhaust me pretty quickly. It’s around 150 bpm! (Compare that to techno’s 125-130). I went to the Psy-Fi festival in Leeuwarden last year, and that was amazing and wonderful. There were lots of stages, including a stage in the forest that had DJs who played a mix of psy-trance and techno – the best psychedelic trance I’ve ever heard, and a bit slower and easier to dance to. We spent 3 days camping there and had a blast. I think something like 30,000 people were there.

This time it will be just one stage (and just one night), and 1/10th the number of people. I wonder if the music will exhaust me quickly or if I’ll be able to stay the distance. At least it’s on the beach, which means I can distance myself to take breaks as needed, and enjoy the lovely views. Will report back on how it all goes.

Aftermath

shutupanddance

Woweee that was amazing! Every time I go to a psytrance event, I tell myself I should do more of them. It was on a beautiful beach at sunset and went well beyond, til 4am. I made it til almost the end! The crowd was a lovely mix of ages with lots like me around. I went with a new friend who loves the music and two total newbie first timers who both enjoyed themselves – one of them seemed totally amazed. I hope he’ll go to more events with us! The music started out nice and slow, the way I like it, and built up gradually. It never got toooo fast for me, thankfully. There were bonfires and fire dancers, poi jugglers

LED-Poi

and a really good vibe. Unlike at techno events it was just so colorful – both what people wore and how they decorated. Techno can be so serious sometimes!

My favorite DJ of the night was called Second Side, from Germany. I thought Germans did techno best, but it seems they can also put out some killer psy trance! It’s also notable that I’m taking note of a psy trance DJ’s name. Til now I knew none of them.

I also liked the size of the event at around 3000 people. The 30,000 at Psy Fi made it a much bigger project to accomplish. This was close to home and easy to navigate – perfect for a professional partier with too many amazing parties nearby and too little time to get to them all.

Gare and Gaiser: Not Up to Expectations

Well, it was an experiment, right?

The venue was cool, but what you see here is almost all there is:

gare

There’s the bar there in front of you, and the dance floor on the left. It is a cool space, but I thought there’d be more to it. Not that I mind small clubs…I just had the impression of something larger. The sound quality was not what I am used to here in the Netherlands (yes, spoiled brat speaking here, and I realize the sound I desire just may not be possible in a converted wine cellar). The set by Gaiser was good, but not all that special, like what we heard at Loveland a couple weeks ago.

The crowd was young and reasonably friendly but not very diverse or particularly open to visitors. The night was also very hard on my body, but I suspected it would be going in. At 1am, they *still* weren’t letting people in because it was so empty. My dear husband kept me company til midnight, which involved more wine than I usually have, and then inside the club they clearly paid no attention whatsoever to smoking regulations so all in all, it was kind of rough. They also had no laser show because apparently they had previously been using lasers dangerously and had been caught out, so there was no particular light show going on.

I don’t mind giving up the next day to sleeping and recovery if I can gain an amazing experience during the night: great music, new friends, cool light show….

This event was not worth it in the end, but how do you know if you don’t try? In the future I won’t risk very late night events unless I have personal assurances from people who’ve been there that it is worth it, a la Music On or Space in Ibiza (coming up in September). This place had a good reputation, and maybe it is good compared to what else is on offer in Portugal. I’m open to your comments below on: How do you know before you go??