On Saturday the 6th of August, the military base of Twenthe was in total control by Hardcore fanatics. Art of Dance and Absolutely Fresh did gather their weapons and united as an army to give us that once in a lifetime experience. At this military base, all Hardcore lovers can enjoy the sounds of their favourite DJ’s from 12:00 – 00:00. A dazzling 12-hour ride which we enjoyed to the maximum. Let’s have a look at the legendary first edition of Airforce Festival!
We left early in the morning. Our bus departs from Leiden and went to Utrecht followed by Arnhem and then arrived at Airforce Festival. After a long drive, from 8:00 – 12:45 we finally arrived at the festival ground, thanks to Event Travel! Upon arrival, you directly spot the military base with a forest around it. The area looked like a fairy tale, perhaps a somewhat dark story but it was a fantastic location. From the bus, we walked down a wide path to the entrance.
From the outset, you could see the main stage. A great sight so you get sucked directly into the festival. The big, old runaway, which was used for warplanes to start, led directly towards the main stage. It was also the main route of the festival. On this route, smaller paths were attached. These paths lead to the other stages, on the left and right.
First, we bought a locker for €,7- and some tokens, 12 for €42. After that, we did set sail towards the main stage. Thankfully the main stage was not just some LED-Screens, but consisted of many different, scrapped, constructed details – it was the end of a long runaway, as some ‘airport-looking’ lights, starting from the entrance, lead towards the main stage on the big main street! At both sides, there were some robots, with lasers attached to their eyes. Ever seen Terminator? That’s how they looked like!
The area itself contains the magnificent military elements. Think of watchtowers, large storage areas, bombs, bunkers and military vehicles. Of course, this reminds you of Q-Base, but in our opinion, this event was way more into the military stuff compared to Q-base, which is a good thing and gave the festival a really nice atmosphere. Furthermore, the sound within the bunkers was amazing, but later we will tell more about that.
Upon our arrival at the main stage, we did catch up the final 10 minutes of the set by Meltdown and Thorax. They did play some new stuff from Meltdown like The Next Level but also some older tracks. Their style is very similar, I was feeling sad that I did miss this set because of the traffic jams, Meltdown and Thorax are producers and DJ’s to keep an eye on!
After that, we did walk around to check the different areas. First, we went to the Black Box, this was Millenium Hardcore area. Millenium Mayhem was dealing an old school set. But this place was not very packed at this moment. This location had a design of a chest, with a powerful heart, a heart for hardcore perhaps? After that, we did set sail towards the Killzone. This was inside a small building, hosted by MC No-ID.
The Braindrillerz were playing LIVE. Damn, the BPM did rise to enormous heights. Maybe we did even pass the 300 BPM, I don’t know. My ears did bleed, and the funny thing is I really had a headache after this set; my brain was drilled to the max. It’s always crazy to visit areas with this kind of music, but I can’t imagine being there for 12 hours, hehe!
The Hellfire was hosted by MC Da Mouth of Madness, a great old school MC, mister Thunderdome in my opinion. We did arrive at 15:00 at this stage because Innominate was going to play a devastating LIVE set. Innominate, for those who don’t know, is formed by I:gor and Igneon System. Both known for their crazy Frenchcore, crossbreed, uptempo and industrial sounding hardcore.
Innominate was doing a great job. One of the guys was behind a laptop doing live edits and sound effects, the other was behind the decks. A fucking sick combination. This is how a live act should be! They did drop tracks like The Price You Pay, Execute and Let The Blood Spill. The bunker was shaking on his grounds. Ready for the next DJ. The brutal force from Italy, Andy the Core!
Andy the Core did play a great mix of new and old stuff. The absolute highlight was his mixing between Menace II Society Chronic Counter and Brutal Method. Starting with 150 BPM up to 200 BPM, making a crazy switch into Brutal Method at 200 BPM, holy shit! I was amazed by his mixing skills again. Besides that, he is performing and making contact with the audience all the time.
Yes, this guy has some experience, and we enjoy that! He did drop lots of own stuff like Say It and Touch it but also tracks from other artists like Magnet by Miss K8 and Pompen by D-Fence. Of course, he did end his set with… DON’T FUCK WITH ANDY THE CORE.., the track called The last one, Oh yes, you better don’t. Cause he’s ready for all of you!
After Andy the Core we went back to the main stage. You could hear the sounds of the main stage all over the festival grounds, when you were standing outside. Again, we can just say, holy shit, the sound was absolutely perfect and even with ear plugs loud as fuck! Neophyte Records Allstars did drop an almost standard set. Whenever Tha Playah is playing or Evil Activities we do hear the Riders of Retaliation anthem. They did also drop some new tunes like Headshot by Noize Suppressor and Tha Playah ft. MC Nolz. Ending their set with Fight With Anger and Mellow Moe Nie Mauwe they did warm-up the audience for more. Still, this set didn’t surprise me, sadly.
Of course, we did also want to visit the RAW stage, so we did decide to walk towards the Radar area. This stage had the design of a satellite, which did look very sick, it was not that big but perfectly scaled into the landscape. Ran-D was playing the final tracks of his set. Executioner Style made the crowd go mental. After that, he did drop Rockstar in the Sub Zero Project remix and Paradox, which did both sounds amazing with this sound system.
After the set by Ran-D, we did decide to go for some food. There was only 1 food area, you did not have to walk that long, but still it was at the beginning of the festival ground so you had to walk a few minutes from the main stage. The same goes for the toilets. There was only 1 toilet area for the whole festival. Besides that you didn’t have any tap water fountains, so it was not that hygienic, we all know that these soap machines don’t work for 12 hours right? Anyway, we were starving for some food so we did decide to buy a panini and french fries for 3,5 tokens in total, as average. The festival ground was not overcrowded and so wasn’t the chill zone. We could easily grab our food, drinks and find a place to rest.
Of course, we didn’t come here to rest. We continued our journey through the music of the harder styles. Our next stop was an old school set by Jappo, the millennium alias by Unexist and Predator. We are not into this Hardcore style, so we can’t give you any names but the vibe was crazy over there. It was not packed at all, but the average age was above 30, which made us the youngsters. Still we had lots of fun. All people did know the tracks, it was great to witness. After 20 minutes we did decide to leave and head towards Day-Mar at the Hellfire stage.
The Hellfire stage was also far from packed at this moment. Still, we did like to stay at Day-Mar because she always gives that rough underground Hardcore feeling. Unfortunately for Day-Mar the sound system did fail and went off for 5 minutes. But not all people did leave and were there to witness Down with the Sickness and Fuck the drum machine (N-Vitral remix). Of course, she did also drop her new banger Luxury, which I recommend to check out. From Day-Mar we went to another Harcore Queen, Miss K8.
Miss K8 did play at the main stage. She did start at a very low BPM, and she didn’t raise it in her first 5/6 tracks. After we did listen to Ice Breaker, Masters of Hardcore – Raiders of Rampage Anthem and Scream we did decide to leave. It was not what we hoped for. We were already used to high BPM’s at this point. We moved our asses back to the Hellfire stage for a destructive set by F.Noize!
F.Noize is doing great lately, of course with Scarphase, but also with his solo career. He did start with the Ameno remix by Unexist and Mad Dog, followed by tracks such as Middle Fingers Up by Partyraiser and Cryogenic, Gabberz in Paris, Phase One and Like an Earthquake. The Hellfire bunker was packed to the maximum, there were even around 100 people partying outside the bunker. This was for sure one of the highlights of Airforce. Ending his set with Grinfucked by The Destroyer ft Da Mouth of Madness, who did perform this track LIVE, it was a set rough as hell!
The darkness did fall, giving an amazing atmosphere to the Military Airport Twenthe. The stages gave us an enormous diversity of lights, lasers, and LEDs were everywhere. The production was simply perfect and every single area was perfectly designed. Art of Dance and Absolutely Fresh did a great job here!! Angerfist was playing already for 15 minutes but we joined the final 30 minutes of his LIVE set.
We did visit many Angerfist LIVE sets in 2016 and they are all a bit of the same. Starting with some slower and older tracks, ending with tracks like Deathmask and Inframan. It’s still awesome if you visit this for the first or second time, but after a few sets, it starts to bore a little bit. But maybe we are just spoiled. Angerfist still does a great job by mixing his tracks together. We would like to see him scratching one day. That’s one of the skills that we miss in an Angerfist set. Also, we would like to hear some new tracks soon.
Speaking about mixing and scratching, the crazy Italian killer, Unexist, was ready to wreck the mainstage! Unexist did start with a brand-new track, which we don’t know by name yet, but it has an epic atmosphere in it. After that, he did drop his new collab with Crypsis, holy shit the bass made our ears bleed over there! He also dropped tracks from his album Unexistence, think about Gunz Blazin’, Music is my weapon, Shitting Teeth and Unexistence.
Unexist is a real performer, born as a DJ, jumping on the decks, jumping in front of the decks, slamming on the decks, slamming on the stage, stopping the music to get the attention of the audience, it is a total package. Together with his amazing producing skills, he is showing his style of hardcore. The anger against the system. Unexist was simply amazing again.
After that, we did have a little break but we still enjoyed the beats dropped by Destructive Tendencies at the background. They did play a far from standard set, with not only DT hits, but also tracks like Getverherrie, and Fuck the Drummachine by N-Vitral. They did also drop many tracks from their new upcoming album. Think about Ameno in the Unexist and DJ Mad Dog remix, Release the Kraken, Inner Demons and Bash the fucking world. Of course they did also drop their ‘breakthrough’ tune Sounds Become One. After Destructive Tendencies, it was time for another ‘destructive’ act. Give it up for Scarphase.
This was the third time we could enjoy the beats by Scarphase. Again as a thirty-minute LIVE act. All were pretty the same, but they don’t bore for a second. Yes, they drop their own tracks, Phase One, Like an Earthquake and Black Scars, like they did in the previous live sets as well. But I bet most of the people did watch them two times at maximum. The tempo in their set is just amazing. The thirty minutes just feel like 10 or even less. The only thing we wonder is the fact that it’s a LIVE act. We know that F.Noize is playing at a laptop to edit and make effects and Partyraiser is scratching and dealing, but we didn’t spot many LIVE edits.
After Scarphase there was just one act left to destroy all that’s left. Denekamps Gespuis, formed by Crypsis aka Crucifier, Dyprax, Angerfist and Radical Redemption brought us a special set with Drokz as the new member, for this night only. Although Drokz was more of an MC during this set, it was still crazy as fuck! Wodka was flooding everywhere at the first row. They were bullying each other at the stage, making fun all the time, and this was followed by the crowd.
The atmosphere during this set was very unique, Hardcore to the bone. Ending their set with a crazy edit of the commotion around the ‘bats’, was way to funny! They did also drop the anthem of Airforce, which did get way to less attention to become a straight number one hit in my opinion. It was a dazzling ride with 32 tracks. From Chronic Disorder to Bone Crusher, Shut up and die, The Pearly Gates and Injustice and Pain, it was all about the old and the new. I think we all loved this set!
Art of Dance does always deliver high-quality productions. This time, they did it again, together with Absolutely Fresh. They simply never fail! To release a new concept during these days is not 100% success guaranteed. Airforce Festival was far from standard and did show us why there have to be more editions. Art of Dance and Absolutely Fresh were ambitious, but we can say that Airforce Festival is an event for the records. Don’t be surprised if it will be in our top 3 of events of 2016!
The festival ground was not that big, it was easy to walk from stage to stage to visit all artist that you would like to visit, from a selection over 100 artists. When you think about Military Bases you directly think about Q-Base, but Airforce Festival simply washed away these thoughts. We think that Airforce really had the best military and rough underground feeling. In 2017 all Hardcore Soldiers will unite again at Airforce Festival, mark your agenda!