Step into the magical world of fairytales and experience the ultimate summer journey, in a beautiful location, with just the best electronic dance music artists and get soaked in the world of your favourite childhood stories. Last weekend Emporium Festival opened its doors to thousands of visitors, it was the very first, huge outdoor festival by Matrixx in 2017.

The Theme

As usual Matrixx came around with an amazing topic for Emporium – Fairytales. The design of flyers and the whole concept was great. Each area represented one specific childhood story like Snow White, Peter Pan and many more. We think it was one of the best festival topics we ever experienced.

The idea was awesome and so far we can spoil: the execution was on point! We just love Emporium for its colourful topics and own little word, you can enjoy during the day, far away from reality. We seriously can’t wait for next year’s topic – Space could work pretty well in our opinion.

Foto: Stephan Versluis

Foto: Stephan Versluis

The Festival Ground

The Festival Ground and area of Emporium is as monstrous as the festival itself. Easy to reach, as you just leave the highway and you are at your parking spot in about 2 minutes. After a little walk of around 5 minutes you will reach the huge entrance.

Emporium Festival is located on a beautiful lake, with a long beach, which extends at the whole left festival side. The area is huge! The organization seems logic: the more softer areas are located at one end, the harder sounds such as hardstyle, raw, hardcore and freestyle are located at the other end. From one mainstage to the second one you need about 10-15 minutes, depending on how many people are switching.

The festival offered 9 areas! From House/electro at the mainstage, hardstyle at the second mainstage, to raw, hardcore, freestyle, cross over, trap & bass to festive music. Half of the stages were outdoor stages, the second half placed in huge festival tents.

Foto: Stephan Versluis

Foto: Stephan Versluis

Emporium Festival offered a great variety of different facilities. Besides the typical chill area, a smaller, but gorgeous food corner, info points, additional water pick up booths and a funfair ride, people were pleased with a well prepared beach section, additional sun cream stations and much more. We absolutely loved the beach. Relaxing right next to the main stages, get sunburned and just enjoy the time felt fantastic. Well, maybe the days after kinda hurt, but what shall we do at >30°?

With Mysteryland, Decibel and Dreamfields Festival, Emporium seriously offers one of the best festival locations. Not only all the different elements, lots of space and facilities made the location just perfect, but also how they made use of it. As said above, you felt like you were in an own small world for just one day – that’s how you decorate and create a festival! Amazing job!

Our Experience

Arriving at 14.30 an instant, Usain Bolt similar sprint to the hardstyle mainstage made sure we catch Sound Rush live on time! A 30 minute live set. The sun was shining, clear blue sky, the first beer was grabbed and the magical ride of both twins gave a first glance of what we will experience today. A great mood, a great 30 minute set. Euphoric and classic vibes all over the place. Quality hardstyle blasting through the speakers. We think it was a very cool set and great ride through their discography.

Time to catch a first glimpse of the festival ground and pretty much recover from just walking around. With >30° even the smallest move felt like you are dying afterwards. However, we couldn’t really stop being astonished at the festival.

Foto: Bas Driessen

Foto: Bas Driessen

Anyway, next stop the freestyle area. Mark With A K, always appreciated! He was delivering the vibe and set we expected. The best tekstyle tracks, packed and mixed with common radio songs and common hardstyle songs. Supported by MC Chucky we do think such a set always feels refreshing and new. With Fear The Dark or Mash Up 5.0, Scrap Attack or Sandstorm some heavy shit and great classics also found their way into the set.

A quick check at the hardstyle mainstage with Da Tweekaz, giving you the best summer vibes with Love U More! Public Enemies, also known as Digital Punk and Hard Driver, were tearing down the raw area, followed by Chain Reaction and Artifact. On the mainstage Sam Feldt was playing live. If you are in love with Italian hardcore, masterminds Mad Dog and AniMe put the hardcore tent on fire!

Foto: Gert-Jan Kusters

Foto: Gert-Jan Kusters

Time to enter the sauna! I am not lying when I do want to underline: every step made you sweat that day! It was hot as shit! And now imagine a 30 minute live set, within the raw-hardstyle tent, packed with hundreds of people. Well, I do think I lost 2 litres of water during these 30 minutes. E-Force made the visitors’ experience a true roller coaster ride. Gladly they installed additional fans to cool people.

With Kill The Noise, Devin Wilde’s remix of Men of Steel and Illusion he started his set. Followed by FTP and Stresstest the set reached its absolute peak. The crowd was going crazy! With One he did end his set. A flawless mix, great transitions, awesome tempo and drive and a well deserved set of the day!

Photography by: Different Eye Photography © Joris Bisschops

Photography by: Different Eye Photography © Joris Bisschops

But no time to catch a breath. A quick sprint to the house mainstage to witness Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike! Yes, you just read it right. To be honest here, the set was actually quite nice and highly enjoyable. The tempo was fast and especially the very first 30 minutes felt really good. It was a great mix of some heavier house tracks, psy trance with Great Spirit by Vini Vici and Armin van Buuren and even two hardstyle tracks! Their obligatory “Defqon.1 Power Hour 2016 Going to the Left, to the Right” remake marked a break in their set.

The second half felt a little less exciting, as they were blasting out their own and common big room house productions. It couldn’t really keep up with the first half. However, experiencing Dimitri Vegas & like Mike can be crossed from my personal bucket list. If you believe me or not: I would witness them any time again – even if I am in love with the harder styles!

Foto: Joep van Aert

Foto: Joep van Aert

Back at the hardstyle mainstage Ran-D spinned the very last tracks. Next up were this year’s anthem creators: Sub Zero Project and Devin Wilde. Damn, what young squad, but still making thousands of people dance to their tunes. Starting with Breakthrough, followed by The Project and the anthem as last track, underlined with some fireworks and a great show, the 45 minutes passed by really quickly!

We did stay a while longer at the hardstyle mainstage, Radical Redemption, Act of Rage and Crypsis claimed their position behind the decks. It was a crazy ride, although we just did watch them for about 20 minutes. With Torture, Brain Confusion, Kill Me and many more tracks they were going strong since the very first minute.

photography by: Different Eye Photography © Joris Bisschops

photography by: Different Eye Photography © Joris Bisschops

However, we decided to take the risk and check out Sebastian Ingrosso, foreign member of the Swedish House Mafia! What shall we say – it was great! The set had a great tempo for a closing big room house set. Some more faster rhythms found their way into it. The mixing was absolutely flawless and highly enjoyable. Tracks like Reload, Calling, Save The World or Don’t You Worry Child were passing by. With a great light and laser show, it felt very intense.

Foto: Richard Brunsveld

Foto: Richard Brunsveld

Before the huge end-show we finally moved back to the main hardstyle stage. B-Front held his Beyond Reality show and left us speechless again. After his incredible premiere at Rebirth Festival, he did turn the main hardstyle stage into the mysterious, musical world we know. With three different stages during his show, story elements in between the songs and his crazy live feed from stage, shown on the huge LED screen, made the last 30 minutes of Emporium more than special.

It was a great festival! We really can’t wait to be back next year!

Show & Stages

Stage and show-wise, we do have absolutely nothing to complain about. As said in the beginning, the execution of the given theme, Fairytales, was greatly done! Each stage had its own flair and very detailed. Both main stages looked amazing and stunning.

Foto: Richard Brunsveld

Foto: Richard Brunsveld

But it’s not all about the stages and their design. With many actors hopping on stage and walking through the area, all those details on the festival ground itself and an overall design for the whole festival and all its facilities made you really feel like you’re in a fairytale.

Foto: Nico Alsemgeest

Foto: Nico Alsemgeest

The sound was great as well! Very well balanced, but still powerful. We didn’t experience any lack of quality throughout all areas. The show was amazing! Especially the end show on both main stages, simultaneously and on the water, “connecting” both main stages was insanely crazy! We really left Emporium with a big smile and couldn’t do anything else than giving applause for this colourful, beautiful and stunning festival – big thumbs up Matrixx!

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