Was CRAFT 2016 worth waiting for?
CRAFT Festival 2016 by Lose Your Mind was one of the best event I ever had been too. The fact that you’re in the heart of one of the most beautiful city in Europe is one of the main reasons. For those who never had the opportunity to go to CRAFT, I strongly recommend you to go to the next year editions, as this is definitely one of the elite festivals you can find in the Netherlands.
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CRAFT is set along the docks of Amsterdam. It didn’t sound like much to me at the beginning, but when I finally set foot outside the car, I was absolutely amazed by the frame around me. To get to CRAFT festival, there are two possible ways. The first way is by crossing a nice little bridge, where you can watch some amateurs sailing away up and down the stream. The other way is leading you directly in front of the entrance of the festival, on the edge of a dock where you can find cosy places to buy delicious GMO-free fast foods, drinks and appreciate the view around you. Everything was well organized – let’s have a freaking nice day at CRAFT!
The festival opened its gate to the visitors a little bit after noon, and as usual all the people that had waited so far, cheered and began to proceed at the checking line. It was a nice atmosphere. It didn’t take us very long before we got in. We all received cool CRAFT sunglasses for free at the entrance and a plan of the event. Lose Your Mind didn’t lose its time to spoil us like kings and queens.
After a quick checkup at the lockers, we first went to the Penoze stage, which had the design of a huge mountain of 100% pure Columbian cocaine dotted with some XTC pills at the sides, where Malua & Audiomedics were already rocking the scene. And what a set that was! MC Da Syndrome was there to get everybody in the mood and it didn’t take him long to turn the crowd onto its “Let’s Get Fucked Up” level, thanks to his legendary MC skills and the ferocious set of Malua & Audiomedics that was blasting through the speakers.
We then attended the next set with Audiofreq. He came, he saw and he Audiophetamized the crowd like only he could do. One hour of pure Australian madness unleashed on the party goers. He opened his set with the notorious Zatox & Dave Revan track New World Order Tour Edit Mashup with Red Alert. During his set he has also played a few previews from his upcoming album and I really can’t wait to listen to them again as they were absolute bangers!
We then decided to switch to the Access Stage to attend the set of Sound Rush and cool down a bit with more euphoric vibes. What I love about Sound Rush is that every time I see them playing, I am never disappointed. They always offer a very unique and various set full of uplifting melodies and they really know how to touch the crowd with their style. They can switch with ease to more old school tunes like Summer of Hardstyle and mash them up to perfection like Pillars of Astral Rush – Noisecontrollers x Motorcycle x Sound Rush. They have a very unique way to share their passion of hardstyle to the crowd, and you can really feel it when you attend one of their set.
After a quick stop at the Drinks, we went to the Tijdmachine stage, where Josh & Wesz were playing. What a pleasure to go back in time and go crazy with classics. The Tijdmachine stage was looking like a huge time machine and you had three big screens in the middle. I must admit I was absolutely captivated by the show that was going both with the DJs and what was happening on the stage.
The great thing about CRAFT is that, you don’t need to walk miles to go to other stages, which also means that you don’t need to struggle to find them. Our next milestone was the Future stage, which was rather smaller than all of the other stages. But size doesn’t matter, and Electronic Vibes that were playing did an amazing job at the DJ booth. I had never heard about them, but I was delighted to add discover new talents! They totally wreck the place when they played the notorious Headhunterz track Megasound. Everybody went absolutely nuts.
Deetox was playing at the Reckless Stage and we rushed to get there in time. The cool thing is that Lose Your Mind did everything this year to provide easy access to all the stages. The fact that they had built up a bridge with 2 ways in and 1 way out was definitely a great idea. We all know what Deetox is all about when she is on the stage. We were welcomed by a punchy kick that cut through all the speakers, like a sound wave. The crowd roared out of pleasure and raised its many fists in the air. The Dutch Raw Master showed one hour of pure Raw insanity especially with her recent tracks Alone and Do or Die in the Rebelion remix.
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We then took a break to enjoy the food stores that were all around the place. That’s one of the greatest point of CRAFT. Everything is absolutely delicious and is quite cheap if you compare the quality of what you’re eating and what you can get in other festivals in general. You could find fruit stores, pizza stores, Turkish food, burger stores. Everything you pretty much need to feed any hardstyle fan-addict for the whole event. At the drinks you could also find various things. Water, Protein juices, Heineken beer, Pepsi. Smoothies, everything was there to quench your thirst.
We then decided to split up to cover two live acts at different stages. NSCLT Live & N-Vitral Live.
N-Vitral Live was an Industrial Hardcore act and it was as knocking as hard as a hurricane. N-Vitral played many tracks from his last album Louder than a Bomb such as Prednison Attack, Crispy Bass Drum, Fist in your Face and Chaos. Thirty minutes of devastating hardcore sound.
NSCLT Live was one of the most hectic set of the festival. They literally damaged the dance floor as all the visitors were going their hardest on their music. I already experienced NSCLT at Q-Base 2015, but it was even better than the last set I had seen from them. So much energy! These guys are I think what hardstyle stands for as you could absolutely feel the passion and the total dedication of the crowd. They love what they are doing and you know it when you listen to a NSCLT track.
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For the four remaining hours of CRAFT Festival 2016, we decided to stay at the Tijdmachine Stage where all the Hardstyle Legends had played all day. We arrived in the middle of Coone’s set and it felt as if we had jumped into a time capsule as all the good old tunes that had brought me into hardstyle before were now being played live.
Right after Coone’s set, there was D-Block & S-Te-Fan. And oh my god that was crazy. Music Made Addictz, Rockin Your Mind, Loopmachine – so many good old tracks that turned the crowd into a human wall of madness. But the most anticipated and craziest tracks they played was definitely Shiverz. There is no word to describe it. The video down below will give you a small idea of what happened when D-Block & S-Te-Fan played the track.
Right at last minutes of D-Block & S-Te-Fan set, Bas aka Noisecontrollers arrived on the stage, and D-Block & S-Te-Fan took the opportunity to play F*** the Noisecontrollers an old track they had made when the two duos were a bit more rival, but of course it was nothing but good old banter.
Noisecontrollers took over the stage and as usual cast his magic upon the crowd with all the legendary tracks he has produced so far. Faster’ N’ Further, Crump, Ctrl. Alt. Delete, Marlboro Man, The Revolution is Here and so on … I mean, what else do you need?
After Noisecontrollers had finished his set, the Tijdmachine stage was there to be claimed by the one and only mastermind behind Fusion Records, one of the Oldest Legends in the hardstyle scene: Zany. He offered us one hour of pure Fusion flavoured Hardstyle, and for all the fans that had the chance to attend his set, that was Christmas before time.
Wildstylez was the last legend to close the Tijdmachine stage and also CRAFT Festival 2016. No need to say that his set triggered many emotions again and especially when he played Project One classics. People were of course partying but… there was something else, some kind of global awareness where people knew that they were living a very special moment together and you could see the one and only light every hardstyle fan has when he or she reaches the ultimate thrill.
CRAFT Festival 2016, was also very special for the MC present at the event. I was absolutely delighted to see MC Villain stirring up the crowd with MC DV8 and I hope that there will be more acts with the two of them together again.