S eriously, Fantasy Island Festival 2016 was one the events I was looking forward the most, not only because I took my parents with me … Yes, my parents! Since the very first pictures and especially since the trailer I was very hyped for this event. I just loved the theme they have chosen for this year’s Fantasy Island Festival. Organizer Absolutely Fresh picked an old Mexican tradition called ‘Dia de Los Muertos’, what means ‘Day of the Death’ in English. The Mexicans remember and honour the death during this tradition, not a grief way, but more in a colourful and kind of crazy way. The tradition is also appointed to a world cultural heritage by the UNESCO.
Embrace the afterlife and welcome to Fantasy Island 2016!
After we arrived at the parking place, the thrilling feeling of what’s coming behind the entrance reached its peak. I fucking couldn’t wait to step in the world of life and death. After the entrance you could get a locker for the normal price you’re used to. But you needed to think twice if you put your stuff into the lockers. Whoever ever went to Fantasy Island Festival knows how long it takes from the entrance to the actual festival ground. So, I liked last year’s locker location a little more, since it was placed at the festival ground, near the main stage and not at the entrance, far away.
Anyway, you could also get your first tokens right at the entrance. The price was lower than usual, which was pretty nice. You got 8 tokens for 10€, normally you just get around 7. We grabbed a floorplan and went to the festival ground. The first tent appeared with pounding raw beats. We walked further, along the beach, on the left the mini freestyle stage, more to the right, in the water the Deathrow stage, with crazy industrial and speedcore sounds.
Through the food corner we finally reached the main stage. The location of the main stage was relatively different to the one last year. In 2015 it was placed near the raw tent in the beginning, in between some trees and kind of hidden in the forest. But now, they placed it at the water side, with massive space. In the back the VIP area, on the sides the usual drink corners. Seriously, this was the perfect location for the main stage, couldn’t be placed better. Generally, the whole festival location is just awesome and one of the best, where you can set up a festival!
The design of the main stage was a mix of a huge skull in the middle, with a rose at the top. On the sides you could have spot some animal similar heads and some kind of leaves. To be honest, I really liked the stage. It fitted the topic so well, was actually pretty big and was beautiful to look at.
The VIP area offered seats, your own bar, a nice view and also some cover from rain. Later and especially during the evening it was cold as fuck, the wind blew across the dancefloor and VIP area and I wished they could have placed some heaters here. I mean, that’s what my parents wished – I can understand them and kind of agree. I think it wouldn’t have been such a problem to put up some heaters.
As you walked further, leaving the main stage behind you, you came across the classic area, which was surrounded by containers as well as the burger booth, where you could grab a burger made by Frequencerz later. As you walked out of the classic area, you could have gone a little further to the left and found yourself within the hardcore Unity area.
To sum it up, all the stage designs were really nice and didn’t disappoint. Even the smaller stages had a cool design and were beautifully created. You just need to remind yourself, Fantasy Island Festival takes place on saturday, Freshtival on sunday. So, you always have to expect a mix of dark and happy elements, which define the stage designs. Freshtival? That’s a festival for the more softer sounds like House and electro, taking place at the exact same location, organized by Absolutely Fresh.
We were not Hardstyle Mag, if we wouldn’t go in depth into the sets we’ve visited. All I can say is, we went to lots of different sets! Sadly, we couldn’t make it to Sound Rush, who opened up the main stage at 12:00! Since I’m Hardstyle last year I never heard a set of them again, except in some podcasts, but I would definitely love to! These guys deliver awesome quality hardstyle and are one of my favourite producers at the moment.
We arrived during Cyber and just took a walk around the festival ground, took a view on every stage and finally gathered at the main stage for Da Tweekaz! These dudes are crazy and at Fantasy Island Festival there was no exception. Known for their crazy and unique tunes, their sunglasses and Wodka, they rocked the main stage! Dressed like Pirates for their new video clip, they played an awesome set as usual. A well-known mix of reverse bass kicks, uplifting melodies and crazy vocals, only these two can use. Wodka and Heroes passed by. Suddenly the tempo is raising and they dropped the happy hardcore remix of Heroes, just insane! The vibe was crazy during their set. Bad Habits in the Reverze edit passed by, as well as their Game of Thrones bootleg and Faded in the Da Tweekaz bootleg.
No time to relax, as we left Da Tweekaz’s set early to witness the Frequencerz album showcase in the raw tent. A quick stop at the VIP to pick up my parents and straight to the SUPERBASH Raw tent. I need to admit, I’m not a fan of their album! But, their album showcase was really good and cool! Dressed like butchers they showcased their latest album with tracks like Gods, Psycho, Nuclear or Wolfpack! Even my mom started dancing to the fast rhythms, heavy kicks and uplifting melodies. Additionally, their mix was flawless, almost sounding like they are playing live. When I first saw the timetable I was wondering if 15:00 would be a good set time for the album showcase, but surprisingly the tent was packed to the max – fanatics on the front, rebels to the left, the crew on the right, punks in the back!
Quick stop at the Deathrow as we heard the last minutes of N-Vitral. Holy shit, that dude has some sick tracks in store! We can’t wait for his album! All the people were going insane at this little stage. The crazy distorted kicks were blasting through the small speakers. We got cool news for you here: We will interview N-Vitral soon, so you can read all about his new album ‘Louder than a Bomb’. It was interesting to see what industrial hardcore can do with your parents. I think they just didn’t understand it. My dad was asking me, how people can dance to it all day long.
After N-Vitral we moved back to the VIP area, dropped off my parents and went further to the SUPERBASH Classic stage! Scope DJ was about to spin the decks and we couldn’t wait. I’m always listening to his sets and in April I finally saw him playing in a local club, so I definitely couldn’t miss this out. Step into the time machine and relive the years 2007 until 2012. What shall I say about his set? Pure nostalgia, pure gold, for me, there is nothing compared to a great classic set. It’s so much fun to dance to the older tunes. Of course he played his own tracks like Lockdown, Househeads and even his Fantasy Island anthem 2012 – Scream for more or Rock Hypnotic. In between you could recognize some good old Headhunterz tracks like Last of the Mohicanz or Rock Civilization. It was a really fun set and I hope to see him soon again.
We stood within the classic tracks, but went back to the main stage. This was one of the sets I’ve been looking forward the most. A Brennan Heart Classic set, I expected a set like one of the two podcast episodes. But he proved me wrong, it was a ride through his own classic tracks, but, you know, I wasn’t even disappointed, I was even more happy. He dropped tracks from his older albums like Musical Impressions and Midistylez. But he also played Lose my Mind for example. The energy was amazing and the crowd was going wild. Luckily the sun was shining and together with all the friends it was really nice to dance to his old tunes. The moment when In the End as the original edit passed by was amazing, what a fucking great track!
Time to relax. We grabbed some food at one of the food corners. The quality and variety of food was really, really good. Especially the burger made by Frequencerz was extremely delicious. If you have the chance, go and grab one! Back to business as we walked back to the raw tent for B-Freqz Live. I’m not quite sure what to say about their set. A few minutes the live set was amazing and two minutes later it lost its power and flow. Don’t get me wrong, the mixing and editing is amazing during B-Freqz live, combining the tracks like you would never expect it. But the tracks itself couldn’t create such dense atmosphere. Yes, the people were going crazy, of course, but the 30 minutes did not feel like 30 minutes – it felt more. I heard better live sets.
The next one for example. First time this day as we went to the UNITY tent – Angerfist live, hell yeah! With a little delay Angerfist hopped on stage and started his set with slowly beats and Chronic Disorder. The place was actually not that packed as expected, but good for us, because we had more space to dance. You definitely needed this space, because Angerfist didn’t disappoint. His mix was flawless and reached his peak right before the end. The vibe was amazing and the energy was unique throughout the whole festival. About the tracks I don’t have to lose any words, because obviously you can imagine which tracks he played. Couldn’t hear a new one, so the track list was limited to his two albums. One thing that could have been better: The sound. It was not as powerful as expected within the tent, although we stood in the middle.
After a longer break the sun set down, covered the whole area into a mystical atmosphere. The wind was blowing all across the festival ground, the lights from the main stage were reflecting on the water. The whole Fantasy Island Festival feeling grew to a new level as it became dark outside.
Let’s face war, destruction and no mercy as we went to the raw tent for Warface Live. One of his last live performances as we know them. He will be back with a brand new live act concept at Q-Base! Anyway, his set was the BEST of the whole day. Holy shit, he wrecked the motherfucking place. This dude is going crazy live and almost as crazy as Delete VIP. Delete VIP has more variations in his tracks, which I like a bit more. But the second best live act is and will always be Warface Live.
Let’s face it: The mix was more than flawless, climax or intro part after another, not a single, longer break and only the best parts of the tracks. The track list was quite surprising as he dropped all his new tracks like Wakin’ Up, the Menace remix by D-Sturb, The Truth with Delete or Ways of Underground with Requiem. But he also played his collab with Frequencerz, Fuck the Drum Machine, Release the Kraken, Mutilate and Destroy or even an older one like Catalyst. The track list was insane, the whole set was insane and I almost came during his live set. Thanks Youri! Even my parents enjoyed this set and told me the energy was amazing.
I think most people stood their ground, waiting for Titan vs. Requiem. I heard they played an insane set, with that twisted hardcore ending. But, we rather decided to go back to the SUPERBASH Classic stage, because Crypsis was about to play a classic raw set. It was one of the best decisions of my life. Seriously, this set was way better than expected and literally blew me away. I never saw a Crypsis classic set, but now I wished I would have seen him earlier. Damn, this set was dope! The second best set of day. I just lost my mind during the most classic raw tracks, mixed by one of the best DJs we have. The vibe was amazing, the place was packed and everyone went wild. I can’t really count all the tracks he dropped, but believe me, the set was INSANE!
Time for the last act of the night. Against all other people, we didn’t go to the main stage for Adaro’s closing set – we went to the Unity tent for Unexist. For me it was the very first Unexist set I’ve heard live, but I loved it. With just the last die hards, who stood ground, I gathered my last energy and danced my ass off to just the craziest hardcore. It was a good decision and I wasn’t disappointed. I sadly can’t tell you more about the tracks he dropped, but I heard Bring us Some by Destructive Tendencies & Radical Redemption, that’s all I can tell you. If you have the chance to witness a Unexist set, go for it!
Let’s take a look at the final minutes of Fantasy Island Festival 2016, as we walked to the main stage for the closing show. I also want to summarize the overall show and the overall experience at Fantasy Island. This time the end show mix was created by Adaro. The show was amazing, the fireworks and lightshow was stunning as expected. The mix was great, the tracks .. well .. expected. He picked I’m a Criminal for example. Ending with hardcore Fantasy Island Festival came to an end. I liked last year’s mix by Radical Redemption a little more, but the overall experience was way better this year.
The show at all stages was really good. All of the stages, either if it was the main stage, the SUPERBASH Raw stage, the UNITY stage, the SUPERBASH Classic stage or even the Deathrow or the Freestyle stage, had their very own flair and different feeling. The lightshow was always fitting and stunning. Additionally, they had confetti canons, fire and C02 at all the bigger areas and at the main stage.
At night all stages revealed their true being and even the smaller stages like the SUPERBASH Classic stage or the Deathrow stage were nice to look at. The firework at the main stage in the end round down the whole festival and gave Fantasy Island Festival a worth ending!
The conclusion of my parents: They really liked the festival and told me they loved the stages and were impressed by all the obvious effort the organizer put in. They enjoyed the main stage the most, but also liked the performances by Frequencerz and Warface. What they missed were some heaters in the VIP area and they said it was very expensive. I told them it was actually not. They also mentioned, that the parking was well organized and most important: They would come back next year, just as we as Hardstyle Mag will do!
We were more than happy that we could have visited Fantasy Island Festival. As a conclusion I just want to say: Visit Fantasy Island Festival next year – Just do it!