Het Stuiterbal – Hossen en stuiteren op Carnivalsmaandag = The bouncing ball – Swing and bounce on Carnivals-Monday
Carnival, most people probably think about Rio de Janeiro and all the curved Brazilian women dancing in their glitter thongs. Well.. in Holland it’s not much difference (Yes, I’ve seen a girl in a thong on a party). Or maybe some think about showing your boobs for beads like in Mardi Grass in New Orleans (wonder if I saw that too?).
Jokes aside; in The Netherlands, carnival is only celebrated in the southern provinces of Noord-Brabant and Limburg, so unfortunately the rest of the country don’t have much to come with during these festivities. However, in the cities that do celebrate carnival, party is going on round-the-clock during an extended weekend. This also gives room for a few carnival inspired hardstyle-parties. One of them is Het Stuiterbal. Last year I celebrated a full carnival with friends in Den Bosch, this means that I both did the traditional get drunk and sing songs (or just sing tralalala since I don’t know the Dutch lyrics all the time) in bars in the city, watch carnival parades and dress up! Yes, btw, carnival is a big masquerade where everyone dresses in all kind of costumes.
This year I unfortunately only had time for 1 day of carnival, and I decided to go to Het Stuiterbal. This party was, to everyone’s disappointment, cancelled last year because of the weather, typical Holland. This year we almost had the same story, but the party made it through the rain and winds. The party usually sells out and this year they only had a few tickets left.
In earlier years this had been a purely outdoor event, with that I mean open air. Now they have party-tents, which is a good choice for this time of year in Holland. The party consists of 3 stages/tents; The mainstage Het Stuiterbal, where hardstyle/rawstyle/freestyle/hardcore was played. One house/oldschool stage, Cirque du Rave, there was also a third stage with more carnival-oriented music, Il Residente, with Dutch artist singing (imagine after-ski music, but only in Dutch).
So we arrived around 15.00 in the rain in Haghorst, close to the grounds of Decibel. One hour after the party had started. The party didn’t have a timetable available online, so we didn’t know who we would miss on the mainstage. Unfortunately later, when we got a floor plan and timetable, we found out we had missed Mark with a K. He was one of the DJs we looked most forward to. Since he plays freestyle, he can incorporate the carnival music in a good way, but we arrived just in time for NSCLT. We still had to get into the party mood and the set was a good start for this.The scene was some kind of colorful motor with a turbine in the middle and a Turbo and a RPM meter on the sides. During the night the meters changed and they were pretty accurate to the music, which was a nice detail.
We found a good spot just in time for Da Tweekaz. They started their mix of Eiffel 65’s Blue (Da Be De) that they played for the first time at Hard Bass, while being in Team Blue. The song is already a hit, since most of us can relate our childhood with the song and this was a perfect beginning to capture the crowd to their set. I haven’t listened so much to Da Tweekaz lately, but in my opinion they delivered a set better than expected. The set contained some harder beats that I only heard them play when I saw them together with Art of Fighters at Hard Island in Croatia last summer.
D-Block & S-Te-Fan followed and continued the festive feeling followed by Deepack and the music was brought to the next level, by getting slightly harder. Also the carnival tracks mixed into the sets started to become a bit more frequent. Next in the line was Warface vs Luna, this was a good combo and they delivered a good raw Carnival set. The crowd went crazy when they played the E-Force remix of FTP that was also first played at Hard Bass, it has become a favorite remix it seems like.
For this party both MC DV8 and MC Villian were hosting the stage and they did a good job making sure that people were in a carnival feeling. Making jokes and singing in the breaks. They were dressed for the carnival occasion, as well as all the other DJs of course. We got to see everything from S.W.A.T Police, prisoners in black and white, 80’s gymnast, Stone Age people etc.After Warface vs Luna we decided to go to the Cirque du Rave stage and see the legendary Special D. By this time the rain had stopped so we could move between the areas without problem. They placed wooden planks everywhere it was needed, which was really good, no big piles with water that you normally spot during rainy festivals. Going to see Special D. meant that we missed Frequencerz but we definitely made the right choice.
It’s not every day he is playing at these kind of parties. We got to hear a pumped up old-school set, starting with the big hit Come With Me. Hits from when we all were young (speaking for a group of all born in the early 90s) were played and in some of them a beat was added to make it a bit harder. It felt like we were in a pumped up disco and it was really awesome! The atmosphere was so nice and everyone were really dancing all around instead of standing in the same spot.After Special D. we went back to the mainstage where it now was time for Dark Raver vs The Viper vs Evil Activities to play. They delivered a crazy hardcore/freestyle set with a lot of fun elements and they finished the set with D-Fence Krakaka and after that a wrapping up Dutch carnival song that everyone (except me) could sing along to.
The worst thing about the party was actually the weather and the fact that it ended so early, it felt very short indeed, but it was also on a Monday. However, the price of the party was only 20,- EUR, so, I definitely think it was worth the price, even though I would prefer two more acts. Because of the weather we didn’t go to the third stage, also since the music/line-up didn’t really interest us that much.
To sum up this event, it was a crazy and hard Monday out of the extraordinary! If you like something different and want to spice up your hardstyle experience with some traditional Dutch tunes, or if you just like to dress up and have a crazy party, Het Stuiterbal is the party for you.
A short definition from Wikipedia says that carnival is “Role-reversal and suspension of social norms”, seems like a spot on definition, add some hard tunes to that and we have Het Stuiterbal! I also recommend, if you haven’t celebrated carnival in the south of Holland yet, do it next year!
Article by Hedvig Arnamo