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Six months have passed since the last big event. Before the corona pandemic destroyed all our 2020 plans. Six months without that anticipation that we all get for the next event, the next opportunity to meet all our friends and forget the worries of everyday life for a few hours. But the waiting finally came to an end last Friday. Thanks to ‘Arena Now’

Anna Ströhlein / Thomas Tischhauser

We from HardstlyleMag were on site so we could share with you what went down at the event from ARENA NOW and Musical Madness.

We were overcome with anticipation standing in front of the arena, realizing that we were about to experience the first big event in six months, even with different rules and regulations that we had to follow.

The Entrance

The arena was divided into 4 zones: Entrances EAST, WEST, SOUTH and NORTH. One entrance was for the inner part of the arena, where the cubes were located. This was to ensure that there were no large gatherings of people. And, already at the entrance, we were instructed to don a mask.

However, before we were even allowed into the hall, we had to clear a security check (just like any event pre-corona). We then made our way to the scanning area where we were informed about the current hygiene and distancing rules that ensure the event could run as it did.

After that, we followed a security guard to our seats. It was only there that we were permitted to remove our masks. But that was the one and only opportunity to do so. As soon as we wanted to get up and move around, we were required to put the masks back again. And, you were only allowed to leave your seats to go to the toilets, get something to drink or smoke a cigarette in front of the bar.

Once in our seats, we set our eyes on the stage.

The Stage

In the middle of the arena, there was a 360° stage with cubes able to house 8 people surrounding it. Above the ‘stage’ there were 4 large LED screens where the event was livestreamed, lasers and spotlights setting the ambience.


The Show

To begin, there was a short explanation of the current hygiene and distancing rules to make sure that everyone is aware of what they need to do to be safe and keep others safe too.

Once that was complete, the event started (finally!). First, there was a ‘prelude’ that included some great Oldschool hits (from Showtek, for example), which really brought the party to life. You could just feel it in the entire area, how much people had missed this.

After some earlier hardstyle tracks, Aftershock played with a track selection of mostly his own material.

Phuture Noize took the decks after Aftershock playing tracks from his new album ‘Silver Bullet’ with those great lyrics and wonderful melodies!

With ‘Rave into Space’ the guys from Sub Zero Project were next. Their set brough a lot of energy and raised everyone’s mood that little bit higher.

However, the highlight of the evening was D-Block & S-Te-Fan. Their set was full energy, everybody was dancing, nobody could sit still. Playing their hits from ‘Ghost Stories’ and their own tracks, the two of them tore the roof of the Lanxess Arena. The atmosphere cannot be put into words.

And, during their set there was a big surprise. The Godfather of Hardstyle ‘The Prophet’ presented DBSTF with a golden record for their hit ‘Angels & Demons’ After that, DBSTF kept playing their hearts out and finished their set in spectacular fashion.


Conclusion – Musical Madness Resurrection

In conclusion, it was really worth it! The vent offered the perfect opportunity to experience a bit of normality again in this current situation. To live the love for music with friends again. It’s unusual at the beginning but as soon as the first bass kicks in, that weird feeling that you get in these times goes away quickly. We take our hats off to the organizers behind Arena Now for making all this possible.

Everywhere we went, we kept our distance and the organizers made sure that all the visitors wore their masks. As a visitor, you certainly feel safe and can forget your worries and the current situation for a few hours.

The only downside is that there is a long waiting time at the bar to get your drink. But, apart from that, everything runs smoothly and relatively normally.

Take the chance and visit the arena in Cologne once!

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