The New Horizons Festival was held on 25th and 26th of August at the German racetrack “Nürburgring”. It was the very first edition of New Horizons Festival by organizer Alda Events, also responsible for AMF, A State of Trance or The Flying Dutch. What happens when a quite experienced promoter conquers a famous, German racetrack and try to offer 7 festivals in 1? Let’s find out in our review!
The facilities, venue & services
The Nürburgring is actually quite popular when it comes to festivals. Several events were already hosted on these grounds. However, it was the first time that a huge electronic dance music festival was held on the famous racetrack. It was our first time and we do need to admit, parking was quite easy. Several parking areas near the entrance made sure your car is safe and you do not have to walk for a longer time. But we did wish some more signs, leading to the event. Maybe that’s something to look into next year.
When arriving at the entrance you had to exchange your tickets to a bracelet, which … did not go very well. They simply couldn’t handle the huge amount of visitors. Something, the organizer should have expected. With just 4 exchange points it took them a loooooooooong time to please all visitors with their entrance bracelet. You may ask, why does exchanging a ticket to a bracelet takes that long?
Well, with the bracelet you received your chip, ready to get loaded with money to buy drinks & food! So when exchanging the tickets, your bracelet had to be registered and activated first. Some minor improvements could be made here – maybe more “check-in” points, more staff or a completely restructured entrance.
But, the system with the bracelet worked very well. It’s even easier than tokens. Charge the chip with a custom amount of money and easily pay with it for your drinks & food. We thought it may take longer the system to recognize your chip, the available amount and the amount to pay, but it worked VERY well!
Some more details about the different areas: New Horizons Festival had 4 outdoor stages: The Capital Park, Trap Town, Factor 49 and the Garden of Goa. The rest of the stages were inside festival tents, with the Q-Dance stage (Dark District) as the biggest among them.
Food- & drink-wise we didn’t miss anything. The prices were standard. The festival offered several chill-areas and even a small escape room – crazy!
Kicking off friday a true highlight – Wildstylez, who delivered a diverse set, with a great drive and tempo. The quality production by Wildstylez, the beloved classics by Project One and a hard ending. We skipped Zatox and instead checked the festival show at the mainstage and took a closer look at all other areas. Each had its own design and decoration. Each area felt different. A quick glimpse on their promise – 7 festivals in 1.
With Brennan Heart, the area was packed to its maximum and the vibe was great! Everyone enjoyed the beats of Brennan Heart. It was a thrilling ride through some great tracks by himself, some absolute crowd pleaser and amazing classics. After all those years, after all those sets, Brennan Heart never fails and still makes us smile.
What happened next was absolutely strange. Within seconds, the area was almost half empty. But, it was actually to our luck, that Frequencerz didn’t hold back, but rather shifted into 7th gear and went for the 160 BPM. Never heard a better Frequencerz set. They and the crowd had the fun of their life, as Frequencerz dropped one heavy kick after another, pitched to 155 first, then 158 and lastly 160 BPM. It felt like Frequencerz decided to don’t give a single fuck and rather destroy the place. Sick set!
We also caught some minutes of Axwell & Ingrosso, who seem to be on a run lately. Good set, at least for the time we did visit them. Followed by Tiesto we seriously went nuts. Great set by one of the biggest names in the scene. Especially his older trance tracks gave us goosebumps everywhere!
Back to the Dark District, as Deetox was about to play the closing set. After 20 minutes into her set the insane message: Due to a heavy storm the whole festival area had to be evacuated. DUE TO A HEAVY STORM. DURING DEETOX. WITH THUNDER AND LIGHTNING! Do you guys get it? We wonder what Deetox’s her thoughts were …
However, the evacuation felt a little strange, as we had to run through the densest rain towards the exit. It felt strange because non of the emergency exits were used, the staff became unfriendly and pretty much shoo us to the main exit.
The rain couldn’t stop our excitement for Day 2 of New Horizons Festival. Today we had a look into Code Black, Evil Activities, Armin van Buuren, Vini Vici and Noisecontrollers.
But first, Airtunes with the opening set, followed by Toneshifterz, who dropped some new tunes from his upcoming (mini) album and spun a rather trancy driven set. We skipped Cyber & Rebourne and Auditricz and rather had some great Burgers and checked todays festival show, with fireworks.
Back to the Dark District with Code Black who didn’t fail to amaze us. With an intense show and a great set, Code Black made us remember why we love the hardstyles in dance music. Also Noisecontrollers surprised with kick-ass set!
Back to the mainstage, Armin van Buuren just jumped behind the decks and played a hell of set! But no time to rest, as we went for ATB in the Trance area. He was responsible for some true trance classics and it was a pleasure experiencing him live. Sticking to Trance, we stood ground for Vini Vici, probably the most known Psy-Trance producer and djs. It was a fantastic ending. The wobbling bass was pounding through the tent, the psy trance synths and tribal sounds made us perform some weird dances – but also raised our adrenaline and happiness to its maximum.
Lastly, we checked Evil Activities, who was about to close down the Dark District. Perfect ending for the Q-Dance area. However, we’d say it was a pretty standard Evil Activities set.
As a conclusion we’d say. New Horizons Festival was definitely a huge statement within the electronic dance music festival scene in Germany. Only a few festivals have the chance to compete with such a quality, line up and show. Furthermore, the festival ground itself is truly unique and perfect for such a festival.
A highlight was the payment system, which worked really well – surprisingly!
The show, especially at the main stage was crazy! The stage was huge and very detailed. Amazing job here by Alda Events. The Q-Dance area, although the stage pretty much just consisted of LED screens, had a great vibe and also offered a cool show. Each artist was introduced with a small introduction. The Lasers and lights, fire and C02 did the rest – the crowd was pleased.
Now, back to the question, we think the concept of New Horizons Festival is outstanding, as it does not rely on any topic, but puts each area into the foreground. The topic are the different areas. Which understandably lead to the claim: 7 festivals in 1. However, we do not to underline it’s just a claim. With 7 festivals in 1 we do have a different interpretation than what New Horizons offered. To be fair, each area had its own flair and was greatly designed.
Some minor tweaks in its organization next year and the same amount of areas and great artists and New Horizons Festival has the chance to become of the best electronic Dance music Festivals in Germany. For hardstyle enthusiasts the Q-Dance area will definitely please your expectations, however you should have in mind: you do pay for the WHOLE festival, so you better be open minded for more artists rather than the hardstyle artist, when visiting or planning to visit New Horizons Festival 2018!