EXODUS 2020 by Steffen Hanning & Marvin Lee Thamm
EXODUS is back! After two successful editions and a break of two years, it was time for Germany´s biggest Hardcore indoor event to return. With a decent lineup and superior preparations, the collaboration between I-Motion and Art of Dance delivered a giant show and thus a successful return. Approximately 7000 party people together with 30 international top DJ’s, turned Dortmund´s Westfalenhalle into a musical inferno. Welcome to EXODUS 2020
We arrived completely on time – 8 pm, when the doors of the Westfalenhalle 1 opened. We were surprised to see how many people followed the call of EXODUS 2020, so a huge crowd was already waiting at the gates. The obligatory security checks were executed by a professional and friendly security team. Although they were diligently executed, the overall process was done quickly. Once we passed the ticket scanners, we entered into a small hall, where they sold bracelets for a re-entering. The merchandise stall gave us a warm welcome on the other side of the hall.
Right after the merchandise stall, we directly entered Westfalenhalle’s outer circuit. Honestly – the outer circuit is one of the things which I like most about the Westfalenhalle. Without any restrictions, you can walk completely around the scenery. And once again the organizers used this outer circuit to offer food and beverages via a vast selection of stalls and toilets scattered around every 50 meters. A big merchandise stall with a bride selection of clothes and other souvenirs satisfied the trophy hunters among us. So nothing was left to be desired.
Wardrobe and lockers
In contrast to many other events, beside the famous lockers – they offered a wardrobe. Okay, this is really typical for I-Motion events cause thanks to Mayday or Syndicate – we are used to it. Unfortunately, the capacity was a bit underestimated, thus they filled pretty fast and it was hard to find a gap at the counter to drop our jacket there. After about 10 minutes of struggling in the hustle, we could finally drop our jackets. Sure, they also offered lockers at a price of € 7,00 with sufficient space.
So now it was time to enter the arena, and here we instantly noticed a big change – the stage. In contrast to the prior editions, the stage was not located in the center but now at the very end of the hall. We have to admit that we were surprised but thanks to this, the stage was taller and wider than ever before. The stage itself was designed in the shape of the EXODUS X and comprised LED screens and metal elements. Surprisingly the LED elements continued on the ceiling as well. The overall picture was actually a nice one and absolutely supported the atmosphere.
Luckily we once again enjoyed a really powerful but also well-balanced sound system. The highs and lows were continuously clear and never reached a limit where our ears started to hurt. Thanks to the unique architecture of the Westfalenhalle, you could feel the bass in every corner.
But how about the light show? Here we can confirm, that I-Motion and Art of Dance absolutely delivered a fantastic job. The stage was equipped with flame spots and the number of lasers and moving heads turned the area regularly into a supernova. Also, the timing between music and lights were on point and created a fantastic atmosphere throughout the night.
Another special point about EXODUS 2020 is, that the lineup only comprises Artists who are divided into groups – to represent a certain style of Hardcore. In total there were 7 teams scheduled for this night and you can find each team and their members on the timetable below.
The timetable and assembly of the teams looked pretty promising to us, which led to big expectations of how the teams would perform. But the actual performances turned out into a surprise for many of us. Cause due to the announced timetable and the prior years – we expected that artist would perform together at the same time. But not all teams performed in an interchanging order but in a sequence. Thus the playtime – for example – of team “Extreme Acts” got divided by its members Tha Playah, Mad Dog, D-Fence and Angerfist and they played successively.
Although we got surprised by this, it didn’t harm the atmosphere or the sets. No, throughout the night the artists played one devastating set after the other and thus delivered what we could have expected from such a lineup.
Kicking off EXODUS 2020
When the night got kicked off by Broken Minds. Vs. Never Surrender, the hall was already pretty filled. Thus we experienced a strong opening, which found its peak when the track “Kicks van Staal” was played. The track became famous thanks to Act of Rage’s album “Outrageous” and is now even known outside the rawstyle scene.
The following team delivered the darker sounds of Industrial Hardcore by I:GOR and the Satan and so the atmosphere increased rapidly. Songs like “Straight Outte Kielce” and the Satans latest release “Pick it Up” prepared the Westfalenhalle – which still got filled more and more – for the first highlight of the evening – Team Hardcore Classics.
Time for Hardcore classics
Hardcore legends like Promo, Tommyknocker, Neophyte, and Catscan took the people on the dancefloor down the memory lane. And as Hardcore is maybe one of the oldest Genres among the harder styles, this lane is pretty long. The team showed that it possessed a lot of experience which enabled them to deliver exactly those tracks the crowd had come for. Hardcore classics at its best.
Now it was midnight and the next team appeared on stage – Grand Masters – and with them the anthem ceremony.
Anthem show of EXODUS 2020
Furyan & Nosferatu directly kicked off their set with the anthem and now the hall was completely packed. The intensity of the anthem directly infected the crowd, which instantly started to move as one. Supported by a superior laser show and fire shots the atmosphere became unbelievable and each kick pushed the crowd further. The following acts like Tha Playah, Mad Dog and D-Fence managed to keep the atmosphere intense and the crowd appreciated their performances with screams and lifted hands.
Raise your fist
At 03:30 , for many of the dancing crowd the time had come to raise their fists. The hardcore phenomenon – that has an unbelievable big fanbase in Germany and of course around the globe – appeared. Angerfist Live – and now the crowd went completely nuts. Angerfist played tracks like “Solid Stigma”, “Voice of Mayem” or “Strange Man in Mask” and several rounds of risen fists made the next highlight of the evening a perfect one. Of course it’s Angerfist and his performances are always exceeding the limits. Who would have expected something different? This is EXODUS 2020.
Right after his set, we could witness many party heads moving to the outer circuit to take a break. The stairways or even the stadium seats on the upper level, offered enough space to do so.
From the upper level, we witnessed the performance of Team “High Speed Hardcore”. N-Vitral vs. Deadly Guns and Bulletproof vs. F.Noize fulfilled the crowd’s expectations of an intense and fast hardcore set. Dr. Peacock and Billx rounded up the performance with brilliant Frenchcore tracks.
But it was the last act who had the honor to bring EXODUS’s intensity to the limit. Team Furious Fanatics closed their set with DRS and 220 BPM as the lower limit. Lasers, fires beats – everything was now pulled to the max and the remaining crowd consumed its last energy cells.
Conclusion – This was EXODUS 2020
EXODUS 2020 delivered an impressive evening and created a good overall impression. I-Motion and Art of Dance successfully brought back EXODUS. A superior and well-chosen lineup, a powerful sound system and a matching light show created a marvelous night. Only those small hick ups around the wardrobe’s organization and the timetable would be mentionable – but this is complaining on a high level.
Our personal highlights were definitely the marvelous sets, the vast offer of seats and the impressive sound system. Although we all were equipped with earplugs – the sound system never harmed our ears or sounded distorted.
The stage design was pure and without fancy gimmicks, impressive and therefore a perfect symbol for the Hardcore sounds. Additionally the light show like lasers, strobes and LED elements rounded up the perfect atmosphere.
The message for 2021 is clear – we from Hardstyle Mag we thank I-Motion and Art of Dance for a great night – and we would love to come again. And you should be there as well. We and like many others – left EXODUS 2020 with a big smile.
During the night the organizers announced on their socials that EXODUS will return in 2021. For all Hardcore fanatics – you better add February 13th. 2021 to your party schedule – cause on that day – EXODUS is calling again.