When you see masses of ravers and fans of the harder styles on a pilgrimage to the Ruhr area, hear the bass pumping through the streets of Dortmund and the sun starts to go down for the very last time in April, then it definitely is that time of the year again – it’s time for MAYDAY! Already looking back on 30 years of history, this year’s edition came up one more time with an impressive combination of international artists, colorful lights and a superior sound. Hardstyle Mag attended this edition, read our review below!
It’s also called – the mother of all raves. And yes, the event goes back to 1991, when on December 14th. 5000 ravers met in Berlin for the birth of Mayday whilst for other nowadays events we still had to wait more than 10 years to take place. The Dortmunder Westphalenhalle has become the home of Mayday since 1993. So yes, this event looks back to a long memory lane. This year’s edition was called ‘Momentum’ and we started our journey early in the morning.
VENUE AND ENTRANCE
The event traditionally takes place at the Westfalenhallen in Dortmund. The stadium has its own underground station and lots of parking spaces which makes getting there by train, car as well as by plane pretty easy. The hours of the train line running from/to the main station were expanded to run the whole night specifically for the event, furthermore lots of staff has been placed at all the stations to guide the people in their correct directions. And with your Mayday ticket, you could even use the public transport in Dortmund and the whole VRR region for free! Nice one.
NO CASH PAYMENTS
Buying drinks and food was completely cashless possible as we already know from other festivals like Tomorrowland and Ikarus festival. Topping up cash onto the RFID chip could be done online (while at the event or in advance), through self-service terminals via card or at a stand via card and cash (the cost for the personal service was a fee of 1 EUR though).
From my experience, the cashless payment is something people either love or hate. I personally see the benefits of this system as you don’t need to worry about using up the tokens in the end. The remaining funds can be requested to be transferred back to your bank account via the event portal after the event.
STAGES AND DESIGNS
Entering the venue led you directly towards the main stage in the Arena with a gigantic Mayday logo in the middle and two huge LED panels on each side next to it. In the middle of the stage, the DJ’s name currently playing got displayed in huge letters. Like in prior editions, I-Motion once again installed a huge number of lasers.
Moving further past the main hall and the merchandise as well as the various food stands in the plaza, you reached the Factory (harder styles) and the Empire (hard techno) areas. Of course, for us the Factory was the prime spot – but as we celebrate all kind of hard dance music – the team got spread across the whole arena.
All the stages were equipped with powerful sound systems, providing bright highs, clear mids as well as lots of punching bass for sure. Needless to say that the sound and lighting technicians did their job very well, even mixing live cam recordings of the DJs into the animations.
However, the stage design was somewhat basic, consisting mostly of traverses, lights and LED panels. In case you attach high importance to fancy stages and big shows, this might not have convinced you.
It’s also worth mentioning that the floors have all been quite clean due to a 2 EUR deposit on cups, cans and bottles (also comfortably paid for and reimbursed via the cashless wristband). Consequently, the areas never looked kinda over trashed. Also, the sanitary facilities were sufficient in number and always clean.
Here the concept of Mayday comes fully into force. From Techno to Trance to Hardstyle – all genres would get served. From Alignment to Trym, from well-known artists to fresh talent, I’m sure there has been a lot in the box for everyone!
And as we are still in Germany, various German names could be found on the line-up, too: Thomas Schumacher (who closed the main Arena), Klangkünstler (closing the hard techno stage) and Karotte (who unfortunately had to deal with some technical difficulties during his set time), only to name a few.
Surprisingly, the harder styles area filled up way faster than the main hall in relation to their total capacities during the first hours and stayed nearly consistently at that point until Angerfist played his last tune. Still having been placed at the beginning of the prime time, Sound Rush had the challenge to transition from hardstyle directly to hardcore without any raw act in between. However, they accepted and delivered, moving into happy hardcore and even honoring their German fans by ending their set with a special hard remix of Helene Fischer’s famous number-one hit “Atemlos durch die Nacht”. Actually, with a pretty hard cut, Partyraiser took over with a B2B with Bulletproof followed by Anime and Angerfist, who served the crowd with a lot of Hardcore classics.
Did we witness another big Mayday? Absolutely! As the organizer invested a large amount of the budget into a top-notch line-up, lots of well-known international artists came together in Dortmund in order to deliver another unforgettable Mayday. Taking the long opening hours (7 pm to 9 am – full 14 hours!) into account as well, the “entertainment to cost” ratio was definitely in the upper range. The only thing we were missing, were some RawHardstyle Artists. But thats only a minor point. Nothing else to say apart from “see you in 2024!”