Vroeger was alles beter! Oh so true! You might be able to translate this dutch saying to “everything used to be better” or “früher war alles besser.” This party is dedicated to the good old times of hardstyle, the classics, covering almost everything hardstyle-related between the years 2007 – 2012.
VWAB is a party from “Shockerz Events” and took place in Autotron, just like Shockerz will in December. Autotron is one of the bigger event locations in the Netherlands and offers a good mix of indoor and outdoor areas.
We decided to go to the event by public transport and took the first shuttle bus from Den Bosch station, which Eleven Travel managed. I was positively surprised by how well-organized and smoothly the shuttle service went: A pop-up tent made it super easy to spot where you had to go, and everyone got a card with the exact bus departure times for the way back. They even put a JBL partybox in the bus for pre- and after-party vibes. Well done!
Ticket and security checks were not too long of a wait either, and once inside, there was the token stand and two girls standing ready to sell earplugs. Safety first! The stage was in the main hall on the right side, while the food court and lockers were a short walk away in one of the other halls on the left. From there, you could also access one of the outdoor areas where people gathered to have a smoke, enjoy their pizza slice, or just tried to recover their tired legs for a bit.
The theme of the day was “Heroes of classics,” which VWAB also integrated into the stage design with cartoon-style superhero visuals and effects. Behind the artist was a big screen for announcements and DJ view, so even the people in the back could see what was going on. Smaller, cube-like screens were added on the left and right, with colorful graphics and entertaining animations. Those who have been to Intents festival this year might even spot some similarities in the design. But then again, what was first: the chicken or the egg? Does it even matter? I don’t think so!
One of the venue’s unique characteristics is the upper podium in the main area, which granted everyone a top view from all angles of the stage. This upper area quickly filled up with die-hard classic lovers who took the chance to take some videos, get a better glimpse of the artist, or just raved away. I loved that they made this extra experience available to everybody and didn’t handle any separate VIP access for it.
VWAB’s line-up featured a total of 18 artists – merged into 14 sets – and hosted by MC Villain. With names like Technoboy & Tuneboy, Wildstylez, Adaro, Noisecontrollers, B-Front, Jones, Crypsis, and Zany, the organization united some of the most celebrated DJs for a day of full classic madness.
At 12:30, DJ Isaac had the honor to play the first set of the day. He kicked off with some of his famous tracks like “Bitches”, “Ease my Mind,” and his remix of “Exploration of Space” and gave the crowd some great singalong opportunities. Although usually, first sets are known not to be super busy, the area began to fill up quickly, and the atmosphere was there from the first moment.
THE SURPISE ACTS
The main surprise here was that it was not 1 but 2 surprise acts! Get ready for… Code Black and Max Enforcer! Each of them had half an hour to win over the crowd, and they surely didn’t disappoint! To be honest, the set of Max Enforcer might have even been my favorite of the day. Whether he plays classics or modern hardstyle, he certainly knows how to create memorable melodies and kicks.
Coone also surprised with a fantastic performance. It seemed the crowd especially enjoyed the old Psyko Punkz tracks he played, like “Bass Boom.”
Dutch people always used to tell me: “The classics crowd is always heel erg gezellig,” meaning it’s always… special, cozy, and fun. Unfortunately, there is not a really good translation for the word. But I have to say: Those people were right. I have been to classic stages before, on bigger festivals, but this was my first classics-only event. Given that the classic hardstyle period covers the years 2007 – 2012, the average classics lover is around 30+, with some even being in their 40ies or 50ies. This fact already makes the atmosphere feel more like a big old family. The crowd is really dedicated: everyone knows each other, everyone is enjoying themselves, and everyone is here because they appreciate the same kind of music.
VISUALS AND SOUND
The show was great! The screens, animations, fog, confetti, colors, and lasers were perfectly synched and professional. There were even additional lasers on the ceiling for the full 4D experience. The sound was excellent, even at the beginning already. Nice, clear, and hard, just as it should be!
VWAB deserves its spot in every event calendar of a true classic lover. The music might not be for everyone, but it’s for sure worth going anyway, not only because of the people but also to see where the modern hardstyle as we know it is coming from. So if you are in for a nostalgic throwback in time, make sure to follow the social media channels of “Vroeger was alles beter” and stay up-to-date with their following events.
THE NEXT EDITION
The date for next year is not yet announced. Anyway, with VWAB being organized by Shockerz Events, you might want to save the date for the biggest edition of Shockerz ever: On the 17th of December, Autotron will open its gates for the Raw Hardcore lovers, and there will even be Raw Classics Showcase!