When there one good thing about the Hard Dance scene then it’s our pragmatism. In many European countries, we have seen several approaches to allow small events again. But they all had in common, that large numbers of rules and cost-intensive regulations made it more than unlikely to host events which would either be entertaining and also economically viable. But in Switzerland, some event organizations faced this challenge and organized the first events after the total lockdown. HardstyleMag talked to the organizers, about their current situation, their experiences with the new situation, the positive and negative things.
Keeping a distance of at least 1,50 meter, every guest needs to be seated, guests can only walk around in separated areas, dancing is only allowed directly at the table and wear a mask if you leave your table. Does this sound familiar to you? What is of course hard for the guest, is even harder for the event organizers. They are in charge to ensure full COVID19 compliance and therefore sometimes have to bear additional costs and risks.
They are there for us
For this article, we have spoken to Hannibal Events, Noxtron Event, Project Hardstyle, and Ravefield. All organizers are known for their parties across Switzerland. Some are bigger some are more exclusive. But they all showed a big load of creativity and willingness to host events even under COVID19 measures. Some already did some are still in preparations. But nevertheless, they are there for us.
Before we hop into the interview, we will give you a short overview of what events are coming next, and where to go.
- Ravefield^| Dayrave w. Sound Rush | 25.07.2020 | Soho Club, Wiedlisbach
- Hard Invasion | 15.08.2020 | Schaltzentrale Balsthal
- Captain Hardstyle 2020 | 19.09.2020 | MÄX, Zurich
- Masters of Hardcore Switzerland | 26.09.2020 | Halle 622 Zurich
- Tweeka Mania (Da Tweekaz, Tweekacore) | 16.10.2020 | MÄX, Zurich
- Sonic 30 Birthday Edition | 07.11.2020 | Wolfil, Switzerland
- Headhunterz | Project Hardstyle | 27.11.2020 | Mäx, Zurich
HardstyleMag: How have you experienced the COVID19 times so far
Hannibal Events: It was an up and down with initially enormous effort, no income and no clear direction of the government. Meanwhile the effort has become less, but months later the government still has no clear strategy and has completely failed in our industry. It’s just impossible to plan big events overnight, many people out there seem to be unaware of that, like many other things.
Noxtron Events: The Corona period is very difficult for us. Already on February 28th, one of our events was affected by the first measures of the federal government and therefore we were only allowed to give access to 100 people. Also the following “Soundz of Holland” unfortunately had to be postponed indefinitely. At this time the ban on events was already in effect. When finally, after almost three months the first loosening’s were announced, the initial joy was great. Due to the fact that the relaxation was not legally defined in detail, the planning and realization of events on the first weekends after the relaxation turned out to be very difficult. One did not know if one would keep all the rules, as they were not clearly visible. As if the ban on events hadn’t hit us hard enough, we also received a few cancellations in the area of equipment rental.
Ravefield: We were able to use this very turbulent time very well to gather new ideas for the future. It was especially important to us not to let our community down. Within a very short time we organized two live stream events with well-known Swiss DJs, which was very well received.
Project Hardstyle: Yet it’s a rollercoaster of emotions. The regulations and measures for events seem to change rapidly. Therefore, we took a break over hot COVID period, and will start in September again.
HardstyleMag: How was it for you, to hear that at least small events would be possible again
Noxtron Events: The news was a great relief. We are very happy to be able to plan again!
Ravefield: At first it was of course great news, but still not easy. We had to completely rethink our concepts with the protective measures and guidelines. Nevertheless, we were able to implement this very well in mutual exchange with the authorities. The small events limited us a little bit, but we saw this piece-wise also as a new chance to try out new concepts and to maintain our closeness to the community.
Hannibal Events: Although this does not yet help us as a major event organizer, we were pleased that at least some of our colleagues are allowed to work again. The audience was waiting for this and didn’t understand why there are steps to relax everywhere except in this area.
HardstyleMag: Is it difficult to meet all COVID19 requirements?
Ravefield: With our ideas and the conditions imposed by the government, we were easily able to comply with the conditions on our part. But of course we hope that the regulations will be lowered soon so that we don’t have to limit the admission and can meet the demand. Nevertheless, health is clearly our priority.
Hannibal Events: Especially for venues with little space, the requirements are partly not or hardly realizable. Often they are also foreign to practice.
Project Hardstyle: This changes really partly weekly. We are currently still good mood that up to our first event in September Captain Hardstyle the situation will change. Because dividing an event into sectors is certainly not an option for this event in particular.
Noxtron Events: It confrontates us with an additional expense, which is so great that it is very difficult to cover the costs in advance with the income from admissions and consumption by the guests. It is hardly possible to hold a profitable event with the measures currently in force at the federal level.
HardstyleMag: How do the guests deal with the changes?
Noxtron Events: During the long break, many people were eagerly awaiting the first event after the lockdown. People want to party again, dance and above all see friends and acquaintances again. The love for the scene, which many would also describe as one big family, and the love for the music are clearly noticeable. A small minority of the audience continues to stay away from the events.
Project Hardstyle: We see that the party people really do wanna party again. They seem to accept the measures, and as they want the real party feeling back again soon, the adhere to them.
Hannibal Events: The majority of the guests are happy that you can party again. A small number of them do not adhere to the regulations and thus endanger the whole.
Ravefield: We created some polls in our community. Practically all of them agreed: No matter what changes and or editions we have to get along with – the main thing is to party again. We are therefore very satisfied with how our guests have dealt with the changes.
HardstyleMag: How were your first events?
Hannibal Events: We haven’t been able to hold any events yet because our visitor numbers are just not allowed.
Project Hardstyle: Same here, but we will start again on September 19th. Then we can tell you more
Ravefield: Our first show after the lockdown was sold out within a week. Great atmosphere, great visitors, great event. That makes you want more. That’s why we do our best to optimize our events with the experience we gained and the closeness to our community. One thing is clear, the echo of our guests is very important to us.
Noxtron Events: We were very pleased about the amount of positive feedback. This often included praise for the fact that we were able to put an event together relatively quickly and spontaneously after the ease of the rules. To organize something that quickly and at such short notice was a great challenge for us and also meant one or two sleepless nights. So we managed to organize the first harddance event after the lockdown. The interest was accordingly large. Nevertheless, the number of guests was limited to 100. The legal uncertainties mentioned above played a role.
This meant that another 100 registered guests unfortunately were not allowed to enter.
HardstyleMag: Has the scene changed in your opinion?
Project Hardstyle: We don’t think that the scene during that short period. It rather seems that the people can’t wait to party. Our upcoming event in September is already sold out.
Ravefield: Not changed. It’s more like a love that’s blossomed again. After a long time you experience again how it is to party and spend time with people who have one thing in common – We love Hardsounds.
Noxtron Events: Luckilywe don’t see much change. What could be, and what we also hope for, is that Swiss events will now have a little more prestige.
Hannibal Events: This is not yet clear and therefore currently hard to estimate. Most of the guests who contact us are just expressing how happy they are if we can start again soon.
HardstyleMag: Have you already organized events again, and which ones are coming?
Hannibal Events: We could not organize any events yet. Planned are the 8.8.2020 Parade Festival in Sektor11 Zurich, from the beginning of September until mid-October a shortened Streetfood Festival Tour through Switzerland, the Masters of Hardcore on 26.9.2020 in Halle622 Zurich and the SONIC 30 Birthday Edition, on 7.11.2020 in Industrie Bännli Wolfwil. Further events will follow.
Noxtron Events: The Noxtron private session was on June 6th. Next are The Soundz of Holland with Re-Style and more is planned for autumn or winter. Probably will be there will be another spontaneous event in August.
Ravefield: We already had a sold out dayrave event on Saturday, June 20th 20. this month we have on Saturday. 25. July 20 the next Dayrave with Sound Rush. Then the other events for September, October and December will come.
Project Hardstyle: After our summer break, we start over again on September 19th. With Captain Hardstyle, and on October 16th. With Tweeka Mania and Headhunterz on November 27th. More coming up
HardstyleMag: Is it possible to cover all extra measures from the cost perspective?
Noxtron Events: Since we have no income from the consumption of the guests during the event and therefore all costs have to be covered only by ticket sales, we are glad not to make a minus business. But with future events, this can be compensated again. As never before, the passion and joy of being able to offer the guests a great experience count much more than the income generated at the end of the evening.
Ravefield: No effort is too high for our community. Our goal is always to deliver more than is expected.
Project Hardstyle: Financially this is certainly not worthwhile for everyone. For most people it is probably simply a matter of the heart and we as organizers are just happy to be able to plan events again.
Hannibal Events: The additional expenditure will not be worthwhile for the smaller events, but we will try everything to carry them out anyway, if the editions are only halfway realistic. For the big events it will be clear when all the requirements are clear.
HardstyleMag: What is the current feedback from your fanbase?
Ravefield: We would have to return this question 😊 Just Joking – we are constantly striving to do the best for the community and I think we are on the right track.
Project Hardstyle: They are just happy that we start again in September – as we are
Hannibal Events: The guests are happy that the big events will start again in September.
Noxtron Events: We rely on the feedback from our visitors and this feedback is almost exclusively positive. At this point we would like to thank our guests for their loyalty and support. We are happy to be part of such a great community, which gives you support even in such a difficult time. We hope to celebrate, dance and laugh with you again soon. Thanks to the whole scene!
HardstyleMag: Thank you all for your time and answers. We wish you all the best and hope to see you soon at a party again.
It is nice to see that some organizers are not afraid of neither efforts nor expense to finally get us dancing again. So if we all continuously speak about saving the event scene, then this is definitely something we could do – visiting those parties. They might be smaller than usual, the lineups less spectacular, but at least the events are there. So check out the event list above, and go there.