Melanie Engel

Welcome to Elektrum – the grand finale of Harder Styles outdoor festivals for 2023. The weather was fresh, just like the music, and therefore, set the perfect base for a weekend to remember. Elektrum is not just a city, and it’s not merely a gathering. It’s a fusion of the modern and nature, where technology and the outdoors coexist in perfect harmony. Stepping into Elektrum feels like stepping into a futuristic neon city full of like-minded people and friends.

The Travels

Although NS, aka the train company, tried to make our journey to Elektrum unnecessarily long, from the time we arrived in Boxtel everything went as smoothly as possible. There were 4 shuttle buses already waiting to transport us to the festival grounds, and after a short trip and a quick security check at the entrance, we already arrived at Elektrum.

The Setting

All in the theme of Japanese neon-arcade-gaming-hall-city-vibes, the festival grounds were designed just perfectly, with multiple stages emerging in sort of a ring, like sonic sanctuaries. A huge food court, lockers, first aid, toilets and tokens were, of course, also part of the floorplan. We had some sunshine, and we had some rain: But there’s no bad weather, only a bad setup – which was not the case! Elektrum featured 5 stages, each of them showcasing their own style and DJs. With the 2 biggest stages in tents, the organization ensured no room for unpleasant surprises.

The Stages

The Mainstage, or “Shuyō” (which also means “main” in Japanese”), was probably the highlight of all stages and for sure the biggest one. DJ legends like B-Front, Rejecta, Act of Rage and Warface demonstrated their skills there on Saturday, but also newcomer Starfall got the unique chance to open the stage at 12:00 and welcome ravers to the weekend of Elektrum. On Sunday, the Mainstage came with E-Force’s “Dark Reality” new album showcase, Bassline Madnesss LIVE, Sickmode, D-Sturb and many more.

The “Koibito-Tachi”, which was the Uptempo stage on Saturday and the Uptempo/Hardcore stage on Sunday, welcomed acts like Paul Elstak, Juliëx, DRS, Spitnoise, Dimitri K or Deadly Guns and made sure lovers of BPM had a good time hakking. Even inside the Koibito-Tachi-tent the neon city atmosphere broke through, and the intense light and laser shows just gave it that extra touch. Fast kicks and underground vibes were dominating and forced the crowd to give it their all.

The “Saparaizu” (Japanese for “surprise”) surprised with a futuristic stage design and a great lineup for Extra Raw addicts. Opened by PL4Y on Saturday and closed by Spoontechnicians on Sunday, other DJs were Mish, Killshot, Luminite LIVE, Uncaged, and JNXD & Tellem. As one of the two outdoor stages, the fresh air was only topped by the clear sound, pyro show and sunshine breaking through.

For Classic lovers, the outdoor Uiltje stage (Dutch for “little owl”) came with a full weekend packed with the good old days of Hardstlye. From Deetox, to Crypsis, Regain, Jones, Alpha2, and Jason Payne, no wish was left unfulfilled, and the classic vibes were, as always, more than contagious. Especially the last 4 hours of the day, the Uiltje got packed to the max with old-school ravers. I always have the feeling at classic parties that the Dutch people there like to call themselves the “liefhebbers” of Hardstyle, which could be translated to “a real and authentic lover of something niche or old”. And I must admit, the atmosphere there is always a little different than at the rest of the festival – in a good way.

Last but not least, the Boombox served as the newcomer and talent stage and gave the unique opportunity for rising stars to show what they are made of. And, the future of Harder Styles is young: One of the highlights probably was the set of Miss Isa, a 13-year-old girl and, therefore, the youngest female Hardstyle DJ ever playing at a festival like Elektrum. What a show!

The Elektrum Show

Elektrum 2023

The “Sunset Show” at the Mainstage held an insane 15-minute transition from day to night and felt like a mid-day endshow. On Saturday and Sunday, we got to experience goosebumps, futuristic dancers, eerie vocals, crazy drops, a pyro and laser show with tracks like “Here Forever” from Warface & Code Black or “Waves” from Phuture Noize and Devin Wild. If you haven’t been there, you missed out for sure.

Final Thoughts

Elektrum’s commitment to sensory overload succeeded. Stage design, pyrotechnics, lasers, confetti, LED screens, and much more transformed the weekend into a mesmerizing spectacle and ended the outdoor festival season of 2023 with a BANG. Make sure to secure your super early bird tickets for next year already and mark the 12.-13. October 2024 in your calendar! Get your discounted tickets here:

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