Gearbox Pole Position took place on December 30th at the Ziggodome in Amsterdam. The completely sold-out show hosted some of the biggest names in the Rawstyle scene. The Ziggodome was totally packed from wall to wall from when the party started in the afternoon until late in the evening. From racecars to pyrotechnics Gearbox Pole Position was the perfect way to close out 2023.
Amy Melissa Farina
Getting to the Ziggodome from my house in Leidschendam was an easy trip, just under an hour and a half between the tram and the train. After a quick lunch at a local Chinese food place with some friends, we headed into the Ziggodome around 14:30 (we rushed for Sickmode of course!). Entering the venue was extremely fast at this time both through VIP and General Admission. The venue offered a free wardrobe to check both your coats and bags which was great as usually at parties in the Netherlands lockers usually cost between seven and ten euro. VIP guests also received an exclusive Gearbox fan which was a nice welcome gift.
For those who’ve never been to the Ziggodome, the arena is a large indoor event space with a 17,000-person capacity. The venue has one large mainstage with tiered stadium seating and various food and drink vendors in the outer ring. The Ziggodome has hosted some of the biggest names not only in electronic music but in pop, rock, and other major genres. The fact that the Ziggodome was full of ravers on a Saturday afternoon during the holiday season was a true testament to the dedicated fanbase that Rawstyle has now.
Food & Drinks
The Ziggodome has a variety of food and drink options at typical stadium prices. The venue accepts cards and therefore tokens were not necessary. Loaded hotdogs were 7.95, a cheeseburger 9.50, a bag of chips 2.95, and a banana was 1.80. As for drinks, a large beer was 7.25, a regular beer and wine were 5.25, hard seltzer was 6.50, and soft drinks were 3.75.
We started off the day with one of my all-time favorite artists, Sickmode! Sickmode as always threw down a high-octane set filled with pounding kicks and intricate melodies that set the tone for the rest of the night. With crowd favorites such as Rave Love, Go Stupid, and Better off Alone, Sickmode’s consistent ability to seamlessly blend various sub-genres make his sets once you certainly can’t miss.
Keeping up with the adrenaline, Rooler is another artist known to push the boundaries of traditional Rawstyle, and this set was no exception. Rooler had the crowd going from start to finish with bangers such as FCK DAT! and Hammertime. The highlight of the set for me was when he dropped a remix of Drugs from Amsterdam which I’ve never heard before and absolutely loved.
It was my first time seeing Anderex live after being very curious of his sets as I love a good crossbreed genre throwdown and this set did not disappoint. To kick things off, Anderex had the crowd singing (and screaming) to the Pole Position Anthem in which he produced with Fraw & Micah Martin. Fusing together different elements of the harder styles coupled with some Psytrance and Drum N Bass, Anderex is an artist to watch for 2024!
One of the hottest names in the scene of the past year, Aversion demonstrated his mastery of the Rawstyle genre once again on Saturday throwing down a high energy set. Aversion had the crowd going insane with fan favorites such as Road Rage, a remix of Swedish House Mafia’s Save the World and of course two of his biggest tracks Reflected Reality (Shockerz 2023 Anthem) and Activation.
Last but not least, to close out the night was Dual Damage. If I were to describe the set in one word, it would be HEAVY, or two words HEAVY KICKS. With epic tracks such as Louder Generation, Love Death, and Can’t Stop Us accompanied with the race car visuals behind the turntables, the set closed out Gearbox with a bang.
Stage, Sound & Visuals
Overall, the sound was crisp and clear throughout the day and not so loud that you couldn’t have a conversation which was nice. The production at Pole Position was next level, from the racecars on the stage, to the insane visuals, dancers with racetrack flags and pyrotechnics everything fit around the theme.
Atmosphere & Organization
Gearbox Pole Position was very organized, and the vibe and crowd were amazing. Everyone was there for the music and the atmosphere was high-energy and so much fun. That being said, the venue was at times too crowded, and this coupled with the fact that the sets were only 40 minutes made it problematic if you were to leave to get a drink and go to the bathroom (especially the ladies’ room), by the time you got back you missed most of the set. Aside from that, Gearbox Pole Position was a must-visit for those who love Rawstyle and high production indoor events.
Tickets are now on sale for Supercharged Festival for this summer: https://gearboxdigital.com/supercharged/