Originally scheduled for December 4th, Sickmode’s Birthday Bash took place last weekend. Self proclaimed as an “11 hour spectacle of the freshest kicks in existence” it certainly did not disappoint.
On Saturday rawstyle fans gathered under one roof for a birthday bash of epic proportions. The party took place on April 16th at Studio A12 in Bunnik (close to to Utrecht). The event was hosted by Outlaw Events, the organization that brought you Snow Bass, Evolution Festival, Royal Kabaal and more. The line up consisted of major artists such as Malice, Mish, Rebelion, The Purge, Sickmode (obviously), and many more. There were two areas to choose from, both with equally stacked line ups.
AN EPIC JOURNEY
Saturday afternoon I embarked on the epic quest to Bunnik from Voorburg. We arrived at the venue around 14:30. Our intention was to run right to area two to see Bright Visions, however, the line was massive. The line to get in wrapped all the way around the block.
MISH SAVES THE DAY
Despite having a guest ticket we were informed that there was only one line. After waiting for nearly an hour, Mish ran to retrieve us and brought us straight in (true MVP). Although we didn’t get to see Bright Visions he is definitely an artist to look out for this festival season. As soon as we got in we ran over to the Mish meet-up. She is not only an amazing DJ but so humble and seeing her connect with her fans was nice to see.
Studio A12 is a great venue, it’s the perfect spot for a party like this. There are multiple accessible bars and observation decks for those who would like an arial view of the crowd. The token prices were standard four tokens for 14 euros so around 3.50 for a beer or soda. Unfortunately, if you wanted water you had to pay one and received a cup rather than a bottle.
BUSTING OUT THE KLAPLONG
The first set of the day for us was The Purge at the main stage. We raged hard to “Right Now” by Purge and Sickmode the quintessential track for both kick rolling and klaplong. For those who don’t know kick rolling and klaplong are two staple dance moves in the raw style scene. When you can find a moment to combine both into one track then you really have it all figured out. The Purge also threw down a remix of classic 90s favorite “Rhythm is a Dancer” which had us all singing our hearts out.
MOVE IT BITCH!
Next up was Rooler dropping everyone’s favorite “Too Cold”, “Discotek”, and “Hammertime”. Despite only being in the venue for a short while it was evident to me that everyone was there for the music, for the love of rawstyle. The crowd not only knew every track but every kick roll exactly on beat.
Next up we headed over to area two which was way less crowded and much easier to get drinks. Although smaller, the vibes were equally on point. We saw Salvation for the first time followed by Sabotage, two new artists to me and it’s great to see the next generation of artists rising up. Definitely went home and added them to my Spotify playlist!
Following Sabotage we headed back over to the mainstage for Fraw Official. It was my first time hearing his music and as a child of the 90’s and nostalgia junkie I went HAM for the Capitan Jack and We Like to Party remixes. After Sabotage was the set I was most looking forward to for the day Mish! Mish is an Australian female raw style DJ who is absolutely crushing it in the scene. She even played one of my favorite techno tracks “Heroine” by Dutch Disorder which left me in a state of shock. The crowd was going absolutely wild.
THE MAN OF THE HOUR
Next to come was the moment everyone was waiting for Sickmode himself. Emoji costume and all. The amount of energy this man exudes is so contagious and that is evidenced by how absolutely wild the crowd went. Some memorable moments were “Too Hot” by Sickmode and Rooler and “Emoji 2.0”. It’s also worth noting that the visuals and lasers for this set fit perfectly. The visuals can be best described as rainbow vomit and I’m totally hear for it.
BRING IT ON
We decided to stay at main for Rebellion next, sang our hearts out to the Titanium remix, went ape shit to bass train and of course “Bring It On” with Rebellion, Sub Sonix and LXCPR. Then it was time to grab some fries and sit for a bit. All that klapalong and fist pumping takes a toll on you after a while. Then after our short hiatus we hustled back to Mutilator who in my opinion threw down one of the hardest sets of the night. Especially when his track with Sickmode “Just a Game” came on people were really leaving everything behind on the dance floor.
.It was clear that as the night progressed, the tracks got harder, and the crowd got even crazier up until the very end. This is partially of course due to the sheer dedication of the fan base however coupled with the fact that after two long years we are finally able to have full scale parties in the Netherlands. This in turn made the energy so much wilder and the dance moves even more insane than the pre-pandemic days.
One of the best (and hardest sets of the night) was by Mutilator. Dropping tracks like “Hot Sauce” and “Just a Game” the crowd and vibes were insane. He even dropped classic old school track “Evacuate the Dance Floor” which had us all smiling and singing.
Last artist for the night was Project Core. I’ve never heard of Project Core before and was particulary curious because of the word “core” and as much as I love rawstyle my heart beats at 250bpm. Project Core seamlessly blended together hardcore, rawstyle, uptempo, and probably some other genres I don’t even know. The perfect end to an absolutely insane party!
What a day! Definitely the best crowd I’ve ever experienced at a rawstyle show. Everyone was so nice no pushing, people looking out for each other, plenty of space to rage hard, everyone there for the music. One piece of feedback for the organizers though is to encourage more sustainable practices. Most events now have either hard plastic cups or an incentive program for people to recycle. This is something I like to see at every event. For example, utilizing hard plastic cups or other less environmentally harmful alternatives to soft plastic. Some events have in place reusable cards rather than tokens, or an incentive system such as the “eko token” where you can save money on your next drink by returning your cup to the bar. All in all, would I go again? Absolutely!