Last Saturday we went to X-Qlusive Holland XXL in the Ziggo Dome arena in Amsterdam. This party is a tribute to the Dutch culture together with hardstyle, freestyle, rawstyle and hardcore beats. X-Qlusive is a concept made by Q-dance with a few different themes throughout the year.
The party opened its doors at 22.00 and we arrived 45 min after. Walking towards the arena felt like we were going to something like Sensation Orange. The majority of the crowd showed their respect to their nation by being dressed in the royal colour or orange and the LED screens on Ziggo Dome were showing the X-Qlusive logo in orange colours. Entering the arena went fast, almost no line at all, but the security check went slow since they went through everyone thoroughly.
Inside there was a male orchestra consisting of trumpets, drums and cymbals. They played a classic carnival kind of music, giving a proper Dutch welcome to the party. I was surprised over how many people have already attended the venue and that’s probably why the line was so short. I think the attendees of this party don’t want to miss a second since the party is full of surprises. The lineup was just announced shortly before the party, but not the set times or the secret performances.
The mainarea was De Feesttent (The partytent). They had decorated the place so it actually felt like entering a party tent at a festival, with a lot of orange details and a lot of powerful colours. It was a feast for the eye! I don’t think I’ve seen so much decorations hanging from the ceiling at the Ziggo Dome before. When I arrived Alpha Twins was playing. What I remember most from the set was when they played their track Das Weite Land but mixed the drop up with some Dutch trumpet. The trumpet sounds, reminding me of carnival, was an ongoing theme during the whole party.
Next up was FeestDJDr.Ruthless (FeestDJRuud & Ruthless & Dr. Rude), they had the opening act and started with the very well suited track “Feesttent” and the party just started to get crazy like a freestyle party with a lot of balloons and confetti going out over the crowd. Freestyle was a very suiting music style for this party since the music is already full of surprises as it is. During the set, they had a Karaoke part, now I could finally sing along to the famous Dutch tunes. The famous Dutch singer Henny Huisman held the karaoke.
The tokens at the party were pretty expensive, 3€ for one token! The prices at the bars were 1 token for a soda, 1,5 for a beer and 2 tokens for a tuna sandwich, the sandwich was tasty though! And as always in Ziggo Dome you could refill your water in the bathrooms.
Next up playing was Sound Rush, who delivered a hardstyle set with some special X-Qlusive Holland edits of their tracks. After that they kept on going with hardstyle and Noisecontrolles, who as always delivered a good set. In the set we recognized some old classics like So High, also newer tracks. And of course, the winner of Q-dance’s last year’s top hundred hardstyle tracks Solar.
Next up was Dark Raver & Ransom that together played another crazy set. Like at Decibel with the Pussy parade that Dark Raver had, he now had the same on stage with real Brasilian carnival music with a live band and dancers to it, there was even a part with Samba de Janerio playing during this set. Another guest artist Def Rhymz also came up during this set and sang his hit Shudden.
Back to some more hardstyle, next up playing on the mainstage was Atmozfears. One of the tracks he played was Brennan Hearts classic Lose my Mind but with Dutch lyrics. Also during this set, MC DV8 told us that the famous weather guy Piet Paulusma was invited but could unfortunately not make it, but he had sent a video clip sending his greeting and this clip was also later used for the show on stage which was funny!
After this set it was time for some freestyle/hardcore performed by Korsakoff & The Viper. They ended the set with the children’s song Hoofd, schouders knie en teen (Head, Shoulders, Kees & Toes) which made most of the crowd dance to the lyrics.
Now I noticed the crowd was longing for some more raw beats and just in time it was Adaro & Digital Punk’s time to enter the stage, delivering a harder set than the previous, but not to compare with a rawstyle event.
Last up was, as expected, Partyraiser. He delivered a crazy uptempo set with a lot of jokes and Dutch tunes included between the hardcore tracks. The endshow consisted of really loud, fast, uptempo hardcore, with a lot of lasers, confetti and lights on the screens and the party ended with the Dutch song in which everyone except me could sing too, hehe! And instead of the dark voice giving us “This was a Q-dace event” it was instead a Dutch more funny voice saying in Dutch “Dit was een Q-Dance event”. X-Qlusive Holland was over and all people floated to the exits.
I don’t regret at all going to this party, some people were sceptic in me as a Swedish person, with a very narrow range of the Dutch language, going to this party. Though next time I want to know more Dutch, so I can at least understand everything they are saying and the greetings from famous Dutch people and so on. I could somehow follow then they played the Dutch versions of some old classics, like FTS with Showtek, also Da Tweekaz Let it go was played, but I secretly sang along in English! Other than this there was famous YouTube clips showing on the screen. When the track Krakaka by D-Fence was played, they showed the original clip from where the vocals are taken, and mixed it up to suit the track.
One thing that surprised me was the volume of the sound. I always wear my earplugs to the parties for protecting my ears, but after one hour I took them off because the sound was not loud enough. I thought maybe they would higher the volume after some hours, which I think they did, but just a slight increase, which did not lead to me putting in my earplugs. That is one thing that disappointed me a bit at this party.
I never got the chance to check out the second stage at this festival since it was so much going on the mainstage and there were no set times and the party was full of surprises so I didn’t want to miss out on something big in De Feesttent. In my opinion, this party only needed that one stage. At the party it was like the whole crowd was more crazy than usual. This is something that I expected from this party, and one of the reasons I wanted to go, but I didn’t expect it to this extent.
Maybe it was because the crowd was only consisting of Dutch people, maybe because the crowd was a bit different from the “normal”, maybe because people seemed to drink a few more beers than the other parties. One other thing I noticed since I am a girl is that the lines for the bathrooms were shorter than usual, meaning that there probably were fewer girls in the party and also maybe a reason for extra craziness.
The theme of the party was “polonaise hollandaise” which meant that people grabbed each other’s shoulders and danced through the crowd. There was in general a lot of interaction between the DJs, MC DV8 and the guest artist on stage together with the crowd, which was fun to experience. I think it was a combination, together with the Dutch people wanting to show and let out all of their craziness of this crazy nation of Holland that set the vibe for the party. Me, myself who comes from Sweden, could not imagine having a party like this in Sweden, not this big at least. But I would sure love to see it!
X-Qlusive Holland XXL was definitely a party to attend if you’re looking for the crazy vibe at a party! Only if you don’t like a party where you can’t understand everything, I would tell you to choose another party, but for the Dutchies, there is no excuse to miss this! So, mark your agendas for next year and hurry up when Q-Dance official ticket sale starts, because this event sells out quickly!