Everything You Need to Know About Defqon.1Article by: Alexa Smith
Fri July 18, 2014 | 00:00 AM
This past June, more than 60,000 of the most dedicated hardstyle fans gathered in the Netherlands for the biggest hardstyle festival in the world, Defqon.1. Hard-dance enthusiasts joined together to celebrate their favorite style of music under an electric sky. Eccentric stages, decorations, and lighting displays create a unique experience that keeps crowds coming year after year. With festival fever at an all-time high in the US, Defqon.1 has begun picking up recognition after their dazzling “Endshow” videos went viral. Here is all you need to know about the spellbinding Defqon.1 festival.
Defqon.1 was founded in 2003 by hard-dance festival and event organizer Q-dance. The festival has been held annually in the Netherlands for years, with a smaller Australian counterpart introduced in 2009. Since 2012, Defqon.1’s main home has been Evenemententerrein, Biddinghuizen, a town in the Netherlands that also hosts Lowlands, a music and performing arts festival.
People travel from all over the world to experience Defqon.1. Since there aren’t many shows for hardstyle fans in the US, many people make the trek to Europe for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Hard dance is a very popular genre of music overseas, so you will see an array of people from different countries coming together for the festival.
The festivalgoers usually stick to normal outfits. They typically come dressed in jeans and nice shirts, compared to the EDM neon ravers in the US, decked out in costumes, glitter, and tutus.
This year the festival sold out in the record time of under an hour, truly illustrating how dedicated hard dance fans are. People come ready to rage, full of excited energy to release on the music. The style of dance induces insanely high levels of energy from the thumping beats of hardstyle paired with uplifting melodic sequences and hypnotizing vocals—an adrenaline rush unlike any other.
The festival takes place over two days. Campers enjoy a four-day, three-night experience, including a bonus welcoming party the first night. Camping options range from pitching your own tent to complete air-conditioned luxury. There are also plenty of dining options and shops, including a supermarket and camping store.
Defqon.1 pairs hard dance with darker, almost evil themes. This year the stage was a devil-themed castle. Previous years included wicked skulls, vicious dragons, and demonic faces with mouths that could talk.
The festival’s mood is set by a villainous-sounding MC who can be heard throughout each day. Other shocking decor is scattered throughout the festival, taking the dark ambiance to the next level.
Since Defqon.1 is considered the Mecca for hard dance, all of the best artists are on the lineup. With 14 stages total, Defqon.1 offers every style of hard dance imaginable. The genres include hardstyle, hardcore, raw, euphoric, xtra raw, subground, early hardcore, industrial, breaks, extreme, early hardstyle, and freestyle.
Big-name artists from 2014’s lineup included Coone, Wildstylez, Ran-D, Audiofreq, Brennan Heart, Frontliner, and Angerfist.
Each year, a well-known artist creates an official anthem, accompanying the theme, specifically for Defqon.1. The tracks are usually the ultimate when it comes to hardstyle and will become a hard dance staple for years following. Defqon.1’s 2014 anthem was “Survival of the Fittest” by Coone, and 2013’s was “Weekend Warriors” by Frontliner. The anthems are used in the famous Endshows and throughout the festival, creating an identity for the crowd.
The undisputed highlight of the entire festival, the Endshow is the icing on the cake for every hard dance fan. It is the ultimate sensory experience, where the stage comes alive at the end of each day for an amazing final performance. Carefully selected magical music is synched to perfectly timed firework displays, lights, fire, and lasers. You have to see it to believe it. Check out the dazzling videos from this year’s Defqon.1 below!
And more of the closing ceremony...