Parookaville 2018 comes to an emphatic close
Parookaville bid farewell to its 80,000 euphoric visitors after four peaceful days and 60 hours of sunshine and highlights from Martin Garrix, Zedd and many many more. Only four years since the first event, this festival has become one of Germany’s most prevalent music festivals.
Boasting of an unprecedented growth over recent years, the festival was held last weekend from July 20th through to the 22nd for the fourth run of Parookaville and We Rave You was there to experience the magic of the festival everyone is talking about. Celebrating its most impressive edition yet, 80,000 fans filled the sold-out “Madness City” with four days and three nights of outstanding performances from superstars including Armin van Buuren, Hardwell and Robin Schulz on Europe’s largest festival stage.
Held at the Weeze Airport, the festival started with humble beginnings and has developed into an internationally established major event in an incredibly short period of time. Over 200 DJs including undisputed global stars like David Guetta and Martin Garrix captivated those in attendance, who celebrated performances on no less than a staggering 10 different stages. However, the real secret to the festival’s success is Parookaville-City, with its City Hall, lottery, public pool, city forest, church and much more.
Following a sensational pre-party with 30,000 citizens at Penny-Square and in Desert Valley on Thursday with artists such as Laidback Luke and Hugel, the one-of-a-kind city opened its main gates on Friday. Fedde Le Grand opened and took Europe’s largest festival stage ahead of worldwide megastar headliners David Guetta, Robin Schulz and Martin Garrix, all of whom fired up audiences of up to 45,000 partying fans. We could feel the energy from day one and we were in store for quite a few days ahead!
One of the many highlights on Saturday was the 20-minute ceremony. Perfectly synchronized sound and choreography, lights, lasers, video and pyro-effects on the 200 meter festival mainstage enraptured the audiences both at the site and around the world thanks to MagentaMusik’s 360 live stream. All this was preceded by Zedd taking the stage during his debut at Parookaville, where his enthusiasm about the festival was obvious as he commented:
“I’d love to be here next year, too! But only if you add a bowling alley in the city!”
Proving Parookaville is more than just a music festival, Sunday was dedicated to the diverse range of artists appearing at this year’s festival. Audiences celebrated performances from shooting-stars such as Sofi Tukker and KSHMR, appearing onstage with over 20 musicians. Other Sunday highlights included a rapturous welcome from 5,000 visitors for Cologne’s famous Querbeat brass band on the Brainwash-Stage, the 1LIVE Comedy performances by Chris Tall in an intimate atmosphere of 150 lucky attendees for each show, along with DJ sets from T.H.A.B. (Clueso & Baris Aladag) and Philipp Poisel & Florian Ostertag.
Bernd Dicks sums up the emotions he and his Parookaville partners Norbert Bergers and Georg van Wickeren felt towards the success of the festival:
“We are over the moon, proud and thankful. The entire team has worked very hard on this weekend for an entire year. We’re now receiving loads of ‘Thank you’s!’ from happy festivalgoers via Facebook and other social media. I’m certain it’ll take a few days for it all to sink in what we’ve achieved here”.
A special charity action teamed Urban Artist René Turrek together with Parookaville for Red Nose Day, with a graffiti artist creating portraits of the star DJs. Signed originals will be auctioned off for a range of worthy causes starting this week at unitedcharity.de.
THE MESMERIZING SETS
An epic 4 days filled with extravagant acts, it was the electronic music that surely stole the show. Filled with ID’s and old classics, the world’s biggest DJ’s brought out something for everyone – French icon David Guetta exemplified this in his set. From classic mainstage hits such as ‘Bad’ with Showtek and VASSY and ‘Titanium’ with Sia, to newer material such as ‘Like I Do’ with Martin Garrix and Brooks, Guetta had something for everyone. The Frenchman also featured a number of exciting mashups, incorporating material from the likes of Eminem, Childish Gambino and The White Stripes.
While Guetta’s set was mesmerising, he wasn’t the only one to put on a spectacular show, with Robin Schulz and Timmy Trumpet following soon after. Known for his silky-smooth Deep House tunes, Schulz entertained the crowd with hard-hitting Future House tunes from Don Diablo, Bali Bandits and Brohug, while Timmy Trumpet’s Big-Room influenced set featured a plethora of his hits, including ‘Party ‘Till We Die’, ‘Al Pacino’ and ‘Oracle’.
Martin Garrix also put on a show to remember on Friday, playing an emphatic set filled with throwback tunes, including ‘Proxy’, ‘Virus’ with MOTi, ‘The Only Way Is Up’ with Tiësto and his famous edit of Bassjackers‘ ‘Crackin’. In addition to Martin’s spectacular set, Zedd delivered a diverse, energetic set. Aside from playing 3 ID’s (one of which belongs to Wolfgang Gartner), the Russo-German DJ entertained the crowd with tracks such as ‘Clarity’, ‘Shotgun’ and Michael Jackson‘s timeless hit ‘Thriller’.
Saturday proved to be just as eventful as Friday, with W&W, Steve Aoki, Vini Vici and Tchami & Malaa standing out. Blending an excellent mix of electro house, trance and house, each act brought the house down in its own special manner. W&W pulled out a number of festival favorites, including VINAI’s ‘The Wave’, Ran-D‘s ‘Zombie’ and IDs from SaberZ, DVBBS and Borgeous. Meanwhile, Steve Aoki crammed in a plethora of mainstage anthems including a brand new ID with Vini Vici, ‘Plur Genocide’ with Lockdown and Carnage and the ever-popular ‘Crowd Control’.
Turning towards the darker side of things, Psy-Trance legends Vini Vici took over the decks on the mainstage as they played some of their biggest hits such as their ‘Free Tibet’ remix, ‘Chakra’ and a thumping remix of Daft Punk‘s ‘One More Time’. Tiësto and Sevenn‘s ‘Boom’ also made an appearance – much to the crowd’s delight. Tchami & Malaa capped off day 3’s highlight reel with hit tracks like ‘Prophecy’, ‘Virtual Self‘s ‘Ghost Voices’ and Tchami’s smooth-sailing ‘Adieu’.
Parookaville’s final day was undoubtedly one to remember, with Don Diablo, Armin Van Buuren, KSHMR and Hardwell all bringing the energy in what was a spellbinding final day in the ‘Sunshine City’. Cramming in a whopping 34 tracks, Don Diablo’s set enthusiasm was unmatched as he displayed big tracks such as ‘Cutting Shapes’, ‘No Good’ with Zonderling, ‘On My Mind’ and his infectious ‘Let Me Love You’ remix.
In a league of his own, Armin Van Buuren owned the mainstage with a number of fresh new ID’s and a plethora of bewildering mashups, including a monster mashup of ‘Take Me There’, ‘Chakra’ and his gargantuan Vini Vici collaboration; ‘Great Spirit‘. In addition to this, popular collaborations such as ‘Popcorn’ and ‘The Last Dancer’ also made their way into the Trance king’s set-list.
Bringing out the electro house vibes once again was KSHMR as he debuted a mountain of releases from his own imprint, Dharma Worldwide. Festival favorites such as ‘Dharma’, ‘Punjabi’ and ‘Power’ all made a thumping impact as the crowds thoroughly enjoyed the production virtuoso’s sumptuous performance. While KSHMR placed a heavy influence on playing individual tracks, Hardwell’s set was full of mashups, blending iconic songs from Avicii, Bingo Players, A-Trak, Calvin Harris and many more. The Dutchman even incorporated some tech house in his performance with Fisher‘s ‘Losing it’.
After this magnificent fourth edition, fans are assuredly already looking ahead to next year when Parookaville returns to Weeze Airport from July 19 to 21, 2019. All the information on this year’s after-movie, as well as pre-registration and advance ticket sales for next year will be revealed in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, check out the awe-inspiring ceremony below and discover your favorite tracks from the festival here. See you next year Parookaville!