Drumcode Festival celebrates epic inaugural edition in Amsterdam
It took Drumcode label boss Adam Beyer 22 years, but this weekend he finally launched his very own Drumcode Festival at Amsterdam’s iconic NDSM-Wharf. The festival – a collaboration with the legendary Awakenings Festival – managed to sell out completely at its first edition, attracting thousands of techno fans from all across the world. In order to turn the festival’s debut into a smashing success, Adam Beyer invited more than 25 highly acclaimed international DJs who were set to perform across four different stages at the former Amsterdam dockyard.
The Swedish techno giant founded his Drumcode Records label back in 1996 and throughout the years the label managed to constantly achieve steady growth. In fact, Beatport announced last month that Drumcode is this year’s best-selling dance label worldwide. In an interview with Dutch newspaper Het Parool leading up to the festival’s inaugural edition, Adam Beyer explained why it took him so long to organize his own festival:
“It takes a lot to organize a festival and I wanted to be sure to do things absolutely right the first time. We needed to build the right team of people, who take care of the branding, the festival concept and my management. From our new office of London, the team takes care of all of this now, so this is the right time to organize our first Drumcode Festival. It’s really like a dream come true for me!”
Beyer – often nicknamed “Mr. Awakenings” for playing at Awakenings Festival over 20 times since his 2000 debut – also stated that he didn’t want to just copy the Awakenings concept:
“All DJ’s are artists from the Drumcode (and Truesoul, Drumcode’s little brother) label, while at Awakenings fans will hear many completely different styles of techno. Rocco Veenboer, owner of the Awakenings brand, is a very close friend. When he asked me to organize Drumcode Festival’s debut edition here in Amsterdam, we sat down together to discuss all the details production-wise. We made sure that everything at Drumcode will be authentic.”
After this weekend, it’s safe to say that Beyer and his Drumcode label more than succeeded in their goals to treat techno fans to an amazing experience. On the Blue Stage, techno heavyweights Bart Skils, Pig&Dan and Enrico Sangiuliano truly stood out with their sets, while one of the scene’s fastest rising stars Amelie Lens closed off in style with a superb high-energy set of her own. The crowd’s energy was simply ecstatic when Bart Skils dropped his massive collab with Adam Beyer titled ‘Your Mind’, an absolute haunting banger that has been dominating the Beatport techno chart all summer long.
Purple Stage, the only indoors stage at Drumcode Festival, attracted many fans of the deeper and darker side of techno, with Dense & Pika, Luigi Madonna & Roberto Capuano and Nicole Moudaber giving it their all, as the sun started to set over the amazing industrial former Amsterdam shipyard. The accompanying lasers and LED panels were impressive and created just the right atmosphere you’d expect from an indoors stage. Orange Stage saw the debut of Drumcode brother label Truesoul, portraying an array of house and tech-house, with Swedish veteran Ida Engberg closing out the stage in the evening hours.
On the Red Stage, longtime friend and REDIMENSION label boss Joseph Capriati took to the decks for a brilliant two-hour set, following Ilario Alicante and Pan-Pot, who also lived up to the crowd’s high expectations. Clearly, most fans gathered here awaiting Adam Beyer himself, who closed out the final hours with a set that was nothing short of spectacular. With a setting sun, lit cranes and LED spotlights all around, the Swede totally felt the crowd and dropped banger after banger, closing off the festival’s first edition with a series of impressive fireworks. Check out the festival recap video down below.
© Photo credits: Yannick van de Wijngaert and Simon Trel