The Netherlands is well known for its nonstop party culture, and when the time comes to move the massive festival crowds inside for the winter, Q-dance organizes the indoor spectacle known to the world as Qlimax. From 9 PM to 7 AM, the Gelredome in Arnhem becomes the setting for a stunning visual display, a showcase of the top talents in the Hard scene, and a 15 year strong dedicated crowd. Qlimax presents a broad range of music throughout the night, crafting a fully developed story.
“Every DJ serves a specific function. The first three make you aware of your surroundings. Then, you get in the zone, lose track of it, and your experience becomes abstract and trippy.” Jonas, Q-dance’s Creative Director, tells us. “The music becomes visual - that’s how we create our environments, & that’s how we translate the music!” he adds. Qlimax is a collaborative effort between Q-dance, the artists, and the crowd. “Hardstyle is the common ground in this trinity. We strive for a different balance in how people experience the party - the balance between artists & music, visitors & energy, Q-dance & the environment.” Jonas explains.
"Qlimax is a continuously evolving project. To me, it's the Oscar ceremony of Hardstyle. There can't be any bigger honor to achieve within Hardstyle!" Villain, the MC of the night, tells us. "I have to prove myself worthy of the honor. There's a lot of pressue with a gig like Qlimax, and a lot of expectations to meet - but I'm ready to play my part!"
Mark, Q-dance’s Art Director, tells us it's a mix of ancient wisdom & esoteric themes, translated into the modern world by technology. “As you saw in the trailer, we immerse in a unified field of vibrations. Together, we create this big energy field, and when you are there, and part of the whole, you feel that you are part of Qlimax” he tells us.
“It’s larger than life. You can’t put it into words - when you leave, something has changed. Equilibrium - people resonate with each other from all levels of society and places around the world. It is the music that unites!” Jonas adds, explaining this year’s theme. “We feel responsible for giving people some sort of connection on a deeper level as well. People should have the best night of their lives - if we touch them, that’s a bonus!”
Qlimax began as Q-dance’s flagship event on the 21st of October, 2000. “We created a scene and invented the world ‘Hardstyle’. We created the sound from day one, and from day one, we are the platform” Jonas explains. “From day one we’ve had the mindset, and this phenomenon has grown bigger and more extravagant than we could have ever hoped for.”
Qlimax found its current home in Arnhem at the Gelredome in 2003, and since has grown to be a pinnacle achievement in any Hard DJ’s career. One of the most important and well-known aspects of Qlimax is the anthem - a special track just for the party. This year, Hardstyle's fastest rising star, Atmozfears, was given the task of producing it:
"For most Hardstyle artists, Qlimax encompasses a height of their career. We've all been there, experiencing the show from the crowd, and, like everyone, I felt the energy that came from all those months of anticipation. My first time performing there was like a dream come true! My bond with Qlimax is gradually evolving; it's no longer a dream, but a moment where I want to show all I've got" Tim, aka Atmozfears, told us. The anthem was premiered on his birthday earlier this month, and since then, it has sent a massive shockwave through the Hard scene. Producing the anthem is a critical function of Qlimax, and Tim has been working hard to develop the "Equilibrium" theme through his music.
"I have been immersed in this year’s theme for months. Never have I put so much time and effort into one track, and I am very happy with the result! It was really special to work with the creative team behind Qlimax; it gave me insight into the choices they've made in the past, the culture and ideas behind this year’s theme, and the event's legacy. There's a lot of hidden influences in the track, it has a lot of deeper layers I hope people will discover while they listen to it!" he tells us. "I want to tell my musical story right: the right sequence, types of tracks, everything!"
“The level we work on with artists is a very special part of Qlimax. We always discuss with the DJs why they are at Qlimax, what their function is, and why we chose them specifically for that function” Jonas tells us. “We learned how to work together with the major artists in the scene. They send us their tracks, and we make a highlight show around it!”
This year, Bass Modulators will be peforming at Qlimax for the very first time. "It took a pretty long time, since we started Bass Modulators in 2007. In the beginning of our career, we had some struggles and didn’t really know in which direction we were heading. Over the last couple of years, we totally reinvented Bass Modulators and quit our jobs to fully focus on our career - that changed a lot. We finally had a clear vision of our goals, and sometimes we worked 60 hours a week to achieve them." they Bass Modulators said, remarking on their journey to the Qlimax stage.
"Back in the days, even before Bass Modulators existed, we’ve visited Qlimax from the moment it started back in 2000. We have always been impressed by the production of the event and the DJ’s back then like Pavo, Dana, etc." they told us about their personal relationship with the party. "We will play a real Bass Modulators set - a mix of everything! We've got some new tracks and bootlegs planned but also some oldies and classics, and we always try to do something new and keep things fresh. We also like to end our set a little harder to spice things up a notch, but basically it will be a real Euphoric set."
When asked about the famous lasershow, Jonas told us “lasers are just one ingredient. We're big fans of lasers! That’s why we always order a shitload, but everyone can buy groceries at the same store. For us, it’s all about the recipes. We use our ingredients in different ways throughout the night; video, lights, staging, and of course, motion, are other ingredients. This show will have a lot of motion - the surroundings will change.”
Qlimax goes down on November 21st, and Q-dance will be hosting a takeover of EDM.com's Instagram channel, providing an exclusive in-depth look at the party!. Make sure you follow our instagram channel to get a detailed look at this year’s edition!