Some of the biggest names in the scene stopped by at the relatively small We Are Electric festival in the south of the Netherlands. On a beautifully wooded festival site, 53,000 visitors enjoyed three days of music with a unique combination of acts divided across seven stages.
The unique combination was especially present on the main stage, where The Prodigy was programmed in between Paul Kalkbrenner and Dave Clarke on Saturday night. However, the concept behind the main stage was that every headlining act could bring its own production, in order to maximize the experience of the performance. Therefore most of the headlining acts were preceded by a break of around 30 minutes, which created the possibility for We Are Electric to add the legends from The Prodigy to their line-up. The British Dance/Rock crossover certainly did not disappoint and proved they are still killing it after more than twenty years of performing. By choosing this mainstage format, We Are Electric distinguishes themselves from the ‘traditional’ Dutch Dance festivals like Dance Valley and Mysteryland. While those festivals often stay within the ‘borders of EDM’ with their mainstage line-up, We Are Electric succeeded in pushing these borders.
While the Prodigy was headlining the Saturday together with Paul Kalkbrenner, the French Electro duo Justice took full advantage of the mainstage concept on Friday. They brought their spectacular audio and visual show to the festival, which made it an amazing experience. Such an experience was also planned for progressive maestro Eric Prydz on Sunday, but due to a mechanical breakdown of his tour bus he was not able to bring himself and the whole production to We Are Electric on time. The organization quickly responded by arranging Lost Frequencies to be the replacement, but Eric’s only show in the Netherlands is something many visitors [including ourselves] were very much looking forward to. No other than Martin Garrix was surprisingly closing the mainstage of the weekender, which was one of the few ‘mainstream’ acts on the main stage. According to the organization, Martin is a welcome widening of the line-up with the dynamic shows he can come up with. Nonetheless, it is a massive closer of the weekend.
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The remaining stages suited the Dance music format to a larger extent since the different DJs continued after one another. Stages were hosted by big names like Oliver Heldens, Netsky and friends, and Paul Kalkbrenner hosted a Back To The Future stage in addition to his mainstage set. Among the other areas did the Drum & Bass stage really stand out. A large dome tent without any annoying pillars was keeping daylight out, and holding the amazing vibe of the crowd inside it. Drum & Bass does not see that many festival stages in the Netherlands, so it can be seen as a risk to dedicate the second largest stage to it the whole weekend. But looking at the happy faces from the crowd at both the Rampage and Hospitality hostings, it really paid off!
Beyond the stunning line-up, We Are Electric visitors also enjoyed beautiful weather conditions that were quite extraordinary for Dutch standards, which made it very pleasant to keep on dancing until the 3 am ending. The people that spend the night on the camping even had the opportunity to join the silent disco that had been set up for them. Because the open fields with the different stages were covered by forest, which caused the festival to look cozy and spacious at the same time, there was plenty of shade to escape the burning sun. However, more free water tapping points would really be helpful next year, and 4 euros for 33 cl. of water is ridiculous.
Despite the slight water issue, We Are Electric managed to present a memorable weekender with their beautiful location, great atmosphere, and an absolutely stunning line-up. By giving their visitors the ability to witness performances from this many legends for only 99 euro [3 days Incl. camping spot], We Are Electric is definitely recommended to pay a visit when you are around. It will, therefore, be very interesting to see with what acts they will conjure up for next year’s edition since it will be quite difficult to top this year’s line-up.