With a quick recap on 2014, DGTL Festival was one of the liveliest, most organic and well organised festivals out of the plethora of choices I went for last year; opting for that greener element was a sure fire winner for 2015 garnering huge exposure upon the traveling community from around Europe. The cosmopolitan crowd that endeavoured to take on DGTL for 2015 also had even more to shout home about as the line-up grew stronger and the capacity was increased by a few thousand.
The site was the same however, with a few minor differences. I was at first slightly disappointed that the Red Bull airplane hangar had gone only to find out the crane that that hoisted the DGTL (also removed) was to play host to the ever present brand; pretty cool right? Was even cooler seeing Cinnaman and Breach go back to back in there overlooking the boisterous and mingling crowd.
Anyway onto Day 1, with the weather not at its finest it wasn't as though we had to trudge through layers of mud to find our way; the industrial elements that faced us meant getting round the site in all conditions was simple. All the arenas were covered and the sound never leaked as cargo craters were the foundations of each site. Think a disused warehouse and marina and the end scene of Lethal Weapon 2 and you'll probably have the right impression. The authentic raw balance of festival site and programming of the bookings was met with a sell-out audience.
Looking over the acts for the initial day I have to look at Makam being one of the stands out artists. He closed proceedings in the Phono. Admittedly not one I was originally looking out for he was a sure fire hit with his home crowd and really set the standard for the following day.
I was particularly interested the Phono room that also saw Locked Groove and Steve Rachmad notch up impressive outings with solid deeper blends of techno, again to full houses. The Analog arena offered the tech house drops and punchy basslines that are sure fire crowd pleasers. Finnebassen closely followed by Adriatique were on fine form and led the charge into the early evening.
The Digital arena, which was by far the largest and had the surrounding podiums rather like Amnesia played host to the big hitters Hot Since 82 and Jamie Jones, the latter rounding things off with the aptly titled 'Fat Gash EP' by the ever present Hull producer wAFF.
Of course there were after-parties, its slightly wrong to think that there wouldn't be in Amsterdam right? This was duly held in the warehouse next to the site which if was home to their ADE showcases last year; with that said there was a 2,500 strong capacity right until the sun came up with Boris Werner and Jonny White from Art Department both taking the reins.
Day 2 opted for a more techno theme. Innvervisions who are a guaranteed stable at most festivals had a bustling atmosphere from start to finish. Of course Dixon will be talked about in every review as he has the knack of presenting an alternate set each time he plays. However on this occasion is dare say so, I believe he was out shone by Recondite who played slightly before him; offering a really eclectic start he soon dove into his live elements of darker and encompassing techno that set things up perfectly for the main man Dixon. The arena was finished off by Ame who literally added the cherry on the cake to another stellar outing from the German imprint.
Sydney Charles was worthy of a mention. The Tribal Sessions mainstay had a very mixed audience who all stomped to his music and similar can be said of local stalwart Prunk who has been setting the industry a light with his array of talent.
My picks for the day came from Extrawelt who played in the Analog arena. The duo played into the early evening with a driving mix of techno. The mix was severely pampered with drums and energy that had the onlookers in air of their every move. John Talabot and Job Jobse also had a sublime outing with a portrayal of house and lovable melody. The Ex Trouw booker Jobse also got a warm applauds in the remembrance of the club that sadly left us earlier in the year; a fine way to end the ever growing festival.
All in all DGTL was another fine example of why you need to fit at least one or two Amsterdam Festivals into your diary throughout the year. Not only do they head down the environmentally friendly route that even Glastonbury would be proud of how they align their programing perfectly and always look at extra ways in aid to offer a better experience. The drinks tokens scenario is always a sceptical one but it seems to be a trend in Dam and I believe over the years have proved beneficial. The help on hand is second to none and venue is just the way we all like it, raw, dirty and well executed with sound and light. Lookout for their Barcelona outing in August...
DGTL Festival - Amsterdam - Easter Weekend
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DGTL festival 2015 - Opening Night
DGTL festival 2015 - Saturday (part 1)
DGTL festival 2015 - Saturday (part 2)
DGTL festival 2015 - Saturday (part 3)
DGTL festival 2015 - Sunday (part 1)
DGTL festival 2015 - Sunday (part 2)
DGTL festival 2015 - Sunday (part 3)