BAM! A mid-November festival that required a brief excursion through the restless streets of Amsterdam – that’ll do nicely. A quick tip of the hat to the lovely people at the Hill Street Blues for not desecrating my face after smashing a tonne of glasses in a hazy stupor, just before getting the most expensive taxi ever to De Eemhof and on we go…
After a Mallard-driven build up which, by all accounts, is some of the freshest branding for a festival I’ve seen in a long time (big ups to designer Manuel Birnbacher), it became very clear why the bird had been the focal point of the pre-fest build up – they’re everywhere! The waterways that held them meandered through the Center Parcs site that would house us for the weekend and I have to say that the image of a mist filled lake parked outside our bungalow has stuck with me almost as much as the nights themselves – the setting sat perfectly with the feel of the festival and the location was spot on.
Obviously there was a bar already set by the team behind Nachtiville, having run Nachtdigital for the past 18 years and generally being a stalwart of the German House & Techno scene. I’ve not been to Nachtdigital previously and considering this was a first run out in a new environment, I didn’t know exactly what to expect, but it became clear on arrival that the level of organisation and professionalism was high. As commented by my photographer, Paul Mustard, the level of detail on show between apartments and stages was key to the success of the general aesthetic and, above all, everyone we met upon landing was friendly as flowers – shout out to Jan the man for showing us to our apartment.
Said apartment was already half occupied when we entered and our weekend would be accompanied by two (now) homies from Equaliser & Stamp the Wax – 715 crew stand up. The accommodation on offer at Nachtiville is top draw compared to other holiday park festivals that I’ve been to and available in tiers – the highest of which offers a sauna, amongst other things – that’ll be us next year!
On to the reason we were all there – the music and venues. I’ve detailed below a little about each, in the manner in which it was presented to us, via the festival brochure (also Mallard charged)…
Our favourite of the venues at Nachtiville, The Joint (normally operating as a Bike Garage) actually stands up as one of the best settings for a rave that I’ve witnessed in a while. The room feels meaty, laden with beefy wooden beams and a spacious dance floor that was a joy to dance on and a spacious booth that looked a joy to play from. Sparking The Joint for the week were the likes of Aurora Halal, Dollkraut, Steffen Bennemann, Dekmantel Soundsystem & a highly notable Saturday night Workshop onslaught that saw Benjamin Brunn, Lowtec & MM/KM (amongst others) made it hard to go see anything else.
No thrills here, just a big rectangular room with a relatively low ceiling that catered perfectly, in particular, for a Sunday shakedown on the concluding night of the weekend. It was here that we saw a genre-hopping Ben UFO smash the place to pieces with a ’nail on head’ festival closing set – when they release the recording (which I really hope they), I absolutely recommend listening. From Madcliff’s ‘I Like It’ through to ‘2 Much Chat’ by Digital Mystikz and beyond.
Convenience note: Lockers aka lifesavers available at The Center – it was pretty cold walking down for the event and holding a coat all night just ain’t cricket.
Now this you wouldn’t see in the UK. A colossal waterpark fully equipped with slides, a bar, jacuzzi and, of course, DJ booth prepped and ready for Manamana & Job Jobse to house on the Saturday and Sunday respectively. As you can imagine, the setting itself really was a highlight of the weekend and despite the music at times edging towards the cheesy, The Beach was absolutely a USP of the whole event and a definite reason to return next year. Just the this riotous video below for confirmation.
Posted by Job Jobse on Tuesday, November 17, 2015
I actually wish we’d taken better advantage of The Zone and it was only on the Sunday that we set ourselves up for a few hours of smoke induced ambience. If ever there was a place to melt away the previous night’s revelry it was here and, by the admission of the organisers, the idea is absolutely to zone on, zone in, zone out.
Aptly accommodated within what is normally dubbed the ‘Action Factory’, The Hall is the biggest of all the venues at De Eemhof and was host to a rave-centric medley of players, including Head High and Martyn, each night until the last. We didn’t spend a whole lot of time here in honesty, opting for the more modest confines of The Joint or Center.
Bungalows (Lekker Various/Jägermeister/U.W.E)
I was pissed to have not made one of the bungalow parties! One of our hosts for the weekend highly recommended getting down but our disposition became delicate in the daytime and sleep seemed more logical – that coupled with an excessive drenching of Sangria and Peep Show.
With a 24-hour booze and food delivery service on offer and Food Market on site, there wasn’t a moment we were left wanting or un-fuelled for the musical offerings on show.
A resounding feeling of satisfaction was consistent throughout the festival and – despite having a pretty horrific journey back to ‘Dam – the feeling continued even after arriving back to Blighty. It was the kind of event whereby everywhere felt busy yet no where felt packed and there was a real sense of letting things handle themselves, with a very minimal authoritative presence on the site – that’s not to say you didn’t feel safe, you just felt welcome and trusting.
‘Til next year Nacht-crew.
Words: Will Edge
Photography: Paul Mustard & Martin Lovekosi