Hardstyle and Trance in Taiwan

Event rating: 8/10. State-of-the-art Funkton One sound system, a solid group of true dance music lovers, everyone dressed in black, and dirt-cheap drinks = great party and an aching body the next day. One of the best value raves I’ve been to!

When you think about the best places for dance music, Asia is not a continent that comes to mind in terms of the diversity of offerings and the quality of the music. Taiwan, in particular, beyond the clubs that mostly play commercial EDM and hip hop, my impression is that there was a paucity of places dance music aficionados could go to. So, when I heard on ICRT (the English language radio in Taiwan) an ad for a Black Party, with the DJs Frontliner (hardstyle), John O’Callaghan (Trance), and Arctic Moon (Trance), I knew I had to go! Due to my many years of stalking news on the legendary but intermittent Sensation Black party (the last edition was held in 2012 and here’s a video from 2007), I’ve always wanted to go to a Black Party and who would have thought I’d finally find it in Taiwan.

The killer line-up only sets you back 1,200 NTD (or $40). The party was to be held in Kaohsiung, a 5 hour train ride away from Taipei where my family lives (or a 2-hour high speed rail train ride), but the distance was not going to stop me from attending.

Photo courtesy of the Black 黑派對Official Page

Photo courtesy of the Black 黑派對 Official Page

I recruited my friend YR, who lives in Hong Kong and is always down for a good party, and also my friend Tony, whose family business is in Kaohsiung. YR and I planned for a weekend trip to Kaohsiung. We were quite concerned about what the event was going to be like, especially since when we went out clubbing the night before, we were at a club that planned good edm/trance music, huge venue with a light up dance floor, with a cover of $10 (NTD 300) all you can drink, yet only had about 20 clients … Thus, we had no idea what to expect at the black party – will the people at the party be music lovers who “get it” — most importantly, will there be people…?

On the night of the party, donned in black outfits, and prepared with red bull vodkas to go all night long, we arrived by taxi to the venue. Our biggest concern was alleviated, there was a mob of Asians in black clothing outside of the Kaohsiung International Convention Center. In fact, if I didn’t know what was going on, I would have thought there was some out of control gang activity going on here… We excitedly went into the venue, greeted by booming bass, blinding laser lights, and the 138 bpm sounds of Arctic Moon. Thus begins the non-stop 6-hour dance marathon! The next DJ to come on was John O’Callaghan, who spun very energetic hard trance. The best in my opinion was the DJ I came for, DJ Frontliner, who gave us some amazing hardstyle! YR and I were angry at the floor the whole time, and even jumped over the barricade separating the DJ with the dance floor. I was surprised to see a couple hardstyle devouts with Q-dance flags and Frontliner flags. Wow hardstyle is present in Taiwan! The crowd was really pumped up, and super friendly. People (guys and girls) will come up to us to dance with us and chat with us. The hours flew by. The last DJ was a Japanese hard dance DJ called Yoji. I did not enjoy his set as much as parts of it was commercial, but it definitely had its own style, and I’m always open to listening to new music!

Let the Q-Dance flag fly

Let the Q-Dance flag fly

All in all, the stage production was great — the DJ booth was creative, the LED panels gave great visuals, and the lasers were on crack. The sound quality was crisp and loud, and the bass could be felt in every corner of the dance floor. I was also very pleasantly shocked by the price of drinks… 100NT (3 bucks) for a red bull vodka… am I in rave heaven?? When we were given the total price for 3 drinks (10 bucks) we even thought it was the price for one. Shout out to the group that organized this event, Spunite Productions!

End of the night..

End of the night..

At the end of the night, at 5:30AM, we tiredly but euphorically skipped out the venue. All in all I was left super impressed by the organization and the crowd. I think that in countries where big raves are not a common thing, it attracts a crowd that is more “in the know”, more excited, and more fraternal. I highly recommend raving in my country Taiwan! 🙂

Black Party: A A-Rated Event

Black Party: An A+ Event

The next morning (or shall I say.. noon), we grodgily rolled out of bed 10 minutes before checkout. YR said to me “Dude… I don’t remember the last time I’ve been so sore…” Yep, that just about sums up the night!

I’m in Frontliner’s video, below! 😛

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