My rating for the festival: 8/10. Every hardcore fan must make the pilgrimage to Masters of Hardcore at least once in his or her life. The production, the organization, the sound system, the vibes, and of course the music were all top notch. Read on for my review of the festival!
As a fan of the hardest genre in electronic dance music, there are two annual events you cannot miss. One is Dominator Festival in the summer. The other is Masters of Hardcore in the spring.
I’ve known of Masters of Hardcore for awhile because I’ve listened to countless sets from this event. For hardcore ravers, this is definitely a bucket list item to tick off. Continue reading
I first wrote my list of 12 Surprising things about Amsterdam after visiting the city on a 3-day tourist trip in February, 2015. I ended up moving to Amsterdam later in the same year – getting an apartment, a job, and even a bicycle – the whole schebang of Dutch life. And so, here’s a new list of the good, bad, and the ugly of things that surprised me while living in the Amsterdam.
Every time I move to a new country, there are always basic living arrangements that are so different that I find to be very amusing and take some getting used to.
They’re really steep, going up and down is like climbing a Mayan pyramid. When I go down, I hold onto the railing for my dear life in fear of tumbling down. And after drinking, the only way for me to get home is to go up the stairs on all fours. Continue reading
Festival rating: 8/10. Mysteryland was my favorite festival in 2016. Yes, I loved it more than Tomorrowland 2016!
Mysteryland is one of those classic, historic dance music festivals that you got to visit at least once if you’re serious about the festival scene. It’s billed as the oldest dance music festival in the Netherlands, since 1993. They also do an edition in Chile and more recently, one in upstate New York. The two-day festival is in late August by the Dutch town of Hoofdorp, and although there’s a camping option, it’s just an easy 30 minutes out from Amsterdam so we commuted there.
Robert, my trusty festival buddy in the Netherlands, and I had originally planned to go on the Sunday. However, on Saturday we both found ourselves without plans on a beautiful sunny day. We also found on Ticketswap that two-day passes were being sold for a cheaper price than one-day passes so we quickly snagged tickets for 68 euros and rolled into the festival.
Woo! We were there and I successfully smuggled in a whole bottle of vodka again with my good old vodka in the back pocket trick. It works 80% of the time and so worth it for the amount of money I’d save. 500ml of vodka = 10 eur; 1 red bull vodka at the festival = 10 eur. My friends think it’s ridiculous that it works, as you can plainly see the bottle sticking out of my pants if you look from behind… But it does!
We had an awesome time there. I love how many genres were represented across the many stages at Mysteryland – even Dutch rap EDM (can’t say I loved it, but it was definitely different)! These are my three favorite things about the festival and what set it apart from other festivals for me.
1. Pillar of Dicks
—- NSFW!!! —- Continue reading
Moving to Europe is notoriously hard. As an American, I didn’t really pay attention to my international friends’ struggles of applying for permanent visas in the United States. When I decided that I wanted to move to the Netherlands long-term, I got to understand first hand the frustrations of being on the other side. Thankfully, if you wish to emigrate to the Netherlands, there’s something called the Dutch American Friendship Treaty which makes it relatively easy for you to obtain a self employment work permit.
I’m writing this with the desire that my experiences with obtaining the residence permit for self-employment under the Dutch American friendship treaty (DAFT) will also help other Americans who wish to also move to the Netherlands. Other blogs online helped me a lot as I went through the process, though I found that there is a lack of updated information about the process online. So, I’m hoping that my experiences in mid 2016 will help future residents from the USA in the Netherlands! Continue reading
At the end of last year, when I was searching for (yet another) apartment in Amsterdam, I got in touch with a Bulgarian guy Martin about subletting his apartment. I didn’t end up taking it, but we decided to keep in touch anyway via Facebook as he was also in the startup scene.
Throughout the next couple of months, I followed, virtually, his process of starting his own business, working as a digital nomad from the Canary Islands, and very actively posting inspirational writings and videos. Seemed like the type of person that I can relate to and would want to network with.
One of his posts that caught my attention was that he considers “his ability to make friends with anyone” to be his greatest life skill. So I was intrigued to know this and thought that he’s probably be a pretty cool guy.
Therefore, when he reached out to me after returning to the Netherlands, and asked if I want to visit Delft, where he lives, I decided to go and meet him in person on a Sunday.
My expectation was that I’d have a friendly meetup with a sociable and interesting person. In reality, it felt like a very awkward date with someone who seemed borderline like a creep. Continue reading
My Rating of Defqon.1: 8/10. While the Dutch weather was a bit of a downer, as well as the fact that not all stages were active all 3 days, there’s nothing quite like 55,000 Weekend Warriors from all over the world united for the sound we love. Read on for my Defqon.1 review, 2016.
Defqon.1 has long been on my list of “To do”‘s. Thanks to Q-Dance’s marketing machine, the epic endshow of Defqon.1 on YouTube had been engrained in my brain since 2012. Back then, I thought there was no way in hell I would be able to last 3 hours, let alone 3 days listening to hardstyle. Little did I know that 4 years later I would be in the Netherlands dancing hard in front of its stages! Continue reading
I spent 3 months in Amsterdam working for Party with a Local in October 2015 – January 2016. During this time, I checked out 13 dance music clubs – still only the tip of the iceberg in the electronic dance music capital of Amsterdam! Amsterdam’s night scene is bustling with a wide range of styles of electronic dance music and the Dutchies are some of my favorite people to party with. This post is about the clubs I visited as well as tips for clubbing in the beautiful city of Amsterdam.
How to Find Cool Parties
Clubs in Amsterdam generally do not stick with one genre of music; most will host different types of parties on different nights. I rely on Partyflock every weekend to find the hottest dance music parties in town. Not only does it contain a comprehensive list of events, I love that it also tells you the genre of music in the club that night. As someone who values the specific genre of music over the artist names (I don’t necessarily know the names of the artists and am always down to explore new music), it’s a tremendously useful feature! Partyflock also tells you the estimated number of people attending and links to tickets & Facebook event pages. You can even find events by genre (i.e. Hardstyle parties). Sometimes they even have guestlist raffles. Partyflock works all over the Netherlands. Continue reading
My rating of the festival: 9.5/10. At my first hardcore festival, ever, I went with low or even negative expectations. I was blown away by everything – the production, the music, and the crowd. My only complaint was that it ended too early. Continue reading
Amsterdam is a city most well known for its tolerance and its canals… And although I had been there 15 years ago, there were things that caught me by surprise this time going there as an adult!
1. Public Male Toilets. Like… Really public! To combat public urination into the canals, the Amsterdam city government has put public, bare-bone urinals around the city. I hear that the feminist groups protested, so they set up female bathrooms too, which became infested with drug dealers and homeless people… In the end, they got rid of them, and we are left only with male urinals.
Best I can do without getting too close
My rating for the event: 6.5/10… from a non-trance fan. If I were a huge fan of trance, I suppose it would be 8/10. The organization was great, but I felt like it lacked the umph factor of a “Festival” and I wasn’t in love with the crowd.
A State of Trance – ASOT – is well-known to be the most important event in Trance, a subgenre of Dance Music. ASOT is hosted by Armin van Buuren, one of the most important DJs (7 times voted #1 DJ in the world by DJ Mag) in the industry, and the fearless leader of the Trance genre, spreading peace, love, unity, and respect wherever he goes. Every year Armin hosts ASOT events around the world that coincide with every 50 episodes of his radio show. This year celebrates the 700th episode of the show with ASOT Festival (14 years, wow). Utrecht, Netherlands, is his hometown and he always does an annual ASOT show here, so for trance fans it’s an important destination to go to. I used to like trance a lot, but not I’m not a big fan anymore. Still, to me it is the most important event in Trance, so it was worth a visit combining it with a tour of Amsterdam over a weekend. Continue reading