Decibel Outdoor Festival 2015 Review
Decibel Outdoor Festival 2015, the major Netherlands hardstyle festival that marks the peak of summer, organized by b2s. The "other Defqon" some might say. Hot weather, sunshine, blue skies, lakeside; time to let go and live it up for the final portion of the season.
As an American, traveling across the world for a hardstyle festival that isn't Defqon is almost unheard of. Something other than the largest and most iconic festival? One of the most recognizable hardstyle symbols in world, the mecca for all hardstyle fans and artists. But bigger isn't always better, and there is much more to a music festival than just a large crowd and massive lineup. It is almost silly to pit these festivals against each other, or any other for that matter, but of course that is always something people want to know. It is fair to want to get the most for your money, and to ensure the best possible experience, especially when planning a trip overseas. But having been to both, it is still hard to decide which is the best. I would still recommend each one, and rest assured you cannot go wrong with either.
Decibel, placed in the southern part of the Netherlands by the border of Belgium, takes place on of the most unique and magical environments for any music festival. Just getting off the shuttle and seeing the landscape for the first time, I knew it was going to be an amazing weekend. Heavily wooded forests, trails, and ponds compose the campgrounds. It actually feels like camping out in the wilderness. Unexposed and shaded by trees, even the free-for-all camping areas can be setup to feel like your own private forest enclave. Mix that with your best friends and hardstyle and you are in for a treat.
The festival itself runs along a stunning lakeside. With forest to one side and water to the other, it feels like a massive private beach party, with stages built on docks and some even on islands. Walking distance between the campgrounds to the festival is relatively short, making it easy to go back and forth. The convenience of this festival is unmatched and that in itself is a strong selling point for many.
Unfortunately, even for the large scale of everything, the actual festival is only one day. Most people just show up for Saturday and leave afterwards. So if you are not looking to invest a whole weekend or camp, you still have the option of massive party. But the camping really completes the experience and has a lot to offer. For those who decide to stay and camp for the whole three days, there is no shortage of entertainment. There is a whole stage setup under an enormous circus tent that is reserved only people camping, featuring a kickoff party Friday night, an after party Saturday night, and an all day party Sunday. And for those who still can't get enough, there is a 24 hour party area where there music never stops.
Even though this last Decibel rained, and it rained a lot, it was still a great experience. Outdoor festivals are always at a risk for undesirable weather, especially in the Netherlands. Rain is to be expected, especially earlier in the summer for Defqon, but apparently even later on for Decibel as the last two years have shown. But there is a sort of special feeling you get as the rain picks up, standing in a crowd of die-hard fans all in ponchos or huddling under the covered areas as the sun goes down and the stage comes alive with visuals. A sense of community and dedication. Rain won't stop the party.
After three days of hardstyle and camping, feeling the distant sub of the kicks in the ground non-stop day and night, you'd think you would have had enough. All the harder styles one can imagine. Oldschool, freestyle, euphoric, raw, hardcore: Decibel has it all. You will get your fill of all of your favorite hard dance music, and even more than you thought you could handle. But even after three days of constant partying and loud music, you don't want it to end. It always goes by so fast and before you know it you are packing up and heading back to the shuttles home. Decibel 2015 remains only in fond memories, pictures and videos. Engraved in everyone's heart, waiting til next year to do it all again. And we sure will be back,