The Dutch Festival season never seems to end does it? Thats because it doesn’t. The guys behind DGTL see that the show goes on week in week out and when Straf_werk comes to town it certifies the Netherlands the place to be come festival season. Everything from the production to line up, decor and pioneering it seems that no stone is ever unturned when its a festival over there. With an industrial setting in place, a sort of apocalyptic Mad Max style theme that leaves you on edge as you walk in, the production once again was on point.
Straf_werk, which is based on the outskirts of the city centre and surrounded by forests and blue sky offered five arenas (one with a marquee overhang). Being a DGTL veteran so to speak you could marry the production with the one at Straf_werk with steal containers surrounding one arena, girders and obscure lighting rigs and lasers that all offered entertainment throughout. The rigs created a mesmerising backdrop on the forest whilst the raw metal offset was a sublime bonus, all helping the production see its to potential.
The Dutch are always loyal to their fans but even more so to their bustling DJ roster who always step up to the mark on the festival circuit. Prunk is a name that is on that comes to mind; the Amsterdam spinner stole the show early doors with an array of jacking cuts that warmed he crowd up nicely ready for the ever present Hot Since 82 to take control. Tech house is one of the main focal points within Daleys (HS82) set as he drives the audience into a frenzy with sudden drops and sharp bass.
Another UK hitter was also on point throughout his set in that of Huxley. The loveable bass heavy character left no stone unturned with some older spins attaching perfectly to the newer material. Doublespeak’s K314 was the talk of the town garnering a huge applaud from the punters beneath him. Always great behind the booth Huxley delivers on all fronts and never disappoints. Jamie Jones rounded things off in The Other Stage providing his beloved fans with an old school effort that took us back to his mid naughty days when he was still learning his craft. If you were ever a Back To Basics follower this was a nostalgic take and reminder that the Welsh native can cut the mustard in all genres of house.
However the highlights of the entire show were the live acts KiNK and Mr Schwartz. The Bulgarian KiNK used the full plethora of his analogue plus his famous vinyl deck to add fuel to the fire. Always one to deliver at the highest level he kept the faithful on edge with long breaks and heavy elements of bass. Of course there a few hands in the air moments so on point he even had to do one himself.
Henrik offers a respectfully class affair delving deeper and throwing down some fresh edits that keep everyone guessing but bring them together nicely. The Innversvisions stalwart is so good with his live act, it was actually sad to see him stop at the end. Skream was another man on top form with the Croydon pulling in a packed crowd for his set.
My first Straf_werk experience was as good as it gets, from the limelight of the production all intertwining with the excitement of the line up it was great to witness another solid outing from this amazing promotion outfit.