The No.1 hardstyle festival Defqon.1 brought together more than 100.000 Weekend Warriors from all over the world in its last edition.
3 years. About 1095 days. That is what we've had to wait to enjoy Defqon.1 again in person. The pandemic hit all events during the last 2 years, even in 2021 events began to be held days after the last Defqon.1 at Home. To be honest, Q-dance together with Insomniac Events were the promoters that best reinvented themselves during that time, carrying out streaming events in real locations. Today, those events are left behind, with a new edition in which 100.000 Weekend Warriors gathered at Biddinghuizen.
It was the first edition for many of us and Defqon.1 totally exceeded expectations. We started the first day in the Blue, since camping takes time and more with the hot day it was. D-Block & S-te-Fan were in charge of giving the starting signal at Blue stage with 'Primal Energy'. The energy that was breathed at that moment was unsurpassed. It was like a 'yes, we're finally in Defqon.1'. The Dutch duo played several IDs both their own and a collab that no one expected with Headhunterz. Wildstylez started, who played more classics and tracks from his sublabel Eternity. He invited Brennan Heart to play the 'Lose My Mind' follow-up, a true masterpiece and even premiered a new Project One track.
Zatox couldn't attend so Q-dance had to look for a relief in the last hours. When everyone left the Blue not knowing what would happen, appeared Vertile. He's the artist who has grown the most in recent months and people love him. He played the collab with Headhunterz, the remix to Gunz For Hire track 'Executioner Style' and delighted us with 'Together We Grow' at the beginning. Then we moved to the Black to see the Peacock in Concert. A machine gun of IDs that we'll possibly hear right now on his recent album 'Medication Time'.
All eyes on Friday were on the Opening Ceremony. It's not for less, since Sefa opened the Red stage with a set to remember. Accompanied by several musicians, he presented the entire repertoire of his new album. If we were talking about Vertile being the one that has grown the most, Sefa is the one who has established himself as one of the most acclaimed artists on the hardstyle scene.
It was time to Headhunterz. He's the artist who is most demanded, that is why he's the standard of hardstyle for those who don't know this scene that much. We expected new songs from him and so it was. The already mentioned collabs with D-Block & S-te-Fan and Vertile, a new ID that will be released soon and the new P1 track that Wildstylez already played. We miss, yes, 'The Hunter', which may not be officially released. Then Frequencerz came with their show 'The Wolves Are Back' and Rejecta with 'The Keymaker', his next album. Rawstyle everywhere. Frequencerz presented their EP, which we've been waiting for since their show at Defqon.1 at Home and which they've been releasing over the last few months.
Rejecta instead debuted with 'The Keymaker'. Various IDs, also highlighting 'Homicide', his new collab with Act of Rage. One of the most expected shows would close the Red with both positive and negative reviews. Sub Zero Project were 'The Spotlight' this year, just one week away from releasing their album. Perhaps for this reason, it was a more than expected set, since all its songs were more than well known. Still, it's possibly the best year of the duo in their entire career.
Starting the day in the Indigo is always a safe bet. It's to start the day strong and more with a Mutilator vs Fraw. Later, we'd spend time on the sets of The Prophet and Noisecontrollers to Saturday's most anticipated moment: The Power Hour. It's indescribable. The music goes into the background and only passes through your head jump, hit balls, enjoy and hug the people. I'll always recommend it. Difficult time to be a camera, since at any moment an inflatable hits you. We replenished our strength for the next hour and moved on to B-Front. His set, as always. ID, ID and more ID. Classic. It's totally incredible the amount of songs that it has to release and every day it surprises you with one more. He presented his ID with DV8 and his photographer and friend Menno, who gave an instrumental touch to the track.
Later we went to Phuture Noize at Red stage, who played several of his latest releases as 'Landmines' and 'An Idea Never Dies', as well as 'Eye of the Storm', his new ID that he already presented at the UV Stage with his show 'Statues'. After Phuture, we had a date with 'Uncle Ed'. E-Force started the set with a new ID with D-Sturb, in addition to his collab with Act of Rage who would be the next to play. Highlight his anthem for REBELLiON, a festival we hope to enjoy next year and, without a doubt, 'Judgment Day', personally one of my favorite tracks. Act of Rage was in the line of E-Force and in addition to his new collabs with Ed himself and with Rejecta, amazed all his fans with his edits.
We put an end to the day with the final show of Gunz For Hire, under their new show 'Death or Glory'. 'Firestone', the current remix to 'Pussy Lovers', 'Seek & Destroy'… and that 'Death or Glory' that gives name to their show which we're in love with their latest kick. 'The End Show' would be the final fireworks for the third day of Defqon.1, with tracks like 'Transform', 'WKND!' or a themed 'The Alchemist' by Psyko Punkz with Wim Hof & Zac Aynsley.
Finally the day you always love and hate about a festival: the last one. Your forces fall, but you don't want this to end. Even more like a day like today. It seemed to be a more relaxing day to enjoy but it was not. Mish opened the last day of Defqon.1… practically packing the Indigo! One of the best sets of the festival. She transmits and spreads her energy, as well as the desire that she herself had to be there. We moved to the Magenta to stay there for several hours. Max Enforcer, who is almost impossible to see outside of Defqon.1, he played tracks like 'Gold', 'Lost in Paradise'… what can I say, wonderful. One of the masters of hardstyle melody, as Frontliner.
Frontliner enjoys every classics set he plays and we got to see him on his set at Magenta. He completely brought down the tent with 'Symbols'. Anthem after anthem. It started with 'Discorecord' and ended with 'Weekend Warriors', his anthem for Defqon.1 2013. The atmosphere was brutal and he continued with Bass Modulators. I love them, I've to admit it. They're currently the most different sound of Art of Creation with Aftershock, just like they were before. Pure melody, with trance nuances. A set full of classics and with various nods to their label mates. Turn of Ran-D and Adaro, who gave us time to listen to the original version of 'Living For The Moment', since we were moving to see Radical in the Blue.
We'd attend the Blue for the last time to see Radical Redemption and Rooler. Always mention any 'Brutal', whatever the number, which always makes the crowd vibrate. Regarding IDs, highlight his collab with Cryex, another of the artists that is knocking on the door lately. After announcing who the Defqon.1 Legends would be, we decided to stay with Rooler, who showed us that it was a wise decision. 'Go Stupid', 'TOO COLD', 'Club Banger'… each track surpassed the previous one. Special mention to his collab with Levenkhan, with which he closed his set.
With Defqon.1 Legends already started, we witness the closing of the bosses of art of creation. Then JDX would be the next to act. Listen 'Live The Moment' in Defqon.1 is simply amazing, but from its creator, even more so. TNT would put the finishing touch to one of the most exclusive sets of the festival. Ghost Stories would close the festival, of course, with 'Haunted Grounds' in their repertoire, in addition to various edits of their most legendary tracks. Among all of them, a new ID, as they had posted during the last weeks prior to the festival.
In short, a magnificent experience for all those hardstyle fans. It's such that without having finished this edition, you're already thinking about coming back next year. Defqon.1 is a feeling more than a festival. A place of respect, union and fun for attendees from all over the world. You can check our guide with tips and recommendations to attend for the first time from Spain. See you next year!