With more than 250.000 attendees, Defqon.1 once again certified its status as the biggest hardstyle festival in the world with 4 'non-stop' days.
How to describe Defqon.1. It's the meeting point for all those who cannot see each other throughout the year with a single purpose: enjoy the biggest hardstyle event in the world. As we mentioned in our first chronicle, or in previous news, Defqon.1 isn't just a festival, it's a feeling. 70% of the people who go to Defqon.1 buy at least one merchandising item. They not only wear it at the festival, but at any time in their day to day, even at other festivals. It's what makes it different Q-dance, since year after year, get every Weekend Warrior to show that love for Defqon.1.
The first day was perhaps the most chaotic of all. The rain and the traffic jam formed to get to the festival parking lot almost prevented us from getting to see the start of Sub Zero Project. Finally, we arrived in time to listen to their anthem 'Path of the Warrior' in a Blue quite different from the previous year. To highlight, the appearance of Vertile with the duo to present their new collab for the first time. We switched to Indigo to see the APEX members. We were lucky enough to make a streaming with them in their early days as a label during the pandemic and now, they are hosting their own stage on Defqon.1. A more than deserved award for good work, and to the growth of artists like Cryex, Vasto, Scarra or MC Synergy.
Back in the Blue, Headhunterz He was the next to go on stage. A set full of his classics and some of his long-awaited IDs, plus the premiere of a new track. He said goodbye to The Prophet playing together 'Summer of Hardstyle'. Perhaps, we hope for another new premiere, after his recent posts in the studio. Former label mates and very good friends, Sound Rush picked up the baton, to also announce the creation of their own music label. 'Stronghold' and 'Puzzle Piece' were possibly our highlights of the set, more specifically the latter with that final drop that teleports us 20 years ago. We attended both their 'meet & greet', as well as their final silent album, where they invited all their followers. Finally, we close the Blue with Warface, where he played his new ID with Code Black and a new one solo.
We toured the festival during the early hours of Friday to familiarize ourselves with the entire venue. The Red opened its doors shortly before the set of Phuture Noize for all attendees to arrive on time. Marco presented his two new tracks with Devin Wild and Aversion, brought his good friend B-Front to play 'The Solution' and surrounded himself with several live singers and dancers. We left the stage to attend the The Theater to a completely different set of Sefa. Starting with a few little jokes, he performed with several of the musicians who accompany him in live format, encouraging all attendees to dance and enjoy a show in confidence. We witness the end of Rejecta b2b Cryex, to finally finish in the UV with B-Frontliner. It was another showcase album that we hope will one day be released. Listening to 'Other Planets' live was wonderful.
Finally, one of the sets marked in red of the festival. We knew it was going to be one of the top performances of the weekend and it was. D-Block & S-te-Fan presented themselves with 4 premieres: 3 collabs with D-Sturb, The Prophet and The Gang and a new solo one. Added to 'Kamikaze' and the remixes of 'Reignite' and 'Where You Are', little more can be said. Absolute legends. B-Front returned again to a Red, which he would step on again 2 days later. Shortly after starting he was already playing some of his IDs, like 'Dark Heaven' or 'Braveheart' with Ran-D and Ava Silver. More than ever, we can only recite that famous 'Thank Bob For Music'. At the same time, after completely packed the Indigo last year, Mish He did the same with Blue. After a brief pausa, we enjoyed the end of Act of Rage, who debuted on the Red.
After Act of Rage, a new debut on the Red. Packing all the festivals that have performed, Rooler and Sickmode introduced themselves as The Gang and they did one of the best sets of the festival. An endless number of IDs, in addition to bringing D-Block & S-te-Fan to play the collab again. They enjoy what they do and it shows in their performance. Currently, among the best artists of 2023. Finally, number 1 in 2022. Deservedly, Rebelion performed like The Spotlight, combining both their current tracks and Overdose. Special mention to 'Lucid Dreams', which, already appearing on official merchandising, may be released soon.
Our third day at Defqon.1 began with a tour of the entire festival, ending moments before the Sound Rush set. The perfect preview for one of the most important moments and that you should never miss if you attend: The Power Hour. Fun and crazy at the same time, and if you enjoy it in the front row, even better. There is no bigger 'earthquake' at a hardstyle festival than the one you'll see at Defqon.1. We alternated 3 legends as they were Brennan Heart and Wildstylez at Red and Coone at UV, with a showcase album of 'A New Decade'. Many classics, and in the case of coone, the tracks that will be part of his new album.
We return to Red to see the artist who has grown the most in the last year and who has positioned himself as one of the best artists on the scene. Vertile brought Sub Zero Project to play their new collab, plus 'Goodbye' and the more than expected 'Eyes Open'. The following set could perfectly be the one that had the most IDs in the Red. Sub Zero Project and Devin Wild performed and showed 2 collabs together, in addition to their premieres individually. As a final point, D- Sturb put an end to it with a new ID, his new releases under his live-act 'Playground' and closing with the song we liked the most this year: 'Reflections'.
Ran-D with E-Life, Sefa and Atmozfears, were the featured artists on The Endshow, with 'Code of the Warrior', '1527' and 'The Soul'. Special mention to the latter, since it will be available on all platforms from July 7.
Last day of Defqon.1, which we spent alternately between Indigo and Magenta. We attended The Straikerz, who are perhaps one of the few artists who carry the live format. The Indigo felt Spanish, and it's not for less, since in our opinion, they're currently the best national artists. Continued Vasto, in a set full of IDs, highlighting collabs with Crypsis, Cryex or Chapter V. Finally, our 'wonderboy'. Anderex continues to escalate at Defqon.1, and after having played individually on Purple last year, it has been his turn on Indigo. Highlight his edit to Ray Volpe's 'Laserbeam', which drove all attendees crazy.
We said goodbye to Indigo for the last time with a new set of Adjuzt. Impartially, we could say that he is the artist with the greatest future in the rawstyle scene at the moment. It is growing by leaps and bounds and has collaborated with great exponents of the scene such as Warface, Hard Driver or Rebellion, which I played on their set. Since we couldn't see close to Frequencerz on UV, we decided to go Magenta to see their 'classics' set. A review of the duo's history, in which maybe we miss their still unreleased 'The Unknown'.
We reached the final stretch of the festival, and with it, Defqon.1 Legends. Perhaps the most controversial moment of the festival. Not this first round, where B-Front, Ran-D and Adaro were the chosen ones. Totally agree with this choice. From the most mystical, to the most melodic, to the most forceful. A perfect set, with their best known tracks. Later, like last year, there would be more guests. Sub Zero Project, Sefa and Warface continued Roughstate members and the controversy was established in Biddinghuizen. In our opinion, if we enter to assess their growth in recent years, they are at a stratospheric level and that right now, they even exceed the limits of hardstyle. maybe Warface has a longer run.
Finally, The Prophet he reviewed his career in his, officially, last set. From the classics to his most recent collaborations, closing with various edits to his most famous songs. Visibly excited he said goodbye with more than 30 years of career. The Closing Ritual closed a new edition of Defqon.1 with the premiere of 'Lost Without You', the new collaboration of Headhunterz and Vertile with Sian Evans. A real masterpiece.
Thank the entire team from Q-dance the good treatment received, and having dedicated a large part of their time to show us about the festival. We also want to give it to all the people who have been supporting us both from the beginning, and if they've recently joined. Every day we grow a little more in this genre that we like more and more every day, and it's partly thanks to you. If you want to attend Defqon.1 in 2024, you can check our guide, that very soon we will update with all the news. See you next year!