Guide to attend Defqon.1, festival of the promoter Q-dance considered as the biggest hardstyle festival in the world.
When we hear the word 'hardstyle', most likely, the first festival you think of is Defqon.1. Located in the Netherlands, more specifically in Biddinghuizen, it's the place where all the Weekend Warriors come together to enjoy 3 unforgettable days (4 in this latest edition). It's, without a doubt, the world No.1 hardstyle festival and belongs to the promoter Q-dance.
In recent years, this style of music has grown exponentially, with the number of fans around the world increasing every day. The festivals have been growing hand in hand and there are currently an abysmal number of events, including take-overs all over the world, which is largely to thanks to Q-dance.. Defqon.1 has been one of the beneficiaries of this situation, becoming a 4-day festival in this latest edition.
Attend Defqon.1 and become a Weekend Warrior is perhaps the main objective of everyone who starts in hardstyle. We could say that it's a feeling. You walk through the festival and it's hard to see someone without something from their own brand. It's the mecca of hardstyle and the place where every DJ wants to play.
– TICKETS –
To be a Weekend Warrior, you will first need get a ticket. This year has been a bit chaotic after the pandemic and buying a ticket has been really easy, but it probably won't be next year. Tickets tend to sell out quickly. There are multiple options to purchase a ticket, so you should choose the one that best suits your comfort and financial capacity:
· Weekend Ticket: Includes the 4 days of the festival, in addition to camping. You can buy Defqon.1's own tent at the festival for 2 people. The price is quite high but it's quite spacious. It's one of the options to consider if you travel from abroad and not from the Netherlands.
· Tipi: Includes a personalized campsite with more amenities than the one offered by the Weekend Ticket. Highly recommended if you travel from abroad.
· VIP ticket: Exclusive access to depending on which areas of the Red, Black, UV and Blue stages.
· Day Ticket: Access for one day only. Perfect for those who can only attend the festival for 1 or 2 days for work or personal reasons.
Friendscamp: The most cost-effective solution for large groups who want to attend Defqon.1.
– FLIGHTS –
Regarding the flights, you've quite a few options, among which are fly to Amsterdam, Eindhoven or even Brussels. Flying to Amsterdam is the most feasible option, as it's the closest city with an airport to the festival. Eindhoven is possibly the best value for money option, since it has several economic connections such as Reus or Barcelona. Of course, keep in mind that you must have the supplement of approximately 25 euros that it costs to travel from Eindhoven to Amsterdam. In case of flying to Brussels, you can travel by train or Flixbus, but keep in mind that any communication failure won't allow you to get to the festival so easily.
As for airlines, we recommend Vueling, Transavia or even KLM, the latter being a little more expensive. You should always look for a company that allows you to carry a suitcase and backpack in case you don't check-in, since if it doesn't include it, it's one more extra expense. Therefore, Ryanair isn't so recommended to fly. A good price would be around between 100 and 150 euros. Once you land in Amsterdam, you should take a train to Amsterdam Centraal, which costs no more than 5 euros.
The trip to Biddinghuizen is the most complicated. Defqon.1 offers shuttles to go and come back, the problem is that you'll have to leave before the end of the festival and you'll miss the most exclusive performance, or failing that, the most complete staging and pyrotechnics level. The best options is rent a bus together with as many people as possible or rent a car. This last option is more recommended if you decide to stay in an apartment near the festival and not the campsite. Applications like GetTransfer or Uber could help you, but you'll pay a high price for it. Join hardstyle groups to find more people going to the festival who might have seats to include you on their bus.
- ACCOMMODATION -
Let's talk about accommodation. Your ticket includes camping, but you can still rent an apartment near the festival if comfort is what you need. Here are several tips you should follow if you want to camp:
- Go as soon as possible to the campsite, even before the doors open. It will provide you with a better location since the festival is divided into several zones. Campsites 1, 2 and 3 are reserved, so the best options are 0 and 4. If you go to zones 5 and 6 you will have to cross a bridge to cross, since they're the farthest zones from the festival.
- Buy food before entering the festival, especially for breakfast. Nuts, sausage or energy bars are also a good idea. Non-perishable products that at the beginning and end of the day help you to carry the day with energy.
- Between 2 and 7 in the morning hot showers are free, highly recommended after the afterparty. During the day, they cost one token and the line increases as the hours go by, so you'll need to go early if you don't want to wait more than 30 minutes. Regarding the bathrooms, the same thing happens, forming even longer queues. In case your body can withstand the lower temperatures, you've free cold showers next door. The bathrooms are provided with 3 plugs next to the showers in case you want to charge your phone.
- If you don't want to check-in anything, you can buy everything you need to camp at the Decathlon. The biggest is the one next to the Johan Cruijff Arena, being the one that later closes too. Be careful, as many people may follow the same strategy and the cheap tents will end up running out.
- Don't bring any distilled beverages, as they aren't allowed at the festival, just like open water bottles. At the festival you can buy a small Defqon.1-themed canteen that you can refill both at the festival and at the campsite.
- Take some plugs with you, since the party continues even at the campsite after the afterparty. It's possible that you live with some noisy neighbors, in addition, it has become typical to play terror music 24/7.
When you arrive at the entrance of the campsite, you must show all your belongings and when you pass, they'll put the festival wristband on you. Advice: talk to whoever puts it on you and try that he doesn't push for it. It works by heat sealing so it's possible that it will be a little tight. Once inside and with your tent already set up, visit each of the areas to get to know the festival. You've a small merchandising store, as well as both self-service and vending machines to purchase tokens. Currently, 1 token equals 3,60 €.
To put you in situation, regarding drinks, small beer and soft drinks are 1 token and large beer is 2 tokens. Red Bull is one and a half tokens and if you already want a cocktail, it's between 2,50 and 3 tokens. As for food, basic things like a croquette or a frikandel is 1 single token, nuggets, potatoes or chicken wings are 2 tokens and if you want something more forceful you've hamburgers, pizzas or pasta among many other things for 3-4 tokens.
In 'The Gathering' you can enjoy some stages such as Blue, Black and Indigo, as well as Wasted Lands. Some of the stages will be open outdoors that same day but you'll have to wait to be able to enjoy them the next day. This last edition we could find hardstyle in the Blue, hardcore in the Black and rawstyle in the Indigo. Finally, the day closed with an Endshow at the UV stage.
- FESTIVAL -
After 'The Gathering' we get into what Defqon.1 really is. Each stage determines a different style of music and is divided by colors:
- Net: Mainstage mainly composed of hardstyle and rawstyle. Here the Power Hour, The Spotlight, The Endshow and Closing Ritual are celebrated.
- Black: Hardcore, uptempo and frenchcore.
- Blue: Hardstyle and rawstyle.
- Gold: Hardcore, happy hardcore and millennium hardcore.
- Yellow: Frenchcore, terrorcore, speedcore and uptempo.
- UV: Hardstyle and euphoric hardstyle.
- Magenta: Hardstyle and early hardstyle.
- Indigo: Rawstyle and xtraraw.
- Silver: Industrial hardcore.
- Violet: It's the stage for new talents.
More specifically in the Red, there are many shows to take into account each day and if it's your first edition, we recommend you attend:
- TheSpotlight: The most exclusive event on Friday. This last edition was Sub Zero Project, who unofficially presented their album. She stands out for the staging of it.
- The Power Hour: Perhaps the most famous of all. Time to enjoy, dress up and experience something that no other festival has. It takes place at the Red on Saturday at 16:00. Giant balls, mats, an earthquake of more than 70.000 people and helicopters doing stunts. Drop your madness and enjoy the most entertaining show of Defqon.1.
- Endshow Saturday: As the name says, it's the closing of Saturday. Fireworks, lasers and lighting at the level of Q-dance.
- Defqon.1 Legends: As the name says, only a select few will be able to be part of this exclusive set. A journey through the history of the artists that compose it. In this last edition they were Headhunterz, Wildstylez and Noisecontrollers, followed by JDX and finally TNT.
- The Closing Ritual: Same style as The Endshow, but being the show that closes the festival. Time to laugh, look at the mainstage in astonishment, cry and think about attending a new edition of Defqon.1.
- Afterpartys: The place to go if you want to continue partying once the festival is over. It's celebrated both in the Blue, and in the Magenta, in addition to the silent disco of the campsite.
Finally, some last tips and curiosities that aren't so important, but that can help you gain more time at the festival.
- If you have to go to the bathroom, try to do it next to a stage with little influx. The queues will be much shorter. This year Blue and Magenta coincided a few meters away, so the bathrooms that were located there were always full.
- Save your eco-token, each one has a combination of numbers and letters that will get you entered into a giveaway for tickets to various Q-dance festivals, as well as merchandise.
- Look at all the posters of the festival, they could include information regarding surprise performances or exclusive gifts. This year B-Front & Adaro played at the Mini Power Hour or Sefa and Dr. Peacock played under different aliases. Even if you left your sneakers hanging from the Defqon.1 symbol, they gave you a little gift.