Q-dance is the history of Hardstyle

Q-dance has continued to make history year after year for two decades no matter what obstacles get in the way.

21 years Q-dance, "Hardstyle", of a unique, different and very, very powerful style. It is currently one of the biggest brands in electronic music, with its own stage in a wide list of festivals around the world. Europe, Asia, South America, Oceania and even America have witnessed the evolution of the brand in recent years. Q-dance has been a example of overcoming, and therefore, we want to show it to you in this article.

defqon1-q-dance
Defqon. 1 2020
  1. QLASS ELITE: THE BEGINNINGS
  2. Q-DANCE: QLUBTEMPO, QLIMAX AND THE TERM HARDSTYLE
  3. Q-DANCE REGISTERS THE WORD HARDSTYLE AS A OWN BRAND
  4. EXPANSION ABROAD AND THE BIRTH OF DEFQON.1 AND X-QLUSIVE
  5. FROM THE EUROPEAN «QONTINENTE» TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD
  6. Q-DANCE FEESTFABRIEK: 10 YEARS OF Q-DANCE
  7. DEFQON.1 EXTENDED: THE FIRST STEP TO THE FESTIVALS WITH THE LARGEST FORMAT OF DAYS
  8. GROWTH AND UPDATE OF THE Q-DANCE BRAND
  9. HOSTS, TAKE-OVERS AND CHANGES UPDATED TO DATE
  10. DEDIQATED: THE LAST CELEBRATION
  11. WHAT THE COVID-19 TAKE AWAY ...
  12. … AND WHAT IT CAUSED.

QLASS ELITE: THE BEGINNINGS

In the early 90s, the hardcore sound it spread all over the world. Day after day, fans flocked to each of the parties. After becoming one of the most acclaimed sounds at that time, in the late 90s hardcore was returning to the underground, pretending to suffer a crisis from which he would not recover. Q-dance (at that time called Qlass Elite), believed in the possibilities of returning to that sound due to the interest they continued to show.

In 1999, a group of friends from Landsmeer founded Qlass Elite, starting a series of parties called 91-92 on Zandaam's Hemkade 48, along with a new concept of classics called Houseqlassics. In that year, DJs combined blockbuster classics with a sound that came from England called UK hard house. Oriented to trance and techno, it gained a lot of strength although people demanded a greater forcefulness in the sound. In Italy and Germany other forms of hard house were emerging, with greater power and less speed. Qlimax, one of the events that still lasts today, was born and would end up having a leading role in the history of Q-dance.

Qlimax is such an integrated part of the evolution of Hardstyle and also defined a lot of elements that Hardstyle tracks have in them these days.

Headhunterz

Q-DANCE: QLUBTEMPO, QLIMAX AND THE TERM HARDSTYLE

Year 2001, Qlass Elite became Q-dance and, after a somewhat complicated Qlimax celebration, but successful in 2000, Q-dance decides to make the event even bigger moving it to the Thialf Stadium in Heerenveen. In addition, a new event was born under the name of Qlubtempo. This series of parties were characterized by having a mixture of the toughest styles that were at that time. Hard trance, old style, techno, progressive and even British hard dance. Q-dance observed that the public was enjoying even more with several of these styles and that the reservations for upcoming parties were increasing without control. Technoboy, the total protagonist of this story, surprised everyone with a powerful and stimulating style that was different at the same time. After the fourth Qlubtempo, he was called "Hardstyle".

Technoboy was not the only one. Luna, Pavo, Gary-D and Dana they were the first protagonists of this beautiful story. Exponents of gender In the early days, they contributed to a greater reach at other events. Dana, would take on a bigger role in the next few years, crowned queen of hardstyle in a X-Qlusive in January 2003, after being Miss Qlimax in the first edition of the festival.

Q-DANCE REGISTERS THE WORD «HARDSTYLE» AS OWN BRAND

The 4 of July of 2002 It was a more than historic day for this genre that every day it reached more people. Q-dance decided to register the word "hardstyle" as a brand and its own legal identity to this sound. This was only the beginning of what was to come after taking this step. The group of friends who founded Qlass Elite became living history of the genre that currently continues in an exorbitant expansion.

The company chose its name with precision and care. The "Q" means quality, because from the beginning, it is the philosophy of the company, which they still maintain. After two decades the power of the "Q" continues to transmit strength and all the people involved in it are lovers of this music. The "ultimate experience" has always been the starting point.

EXPANSION ABROAD AND THE BIRTH OF DEFQON.1 AND X-QLUSIVE

If we had to emphasize one of the most important years for Q-dance, possibly one of them would be 2003. Qlimax was growing again to such an extent that it would end moving to its current location: Gelredome. Two more than successful concepts were introduced for the first time in the history of Q-dance: Defqon.1 y X-Qlusive, besides TeQnology, the latter more oriented to techno than hardstyle. Was also born Q-beach, a different party format in which you enjoyed a sunny day, sea and hardstyle on the beach of Bloemendaal. It did not have as much impact as those previously mentioned, so it ended up disappearing two years later.

After growing exponentially, Q-dance decided it was time to get out of the country and spread the hardstyle sound around the world. At that time, was born Q-BASE as "The International Dance Festival" being held at the former Army RAF base in Weeze, Germany. Along with this event, was also born Qrime Time, an event where assistants had to dress up as gangsters and which further strengthened this expansion. A little anecdote regarding the first edition of Q-BASE: a bus broke down on the way to the festival and being in a one-way lane, it stopped the arrival of festival goers for a while. Despite this, it was a success and attracted many foreigners.

In 2005, Q-dance established in Belgium and achieved a permanent place where it is considered the best festival in the world: Tomorrowland. Over the years, new events and locations appeared abroad. Qlimax in 2006 or X-Qlusive in 2007 arrived in the neighboring country. The term "hardstyle" kept growing and Technoboy landed in Sydney to mark a sold out at Space Nightclub in 2005.

FROM THE EUROPEAN «QONTINENTE» TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD

2008 would mean the expansion of Q-dance to the other side of the world, as well as the appearance of a new collaborative event: The Qontinent. That same year in Australia a Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane tour, where soon there would also be two X-Qlusive Showtek. Qrime Time is replaced by Qountdown, a new party concept at the Heineken Music Hall for New Year's Eve. A year later, given the total success of hardstyle in Australia, the Defqon.1 first edition in Sydney.

qountdown-q-dance
Q-dance Qountdown

Q-DANCE FEESTFABRIEK: 10 YEARS OF Q-DANCE

10 years of Q-dance. What were small parties organized by a group of friends had become international events in world-class venues. The evolution of Qlimax and Q-BASE, the expansion of Defqon.1 or the appearance of events like Qountdown deserved to have a joint celebration. Q-dance decided to create «Q-dance Feestfabriek» to celebrate its XNUMXth anniversary in a Amsterdam ArenA completely orange colored for the occasion. The stage was formed from the themes of Defqon.1 2008, Qlimax 2006 and 2008, among others.

Q-dance Feestfabriek

DEFQON.1 EXTENDED: THE FIRST STEP TO THE FESTIVALS WITH THE LARGEST FORMAT OF DAYS

It was the year 2011 and Defqon.1 it grew by leaps and bounds edition after edition. Like Qlimax in its early days, it needed a larger location to be able to celebrate. Thus moved from Almera beach to its current location Biddinghuizen. Not only that, but change to a larger format of days with the name of Defqon.1 Extended. Several days of parties with the possibility of spending the night at a neighboring campsite, including pre-party and after-party with the Extended Ticket. A year later, the format is expanded again, being able to attend from Thursday to Sunday. Finally, enjoy a festival a whole weekend it became a reality.

To every owner of an Orange Heart know that nothing shall tear it apart. It's times like these that get much more meaning to the sentence. May the heavens be praised with our sound as we celebrate from our homes and stand our ground. For the day will come when the doors will open wide and we well once again reunite.

Defqon.1 is our church.

Headhunterz

GROWTH AND UPDATE OF THE Q-DANCE BRAND

Like any brand, Q-dance over the years adapts to the situation of the moment and of each one of its events. New locations, name changes or the creation of temporary events in different parts of the world. You have to keep innovating, they would think. The new year's festival called Qountdown changed its name again to be called Freaqshow, following the same theme from years ago: enjoy the entrance of the year to the rhythm of hardstyle. Temporary events such as IQON in Sydney, QORE 3.0 in Amsterdam or The Sound of Q-Dance in Chile (also in Sydney), in addition to Qapital, which continues to this day. The year 2015 was coming and if you wanted to enjoy a hardstyle event, you had several to choose from. Defqon.1 for the first time in 3 locations (Netherlands, Australia and Chile), Qlimax, Q-BASE, Freaqshow or HEMQADE, the latter under the name of Q-dance reunion.

Q-dance - IQON

HOSTS, TAKE-OVERS AND CHANGES UPDATED TO DATE

In addition to your own concepts, Q-dance has served as hosts for many top-tier festivals. After Mysteryland or Tomorrowland, with the passage of time it has been established in other festivals such as Tomorrowland Winter, Airbeat-One or Electric Love Festival. Even participating in Medusa Festival (Spain), Aairport Festival (Denmark) or Siam Songkran (Thailand). As a curiosity, he also participated in EDC Las Vegas in 2012.

Q-dance - EDC Las Vegas 2012

Defqon.1 has established itself as the leading festival of hardstyle. Thousands of Weekend Warriors They travel to the Netherlands for a first-rate experience. Sadly, the Chilean and Australian editions disappeared in 2016 and 2018 respectively. Qlimax is still a place of worship of «hardstyle», more thematic and decorated than ever. Freaqshow became WOW WOW, which gave way to EPIQ. A multitude of names with a single objective: enjoy a harder New Year's Eve than ever. IMPAQT replaced Q-BASE in 2019, ending 15 editions since 2004. QAPITAL brings together hardstyle and rawstyle for the most demanding fans and finally shares the limelight with Bass Events in The Qontinent and with Art of Dance in Dominator.

DEDIQATED: THE LAST CELEBRATION

Finally, Q-dance turned 20 years old. Those friends of Landsmeer could be perfectly proud of this feat. What in 1999 was to have small parties had become one of the highest level promoters in the world. "Hardstyle" is to Q-dance what Q-dance to "Hardstyle." Two words that will always go hand in hand. What was once "Q-dance Feestfabriek" became "DEDIQATED." We could call it an event, a festival ... But actually, it was more a celebration where artists, attendees and, ultimately, anyone who contributed their grain of sand for this growth, enjoyed. A community we could call it. The Hardstyle community.

Q-dance - DEDIQATED

WHAT THE COVID-19 TAKE AWAY ...

March 2020. Alarms were going off around the world. A global pandemic was attacking the entire world and swept away everything in its path. The music industry was plummeting. Festivals canceled, revenues plummeted, and throwing in the towel was an option for any promoter or artist. After DEDIQATED, no more events were held. Reinvent yourself or die. Q-dance was clear about it, it was time to reinvent itself and show the world what it was capable of.

… AND WHAT IT CAUSED.

In the absence of a face-to-face festival, the livestreams gained relative strength to enjoy the events and artists and continue to have interaction with all the fans. Was born QONNECT, which we were able to enjoy during several weekends during the past year. The artists went through the studio to broadcast their sets across all platforms. The date of Defqon.1 was approaching and after the impossibility of holding it, Q-dance hit the key: mount a streaming event from Biddinghuizen. An impressive staging, transmitted through various drones and with exclusive sets. The brand returned to show why it is one of the largest promoters in the world.

Q-dance - Defqon.1 At Home 2020

After the success of Defqon.1 At Home, we had to think big again. Qlimax was slowly approaching and it was time to make history. Several artists were contacted and advised to make a track with specific criteria. It was not going to be a livestream, it was going to be an audiovisual experience. The artist would become an actor and would have his own chapter. The dimension was such that weeks later, the organization made the presence of the film official on Netflix. Hardstyle on Netflix!

Q-dance - QLIMAX: The Source

Q-dance had succeeded, had overcome adversity. Not a global pandemic ended the growth of hardstyle. To this day, we do not know exactly what will happen to all the events of both Q-dance and any other promoter. The future right now is indecipherable. If someone continues this story 10 years later, they will speak of 2020 as the year in which despite all the adversities. Q-dance reinvented itself and took one of the biggest steps in its history.

Dedicated, we are strong. One Blood, One Love, One Tribe.

Phuture Noize, KELTEK & Sefa

About Erik

One summer of 2014 I wondered what an electronic music festival would be like and 5 years later, I wonder what would become of me without such a festival regularly..

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