Watch: So much techno madness at Awakenings Festival
If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool techno fiend, you’ve probably marvelled already at Awakenings. The festival happened last Saturday 30 June at an expansive site in Spaarnwoude, 20 kilometres outside of Amsterdam, with two open-air main arenas and at least seven smaller stages. The mind-boggling thing about the party (apart from its long line-up) is how condensed it is: 11am to 10pm, one day only. Understandably, fans have barracked for it to be spread across a whole weekend, but for now it remains just 11 hours of power. For those of us who like to live vicariously, the festival creates some high-quality post-event video content, which has now been uploaded to YouTube.
The sound of Awakenings is resolutely techno and house, from the hard-edged to the deep and atmospheric. The Area V open-air stage got started with the no-mucking-around sounds of Cari Lekebusch back-to-back with Joel Mull, Len Faki and Italian Drumcode recruit Joseph Capriati, with the inimitable Carl Cox bringing it home at his most relentless. The second mainstage worked at a different tempo with 2000 and One, Ricardo Villalobos and Gaiser before working up to Marco Carola and Adam Beyer (who is the only DJ to have played all 12 editions of the festival).
Elsewhere around the festival, any techno itch had a stage to scratch it – with production and theming to match. Love those UK legends? How about Ben Sims and Dave Clarke in Area X. Detroit titan Jeff Mills at 2pm? Proceed to Area Y. The warmer, less feverish side of things? Stimming, Robag Wruhme, Laurent Garnier, Martin Buttrich, Davide Squillace and Matthias Tanzmann to name just a few. After Mills on the Area Y stage, for example, it was a dream run of scene heavweights: Luke Slater presenting Planetary Assault Systems, Rotterdam icon Speedy J and finally to close it out, Awakenings pro Chris Liebing. Get stuck into the video evidence below. Viva la techno.