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Awakenings debuted their new techno festival Upclose in Amsterdam

Awakenings started 27 years ago in the Gashouder and then grew into a massive techno festival that annually draws over 100,000 people. This year they decided to launch a new concept called Upclose, which was about getting back to the roots of raving, with smaller more intimate stages and a diverse range of techno acts that you don’t normally find at their main summer festival.

Photo Credit: Stef van Oosterhout

With 15,000 people in attendance each day, it was much easier to get around, the production was smaller but just as impactful and there was plenty of room to dance. The stages were created by putting the DJ in the center of the crowd or at eye level, so we felt more connected with the DJs and the music, and it was easy to see that the DJs loved this as well.

The whole festival flowed easily with a lot to be discovered across the six stages and along the way bathrooms and bars were quick to access, which meant we could get back to the dance floor faster. This was a festival for true techno lovers, no egos, no phones, just good vibes and unadulterated dancing! Plus we got lucky with incredible summer weather, something we always feel grateful for here in Amsterdam.

There was a lot of amazing music but for us, the standouts were KiNK & Raredub who poured out non-stop good vibes in their live back-to-back which had the crowd as well as themselves jumping full of smiles! Speedy J & Colin Benders were also fascinating with their live modular set, I Hate Models was full-on techno power for those who wanted a harder hit and Joris Voorn closing the main stage was a ride through techno that was an excellent way to close the event.

This year we only attended on Sunday but it was so good that next year we’d love to return for the full weekend!

Awakenings is now bringing Upclose to ADE for two events in their original home of the Gashouder with Marlon Hosftad’s Daddycation and Four Tet, no doubt both will be amazing. Tickets for Marlon Hofstad are already sold out and it is likely Four Tet will also, so get your tickets fast!

For more info click here.

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