In today’s world we have to be continually conscious about everything we do. We’re at a stage where our all of our daily choices have to be thought about so our impact on our very fragile earth is as minimal as possible. It’s like the earth has been having a global rave for way too long, far more people came then she ever expected and now she’s in the middle one horrible come down. She’s depressed, she can’t control her temperature the way she used to and she’s looking trashier by the minute. If you saw your loved one in this state you’d want to help her, so she could smile, dance and eventually party like she used to. However, this time when she hosts a festival the rules are going to be very different. You’ll have to recycle your cups, organic food will be sourced from local farmers, energy will come from sustainable sources and whatever can be reused will be. These are the party rules of the future, and this is the mission of DGTL.
Cover Photo by Jordy Brada
Photo by Lisa Sant
The aim is to be the first fully circular festival in the world and so far they are making all the right steps. In 2014 the DGTL Revolution began and they have made big progress since then, such as going meat-free two years ago. This alone saved approximately 14 million liters of water and 53 tons of CO2 Emission, which is like 350 flights from Amsterdam to Paris! Over the past two years they have continued to find ways to reduce the festival’s footprint and to raise awareness for global sustainability. Some stages are solar powered and throughout the event party-goers are encouraged to keep the festival clean. They are even offered an incentive; each cup or plastic bottle returned equals half a token, so if you return two cups you can get one beer for free! This has resulted in a nearly spotless festival where you aren’t left dancing on top of a thick layer of crunched up cups, really a win-win situation for everyone! This year’s new innovation was their Circular Food System so that zero food waste is produced. Food is sourced from local farmers, the caterers serve vegetarian food based on these ingredients and then the organic waste is composted for the farmers to use again. They have even found a way to recycle pee and turn it into tea! All of these initiatives will surely help them meet their goal for the most sustainable festival in the world, and hopefully more festivals will incorporate these methods so that we can continue to enjoy the music we love while keeping our planet happy.
Photo by Lisa Sant
DGTL is the first major festival of the year in Amsterdam taking place over Easter long weekend where nearly 40,000 people from all over the Netherlands and across the world come to enjoy the best electronic music covering nearly every genre you can think of. For those eager to kick off the weekend early, the event opened Friday night at their NDSM location with notable acts like Theo Parrish, Schwartmann live and Floating Points b2b with Hunee. Saturday and Sunday continued with an eleven hour line up each day followed by after-parties until 5 am, so you could really dance through Easter like the Energizer bunny! The festival was spread across six stages, all named after the DGTL theme: Modular, Generator, Frequency, Filter, AMP and Gain which was hosted by Resident Advisor, and inside of the infamous Ferrotopia project by Artelier van Lieshout.
Like with any festival it’s impossible to catch a full set of everyone you want to but the expert programmers for the DGTL weekend left little overlap between the main artists so you could catch at least a portion of your all your favorite acts. Running between the stages can be quite cold but all the stages are indoors and once you’re inside the weather is the last thing on your mind. Some of the highlights of the weekend included Isreali DJ/producers Red Axes, who brought all their energy to the Modular stage and wow’ed the crowd with tracks including ‘Waiting for a Surprise’ and ‘Kalacol’. Next on our list are sounds from some of our favorite German producers, Recondite and Modeselektor who both played on the AMP stage. Modeselektor really knew how to engage with the crown and they brought the energy to the next level. Early into their set Sebastian got up onto the stage and towered over the crowd to get everyone’s hands in the air, and then as the bass got heavy he showered everyone with water, it almost felt like a rock concert, they sure do bring metal to their techno!
Photo by Lisa Sant
If you still had steam left to power through Sunday then you were definitely in for a treat. The crowd on the last day is always the best, it’s slightly less jam packed and crowd are those who have been able to pace themselves throughout the long weekend; the party pros create a great vibe! Early in the day you could catch amazing live acts like Monolink or into the evening Satori, who has a new EP out on DGTL’s very own record label, it will be released April 20th. The finale in the evening included legends like Laurent Garnier, a true artist who exudes amazing energy as he works the decks. Other big names included Jeff Mills who closed out the Generator stage with his heavy hitting Detroit techno and Âme II Âme, who were completely in sync and amazed us all!
If you weren’t able to make it to DGTL Amsterdam then put it on your calendar for next year. Check the dates below for upcoming DGTL events around the world.
PS: Remember to put into practice the principles of the Revolution throughout the year, our planet will thank you for it!