Amsterdam might be a real hotbed of activity when it comes to underground dance music, but drive just a couple of hours out of the city and you’ll find Arnhem. It’s the location for Free Your Mind Festival, a special one-day celebration that runs from 1 pm to midnight and boasts no fewer than six stages.
The main marquee is a vast tent that hosts huge names from the worlds of house and techno. In here, local legend Joris Voorn lays down his slick, hypnotic techno sounds, while Eats Everything goes for more playful, bass heavy and booting shaking tunes that get the crowd going wild. That crowd is made up of people from all over Europe. Both boys and girls get down, climbing on each other’s shoulders and bopping and yelling at all the breakdowns.
The main outdoor stage is next to a winding river. It’s a beautiful setting to dance in and the scenic landscape adds to the occasion. Inside, Berghain legend Len Faki is serving up his diverse techno sounds, drawing on a wave, EBM and more to make a huge impact. Sam Paganini and Dax J also play here so the energy levels never dip and everyone sweats throughout.
This is now the 15th edition of the festival so everything about it runs smoothly, from the bars to access to the various tents and toilets. Social media sensation Bradley Gunn Raver is in attendance and we catch him on the main stage, obviously, dancing around non-stop as he has done around the world.
Next to the music, this festival lets you soak your feet in the sand, chill on the beaches and dance under the industrial historical John Frost Bridge. The whole event feels like a nice community, with friendly people expressing themselves in a safe environment. As such it should be added to the top of your to-do list asap.