Nina van Zelst
By Nina van Zelst

The build-up of Decibel outdoor has started! Of course we are very curious about all of the developments for this year, so we had a chat with the creative team. As lead creative for B2S, Janna is responsible for coming up with a theme for the grand Decibel outdoor, which is ‘LIVE LOUD’ for the upcoming edition. We talked to Janna about how such a theme comes about, how it is being incorporated into the stages and more about the uniqueness of Decibel outdoor! 

Janna is responsible for the experience of Decibel outdoor visitors. With her team, she makes sure everything fits perfectly together. “Everything they see, do, experience, hear, feel and so on. From the first moment they get to know something about an event, until the show and everything that comes after. It has to make sense. Together with my show team I also produce the (intro)shows, endshows, the entertainment and so on.”

“The word ‘theme’ does not cover what we are trying to create”

Then on to the start of the creative process: Decibel 2018 has just come to an end… When and how does the team start with the preparations for the new 2019 edition? “Leading up to 2018, we are learning a lot when we’re working, and we try to incorporate this immediately in the process of the upcoming edition. Both before and during the event, you keep an eye on what’s working well and what’s not so much. From certain creative processes you also create ideas which cannot be implemented at once, so you write them down for the next edition.” According to Janna, a creative project never ends: “We are always paying very close attention!”

These thoughts eventually come together in a brand new theme for Decibel outdoor. Not just a theme, but an entire experience if it’s up to Janna. “The word ‘theme’ does not cover what we are trying to create. Especially in our scene, which represents a complete lifestyle! What we want to do with Decibel goes beyond a theme. It’s a feeling you want to give visitors, we want to create something people want to be a part of; a total experience.”

“Decibel is a no-nonsense festival, meaning the music and the visitor’s experience are the most important to us”

Even though each edition of Decibel outdoor has been a unique experience, there is a common thread throughout the years which always relates to Decibel as the ‘Ultimate Festival Destination’. “We have the sickest festival campsite in the Netherlands (maybe even Europe?), which is still one of our USPs. Over the last couple of years we have broadened the experience, and we created a subtitle to strengthen this even more. Decibel is a no-nonsense festival, meaning the music and the visitor’s experience are always the most important to us.”

In the end, it all lead up to the new LIVE LOUD: not just a theme, but a belief, more like a way of life. “A reminder to enjoy the sickest and loudest music there is to the fullest, at the place we all come together with the same purpose.” Looking at the bigger picture, LIVE LOUD goes even further: “Decibel has always had a city vibe, we just never expressed it to this extent. We were just like that. With the new concept of 3 days, we decided to really embrace it. In The Loudest City life is rough, extreme, hard. We LIVE LOUD!” 

“The mainstage will be the place where everything comes together, our sanctuary of sound”

This year Atmozfears is responsible for the Decibel outdoor anthem: ‘Live Loud’, so it’s up to him to come up with that ultimate Decibel feeling. “Music speaks louder than words. A quote I often use and the reason why I’m in this business in the first place. With music, you can create a type of feeling for someone. Decibel has always had a rough edge, and reaches a broad target group because we represent so many styles. Of course this is very difficult to translate into an anthem.” However, Atmozfears definitely succeeded according to Janna: “The lyrics set the right tone and the melody is one that stays with you. Whether you like it or not!”

ALSO READ: Atmozfears about creating the Decibel anthem ‘Live Loud’: “A fresh sound with a touch from the past”

Of course the theme is also being incorporated into the designs of the stages, among which the grand Decibel mainstage. Even though this is still top secret, Janna can share just a little bit… “Haha, just for you! Like I said, LIVE LOUD is about a belief and a way of life. Something we all strive for, whether you’re an artist or a visitor. It’s a mutual “craving for the beat”, a feeling everyone recognizes.” The Decibel outdoor 2019 mainstage will therefore be all about this common belief. “We will honor what has connected us: the harder styles. It will be the place where everything comes together, our sanctuary of sound…”

“In every city there are 3 essentials that you’ll always find and unconsciously create its essence”

As a visitor, you don’t always realize everything that comes about when creating such a grand mainstage. Yet, B2S always works for several months to design and create the mainstage. “Every single detail has to be right. While we were working on the complete experience, more and more things were falling into place. What we need in order to get across all the different elements often presents itself during the process. We bring these elements together in moodboards, after which the sketches are made and perfected.” Countless sketches and calculations are being made, and the complete show is also being designed. “We care about every single detail, in order to create the most unique experience for the visitors.”

Also for the other stages, there’s a lot in store regarding the Decibel experience. This year they have taken it to the next level, by looking at all the elements that create a city. “I’m not talking about simple street signs, traffic signs and so on. In every city there are 3 essentials that you’ll always find and unconsciously create its essence: a sanctuary, where they share their religions. An industry, where they work hard and an entertainment district where you can go completely wild. We incorporated these 3 core elements into the whole terrain. This is how we created a diverse “urban culture”. At the south we of course have a second mainstage, which represents the opening on Friday and the Pussy lounge on Saturday.”

“Our terrain is amazing, I’m still so in love with it!”

The decoration of the event won’t be limited to the stages: the Decibel outdoor festival grounds will completely be transformed to the feeling of LIVE LOUD. “In our identity we chose for a hard and bright color scheme. You will witness this at a lot of different places. Besides that, we are also focusing on the “urban culture” with a lot of different experiences per area. Our terrain is amazing, I’m still so in love with it!” Janna also explains how the organisation takes full advantage of the grounds. “That’s why this year we have once again incorporated some changes into the stages and for example created another sick chill-out on the water.”

ALSO READ: Decibel will be bigger, better & longer: “We are so excited for all the new possibilities ”

Decibel outdoor is going through quite some changes for the upcoming edition: “bigger, better & longer.” Also the end time has changed to 01:00 instead of 23:00, which results in more epic use (laser) shows in the darker hours. “Yes, the dream of every show designer! Instead of half an hour, we now have some serious time to create epic light and laser shows. This also means you make other choices about the details, because they can be even sicker with lights, lasers, flames or other show elements. In combination with the DJ sets this will create an awesome synergy. Just the little extra you want!” 

“The festival campsite is and will always be number 1, with all of the craziness and unexpected parties”

If you thought the lights/lasers show was sick before, according to Janna you are now definitely in for a treat! “It will be a visual spectacle for 3 hours straight. The big stage on the south will also be epic in the evening. For Friday and Saturday we have worked on a couple of sick shows. And to top it all off, we have a mainstage endshow on both Saturday and Sunday, during which we can go full force. Of course we are saving some very special show elements especially for these moments.”

There are even more changes for the upcoming edition coming our way, because on Sunday all of the districts will represent another genre than they did on Saturday. In this way, you’ll get to see even more while following your musicpreferences. Of course this is also taken into account while designing the stages: “The stages are more hybrid. But we still match the designs with the overall area and genres. This has also been taken into account looking at the layout. Everything has to make sense!”

To end the interview, Janna explains in a nutshell why lovers of the harder styles cannot miss this edition of Decibel outdoor. “I hope, with everything I’ve told above, there’s no doubt about it anymore. This is the start of a new legacy for Decibel! An entire new experience, with more acts and stages than any other harder styles festival. Add a lot of great activities, shows and entertainment and you’re ready to LIVE LOUD! The festival campsite is and will always be number 1, with loads of craziness and unexpected parties.”

Decibel outdoor will take place on 16, 17 and 18 August 2019 in Hilvarenbeek. For tickets and more information, please visit the official website of the event.

Footage via Facebook-page B2S

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