Sharon van der Werf
By Sharon van der Werf

A big hardcore rave under a highway. It sounds like something that happened weekly in the 90s, during the rise of hardcore, with an illegal rave. For festival visitors of TITANIUM Festival, ‘partying under a highway’ was still on the program last weekend. If the first 100% hardcore festival of the year is famous for anything, it’s that stage under the highway. Sharon pulled out her Air Max for Hard News and tells you all about the ins and outs of TITANIUM Festival.

READ ALSO: Major Conspiracy presents very first solo event with BKJN: ‘G.V.D.’

TITANIUM Festival is a collaboration between BKJN Events and Dance2Eden. It is the first festival of the year where only hardcore is central. TITANIUM offers an stage for every gabber. Whether you like frenchcore, uptempo, terror, oldskool or just mainstream hardcore – all these different subgenres within hardcore can be found, and that does a lot of good for the atmosphere at the festival.

Because the festival offers many different genres, the line-up is also very diverse with more than 90 artists. We mention a Paul Elstak, Partyraiser, Dr. Peacock, Nosferatu, Darkraver and Sefa, but also Noisekick, Promo, Barber, and Dimitri K to close the festival. In short, something for everyone.

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Unique location

The festival is held in a unique place that you will not often encounter within the harder styles. First of all, the location is in the middle of the country, right next to the A2. This ensures that the location is extremely easy to reach – it is less than an hour’s drive from major cities in the Netherlands, such as The Hague, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Utrecht or Arnhem. If you drive on the A2, you can see the festival in no time. This ensures that many truck drivers enthusiastically press their horn, which you can clearly hear on the stage under that highway. The realization that thousands of cars and trucks are driving above you certainly contributes to the unique atmosphere of the festival.

But besides the well-known bridge under the A2, the location of TITANIUM has much more to offer. The festival takes place in a Middelwaard nature reserve, a normally relaxing area with lots of grass, trees and even a beach. Add to that 20°C and a lovely spring sun on top, and you have the formula for success for a fantastic festival.


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Clash of Titans

The theme of this edition of TITANIUM is Clash of Titans and that is clearly reflected during the festival. Not only because of the cool Viking look of the different stages, but also with the five exclusive battles between different hardcore genres, also under the name Clash of Titans. With these ‘Clashes’ the DJs are challenged to compete with other elements of hardcore than from their own stuff. The concept of these battles is very original, and provides sets of artists that you don’t usually see together very often.

Think of Dr. Peacock vs. Angerfist on the Mainstage, Angernoizer vs. Nosferatu in the Uptempo area. For the Early Hardcore battle, Dr. Peacock against Ruffneck. The Sickest Squad and Noisekick took the stage together in the Frenchcore stage, and Catscan took on Vandal!sm in the Millennium area. All combinations of which you initially think, huh, does this go together? But we can reveal that these different hardcore genres fit together perfectly. In any case, it ensures unique once in a lifetime sets that you really should have been there. For example, it was very refreshing to see Dr. Peacock at the Early area. And I wasn’t the only one who thought so – the whole stage under the viaduct was packed when these two giants played their set.

⚔️ TITANIUM: Dr. Peacock vs. Angerfist ⚔️

⚔️ CONCRETE: Ruffneck vs. Dr. Peacock ⚔️

⚔️ STEEL: Angernoizer vs. Nosferatu ⚔️

⚔️ DIAMOND: Catscan vs. Vandal!sm ⚔️

⚔️ LIQUID: The Sickest Squad vs. Noisekick ⚔️

Another Clash of Titans set that I thoroughly enjoyed attending was Dr. peacock vs. Angerfist. The classic phrase “When I say Anger, you say Fist” was once swapped for “When I say Anger, you say Peacock,” kicking off an excellent set between the two men. Songs like “Solid Stigma” by Angerfist and “The Deadly Fist” by Angerfist and Deadly Guns were seamlessly mixed in Dr. Peacock repertoire as ‘Trip To Valhalla’. The highlight of the set for me was the song “Drink” by Dr. Peacock and D-Frek. The atmosphere was so cozy during this song. All festival goers sang along at the top of their lungs (“We are here to drink your beer!”), and I saw many people around me toasting with full beer glasses.

After this successful clash and a visit to the (free!) Ferris wheel, I decided to taste the atmosphere at the other stages, such as the Frenchcore stage and the Millennium stage. Last year, the latter area was still missing from the program, but this stage has been added again this year due to popular demand. After standing at this stage for a while, I understand why – it is precisely here that the audience seems to enjoy the old-school hardcore beats, at that time by J.D.A. and with a tree in the middle of the dance floor, it is once again emphasized how green and unique the location of the festival is.

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Partyraiser vs. Paul Elstak

A combination that does not officially fall under the heading Clash of Titans, but which can certainly be called a battle between two titans, is Partyraiser vs. Paul Elstak. It is not the first time that these men perform together on the Mainstage of TITANIUM – they also performed a set together last year and during the first edition of the festival. “Always looking forward to this one,” Partyraiser announced on his Instagram the Friday before the festival.

Since the style of these two hardcore DJs is quite different, I was very curious how they would bring this to one set. That certainly worked with songs like ‘Child of the Devil’, which Paul Elstak released together with JeBroer, but also with Partyraiser’s remix of ‘Push Up’. The atmosphere on the Mainstage was really good when the two giants ‘Crazy Mega Cool’ by Paul Elstak and the Russian Village Boys started. Bonus points for Partyraiser, who played his new song ‘Let the Hardcore Psycho begin’ with S-Kill. This song is an edit of ‘Let The Games Begin’ by Act of Rage and D-Sturb that blows wonderfully from the speakers. Yes, we want to hear that more often this summer.

Atmosphere during Irradiate and Offensive Rage

In the uptempo tent it became clear once again how popular uptempo hardcore is at the moment. This tent was quite large, but is fully packed from start to finish with all sets that I have taken on this stage. Anyone who managed to get a coveted spot in the tent can probably confirm that the temperature was constantly set at sauna. But the atmosphere? That one was so good. I myself was at the front of the Irradiate set. Due to the excessive use of the smoke machine, the DJ himself was often less visible, but that did not spoil the fun. Irradiate played hard – including his edit of ‘Battleborn’, the well-known song by hardstyle DJs Ran-D, Adaro and Frequencerz, but with an Irradiate sauce. Read: a saw kick and a big uptempo edit. In addition, the public was introduced to the latest collab by Irradiate and Cryogenic for the first time. I can’t wait for this to be on Spotify, because standing still is absolutely impossible on this new record.

Another set on the uptempo stage where I just stood with a big smile on my face is that of Offensive Rage. The guys Cryogenic, Soulblast and Abaddon know how to completely demolish an area – one hard kick after another blasted through the speakers and there was practically no rest. The amount of edits in this set was especially striking: from ‘LESGOOO!’ by Rooler, Sickmode and Levenkhan, to ‘Boten Anna’ by Basshunter (do we remember it?) and ‘Thunder’ by The Opposites and Yellow Claw. The set ended with Cryogenic’s ‘Basskick Paradise’, a song that always blows the roof off.

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Hardcore linksvoor

While N-Vitral and Major Conspiracy enter the Mainstage, all festival goers enjoy a beautiful sunset during songs like ‘Major Fans’ and ‘Hardcore Linksvoor’. The collab between the two DJs, ‘Klapt Door Je Botten’, also got played of course. In fact, the follow-up to this is immediately introduced with ‘Dwars Door Het Dak’, in which EZG is engaged for the vocals. I expect that we will hear this song much more often next festival summer, because the response from the audience is very good.

The anthem of TITANIUM this year was provided by Chaotic Hostility ft. Da Mouth of Madness & MC Robs. It’s a festival tradition to only play the anthem at the party itself, which is why we were front and center during Chaotic Hostility live. “We fight for glory with our alliance. This is TITANIUM, this is the Clash of the Titans!” During the anthem show we are surprised by quite a few fireworks, both from the stage and from the water. This ensures that many hardcore enthusiasts look at the water with goosebumps, only to go wild again on the rest of the anthem. And for those who missed the anthem: you can already listen to it on Spotify.

After the violence of Chaotic Hostility none other than Dimitri K has the honor to close the festival. With its striking up-tempo kicks and edits of older songs (‘Wonderfull Days’ by Charly Lownoise and Mental Theo, to name just one example), you can be sure that you will close a Mainstage with dignity. In addition, during this closing set quite a few fireworks are blown into the air, including during the song ‘Legacy’ by Dimitri K and Deadly Guns. Whether you were at the festival itself or driving on the A2 at the time, it was a beautiful view that makes you want more.


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Footage taken from Facebook page TITANIUM Festival / Maarten de Bruin


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As far as we are concerned, the third edition of TITANIUM Festival has certainly been a success. The atmosphere at the festival was unprecedented. The wonderful weather certainly played a part in this, but the location, the surprising ‘Clash of Titans’ battles and the various hardcore genres also played a major role. Point for improvement for next time: the food on offer was quite small, there is still room for major steps to be taken. Furthermore, we can only say that we will definitely be present again next year.

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