Wouter de Vink
By Wouter de Vink

Hardstyle DNA is about to host Scandinavia’s biggest hardstyle festival. With a huge mainstage and even a line-up to Dutch standards with the biggest names, we spoke to the organization about their enormous ambition. “We promise high-quality sound with a spectacular show Norway has never seen before.”

READ ALSO: Hardstyle DNA comes with the largest Hardstyle Outdoor festival in Scandinavia

It’s been 10 years since Omar Haddouche (now owner of Hardstyle DNA) was watching the World of Madness aftermovie. After many tries, he then decided to go to Defqon.1 with friends after all. The Norwegian was quite skeptical at first: the music didn’t appeal to him then. His mates had been trying to persuade him so many times, but he was an introverted boy and didn’t even like to party (he didn’t even drink). “But I was immediately sold after 10 minutes at the festival.”

hardstyle dna interview outdoor festival oslo city park

“If me and so many others can enjoy a festival like Defqon.1 this much, then why don’t we have this in Norway?”

The Gathering had only just started and it hit him. “This music is so cool,” he thought. It was typical Defqon.1 weather: cold, rainy and debilitating. “I stood among thousands of people and heard that typical voice,” says Omar about how he fell in love with hardstyle. He immersed himself more and more in hardstyle and decided to throw his first party in April 2014 in his hometown of Gjøvik.

It turned out to be one big fiasco: he lost €25,000 because the police were very strict in Norway at the time. “I had booked a whole show with a good line-up, but the state suddenly made me pay extra for 6 officers and 10 security people, while there were only 250 visitors.” The police even barged in when Crypsis was playing and even ended the party. It was a wise lesson, but then Omar came into contact with a local organization called Hardstyle DNA.

The Norwegian police used to be very strict, but the authorities have finally become more flexible: people can finally party now

The original men behind Hardstyle DNA got children and were looking for someone with a passion for music to breathe new life into the organization. Omar was ready to take over: including all permits and contacts. In the meantime, the authorities became more relaxed and the production (sound and show) is now fully developed. “In fact, the scene in Norway is about to explode. Thanks to social media, hardstyle has fully reached our borders and everyone is waiting for a good party. That’s why we’re doing this: nobody can wait to meet all these artists with Scandinavian influences at a major festival nearby.”

Hardstyle DNA Outdoor Festival 2023 line-up (Friday and Saturday)

Atmozfears: The Reawakening (Special act)
Brennan Heart
D-Block & S-Te-Fan
Da Tweekaz

Double Phunq
Sub Zero Project
Sound Rush
The Pitcher
Wasted Penguinz

AFTERPARTY (Friday and Saturday)
Riot Shift

“Hardstyle DNA changes the game in Scandinavia”

The ambition really shines when you hear Omar and Hardstyle DNA talking. This month, the mainstage (including Headhunterz, Sub Zero Project, Rebelion, Sefa and many others) will be no less than 17,5 meters high. “In Norway they now only know ‘mobile stages’: those are black boxes where mostly bands play on. We want to push the boundaries for festivals in Scandinavia and are coming with a real stage: you will be impressed for sure.” Everything has to be right about Hardstyle DNA Outdoor, just like the location…

hardstyle dna interview outdoor festival oslo city norway

In the middle of the Norwegian capital, thousands of visitors will visit the festival for two days. To clarify: 62,000 inhabitants live less than 50 meters away. Omar is very enthusiastic: “How cool is it that you are at a festival right in the city center? We don’t do this for the money, nor for the celebrity. We do this out of passion and we are ready for this historic step.” For two days with three thousand visitors who will experience the (Dutch) festival feeling in Oslo with an huge show. “We’re going to write history.”

“We are now seeing unprecedented growth in our company,” says Omar proudly. The difference between the 22-year-old boy who took over the company at the time and the 31-year-old man who is now working full-time on Scandinavia’s largest Hardstyle Festival. “I am someone who always assumes certainty. And I am now so sure of my case that I quit my ‘normal’ job after 6 years. The rest of the team will soon do the same: next year, we want to have 3 stages at our festival. Something that has never been done before in Norway.”

“Join us for Norway’s greatest hardstyle festival”

To top it all of, the official Hardstyle DNA 2023 anthem has been released today. Successors such as Da Tweekaz and Refuzion were responsible before, and now the honor has been given to Norwegian talent SVANE (featuring Anklebreaker). Listen to ‘Quantam Leap’ right here.

Hardstyle DNA Outdoor Festival will be held on Friday 28 and Saturday 29 April 2023 at the Nedre Foss Park in Oslo (Norway). For tickets and more information, visit the festival’s official website.

Footage taken from Rossumedia

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