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Musical Madness, Germany’s leading hardstyle brand: “We didn’t expect it to be this big, never ever!”
Musical Madness has been around in the scene of the harder styles since 2005 and is responsible for the massive amount of more than 50 shows in Germany per year. Various club tours and the famous Bootshaus nights are also a few of the many things Musical Madness is responsible for, and that means a lot to the scene in Germany. Enough reasons for us to have a chat with the masterminds behind the organization.
Musical Madness started to organize events back in 2005. The reason to start these events was quite clear for them. “Passion and only passion was the reason for us to start Musical Madness”, they start explaining. “Back in the beginning of this millenium, (Hard)Trance had a great hype in Germany with artists like Kai Tracid, Scot Project & A*S*Y*S. When the hype went down, some clubs had to close. We’ve tried to keep the music alive and provide a home for the fans.”
Muscial Madness started from the bottom and the founding fathers didn’t expect it would become this big and successful. “We didn’t expect it to be this big, never ever!”, they tell us proud. “We’ve started with 50-100 guests a night, and now we are filling big venues with our shows. We’re actually still surprised about how everything went.”
We always felt the Dutch crowd is kind of spoiled about the music
The founding fathers of Musical Madness start telling us what the scene was like in Germany back in 2005 when they started. “We came like the phoenix out of the ashes. Only the north of Germany (in and around Hamburg) still had a solid scene that died shortly right after. The few hardstyle fans we’ve had travelled to Dutch events all the time.” Because of the grow of a new generation artists, hardstyle is slowly attracting more attention in Germany. “Now, five years later, Germany is one of the strongest and most important markets for hardstyle (right after the Netherlands) with a very passionated and dedicated fanbase.”
The difference between a German and a Dutch crowd isn’t easy to point out according to the guys. “As this kind of energy in electronic dance music is still new to the nowadays kids in Germany, the crowd over here is very unspoiled and enthusiastic about this genre. They’re giving this kind of energy back to the artists and events. We think that’s also the reason why so many artists are in love with the scene over here in Germany”, so do they explain. “We always felt the Dutch crowd is kind of spoiled about the music. They always have it everywhere – even on the radio. But this is also getting better and better in The Netherlands, especially at the big festivals.”
As mentioned before, Musical Madness is responsible for the massive amount of more than 50 shows a year. You can’t do that all on your own so the organization get some help of others sometimes but not as often as you think. “Surprise: We only have three dedicated full-time workers, and we’re not outsourcing that much actually. For bigger shows we’re working together with a great team of technicians and show-planners, and of course our filmers and photographers. Big shout out to Digitized Reality.” Everyone at the office of Musical Madness is really passionated about the harder styles. “We’re part of the scene, also in our private lives”, they explained passionately.
It’s twice as hard for foreign artists to step in to the spotlights
Some of the cities in Germany have big differences as it comes to hardstyle. “The Ruhr area has a very strong scene because te proximity to the Netherlands. Hamburg and the southern parts of Germany are alive and breathing hardstyle.” At this moment nearly nothing is happening in the capital city, Berlin, but the guys of Musical Madness are crossing fingers for the promotors over there to spread the love for hardstyle.
During events of Musical Madness there are always a lot of artists from various countries. But it seems like there are just a few German hardstyle artists. “We try to feature them in our line-ups but we think, a big problem is the size of Germany. In Holland, all the talents can sit together in the studio all day, share tips and be creative together. In Germany, they all have to travel huge distances to meet up for just one day. And because of a big part of the scene is still happening in the Netherlands, it’s twice as hard for foreign artists to step in to the spotlights.”
“Luckily, with Ncrypta and Riot Shift we’re already having two names breaking trough. You should also keep an extra eye out on Broken Element. His New stuff coming up on Scantraxx is amazing!” they tell us enthusiastic.
Back to the numbers, because Musical Madness did sell out Bootshaus, the famous location in Cologne, 10 times in a row. According to the guys, the power of these events is the intimate atmosphere. “Dedicated fans are coming to see their favourite artists, singing along all the lyrics and every melody. Simply less tourists. Bootshaus is the perfect example for these kind of fans, we’re all one big family.” If you’re not familiar with the Bootshaus events, Headhunterz performed here for the first time in 2013, and Gunz For Hire in 2016. “The vibes were massive during these nights. Other remarkable performances were Da Tweekaz at XXL#5, Ran-D at XXL#7 and Sub Zero Project at XXL#8.”
During these events there are a lot of areas with different styles and (sub-)genres, but the split isn’t as big as it is in Holland. “Of course some people love Da Tweekaz and others appreciate the sounds of Warface but we’re seeing familiar faces attending to both kinds of events regularly.” A good thing, if it’s up to Musical Madness.
We’re happy about every dedicated hardstyle fan joining us for that mission
The event organization is also representing the harder styles during bigger events like Parookaville and New Horizons and the reason for doing that is quite simple. “In our church, everyone is more than welcome. We sometimes feel like missionaries on these festivals, showing regular festival visitors the world beyond 150 BPM. We’re happy about every dedicated hardstyle fan joining us for this mission.” The guys have some good news about harder styles at bigger EDM festivals, because Project One will play at the mainstage closings of New Horizons Festival. “We’ve actually been pretty excited when we received that news.”
Another thing Musical Madness is famous for, are the I AM HARDSTYLE events. Every year these events are full of show and surprising elements. “The hardest part of it is to make the show a great overall-experience from the beginning to the end.” The workers at Musical Madness think that you can’t reach the ultimate level of show experience. “You’ll always find something you would like to improve. In 2017 we wouldn’t have believed that the production of 2019 would be possible some day, but we gave it our best and made it possible. This year we try to set new standards to the world of hardstyle in Germany. We don’t want to put out a line-up full of random artists thrown together, we try to make a story within the night with our show elements.”
It’s easy for them to explain why you should visit this year’s I AM HARDSTYLE in Mannheim. “Brennan Heart did a great job with building this trademark. We’re all hardstyle, it’s not bound to any single artist or event. For this year Fabian will play is brand new tracks for the first time. We have some brand new live shows with D-Block & S-te-Fan: Ghost Stories and Gunz For Hire: Blood Brothers. Last but not least: It’s the biggest indoor hardstyle show in Germany, something you don’t want to miss out on” they tell us excited.
The next edition of I AM HARDSTYLE in Mannheim (Germany) will take place at the 9th of March. Tickets for this event are still available at the official website of the event. Musical Madness will keep on promoting the harder styles in Germany to spread the love for hardstyle.