Qlimax wouldn’t be Qlimax if it mysteriously teased something about the upcoming edition. Over the past 2 weeks, many fans have been searching for the various hints…
Q-dance about upcoming Defqon.1: “This will be the biggest edition ever”
With just a few days left, Defqon.1 is about to receive more than a hundred thousand Weekend Warriors at The Holy Grounds. We spoke to Sander Bijlstra (Managing Director at Q-dance) about the biggest edition ever, and look ahead to next weekend with 6 questions.
How are the preparations going for Defqon.1 2023 – Path of the Warrior?
“Without wanting to jinx things: good! The production is going according to plan, the atmosphere is good with everyone and the site is starting to look a bit more special every day. The weather is also great at the moment, and the forecasts for this weekend are also positive. Compared to last year, we are in a much better position. In 2022 we had the challenging combination of organizing four days of Defqon.1 for the first time with a very short preparation time and also a shortage in everything you can think of. A lot of things literally had to be flown in from all angles of the world.”
“Now we have been able to improve in all places in 12 months. Only when the audience is there, will we know for sure whether it works, but from improving the traffic flows and facilities on the camping grounds to the flow at the festival; everything has been looked at and where possible. In addition, a number of fixed values have been produced better than ever, the decor looks great and we once again have more artists, side programming and show moments than ever before.”
This year, Defqon.1 exists 20 years: will it be a special edition?
“Corona has ruined the ‘birthday rhythm’ a bit; it is officially the 20th year, but not yet the 20th edition in the Netherlands. But what is really special, are the 500 men and women who are currently walking non-stop with a smile on their faces and who are working hard to put down the sickest Defqon.1 ever. It is also One Tribe in the workplace. We should also be a little more grateful for those people and companies in the Netherlands.”
A new addition is the Defqon.1 Theater with Sefa. Why do you charge an entrance fee for this?
“After the positively out of hand opening show at RED last year, the creative or artistic choice now followed to put on the most intimate show. Such an intimate show cannot be made available to all visitors, which is why we have to do apply certain rules. On the one hand, we want to be sure that whoever comes really comes, on the other hand you don’t want to disappoint people who are waiting for hours.”
“That tenner is not the world, but it is an assurance that you really want to come. It covers part of the extra production costs (which the rest therefore are not using). But certainly not the hours that Sefa, his team and our creative and production team. If we had done this as a separate project outside of Defqon.1, a ticket might have been €100. And we honestly think it’s worth it too. Fortunately, the visitors thought it was worth it to pay something for it, because all shows are completely sold out.”
There has been some commotion about your new mobility plan, what about that?
“In the last edition, we closed the viaduct an hour after the entrance opened and guided all car visitors to fields 5 and 6. We do this because otherwise we would run into safety issues on the viaduct due to the maze of bus and car visitors. We chose to communicate this to the visitors in advance, so that everyone knows where they stand.”
“The advantage of this is that car visitors now don’t have to cross the viaduct with their entire car, but that they can immediately set up their tent at fields 5 and 6. We have also upgraded these fields this year in terms of experience with extra facilities and even a own Wasted Lands. In addition, we also want to encourage as much bus transport as possible for the flow of traffic, and because it is the most sustainable method of transport. We reserve space for these visitors at campsites 0-4. Of course, everyone can simply visit their friends on the other camping fields, whether you come by bus or car.”
Is this the biggest Defqon.1 edition ever?
“Yes, especially because now all Weekend Warriors come for the full 4 days and Friday is also sold out. Although size is not a goal in itself, this scale does mean that we can offer Defqon.1 in the most complete way possible we could ever think of. With 250,000 ‘day visits’ we are in the top of the festivals in the Netherlands, and that is of course great as a niche festival. We are especially grateful that in 20 years we have achieved something with artists and the hardstyle community have been able to build what is unique in the world.”
Is there still a ticket available for this edition?
“No, tickets for Defqon.1 are completely sold out. The whole tribe is back, and we can’t wait to welcome them back to the Holy Grounds.”
Defqon.1 – Path of the Warrior will be held from Thursday 22 June to Sunday 25 June in Biddinghuizen. The festival is completely sold out: those who stay at home can follow the four largest stages (with video) via the livestream and the other stages with audio.
Footage taken from Facebook page Defqon.1 / Q-dance