Nina van Zelst
By Nina van Zelst

If there is one thing we know about hardstyle fans, it’s that they are extremely dedicated. And even though we are always talking about tracks and DJs, I think we should also put party-people in the spotlights. Because what is a DJ, a party, a track without its fans? So, in this blog I will let you have a sneak peek into our audience; revealing the hardstyle soldiers who frequently travel to the Netherlands and are madly (understatement) in love with hardstyle.

dedicated fans
Omar Haddouche (Norway, 22)
Omar is from Gjøvik, Norway, and is probably one of the most dedicated souls out there. He quit his job several months ago to focus 100% on hosting hardstyle events. Back in the days, hardstyle was just an annoying sound to Omar. He did however agree on joining his friends for Qountdown 2012, but after buying flight and entrance tickets he decided not to go after all.

In 2013 Omar got a new request to join his friends to Defqon.1, which he really put through this time. ‘’After ten minutes being on the Defqon.1 pre-party I was sold to hardstyle!’’ Now, he travels approximately six to eight times per year to the Netherlands for the parties: Qlimax, Defqon.1, Hard Bass, Fantasy Island and QAPITAL. Those are always on his agenda. ‘’I always try to support events in Scandinavia as well, so in total we visit 22 parties per year. So as my life is now, hardstyle is my everything. I didn’t know that music could have such a big place in a human’s heart. I can really say that I have lived an empty life until I fell in love with hardstyle.’’

It is not surprising that Omar’s life long dream is to move to the Netherlands, and to continue organizing hardstyle events in Norway. ‘’I don’t do events to earn money and get rich, I do it for the love of the game.’’ Even though Omar had some setbacks, he is still 100% committed to the hardstyle scene and will always support it. That is what I call.. Dedication!

dedicated fans 2
Léo Barthélémy (France, 19)
19-year old Léo Barthélémy lives in Nancy, France, and studies communication. He discovered hardstyle back in 2007 when he was searching on YouTube and found ‘D-Block & S-Te-Fan ft. Villain – Keep it Coming’. ‘’At first I was like huh; what is this bouncing thing going along with the melody? And for some reason I could not stop listening to it, haha!’’

Léo’s first experience was in 2010 (he was only 14) during a french musical event called Fête de la Musique. After that he decided to keep on visiting local clubs who invited hardstyle DJs until early 2013, where he went to his first party abroad: Hard Bass. ‘’After that one I spent all my money on Dutch parties; 5 in 2013, almost 30 in 2014, 15 in 2015 and I’m already planning loads for 2016. It costs a lot of money and time, but it’s totally worth it!’’ Léo does not really have any favorite parties though; as long as there is a dedicated and enthusiastic crowd he’s happy. When I asked him about the scene in France, he explained that it remains really small. ‘’It’s not bad however, because I don’t think most of the French would have this ‘’hardstyle mentality’’. I think our culture of partying and music is really different than down in the Netherlands. I doubt we can find better in our hard dance scene.’’

Léo sees partying in the Netherlands as a kind of book; every weekend you are reading a new page; the DJ you saw last week now has a new story (tracks) in a different party. ‘’As a fan, I just can’t get enough of this!’’ Just like Omar, Léo’s dream is to move to the Netherlands and work in the hardstyle scene creating events. And if you ever want to know where he is at a party? ‘’Definitely in the front, as always!’’

dedicated fans 3
May-Linn Rønning (Norway, 24)
The dedicated May-Linn lives in Norway and fell in love with the harder styles when she was a teenager, after her Dj’ing friend let her listen to ‘D-Block & S-Te-Fan – Fresh New Beat’. She didn’t go to a party, however, until she was 18 years old: four days after her birthday she visited Hardstyle DNA in Oslo. The first love of her life, DJ Headhunterz, could not make it to Oslo that night so she decided to go to Q-BASE in 2009, where she then bursted out in tears when unexpectedly walking into mister Headhunterz. After Q-BASE she continued her way to Qlimax, which is still one of May-Linn’s favorites.

Unfortunately because she was young and did not have a lot of money, her events weren’t as frequent as they are now. It wasn’t until 2012 May-Linn started traveling to the Netherlands approximately every (!) month. ‘’I need to listen to hardstyle everyday, it makes me calm and happy. Maybe it sounds stupid, but music is my drug. I work six days a week just to get that one weekend in the Netherlands!’’ When I asked her to explain why the Dutch parties are so amazing, she instantly knew: the crowd, the dedicated souls, friends, stages, fireworks, beats pounding your heart and those melodic sounds: ‘’I highly recommend it if you haven’t tried it yet..’’

May-Linn’s love for hardstyle goes even further as she explains that she is thinking about moving to the Netherlands: ‘’There is a part in my life now that says I should just move and try something different, so why not the Netherlands? I love it there.’’ For now you should just keep your eyes open for this girl, because in 2016 she wants to visit as much parties as possible.

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