Michel van Rossum
By Michel van Rossum

2015 was an amazing year for me as a photographer. I visited over 50 festivals and have taken thousands of photos. When Hard News asked me to make a “best of 2015” selection I knew it was going to be a big challenge, as I have so much to choose from. That’s why I’ve selected the most meaningful photos to me personally.

Audiofreq at Coone & The Gang NYE

This photo was taken right at the start of 2015, on new years day. I don’t often do black and white, but it just felt right for this particular photo. Less is more.


Hard Bass lights

Photographing an event like Hard Bass is always epic. Frequencerz had asked me if I could photograph during their liveset, because they were going to try to get the whole Gelredome to put their lights in the air. You never know if it will actually work, but luckily it did and it was amazing! I remember thinking “don’t fuck this up and accidently hit the mixer or something while you’re up there” as I was standing in the dj booth. It is hard to explain what you’re feeling when you see 30.000 people light up a stadium like that. Goosebumps!


Team Red

Another photo from Hard Bass, this is one of my favorite overviews because it has everything I want in an overview: fireworks, energy, spectacular lightshow and atmosphere.

Team red


This was such a crazy party and stage. It doesn’t happen very often that the whole roof is literally coming down above the crowd, and at Reverze it just looked like something out of a sci-fi movie.


Angerfist at Masters of Hardcore

The very first time for me photographing Masters of Hardcore for Art of Dance. Overlooking a big crowd like that from behind the DJ never gets old! I think it is important to also sometimes stop and look around, and realize how lucky I am being able to do this. This photo illustrates that for me.


Rebel to the grave

As most of you know Mark passed away recently due to his fight with cancer. I didn’t know him very well personally, but I always saw him front row whenever Digital Punk was playing somewhere. This photo was used by his friends and family to remember him, and I’m glad I got to contribute something to remember which people can remember him by.

Rebel to the grave

Rebirth Festival

Rebirth Festival is one of my favorite festivals every year. And this year was extra special because I got to put my own photography team together. Stephan Versluis and Vincent van den Boogaard did an excellent job capturing this party with me (definitely check out their work!). The photo itself was taken during Radical Redemption’s set.


Pussy Lounge at the park

The weather that day was perfect. As the sun was setting I captured this perfect silhouette of a pole dancer.


Digital Punk at DefQon 1. Festival

At DefQon 1. Festival I was able to work with a lot of different artists. But the one that stuck with me the most was Digital Punk’s set. I have photographed Rene a lot in the past, and I knew this one would be special because it was his first mainstage set at DefQon. We always seem to have a certain chemistry on stage, and Rene is great at working the crowd. He played an amazing set and I was able to get some awesome shots of him, one of them which you see here.

Digital Punk

Crypsis at DefQon

Another shot from DefQon, this time of Crypsis in the Blue area. I personally love this shot because of the colors and the energy. You can just tell he is completely into it!

Crypsis Defqon

Festival vibes

The reason I picked this photo is because DefQon hasn’t always been the luckiest festival when it comes to the weather. But this year on the last day, the sun came out for the final sets on the mainstage and the atmosphere was electric. I decided to walk around for a bit and saw all these people sitting down and just enjoying the sun and the music. A festival at its finest if you ask me.


Adaro’s phone cover

It is always awesome to get positive feedback on your work. But the biggest compliment I can get, is whenever someone uses a photo to remember an event by. Adaro did just that when he put this DefQon photo of him on his phone cover.


Festival in my backyard

How many people can say: The biggest hardcore festival in the world is in my backyard. Well, I can! Because Dominator Festival is literally 500 meters across the road from where I live. I went to the festival by bike that day and managed to get this photo of Miss K8 at the massive mainstage. I also remember thinking “Damn, this party is huge!”


Music <3

As you may know, I don’t just photograph hardstyle parties. I have a huge love for all kinds of dance music and one of them is Drum & Bass. During Liquicity Festival I encountered a guy called DJ Marky, who spins vinyl upside down.  This photo shows him actually doing it, I’ve never seen anything like it before, such skill!


Dance Valley

A shot from Dance Valley. I like this one especially because of the colors and it is currently being use on the event page for Dance Valley 2016. This was taken during Showteks set and they even played FTS, goosebumps!


Bucketlist *check*

One of my goals has been to photograph a festival from a helicopter. At The Qontinent I finally got to do it and it was f*cking awesome! The Qontinent has one of the most beautiful locations from the air. I hope it won’t be the last time I get to go on a helicopter, because I would love to do it again.


Sunset at The Qontinent

This is by far the best sunset I have seen in 2015, it was just gorgeous. It looks a little bit like the fire from the stage is lighting up the clouds.

Qontinent zon

Dreamfields Bali

How often do you get to go to a beautiful tropical Island to capture a festival? In August I got to photograph Dreamfields Bali, organized by Matrixx Events. It was one of the goals I set for myself at the start of the year, to do at least 1 shoot in a foreign country (apart from Belgium and Germany). But I was also feeling the pressure, because I was the only photographer there and had to deliver good shots. I was quite nervous, because I really wanted to do a great job and deliver stunning photos and also prove to myself I was up to the challenge. As the festival started, that all went away, and I managed to enjoy myself on the job and get a lot of cool shots.

Dreamfields Bai

Minus Militia at Laundry Day

The guys of Minus Militia are good friends of mine and I love working with them. Their manager had asked me to join them to Laundry Day, where they had to close the hardstyle stage. It was so much fun and I had a great night.

Minus Militia

Spontaneous shots

I don’t like to shoot posed portraits of people at festivals. I prefer capturing the atmosphere and people that are having a good time. This girl at sunset festival was really into the music, and as she was looking up, I was able to get a photo of her.



Supremacy is one of the coolest parties I have shot in the past year. The show was spectacular and the rawstyle fans were giving it their all.


Ran-D & Adaro

This particular photo was also taken at Supremacy, moments before Ran-D and Adaro were entering the stage. This was only a test shot to see how the camera dealt with the lighting. Originally I had a very different photo in mind, where you would see them in the doorway, with a small glimpse of the crowd. But as they walked down, the whole stairway filled with smoke and I couldn’t see anything. I was a little bummed out and almost deleted the photo. However when I posted it on social media, everyone loved it! Later I also realized it was a very unique moment that I had captured.

Ran-D & Adaro

Brennan Heart Jesus Pose

Perhaps my favorite photo of the whole year. Brennan Heart at his own party in the Heineken Music Hall, I Am Hardstyle. The lighting that night was perfect to capture silhouettes. I fully depend on the lighting guy, because I don’t like to use flash. So instead of doing the usual fisheye shot behind the DJ, I decided to sit down and wait for Fabian to put his guns up.

Luckily for me there was no one else in the booth next to him and I got this silhouette of him doing a Jesus pose.

Brennan Heart

Endymion fireworks

Hardstyle parties often have fireworks, but not very often in front of the DJ booth. I don’t know why, it is very common at house events, and it looks awesome on photos. At I Am Hardstyle they did have it and I got a nice shot of Endymion surrounded by fireworks.


No Mercy Tour

The very first stop on the No Mercy tour of Gunz For Hire. I get to join them on a few more stops throughout the tour, which I am very excited for!

No Mercy
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  • Vincent 17 December 2015 - 14:53

    Geen foto’s van Shockerz?!


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