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Tuesday 14th, July 2009
Dance Valley 2009 report

Dance Valley 2009
Place: Spaarnwoude, The Netherlands
Date: 11th of July
Line-up: Ferry Corsten, Armin van Buuren, Sasha, Markus Schulz, Bloody Beetroots, Eddie Halliwell and many many more.
Pictures: Esther van der Holst

For a whopping 200 Dance Valley 2009 pictures in high-res check http://www.flickr.com/photos/trancenu

The 15th edition of Dance Valley was held in Spaarnwoude. Dance Valley is one of the best outdoor festivals with a long list of legendary performances by the world’s best DJs. Being held in a nature surrounded environment and with amazing decoration, Dance Valley is named the Woodstock of Dance here in The Netherlands. The line-up looked amazing (as always) and we couldn’t wait to check out to see what organizer UDC had prepared for the visitors. Despited the weather announcements earlier, this edition turned out to be a sunny edition, making it the perfect 15th anniversary for Dance Valley.
As an experiment, we decided to give live updates through Twitter from the festival. You can read them back at www.twitter.com/trancenu with the tweets tagged #dancevalley.

If you didn’t follow us, you can read our experience right here. We decided to go for an early start just to be sure to cover everything in the valley of dance. Arriving at 11.20 we were there very early and made a quick entrance. The entrance for the visitors seemed quite busy and it took quite some time before you could enter, due to strict security (which is a good thing).

When we entered, we saw the magnificent and detailed decoration everywhere. Nice tents, great creative stands and beautiful decorations really makes you feel welcome as a visitor. Buying some coins (2,50 euro a coin) was quick and we went to the Multigroove area to check out DJ Dano. Known as a hardcore DJ to many, but he delivered an awesome oldskool house and mellow set (Joey Beltram – Energy Flash) which made me very happy. Also Spider Willem, the trance DJ from Amsterdam, decided to play some firm trancestuff.

Next to the Multigroove tent there was the HQ area, where Re-Ward was playing early. We checked him out for a couple of minutes and it sounded good, but the area was not too full yet, unfortunately.
Back to the mainstage, which was approximately 15% filled this far, where Kraak & Smaak were playing. They laid down a smooth set and after a relaxed start they found some old and dusty discosounds in their box. I just loved it, with the sun breaking through, this was a perfect DV moment.

We checked the HQ stage again, to see it was full of people checking out Dance Valley legend Tom Harding. He’s one of the Dance Valley veterans and you could see his popularity as the HQ area was going wild on his harder styled stuff.

A friend of us wanted to check the hardstyle area where DHHD was playing, which I found pretty terrible in their performance. Loads of loooong breakdowns and when they started to bang those hardstyle basslines it didn’t last for a minute or so. Not my cup of tea.
At DanceValley you can see so many areas, so many DJ’s and so many different people, it’s just amazing to look around everywhere. There’s also a huge robot at the top of a hill, which gave me the feeling that the war of the worlds was about to start.

We want back again to the mainstage to see the last few tracks of Hardwell. He really got the crowd dancing with a great remix of Robin S – Show Me Love and also the rest of his funky sounds got the crowd dancing. He was followed by Erick E, who practically put me to sleep. You can see Erick E in The Netherlands almost every week, so we decided to head over to some different areas.

First of all we went to Toolroom Knights for a short while, were I think the Plump DJ’s or Dirty Vegas were playing, but I am not absolutely sure who of them it was haha. There were not too many people here and it seems that the party spirit was still building up here. Also in the Electronation area’s (three area’s) there were not too many people. I seriously wondered why they put three area’s there, maybey this was an electro overload?

We also checked out the Dum Dum area, one of the most fun areas on Dance Valley. Loads of weird people, a porn van, sleazy girls and moustached gents. A big parody area to all the areas taking themselves so seriously. So typically Dance Valley.

After a quick snack in the chill-out area (watch out for pirates), we went to the Armada stage which was in a nice valley packed with people, where Gareth Emery was performing. Unfortunately we couldn’t get on the stage to take some pictures, because they had to repair the stage. Gareth Emery was delivering a typical tranceset, which I didn’t find too inspiring. I heard that they were gonna do a memorial for the deceased DJ/producer Fokko Versloot with a one minute silence, which is just a great thing to do.

We decided to head on the Renaissance area to check some Hernan Cattaneo, the legendary proghouse artist from South America. We met Roel Van Velzen, Dutch singer who was heading to the Armada stage to perform with Armin van Buuren. Sounded like an interesting combination, but we haven’t heard it.

During our walk we noticed the amount of boobs that were almost falling out was way beyond any man’s dream. The insane amount of sexy dressed woman (including those who are 40plus years, eeeeek) was nice to discuss with the men in our group.

Hernan Cattaneo was playing for a pretty full Renaissance area and he was huge. Great dark and hypnotizing progressive tracks drenched in atmosphere were pounding through the speakers to a sweaty crowd. He was seriously doing a great job there.

One act I really wanted to see were the Bloody Beetroots from Italia, and boy, did they deliver. These guys, masked, are going totally wild behind the decks with their raw and dirty electro. They were the best act that day. During the end of their act, we were lying in the grass, enjoying the sun, while The Bloody Beetroots jumped to the audience and started getting wicked!! Also it was nice to meet MC Marxman, the MC that every year announces the artists at the mainstage (“he gave us a boner, put your hands up for Terry Toner”)

After saying hi to Marco V, who was heading for the mainstage, we went to see the Shapeshifters. We passed the Armada stage and Armin van Buuren was playing for a packed, packed, packed stage. Just check out the pictures.

We also passed the Gary’s Global Galaxy area, a nice little area at the top of the hill. Very nice and cosy and the people there had loads of fun. Although we had a good time, we just had to check out the Shapeshifters, so we went downhill and found a relatively small area were Defected held their Dance Valley area. Really small, but the Shapeshifters played some awesome housetunes and Red Carpet –Alright was a great track to play. The whole day there was a guy, called Shovell, who played some live bongo’s. A nice addition, but too much bongo will kill you.

Time for the final acts. We once again decided to eat something (food was expensive but good), and see the legendary Sasha. He was fashionably late (a few minutes), but started an awesome hypnotic set. The first half hour of Sasha was huge, then I found myself a little sleepy as his tracks were dragging on and on and on. The crowd seemed to love it, but I wasn’t too impressed. While heading back, we could see that the Holy Ground, were the mainstage is, was packed. Eddie Halliwell was finishing (with some really cheesy stuff unfortunately,
Then the final act, Ferry Corsten at the mainstage. What a great experience, with awesome lasers, huge tracks like Twice In A Blue Moon and an electric crowd. A great experience and we loved the fire, laser and lights so much, we just kept shooting pictures. Great job by Ferry Corsten, who closed with System F vs Armin – Exhale.

What an amazing edition of Dance Valley. Thanks to the great weather and the flawless organization we had a great day. We loved some of the DJ’s as well, but were also disappointed in some of them. Too many electro area’s that were partly filed. Also a lot of DJ’s sound like each other nowadays, maybey it’s time for more diversity next year? Where were the pure techno area’s or a massive breaks or psy or goa area? That would be great.
But altogether Dance Valley was huge this year and it was perfect for celebrating 15 years of Dance Valley. See you next year.

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