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Thursday 11th, December 2008
Essence 2008

DJs: Armin van Buuren, Rank 1, Etienne de Crecy, Chris Lake, Markus Schulz, Joris Voorn and many more

Alda Events presented the first edition of the Essence festival. Alda, tied to Armada, took quite a risk with this party. The amount of party's in Holland at the moment is quite big, there is alot of harsh competition from ID&T and UDC delivering their succesfull Trance Energy, Dance Valley concepts, to name a few.

However, this year there is no Innercity in Holland, so it might be a smart move to launch a new concept with different styles combined. The party was held in De Jaarbeurs, Utrecht. Home of Trance Energy and known for good clubbing experiences for years. Three stages were set of, roughly divided in house, trance and techno. I think the combo is great, cause you switch styles quickly to fit your mood.

So we entered smoothly around 23.00 o'clock and went straight to get some coins. 2,50 euro for a beer is a tad expensive, but we could overcome this. After getting our coins and checked out the floor schedule we first decided to get to the house stage. It was really empty over there at this moment and there was no party mood at all yet. Further, at the trance stage, ATB was opening and he got the crowd dancing with some pumping trancers. His trackselection was ok, but we were not very impressed. So we went off right away to check out the techno area, where Monika Kruse was delivering some massive techy tracks. Deep, monotone, but funky sounds made us dance and warmed us up for the night. The decoration in this area was quite minimal (just like the sounds).

Back to the housestage we still found a pretty empty floor. No worries, because one of the main acts was startin in the trance area; Markus Schulz. Markus, one of the most popular trancejocks at the moment, really hit if off with some uplifting, but dark trancers. We stood really close to the DJ booth and the volume was very loud, it almost hurted our ears. The crowd seemed to love his set and he played indeed some massive tracks, despite his mixing not being impeccable. This stage had the best decoration and lighting, it looked pretty well. The area was not very big (don't expect Trance Energy size area's), but it made it more intimate.

After a while we checked out the Techno stage again, with Dubfire, to see if he could do a great soloset without his Deep Dish buddy. To be honest, we almost fell asleep when he started.

Meanwhile at the House stage, Chris Lake was delivering a wonderfull set!! He was playing some amazing oldschool house tracks in a fresh jacket and he blew the roof with Daft Punk - Around the World. We decided to stay, because we really wanted to check out Etienne de Crecy, the famous French producer that practically started the international French housesound movement. Etienne is known for performing in a cube with amazing light effects. This was one of the best performances I have seen in my life. Brilliant dirty housetracks, amazing light effects and great live edits of his old tracks.

After this we went back to the techno stage for some final clubbing at Ben Sims, who destroyed the place with some great technotracks. This was our final artist of the night and served a good set for the end.

It was difficult to get in the partymood for us in the beginning, because of the lack of people and the not so great sets. However, from the moment Chris Lake started we had a really good time. We missed Rank 1 live and Armin van Buuren, but heard they delivered some good sets. The decoration could have been a bit better and some of the sets were not very inspiring, but alltogether we had a great time afterwards. Mixed feelings about this, but let's hope Essence will grow into something unforgettable in the future.

Thanks to Twan and Es for the pictures

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