June 1st saw another fun, music-loving crowd descend on Arnhem in the Netherlands for Free Your Mind Festival. One of the most established festivals in the Netherlands, this 16th edition was the biggest and best yet with party-goers treated to glorious sunshine all weekend long.
The outdoor affair takes place on the Rijn River, a lush, naturalistic site made up of industrial spaces, a vividly green forest area, and beach features; all coming together to provide a surreal and dreamy experience. The production is also out of this world, with giant stages featuring impressive builds, pyrotechnics and the famous bridge – a unique dreamscape for even the most critical festival fan.
The main marquee is a vast tent that hosts huge names from the worlds of house and techno; Kolsch, Boris Brejcha and Sasha were just some of the big players to get festival goers dancing. The crowd is made up of people from all over Europe. A mixed crowd gets down to the pulsing electric beats.
Sasha is on fine form when he plays, with sleek techno, futuristic prog and epic melodies throughout; all characterising a set that includes the likes of Marco Lys’s ‘Raving’, which duly gets the crowd rocking. For dark, brooding, unrelenting techno, Amelie Lens came correct once more with a set of pure drum lead power, while Luuk van Dijk b2b ANOTR was another much talked about set full of technical mixing and riveting energy.
Joris Voorn is always a firm favourite and lays down his loop-techno with all the style you would expect – highlights including the likes of Pig&Dan’s ‘Infinity’. His closing set was a fine way to send people home and onto the after party – a legend in these parts, his set did all the favours for a sure-fire visit back to Arnhem on the next edition.
The main outdoor stage is next to a winding river. It’s a beautiful setting to dance in and the scenic landscape adds to the occasion. Everything runs smoothly at this event given that it is such a long-standing one. Despite this, the festival manages to keep itself fresh and has evolved each year and still feels fresh. From the bars to access to the various tents and toilets its all very pleasant and accessible.
Next to the music, this festival lets you soak your feet in the sand, chill on the beaches and dance under the historical John Frost Bridge. The whole event feels like a nice community, with friendly people expressing themselves in a safe environment. This festival keeps going from strength to strength and 2020 has to be on your list!