They say that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither was Music On, Marco Carola’s aural empire that now stretches from Italy to Frankfurt, and Ibiza to Amsterdam. It’s been many years since the Napoli-born DJ left his hometown in Southern Italy and started on the long road to international acclaim.
This ascension has seen many milestones. ‘Hard Melody’, his first release in 1995, and the start of the inception of Music On at Amnesia Ibiza in 2012 were both defining moments. But last week, Carola held the first Music On festival in Amsterdam’s Meerpark. There was no doubt about it, it was a watershed moment.
Marco Carola’s vision has expanded outside of Ibiza. But if Music On Amsterdam was a transition for the now seven-year-old event, it was one Carola appeared not to have struggled with. Tickets sold out weeks in advance and hordes of British and Italian fans crossed borders to be there. The event was organised in collaboration with Loveland, a group of Amsterdam promoters who have also, coincidentally, been in the game since 1995. The overarching mood was one of celebration. Almost all the acts that played were close affiliates of Carola. This lent Saturday a feeling of a family reunited.
The production was superb. For 12 hours Meerpark was home to two stages: a greenhouse complete with full shrubbery that within hours was a mass of sweating bodies, and a main stage inside a sizeable tent replete with a striking light show and an almost unnecessary array of dry ice cannons. As the cavernous space filled throughout the afternoon, the whoops and whistles intensified. By the time Marco Carola took to the decks, he had already made his point:
Music On is no longer an event, it is a movement. Check out the top tracks of the festival below.