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Dekmantel 2015: "We've only just begun"

An interview with festival founder Thomas Martojo

  • Mixmag staff
  • 29 July 2015

Dekmantel Festival kicks off this weekend.

Now in its third year, the Amsterdam event is one of the finest house and techno festivals in Europe. Imagine the weekly line-ups of top clubs like Fabric, Berghain and the recently departed Trouw rolled into one long weekend in a forest and you're just about there.

With excellent sound, a beautiful woodland location and friendly vibe among the thousands of ravers who attend, everyone who's off to Amsterdam Bos over the new few days is rightly licking their chops in anticipation. To add further to the excitement surrounding Dekmantel Festival, we caught founder Thomas Martojo to talk curation, the Dutch authorities and how Autechre are absolutely mindblowing.

Are you happy with how quickly Dekmantel has become established as one of the best festivals of its kind in Europe?

It's been a bit overwhelming. And there's still much to learn, to see where we can take it and what we can do with it. It's crazy to have all this attention all of a sudden and have people talk about it so much. But we've only been doing it a short time and I think we can still improve.

You're still ambitious.

We're being compared to a lot of festivals that are really established and we don't necessarily feel like that: we've only just begun.

Do you think it'll get any bigger?

No, not really. We started with a 5,000-capacity festival then we doubled it last year, which was a big step. If we were to grow into bigger numbers we'd do it with baby steps. It feels natural where we're at right now in terms of numbers and I prefer festivals not to be too big.

So you're trying to create a festival that you'd want to attend?

That's the only thing you have to keep in mind! It's pretty straightforward.

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