Over the years, our love for Amsterdam has been undeniable. We took an in-depth look at the Dutch capital last year with our Amsterdam 2.0 feature and it's clear to see that the clubs are some of the best on the planet. When it comes to festivals there though, it's all about Dekmantel. Every. Damn. Time.
We've been at every one of the five editions now and one thing's become glaringly obvious: it's one of most consistent festivals around and arguably the best dance music festival in Europe. It's a bold statement, we know, but the organisers, the DJs, the location, hell, even the punters, everything about it is so right.
The location, as always, remained the same and the picturesque, wonderfully easy to navigate Amsterdamse Bos acted as our woodland wonderland for the weekend. The soundsystems banged as usual and the sun, bar one rainy spell on Saturday night, kept shining for the duration. Everything was in place for another classic year.
What about the music? The unbelievably good house, techno, disco, electro and everything in between. Well, that comes down to the line-up. The programming has always been outrageously good and when people ask the question "who's playing at Dekmantel this year?" it's easier to reply with the acts that aren't. This year was one of the boldest yet, with highlights like Ben UFO headlining the Main Stage on Saturday, DAF playing a rare live show in the Greenhouse and Nina Kraviz playing disco and Italo as the first set of the day on Friday at Selectors.
The artists who are booked don't just play "normal" sets either, they play Dekmantel sets, sets that go down in history as soon as they've finished. The A-games get pulled out of the locker and dance music classics are always intertwined with the hottest new cuts on the market.
Was Dekmantel different this year compared to any of the other incarnations? Not really, but that's the point. It always delivers, it never falters and its magic is as pure as the first time you go there. What started as an in-the-know getaway in Amsterdam is now a global affair that has the entire dance music world talking and for good reason. Festivals don't really get much better and we're already chomping at the bit for next year.
As always, we rolled around the site absorbing the best sets, the best tunes and the best moments. You can check out the tunes that went down below and if you really want to relive the action, let these 100 tracks from the festival cover you in a warm blanket of joy.
Never change Dekmantel because we want to feel this good every year.
Pink Noise is the incendiary new zine for women interested in DJing and production
Pink Noise is only in its second issue but already it’s an essential read
Kojey Radical and MJ Cole's 'Soak It Up' video is all about dealing with loss
The powerful visuals take place in a London living room