Much of the upcoming schedule for Haarlem-area venueWoodstock’69 has been announced.
Woodstock’69 is becoming an increasingly popular destination for summer clubbers in the Netherlands. It’s billed as a “part beach, part nightclub,” and is open every day between April and September. Throughout these months, it plays host to a variety of DJs and bands, including selectors and live acts from right across the house spectrum. Sunday highlights in the coming months include Secret Cinema on April 5th, progressive heavyweight Hernan Cattaneo on April 26th, and an all-night takeover by Gerd Janson and Prins Thomas on May 10th. Seth Troxler will touch down for a Thursday slot on May 14th. DJ Harvey and Mano Le Tough are also confirmed, but the dates are TBA.
In advance of this year’s season—which begins with a residents-only session this Friday, March 27th—we caught up with two of Woodstock’69’s key promoters, Daan and Koene.
What do you most like about Woodstock’69?
Daan: I like the diversity the most. Not only from the people who go to Woodstock, but sometimes normal summer days turn out to be days where unexpected things happen. When the right tunes are being played, a great party arises. When that happens you know everybody is in the right mood and going home early is not an option. Next to that, everybody shares a glimpse of happiness. You can see that people are totally relaxed once they enter Woodstock, no matter how stressed they are or how tough their job is. Perhaps Woodstock has a healing force or something like that. I think it works for me as well.
Koene: For me, Woodstock is the perfect place to work. Every time I walk from the parking area to the beach I cross the sand dunes and get an instant holiday feeling. I think everybody gets that feeling when entering Woodstock. What I like most about Woodstock? That would be the moment when the sun almost disappears in the sea during summer times, and the DJ makes the most of his set with the last few rays of sun touching the stage [laughs]. It’s always a magic moment.
Are there any parties you’re particularly looking forward to this summer?
Daan: Oh yes, there are some special things coming up. I’m really excited that we have DJ Harvey confirmed. I think matching him with the Woodstock vibe could turn out to be magical. Mano Le Tough is also coming back with an extended set, plus a lot more things that I am excited about but still have to keep secret.
Koene: There are a lot of parties I look forward to. It’s nice that we work together with a wide range of promoters from Amsterdam, who all bring different genres of electronic music to the beach. This way every Sunday is a different experience. These year I’m very excited about the Gerd Janson and Prins Thomas event. They will play all day long (6-7 hours). Last year we had Gerd Janson over and it was amazing. Next to that we’re launching a new event this year called Soiree. They’ve invited Seth Troxler over for their first edition. I think this will be a perfect match for Woodstock.
Is Woodstock’69 crowd mostly made up of locals, or from people all over the Netherlands?
Daan and Koene: Actually people from all over Europe come to Woodstock. During summer times we have a lot of Germans who stay nearby and visit us. Next to that people from all over the Netherlands come and visit, but mostly from Amsterdam and Haarlem I think.
Has being located outside Amsterdam been difficult, or are people living in Amsterdam generally willing to travel out to Bloemendaal for parties?
Daan and Koene: Generally we have no problems with that. When the weather is disappointing we sometimes struggle, but putting together proper lineup, and a big tent or a indoor party will always do the trick. With good weather, everybody wants to go out of the city. So no complains there.
What were some of last year’s highlights?
Daan: That’s not an easy one as there were so many parties with so many great memories. Well it usually never happens that an artist comes back twice a season. But it happened with Raresh last year. The first time he played was on a VOLTT party in May which was one of the first summer days. It was quite crowded and he played on the big stage and killed it.
In late August we did the Half Baked party with Praslesh where Raresh and Praslea played a five-hour set. The weather was not so good and there were only 300 people. They came from Belgium, England and Germany but all true music lovers. This was very special and a day to remember as the crowd allowed them to go everywhere musically. I have a strong connection with his music and it’s something that is not really popular in the Netherlands. Nevertheless people should hear it more often is my opinion.
Koene: My highlight of last year’s season definitely was the three-hour set Vaal played. I was enjoying her releases on Life And Death already, but watching her play that truly amazing set during this really hot summer day, made it go beyond my wildest expectations. Woodstock was filled completely and everybody was going wild. Perfect memories.
Is there are type of electronic music you think works especially well at Woodstock’69?
Koene: I think that house and disco works pretty great at Woodstock. The vibe and the look and feel of Woodstock perfectly go with these genres. Last year we’ve had Hunee playing and it just felt so good. It’s the perfect fit as well for the wide array of people who go to Woodstock.
Daan: I must agree with Koene. It’s all about creating a good vibe and disco sets up the summer mood.