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So after a mere ten days of recovery from Ibiza, we headed off to City airport for the short hop across the North Sea to Amsterdam for the weekend I’d been looking forward to all summer. It was our first opportunity to go to Luminosity Beach Festival as until this year it’s always been held in June, when we are in Australia. But a date change to August had us snapping up the early bird tickets and making plans to get to Amsterdam. And when the Future Sound Of Egypt 300 celebration free party was announced for the day before, I was sure that it would be a weekend to remember.

We got to Escape nightclub in central Amsterdam early, as we had been advised, and went straight to the second room to catch sets by Matt Bukovski and Ahmed Romel, bumping into friends and realising that despite the early hour, the place was absolutely buzzing and the trance was already at an uplifting 138+ bpm. The room was also very hot but the happy vibe generated by trance fans from around the globe meant that no-one seemed too fussed by this.

We heard rumours that Sied van Riel had started really well in the main room downstairs, so we decided to see for ourselves. I’ve never really been a huge fan of Sied’s music, although he seems a great guy and we’d had a big laugh with him backstage at the Subculture show in Sydney in February. (I didn’t write about this event, because we got there late, after Jeff and my birthday party, and spent most of the time backstage chatting to the DJs, rather than out on the dancefloor.) And what a fantastic set Sied played tonight – easily the tranciest and the best I’ve ever heard from him. Someone said that Sied wants to move more in this direction – if so, it’s a move to be welcomed with open arms!

Back upstairs to hear Simon O’Shine, and then Sneijder. I’ve been a big fan of Sneijder since seeing him on the Driftwood boat in Ibiza last year, supporting John O’Callaghan. We’d missed him in Sydney, because we were backstage at the Subculture event I just mentioned, but I was looking forward to hearing him, even though I knew the last 20 minutes of his set clashed with Fadi’s downstairs. Sure enough, he was great and it was a very difficult decision to leave early and perhaps, with hindsight, one we got wrong. But I knew that we’d be seeing him again the next evening at Luminosity.

I’d been hoping that Aly & Fila would play an uplifting remix of Laily, as Fadi had mentioned in Ibiza that he was intending to work on it in Cairo with a view to dropping it in Amsterdam. But I guess it wasn’t ready, or he wasn’t happy with it as it didn’t make the cut. I didn’t recognise most of the early tunes until he surprised me by dropping Oceanlab – Satellite after about half an hour.

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He also played Aly & Fila – We Control The Sunlight, Arctic Moon – Starships Over Alice and Aly & Fila feat. Susana – Without You. The production inside Escape was amazing – really impressive lights and lasers and the stage set up like a pyramid gave a real sense of occasion to the event. The sound system was pretty good too. But although I did really enjoy it, I felt this was not one of the very best sets I’ve heard Fadi play – certainly nowhere near as good as his set at Home nightclub in Sydney last year, or the set on the Driftwood boat in Ibiza less than a fortnight earlier. Still, it was a wonderful 90 minutes of great music.


Fadi handed over to John O’Callaghan and although it took me a while to get into what he was playing, by the time he dropped his own remix of Paul van Dyk feat. Plumb – I Don’t Deserve You and a mash-up including his own tune – Out Of Nowhere, I was really enjoying the set. And he finished with his classic tune feat. Audrey Gallagher – Big Sky (I’m not sure which remix).

The night was drawing to a close now and the last DJ, RAM opened with a mash up of Dash Berlin – Man On The Run and his own tune – RAMsterdam (Jorn van Deynhoven remix). I really like the JvD mix of this tune, but wasn’t impressed with it being mashed up, so we decided to call it a night as we had a big two days ahead of us.

This was really an amazing party – especially as it was a free event. The crowd was really into their uplifting trance, the music in both rooms was fantastic and the sound and production was really impressive. Perhaps the only downer was the 50c charge to use the toilet. Holland must be the only place where you have to pay to go to the loo. I’m sure this is counterproductive on the part of the bars, as my reaction and I guess others’ too is to drink less, so that I need the loo less. How do they gain from that? But that shouldn’t detract from a really enjoyable night, seeing friends from around the world and dancing to the kind of music I like best.

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