Nachtiville, in Holland, is a sister festival to Nachtdigital, a small, few-thousand people event that has been happening in Germany for nearly two decades now. The team behind it know how to put on a festival: give people a comfortable place to stay, book adventurously and make sure that each stage – or space – is unique and contributes to the whole experience.
We spent most of our nights at The Joint, a low-ceilinged room that resembled many London clubs (Flying Dutchman, anyone?). The small and sweaty space hosted a label showcase for Workshop on Saturday, where Even Tuell finished with ‘Spacer Woman‘ followed by – still allowed in Holland – ‘What’s A Girl To Do‘. Giegling managed to fill The Center, which hosted the biggest names of the festival the next day, during their parallel all-night showcase. Kettenkarussell played a dreamy set of intimate techno, but we left feeling that this maybe wasn’t the best place for the team from Weimar.
Ben UFO’s closing set on Sunday was a celebration. He was on insane form, with twists and turns that all led to closing the place with jungle and a tax shelter label hit, which we jumped up and down to until we almost made ourselves puke. Much to our sadness, the last night finished at an earlier time of 2 am, unlike 5 am the previous nights, but the parties continued in the bungalows.
The night-time programming was just a part of what you could hear during Nachtiville. Beyond that, The Zone was our personal favourite – a smokey room that ran all day and night playing ambient music. The whole room was filled with beds, in which the DJs sat on whilst playing, and the whole audience lazed on throughout the day. The dry ice that was pumped out every 20 minutes made the lethargic dancers look like they were floating, making for a mesmerising space. It became incredibly easy to lose track of time when in The Zone (mentally and physically).
Then there was, um, The Beach, which was a massive pool that hosted seven-hour sets from Manamana and Job Jobse. It sounds surreal, and it was surreal, overwhelming and amazingly tropical. The scale and atmosphere of The Beach is pretty much impossible to describe. Just try to imagine sliding down huge water slides with Job Jobse’s ecstatic selections in the background. And if that still doesn’t do the job, check out the video he published of his set.
After arriving from a long day in transit, we honestly didn’t expect much more than a few bunk beds in a tight space. But the bungalows were ridiculous: beds to ourselves, a big living room, a garden overlooking the lake and most importantly, a shower and heating. Combine this with 24-hour food and drink delivery and an affordable supermarket (60 cents for a beer!), and you forget what a festival hangover is.
We had Dutch TV in the background during our before, half-way and after parties – a great mix of cooking shows and the oddest of sports. Lessons learned: MMA is a pretty intense watch before a club; darts isn’t.
We shared our bungalow with two guys from Hyponik – shout out 715 – and whilst we didn’t have too much energy to go explore De Eemhof after the music finished for the night, there were afterparties happening everywhere (our post party ritual was a cocktail of Peep Show and shit talking). Two official bungalows transformed into a house party for the weekend, and numerous attendees brought their own speakers and controllers to keep the parties going till, well, the next one begins.
The crowd at Nachtiville was fantastic – there was a real family feel. Spend a few minutes comparing it to any London club and you’ll be in for a slight shock: people actually smiling at strangers, apologising for bumping into you and pretty much no violence to be seen. It felt like a school trip with people you want to go on a school trip with, doing stuff you’d like to be doing if it wasn’t a school trip.
Nachtiville was a long weekend that we never wanted to end. It’s safe to say that the Nachti bubble has been burst and we’ve still got a serious case of post-festival blues.
We’ll be coming back next year, whether it’s for Nachtiville or Nachtdigital this time.