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This Was: Decibel 2023 – The Loudest City On Earth

As the sun rose on Monday Morning at Beekse Bergen, it marked the end of an unforgettable three-day journey through the heart of hardstyle at Decibel 2023. With over 300 artists, 63 hours of nonstop music at 12 stages, and 7 pyro shows, this celebration of the 20th edition of the loudest city on earth was nothing short of extra ordinary.

The Venue and Stages
A festival of epic proportions demands a setting to match, and Beekse Bergen doesn’t disappoint. Like every year, each stage, whether nestled in the heart of the woods or standing boldly by the lakeside, offers a unique atmosphere for festival attendees to immerse themselves in. And at the heart of it all stands the MAINSTAGE, rising as the central gathering of the weekend. The PUSSY LOUNGE stage featured awesome screen visuals and was like always the craziest of all of them. Also, placing the stage in front of the water this year really gave it a fantastic backdrop and better views, especially if you took a ride on the massive ferry wheel on the other side of the dancefloor. 

What caught our attention especially were all the added sitting podiums at many of the stages, where you could take a little rest while still being able to see the stage and crowd. The food courts were varied and delicious, and the other attractions, like bungee jumping and tattooing, were always busy with adrenaline-seekers.

The Camping
If you’re a dedicated seeker of round-the-clock raving and have an insatiable appetite for afterparties, then Ravers Paradise is the place to be: a relentless rollercoaster of fun and games, delivered with an electrifying LIVE LOUD spirit that defines the essence of rave culture. At Ravers Paradise, the party never stopped. It’s a haven for night owls, dancefloor enthusiasts, and anyone who craves the maximal Decibel experience. For those who desired a more comfortable and laid-back WKND experience, Ravers Resort beckoned with open arms. It offered a sanctuary of tranquility amid the party storm. Here, you could partake in all the activities that Ravers Paradise had to offer but still get a good night’s sleep to be ready for the next day. For total relaxation, it was even possible to book massages, ice baths, or sauna visits.

Friday – A Blazing Start
It is time – the day we all have been waiting for. Friday detonated with unyielding force. With the gates opening at 3 PM already, the action started early and didn’t let up until the early morning hours. Eight stages roared to life, promising an epic start to a legendary weekend.

The PUSSY LOUNGE stage served as the MAINSTAGE for the day and hosted DJ legends like KELTEK, Brennan Heart, or Frequencerz with their DB#20 Special. The BATTLES stage featured thrilling clashes, like Act of Rage vs. Vertile or Adaro vs. Invector, showcasing the power of double DJ acts. Darkraver‘s Love Dome provided an opportunity to party in style, while the HARDCORE & UPTEMPO stage welcomed BPM lovers with fast kicks from Mad Dog, N-Vitral, and DRS.

We absolutely loved those early opening hours on Friday, allowing us and many other fans to make this once-in-a-year event even more memorable. It was a great opportunity to have a first stroll through the festival grounds without the masses of the day guests, take some iconic pictures, get to know the hidden gems, and get prepared for the days ahead.

Saturday – The City Awakes
On Saturday, the loudest city on earth welcomed Hardstyle Lovers with all its stages, introducing the dedicated LIVE stage and the mighty MAINSTAGE we’ve all been waiting for. 

At the LIVE STAGE, acts like Rejecta, Cryex, Adjuzt, Unresolved, or Bloodlust gave it all, showing what DJing really is all about. The legendary PUSSY LOUNGE featured sets like Endymion‘s 25 Years’ “Millenium Mayhem” and Tatanka & TNT‘s “Italian Icons.” Co-hosted by 2 MCs – DL & Da SyndromeDecibel ensured the party never stopped. 

The MAINSTAGE mesmerized with impeccable sound and special sets like the B-Front & Noisecontrollers DB#20 Special, the DB#20 Show, the Hardcore Closing Session by Angerfist, and, of course, the legendary Endshow with lasers, pyro, and a crazy firework show. HARDSTYLE and HARDCORE CLASSICS delivered a nostalgic trip down memory lane with DJs like Wasted Penguinz, Deepack, Alpha Twins, DJ Yves, and Panic. But also the faster styles did not disappoint. HARDCORE and UPTEMPO stages were loaded with heavy kicks and a great way to let loose completely. 

Packed with sunshine, heavy kicks, and crisp sounds, Saturday, like always, marked the busiest day of the weekend and delivered a great overall rave experience with a wide variety of different harder styles genres.

Savage Sunday – A Fierce Finale
As Sunday rolled in, the energy didn’t wane but instead intensified. SAVAGE SUNDAY returned with a vengeance, featuring a full festival day across 12 stages. I always greet Sunday with a tear in one eye and a smile in the other: On the one hand, it’s my personal favorite day of the weekend, a special atmosphere with dedicated ravers, but on the other hand, it also means that the weekend we all look forward to all year is about to come to an end. Nevertheless, SAVAGE SUNDAY stayed true to its word and delivered an unforgettable finale.

The MAINSTAGE took things up a notch with a RAW LIVE LOUD MARATHON featuring Cryex, E-Force, Rejecta, and The Purge. The Sunday Endshow was a rollercoaster of kicks, show, and emotions, leaving behind a satisfied crowd. PUSSY LOUNGE transformed into the HARDCORE MAINSTAGE for the last day of the weekend and, therefore, also featured the closing session with Spitnoise.

What a weekend! As the last big Hardstyle-only weekend festival of the year in the Netherlands, Decibel always marks the near-end of the warm summer season. I am sure I was not the only one who left the festival grounds with a slight depression. From start to end, B2S ensured that festival goers got their tickets’ worth. Personally, I think Decibel couldn’t have celebrated their 20th edition in any better way. So long, and see you next year at edition 21 from August 16-18!

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