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This Was: Dream Village 2023

Dream Village took place on September 9th and 10th in Bavel in the Netherlands. The Saturday of the festival, Dark Visions, was dedicated to the harder styles of electronic music with major hard dance artists such as Sefa and Act of Rage. By contrast, Sunday, Sweet Dreams, showcased the more mainstream side of electronic music with big room house legends David Guetta and Afrojack. Both days of the festival also included local talent and some traditional Dutch music sprinkled in as well.

Getting There
As per usual getting to the venue for me included a long car drive in traffic without air conditioning but as always was worth every second of it. En route to the venue there were some road closures and detours but all important information was communicated through social media. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it in time to see our friend Lara open the Insomnia Stage but from what we heard she kicked off the festival with a bang!

The festival terrain was situated in the rural village of Bavel located in the greater region of North Brabant. To get to the festival you have to walk across grassy fields through the picturesque Dutch farmland. The festival consisted of four stages, a swing carnival ride, various food vendors, and chill areas equipped with games and hammocks. The weather was extremely warm over the weekend reaching record temperatures for September in the Netherlands. The festival was prepared for the warm weather with plenty of water refill stations and some shady spots for people to cool down.


Food & Drinks
Upon entering the festival guests received a recycle token to hand in when purchasing a drink. Each time you go for a drink you either present a recycle token or bring an empty cup, bottle, or can otherwise you pay half a token extra for your drink purchase. This system has been implemented across the Netherlands and was clearly explained throughout the festival with clear signage (including graphics in case you didn’t speak Dutch)!

You could purchase tokens in increments of five, with one token coming out to around 3.80 euro. For reference, one beer was a token, water was a token and a half. On top of your standard festival drinks there were also cocktail stands and a promotional area hosted by Kettle One. I actually won a reversible bucket hat at the Kettle One stand which I was very excited about!

With regards to food there were a myriad of options such as Dutch pancakes, Turkish pizza, Italian pizza, wraps, BBQ, ice cream, smoothies, burgers, and more. My friends enjoyed the lumpias (Vietnamese eggrolls), boneless ribs and fries!

As previously mentioned, Dream Village consisted of four stages. However, upon careful inspection of the festival grounds I actually discovered a fifth stage which was bus called Dansen met de Familie Jansen (Dance with the Jansen Family). The bus was equipped with a hot pink leopard interior and even a stripper pole! This was just one of many hidden gems at Dream Village.


The Mainstage at Dream Village (Area One) took place inside of a large hangar. This provided some shade from the sun but did of course get quite hot when the bigger artists were on. The stage was decorated with the Dream Village logo and immediately behind the DJ booth was an LED screen projecting the name of the artist performing.

Insomnia Stage
The Insomnia Stage (Area Two) was hosted inside of a large tent which was illuminated by lasers and bright visuals. This stage hosted the Uptempo artists (the hardest of the harder styles) on Saturday and Latin/Urban artists on Sunday.

Siesta Stage
The Siesta Stage (Area Three) was an open-air stage in the very middle of the festival serving Boiler Room vibes. Ravers were able to dance and watch from various vantage points as there were stairs and open decks surrounding the stage. There was even space on stage for partygoers to dance alongside the DJ. This stage was packed during Outsiders set on Saturday and Paul Elstak on Sunday with the crowd overflowing from the stage, around the stairs, and into the main area of the festival.

Breda Beats
The fourth area of the festival, the Breda Beats stage was home to local talent. This stage was created entirely by shipping containers. In the main shipping container was of course the DJ and then along the sides were smaller shipping containers with artistically represented mannequins inside. My favorite part about this stage was the large fans pointing out into the crowd, this was the perfect spot if you needed to cool down!


Visuals & Sound
Dream Village despite it being a small festival had impressive visuals including lasers, fire, fireworks, and LED visuals. The sound overall at each stage was decent, however the sound bleed between the stages was unavoidable. At certain points standing at the Siesta Stage the sound bleed from the Mainstage was so loud that you needed to move deeper into the crowd or find a different spot otherwise you were hearing two sets at the same time. This is something that’s not uncommon for smaller festivals but is something to be aware of when you’re deciding on where to stand during the set (and where to party!).


Devin Wild
We kicked off Saturday with Dutch Hardstyle superstar Devin Wild. With tracks such as Exhale and Feel so Good it was the perfect start to a perfect weekend. Devin Wild’s combination of hard-hitting kicks coupled with euphoric melodies make him almost synonymous with summer festivals. When you think of Devin Wild you think of its finally outdoor season in the Netherlands!
Italian Rawstyle legend took over the Mainstage on Saturday afternoon. Despite his early time slot, the crowd went hard with MC Villian leading the charge. Rooler had us going wild to Go Stupid, Hiding, and singing along to Star Walkin’. Rooler has an uncanny ability to turn up a crowd and keep the energy up from start to finish and his set at Dream Village was no exception.
One of the most talked about artists in the Hard Dance scene in the Netherlands is Vertile. Vertile is best known for combining influences and experiences from genres. This was represented on Saturday dropping bangers such as Psychedelics, Emotion Free, and No Sleep.
Partyraiser brought the heat (literally and figuratively) to Area Two with MC Tha Watcher on Saturday. Pushing the limits past 200 beats per minute, Partyraiser’s high velocity Uptempo powered set was one to remember.
On Sunday night the crowd turned up for Afrojack. The electrifying beats of this legendary Dutch DJ and Producer blew through the speakers as fog shot up through the crowd. Afrojack as always delivered an energetic set that kept the crowd wanting more.
David Guetta
Sunday’s headliner French powerhouse David Guetta threw down with our favorite sing along tracks such as Titanium. Afrojack even joined him on stage dropping their collaborative track Hero. Together they set the stage on fire, literally despite the heat over the weekend there was SO much fire spouting out of Area One.


Atmosphere & Organization
If you’re looking for a small intimate multi-genre festival, then Dream Village is for you. The atmosphere throughout the weekend was very much like a small town family vibe. You could feel a sense of community and unity throughout the festival, especially at the Breda Beats stage. All in all Dream Village encapsulates the essence of the Dutch festival experience mixing together a variety of electronic music genres in an intimate setting. Would definitely recommend this festival and am looking forward to future editions!

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