A Raver's Guide to Nachtdigital Paradise

A Raver's Guide to Nachtdigital Paradise

21-09-2012 | 17.08

It is hard for me to keep the years apart. All the past editions have melted into a beach of beer and cappuccino foam.

On one edition, on Sunday morning, I had a conversation on the beach with a Dutch guy. He told me a gloomy story. “Look”, he said, pointing at the edge of the main stage, “all these ravers. Nachtdigital has been conquered by ravers. And they are only here for the drugs. This is how it goes all the time. All these Amsterdam people who want to act hip.”

That morning I probably wanted to tell him he was wrong, but I'm not sure if I actually did. On these Sunday mornings I'm never so talkative.

What I wanted to tell him was this: Take a look at Partyflock and try to find one of the earlier editions, before the ravers supposedly came. Nachtdigital Open Air 2006, the first weekend of August in Bungalowdorf, Olganitz. Genres: electro, minimal, techno. Amongst others, Tobi Neumann, Magda, Luna City Express and Mathias Kaden were playing. And one response: Hoppa!, says one 'Davlov'.

It sure seems like a rave festival. Rave genres, rave deejays and a rave response. Hoppa! And, it actually is a rave festival. Nachtdigital shows how nice raving can be.

A few years ago, suddenly we were there. The music experts went to Nachtdigital, because there were acts like Moderat and The Field playing. Dream music for the internet kids. Nachtdigital sold out weeks before summer. After the festival serious articles on the acts appeared online, in which the writers discussed the way the festival acts had handled their laptop or CD player.

But now, looking back, I barely remember anything from The Field, Moderat or Gold Panda. Maybe Gold Panda didn't even play Nachtdigital. Anyhow, I don't remember it anymore. What I do remember is what I think Nachtdigital is. Or what it is for me.
It’s a big pig that's being fried on spit (and for which you're always too early or too late), the crazy circus act that suddenly confuses the audience, GHB kids that photogenic lay running dry, nightswimming, long German deejaysets, the best coffee possible, the long cue for a trash bag and Müllpfand-coin, strange trumpet ensembles, dancing deejays in the audience, the barbecue on the first night and the mess it makes, and the stories after about deejays kissing and cows having been freed.

Can all this be copied to a Sunday in Trouw? Of course not. But, if there are deejays that can do this, it must be Job Jobse and Prosumer, and above all Steffen Bennemann – the personification of Nachtdigital.

Text: Luc Mastenbroek