Written by: Charlotte Houareau
Loveland Festival made an impressive return to its beloved grounds in Sloterplas over the weekend for its 25th anniversary. After a two-year long hiatus, the Amsterdam festival veterans made up for lost time with a techno and house music lineup that attracted electronic music lovers from all over Europe to its stunning lakeside venue.
Nestled among the trees and by a lake, the festival grounds strike a perfect balance between urban rural - given it’s gorgeous natural landscape it's hard to believe it's still technically in Amsterdam. Surrounded by tall leafy giants and by water, it’s quite simply a little piece of heaven on earth. Easily accessible via the city’s public transport options, the site itself feels like you have completely left the city to venture into an enchanting forest setting.
The site had plenty of surprises lurking around every corner. All sorts of activities, bars and food stalls were scattered between stages and along the waterfront, offering fans more to discover whilst at the festival. From painting a Loveland sign by the water with other revellers to going for a little paddle on the lake in a small raft, feasting on Michelin three-course 'Loveland 25 YRS Celebration menu' or joining in a friendly drum circle, there was a little something for every type of festival-goer.
From industry-leading names to local rising stars, the lineup covered a wide range of electronic music sub-genres. Spread over six stages on both Saturday and Sunday, there was plenty to choose from and to keep your feet moving all weekend long.
The festivities kicked off at midday on Saturday and did not stop until night had fallen. Big sets featured on Saturday included industry heavyweights Joris Voorn, Dixon, Solomun and Jeff Mills, among many others.
Over on the Nest stage, festival revellers were spoiled for choice with back-to-back live sets by the likes of Kollektiv Turmstrasse, Booka Shade and Inner City. Set by the water, the music set the scene for an unforgettable golden hour.
Sunday’s lineup was just as seductive, featuring Stephan Bodzin, whose live set took the crowd on an unforgettable and emotive musical journey. Other heavy-hitting sets that afternoon included Adriatique, Maceo Plex and Tale of Us, who had us all wishing the festival would never end.
Eric Prydz made two appearances on Sunday’s bill, he got behind the decks on the Fire stage at the start of the afternoon, adopting his alias Cirez D for a punchy techno set, then later closing the Arena stage with a nostalgic and fiery set that festival goers could get their last ounces of rave energy out on.
One of the best things about this festival is how friendly, welcoming, and diverse the crowd is. Festival-goers from all over the region and of different generations came together to celebrate their love of music and most especially show their appreciation for this longstanding event. The atmosphere was electric, there was an incredible buzz and excitement throughout the festival. It felt like a proper celebration - smiles and gleeful embraces could be seen from all corners - that was befitting of Loveland’s incredible reputation and the history they were commemorating that weekend.
Loveland has implemented some noteworthy industry-leading eco-friendly initiatives to honour its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and becoming more sustainable. The festival uses a token-based system for drinks, which means that guests are provided with a recycle token at the entrance to be exchanged for their first cup, which in turn needs to be exchanged for the drink, enabling efficiently recycling practices but also keeping the grounds very clean.
An all-encompassing experience from start to finish, Loveland is without a doubt one of Europe’s finest electronic music festivals and should absolutely sit at the top of your festival bucket list. Roll on 2023's edition.
Loveland Festival 2023 takes place on 12-13th August next year, but for all the latest news join the Loveland 2023 Waiting List here.