On August 14 and 15, Parc del Forum in Barcelona was the location where the first international edition of DGTL Festival was held. After three succesful editions in Amsterdam, the festival was ready for the next step, and so were we!
We got into a taxi nearby La Ramblas and within a few minutes we arrived at the location of the festival, which was located on an industrial surface. Hard grounds, no grass, just what we expect when attending a DGTL festival. The entrance was made of containers, which was also true to the DGTL style. Getting inside the festival went pretty well, there wasn’t hardly any waiting queue and the people of the security team were in a good mood too.
^ DGTL in containers.
Inside, it was time to discover the festival playground and of course charge our DGTL bracelet. DGTL Barcelona was a cashless festival, which meant every transaction had to be made while using a special bracelet. It was even possible to refund the money, if you didn’t use all of it. It’s a great service, not having to worry about spending all of your money at the festival. Only little downside (if we have to mention a negative thing) was the the sign at the bar said Beer 33cl, but it was sold as half a pint (24cl).
The first DJ we witnessed was Shall Ocin, born in Argentina and now living in Barcelona. He is an artist with a close relationship with Ellum, the label of Maceo Plex. The vibe was really good during his set. You can say it was a nice way to start the festival with. Shall Ocin was playing at the Digital Stage, which seemed to be the biggest stage of the festival. Agoria, Henrik Schwarz, Ame and Maceo Plex were playing after, not your everyday line up.
On the other side of the festival ground we went to the Stereo Stage where one of Italy’s most popular DJ’s was playing, Joseph Capriati. During our walk we noticed DGTL managed to showcase a lot of artistic sculptures at the festival. From a big metal bull to a creature with big tentacles, the crew definitely spent time on the setting of the festival.
^ The bull watching over the festival.
Enjoying a festival costs a lot of energy, so there is always a time you have to refill your energy with some good food. DGTL took care of this by bringing not just the regular ‘fast food’ to the festival, but a wide variety of healthy and tasteful products.
With our stomachs filled, it was time to head back to the Digital stage to witness the German genius Henrik Schwarz. He performed live for his one hour set and showcased some of his best tracks, including my personal favorites, the remixes he did of Chasing Kurt – From the Inside and Emmanuel Jal – Kuar. The crowd seemed to like this tracks as much as I do, the vibe was getting better and better after each track! Time flies when Henrik Schwarz is performing, so when is set ended there was another top class DJ ready to hit the decks. Âme took over control and we don’t have to be convinced anymore by Âme, because they are voted 2nd best DJ in the world (according to Resident Advisor) for a reason. The magic that happens during their set is indescribable.
DGTL led us to make some hard decisions, because honestly we wanted to see all three closing acts on Friday at the same time, but unfortunately that’s not possible. We decided to take a look at the Phono Stage, where George Fitzgerald was giving the audience a good time. His set was dark, melodic and emotional, all at the same time. The stage was located on the highest point of the festival ground, with an amazing view of the rest of the festival, the industrial grounds that surrounded the festival and last but not least, the sea.
^ The Phono Stage during daytime.
Now that we’ve seen a bit of George Fitzgerald, we chose to see a little bit of Ben Klock at first and close of at Maceo Plex at the Digital Stage. He build up his set very well and played a lot of his own work. For example Solitary Daze, Conjure Floyd, Conjure Dreams and his latest release, the immense popular Solar Detroit. It was the perfect closing of an amazing first day of DGTL. (Maceo Plex is headlining the Kompakt event during this year’s ADE)
^ Digital Stage by night.
Unfortunately, the 2nd day of DGTL wasn’t quite what you expect when visiting a festival in Barcelona. The weather was not good, the rain kept on falling out of the sky, so it took us a little longer to arrive at the festival.
Once we arrived we got some poncho’s and saw that the Phono Stage had been replaced because of the rain. This was a great move, because we could experience another stage on day 2. The replacement stage was covered, so we could get rid of the poncho’s. The stage looked like a big illegal rave, which felt very special on such an occasion. The sound quality could have been a little better, but since this was probably an improvised stage, there wasn’t much the organization could have done.
^ Phono Stage of day 2.
Paco Osuna was doing his thing at the Stereo stage and we sure don’t regret witnessing his set. If there was an award for ‘King of rolling Techno’, Paco Osuna would be the winner for sure! So much energy in his set and it kept on going. There was no way to stand still.
On the other side of the festival the music was a lot more melodic when Dixon was working his magic at the Digital Stage. Dixon has been voted number 1 DJ of the world for 2 times in a row according to Resident Advisor and he sure knows how to live up to his reputation. His appearance, the joy he brings and his excellent choice of music makes him one of the greats!
While Dixon was doing his thing, Adam Beyer took over from Paul Ritch at the Stereo Stage. The head of Drumcode, one of techno’s most popular labels, never fails to amaze me. I’ve heard a lot of his sets before, but he manages to perform a completely different set every time! I think this was the best closing we could have of two days of DGTL in the Spanish city of dreams! See you next year DGTL Barcelona!
^ Hands in the air at the Stereo Stage on day 2.
DGTL will be back during this year’s Amsterdam Dance Event with three events. Make sure you don’t miss out!