Date: 1st – 3rd August
Tickets: £83 for 3 days; £33 per day
A banquet of festival options confronts the eager festival-attendee with a problem: distinguishing between the dishes can make selection a painful process.
Organisers compete to offer unique attractions, resulting in increasingly innovative new festivals. Dekmantel, born 2013, is one such revolutionary cracking into the circuit.
Its greatest asset may be the location. Cradled in Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam Forest) Dekmantel bucks the expectation that three-day festivals have of being located on some far-flung beach or field. Being in Amsterdam, a rite of passage for British youths, means access and culture thrust it a league above others.
Music is almost exclusively electronic, with a range and quality better than that of local coffee shops’ produce. Last year choice ranged from legend Jeff Mills’ surreal techno to the sensual house of Âme.
This year heavyweights Mills and Ben Klock return, alongside a range of ‘lighter’ electronic treats that are just as deep: with the likes of Nicolas Jaar, Jamie XX, Mount Kimbie and Tale of Us. Electronic nerds will love the headliners as much as those of the smaller print: Prosumer, Talaboman, Answer Code Request and Moodymann, to name but a few. The proof is in the sponsors: Resident Advisor control the mainstage, while aficionado website XLR8R and fabled Boiler Room decide two of the five stages. Capped at 5000 people per day numbers will delineate comfortable dancing in a happy medium; of enough people for a nutty melee, but not so many as to throttle your vibe.
When the music tunes out the newly-introduced campsite saves on accommodation, although the Volks Hotel gives a afterparty and bed in one neat bundle. Wooden cabins are also available for an extra bit of comfort.
Dekmantel’s YouTube channel speaks for itself, with tantalising video treats from last year as well as mini-documentaries about DJ’s back stories.
3-day tickets are a steal at £83. Dekmantel is by far the most alluring August option. It’s an easy decision this summer.