PHOTO CREDIT: Katarina Cvetko
Last weekend marked another milestone in the Melbourne festival scene as Hard Kandy, Harder Styles United and Finders Keepers teamed up once again to present Kandy Carnival: The Last Hoorah. Hosting eight of the biggest local and international names in the hard dance world, the carnival themed event is one of two major hardstyle festivals putting Melbourne on the map. Having also attended Shadows Of Wonderland earlier this year, I absolutely jumped at the chance to return down under and once again, this event exceeded all of my expectations! Here’s what I loved about it:
Hosted at Melbourne’s favourite music venue, Festival Hall is home to some of the best dance music events in the country. With a capacity of around 5000 people, this small but intimate space acts as the perfect home for the harder styles. The venue itself is easily accessible by public transport whilst the interior is fitted with everything needed for a perfect night out. General admission tickets granted ravers access to the dance floor as well as special seated areas on either side of the stage while VIP ticket holders also had access to the seated balcony area. Once again, a harm reduction booth was set up to ensure that visitors had access to necessities such as ear plugs as well as important information and a safe space to seek assistance if needed.
One of my favourite things about the harder styles is how dedicated the fans are and it definitely showed at this event. From the front row rail riders all the way to the dancers at the back, every single person in the venue was exactly where they were supposed to be and embraced every second of it! The energy at this event was phenomenal with the entire crowd jumping at every drop, dancing to every beat and singing along to every song.
On stage, the artists gave back just as much energy (if not more) to the dedicated Melbourne crowd. The DJ’s were seen dancing and singing along with the crowd as well as interacting with fans and even throwing out merch! Hosted by the voice of hardstyle himself, MC Villain kept the crowd hyped up throughout the entire night with his energy and iconic lines.
As usual, one of my favourite things about any festival is the production and Kandy Carnival did not disappoint! Known for their state of the art production, Harder Styles United teased one of their biggest productions to date for their Sydney show and Melbourne fans got a sneak peak at some of the world class action! The stage design exceeded my expectations with large LED panels displaying creative visuals, extending from one side of the stage to the other. Of course, the laser beams absolutely blew me away and staring into the spectacular light show was definitely one of my favourite things about this event!
This year’s edition of Kandy Carnival hosted eight of the biggest names in the harder styles. From local legends to Dutch superstars and even the UK’s favourite happy hardcore act, the entire lineup blew me away and there wasn’t a single performance I did not enjoy! Here are the top three performances that stood out for me.
Without a doubt my favourite performance of the evening, Aussie legend Code Black returned down under for an insane show! The Holland based DJ and producer has been unstoppable, recently releasing his debut album and headlining some of the biggest events in the world. Having seen artists perform all over the world, there’s nothing more special than seeing someone perform in their home country. The energy from the Australian crowd is unmatched with the entire crowd singing along to his classic tracks as well as his newest releases and even an exclusive performance of ‘I Am Australian’!
Dutch DJ duo and twin brothers Sound Rush warmed up the crowd early in the evening with their iconic tracks and remixes. Recently signing to Art Of Creation and fresh from their Qlimax debut, these guys have quickly risen to the top and aren’t going anywhere any time soon! Playing everything from their newest releases to their popular collaborations, the small but dedicated crowd noticeably enjoyed every second of it.
Seeing Psyko Punkz up close and personal for the first time was definitely a performance to remember! The Dutch DJ and producer played everything from hard dance classics to his newest iconic releases. His energy, just like the crowd, was absolutely through the roof, side stepping behind the decks and singing along at every drop! This was by far one of the most entertaining performances I’ve seen!
Overall, Kandy Carnival’s Last Hoorah was definitely one to remember! Everything from the world class line up to the state of the art production and of course, the unique Melbourne vibe, made for a perfect event! Hard Kandy, HSU and Finders Keepers did a phenomenal job at not only hosting another incredible event, but keeping the harder styles alive down under and I can’t wait to return to Melbourne for another event soon!