While new festivals keep popping up and it’s getting increasingly harder to pick your favorites from a massive list of opportunities, there are always some festivals you still look forward to. Pitch is definitely one of those festivals.
With a forward-thinking selection of innovative and unique artists, a mellow and laidback festival vibe, spectacular indoor and outdoor areas and a cheerful crowd, Pitch is one of the undisputed highlights of the Dutch festival summer.
Last Saturday we had the pleasure to attend the festival that was held on one of the hottest days in recent years. The thousands of electronic music enthusiasts visiting the Amsterdam Westergasterrain didn’t seem too bothered by the extremely hot weather. When we entered the festival grounds we immediately noticed the relaxed vibe that was omnipresent at the well-organized and not too busy festival terrain.
We kicked off this year’s Pitch festival with Maribou State. Chris David and Liam Ivory are two guys from Hertfordshire who produce amazing music. They discovered their mutual passion for all things electronic when they both went to University.
Since then they’ve built an international reputation with Maribou State through a massive list of well-loved EPs and remixes for artists such as Kelis, Fatboy Slim and Lana Del Rey. Maribou State, who’ve just released their debut album ‘Portraits’, is known for its unique combination of quality electronic music and live instrumentation.
The tracks they performed in the Transformator venue sounded amazing. It was pure pleasure to listen to that intimate music on a decent sound system. Especially the tracks ‘Wallflower’ and ‘The Clown’ were well-received and it was a great experience to hear those amazing tracks performed live.
Maribou State – Wallflower
Our next stop was Jamie XX who played the massive ‘Westertent’. With his legendary DJ set in Trouw last December fresh in mind, we had high expectations of his performance. Jamie started with some old funk and disco records and while some well-known tracks like ‘I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)’ were received with a massive ovation, the overall performance was a bit of a let down.
We’re quite sure that if he had played the Westergas later on that night it would have been a brilliant performance and an atmosphere to remember, but the combination of his set time and the tent he played in just didn’t work out well.
Next up was Gold Panda who played the infamous ‘Gashouder’. We were interested to see if Derwin Schlecker was able to get the massive crowd entertained. Don’t get us wrong, we are big fans of this UK producer, but let’s be honest, his music and performances were a bit too much for big crowds in the past. So we were pleasantly surprised to see that he was able to create an energetic atmosphere and the crowd really enjoyed themselves.
Our favorite of the day was without any doubt Jon Hopkins. We could have ended this article with some comments about Siriusmodeselector or John Talabot, who both had a decent performance, but the man of the day was mister Jon Hopkins. The UK-based producer blended harsh pounding beats with lush arrangements and hypnotizing ambiance. Intimate moments were interspersed with energetic peaks, which resulted in an energetic and euphoric crowd.
Combine all those elements with an impressive light show and a decent sound system and you’ve got all the ingredients for a festival performance to remember.
Pitch festival proved once again it’s a festival you don’t wanna miss. Thumbs up for the organization that managed to create a festival that didn’t feel too crowded. A welcome change from all the overcrowded festivals. The line-up impresses every year and while some artists struggled to live up to the expectations, others bring back that smile on your face.
Photos by Bart Heemskerk