White club ‘monster‘ hits Asia
Electronic music fest to open in July with Le Grand
By Kwaak Je-yup
Organizers say it is like no other music festival or mega club. Along with world-famous DJs spinning the turntables, Cirque de Soleil-like theatrics with acrobatic dancers flying around on harnesses and larger-than-life stage props enliven the ecstatic partiers.
Welcome to Sensation, the Dutch project that is in a league of its own in the crowded electronic dance music festival circuit. And for the first time this summer it is coming to Asia.
The creators ID&T, backed by Heineken, are bringing the show to Seoul, its debut on the continent on July 21, before Bangkok and Kaoshiung, Taiwan.
“The Ocean of White,” which first premiered in Amsterdam in 2008, will take place at the KINTEX exhibition space in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, just northwest of Seoul.
It is headlined by two of today’s hottest house music sensations, Fedde Le Grand from the Netherlands and Sebsastien Leger from France. Funkagenda and Nic Fanciulli are also among the initially announced headliners.
Riding on the popularity of electronic dance music (EDM), local clubs and promoters have been mired in a game of one-upmanship, spotlighting one Top-100 DJ after another in their lineups.
But looking at the promotional photos or YouTube clips, Sensation may win this summer with a game-changer show: its full-blown visual effects that make Lady Gaga’s latest tour plain by comparison.
The wow factors are many. There is the striking all-white dress code, which more than 80 percent of attendees on average abide by. The particular regulation is in remembrance of Sensation CEO Duncan Stutterheim’s business partner and older brother Miles, who died in a car accident after the inaugural event in 2000. The atmosphere is like in a football arena, with a similar feeling of unity; aptly, the first show took place at the Amsterdam Arena, the home of football club Ajax.
Flying dancers spin around spreading ethereal clouds with mobile smoke machines, scantily-clad performers adorn the stage, enormous jellyfish-shaped balloons hang from the ceiling and of course, the house music is on full blast, to name just a few other attractions.
It is not an event to which one should be fashionably late like on a typical night out. Instead people line up to experience the eight-hour spectacle from the very beginning to the end.
The response has been phenomenal, to put it mildly. The first show attracted 20,000 people; the next year, with the dress code in effect, more than double the amount of people bought tickets and showed up at the gates of the Amsterdam stadium. Since then, Sensation has toured European capitals and even reached South America. The often-shunned white trousers are now hanging in countless closets around the world, reflecting over a million tickets sold thus far.
This year there are 19 cities on the list, including Belgrade, Prague, Sao Paulo, St. Petersburg and again, Amsterdam before it finally lands in Seoul. The Asian trek will continue to Bangkok on August 18 and Kaoshiung, Taiwan on Sept. 29. ID&T announced recently that the show will visit the United States this year as well, but no definite dates have been announced.
“Heineken presents Sensation in Korea” begins at 9 p.m. on July 21, at KINTEX in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province.
Tickets cost from 99,000 to 300,000 won and go on sale today. Visit www.sensation.com or www.heineken.com/kr for more information.