The top performances during Labor Day Weekend by world famous DJ’s such as Afrojack, Nervo, Loco Dice and Chuckie, pool and private island parties, sunset cruises and music conferences made this year’s Electric Festival a sensational 4 day all-inclusive island party and turned Aruba into the Ibiza of the Caribbean!
Island Culture Block Party
Thursday the festival kicked off with an Island Culture Block Party at the Village Mall featuring top Dutch DJ duo the Partysquad, local musical genius Fellow and Jamaican dance hall queen Ce’Cile. The crowd was feeling the tropical vibes even more when Ce’cile went all the way with her freestyling.
VIP Pool Parties- Miami style
Around a thousand international hipsters united during the luxurious champagne serving pool parties at the Renaissance Marina Hotel! Beautiful people dressed in the bare minimal were dancing to deep house and techno tunes alongside the pool whilst overlooking the Renaissance Marina in downtown Oranjestad.
Friday's Main Event
The new Harbor Arena welcomed approx. 4000 people on the Friday night event. EDM lovers from across the globe came out and waved their nation’s flag: US, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Argentina, the Netherlands and even Ghana!
“I’ve heard so many great stories about Aruba and I am so happy to finally be here”. Those were the opening words of world famous Afrojack, the main headliner for the EF, before he gave a performance of a lifetime! It was a spectacular show: Terrific lighting effects, impressive visuals, an energetic MC; everything was in sync. During his set he invited everyone from the back to party with the VIP up front! Rumor has it that after his performance Afrojack partied with the locals till the early morning at the Old Mill, a landmark by day and a nightclub at night.
Fresh and ubertrendy twins from Australia Miriam Nervo and Olivia Nervo, better known by their stage name NERVO, gave a very interactive performance, shouting out to the Aruban public and were genuinely enjoying their set. It really seemed that they were partying along with the crowd, and were honored to be in Aruba.
Legendary Chuckie is actually one of the driving forces of EF. Pioneering with the first edition of EF; he is a household name for the event. He gave a high energy performance and knew how to read and please the crowd completely! During his intimate interview on the beach at the Renaissance Ocean Suites, Chuckie, a.k.a Clyde Narain, shared important personal milestones as well as his admiration for Aruba’s local talents. “Aruba has got great talent; Nutzbeatz and Steve Andreas are great examples of local talents who will make it big. Also Biggy Boy from Aruba, that guy has amazing creativity in the studio!”
He lives in Aruba with his wife and kids: “Aruba has so many nice beaches and spots to discover and it’s very easy for me to travel from here to Miami (it’s just a 2.5 hour flight). It’s only a matter of time before Aruba becomes the Ibiza of the Caribbean; the island certainly has the outlets, the infrastructure and can be a hub between Europe and America.”
Fun Fact: DJ Chuckie is actually Sir Clyde Narain, he was knighted in his homeland Suriname!
Famous for combining different styles of music together such as hip hop and dancehall are the Dutch DJ duo The Partysquad, who gave an energetic performance and an extensive interview after their set. Ruben Fernhout from Partysquad: “This is the second time we participated with EF; last year we were only involved with the music workshops and this year we were part of both the ADE conferences, as well as part of the main event.” No strangers to the island (they have been coming here for 10 years), the guys from the Partysquad see the musical potential Aruba has to offer in the electronic music genre and have made a new EP combining musical influences from around the Caribbean. “Our new EP ‘The Highest Grade, Caribbean Push Volume 1’ will be launched this month combining these different Caribbean influences in EDM”.
The Partysquad were an integral part of the programming of the entire event; they were main act for the kickoff island party on Thursday, headliners for Friday and gave different music workshops throughout the festival. Basically they were everywhere! “We did studio sessions with local artist such as Fellow, Ataniro and Awaras from Punkey Donch and that was so cool. That’s why it’s so good to have these conferences; we get the opportunity to collaborate, freestyle and also network together! Ruben is about to become a father for the first time and will definitely come to Aruba for a family vacation “I’m so excited to come back here with my family, the weather is great and everybody is so nice here. And as a Dutchman I can choose whether I want to speak English or Dutch because everybody speaks both languages.”
Island pride Nutzbeatz knows exactly what the local people want and has played at EF all three times the event took place in Aruba. “Friday was amazing, having such a great crowd in my home island and opening for such great dj's/artists; it was such an honor! Also during my set I had some invited guests: DJ's Pierre & Tons from Venezuela, DJ KK & DJ Mara from Colombia and from Aruba I had Fellow as an invited guest DJ too”. I had such a great time the whole weekend, from attending the conference, Q&A's, workshops and touring the ADE team around the island from going to the pool parties and the Main Stage events. Seeing the attendance on all the events I think we have a great future regarding electronic music on the island of Aruba!”. In the upcoming 2 months Nutzbeatz has performances in Venezuela, Colombia, Curacao, Bonaire and Holland during the ADE week.
DJ Kash and Daniville kicked off the Friday main event followed by up 'n' coming Steve Andreas, a local talent known as Stefan Bartels-Daal, who is making a big name as music producer, DJ and engineer, with his groovy tech house. Steve Andreas: “Friday went really well, being part of the warming up act was fun, it’s good to see the crowd enjoying my music.
The Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) Conference proved to be an excellent opportunity to network with other DJ’s, producers and also its very inspirational to see these international artists working the crowd. My motto in life is: Go full speed ahead! Either you go all the way or you don’t go at all. Believe in yourself and don’t let anyone pull you down!”
Saturday's Main Event
The Saturday brought out a more techno orientated international audience (coming from approx. 20 different countries), and the performances focused heavily on the music and less on the visuals. Internationally acclaimed for his techno music with a big following from Venezuela and Colombia and Saturday’s headliner was German Loco Dice, giving the audience the most modern of techno music. Local DJ’s such as J-zun, Mesquitas, Myron Kelly and Ray4dj made sure that the techno party lasted till the tropical sun came up.
Loco Dice: “Aruba is a beautiful country with very cool people, and Eagle Beach belongs to my favorite spots in the world! I’m happy to see such events like EF happening and growing in the Caribbean. Full support!
Check out Loco Dice's interview on the beach during the ADE conference.
The Music Workshops
The Island Culture Studio sessions at the new Cosecha Art Gallery were an excellent way for you to learn how to make Electronic Music. EF artists such as the Partysquad together with local boys Fellow and Ataniro did live recordings and playback for the attending music lovers.
Island Party & Sunset Cruises
The closing party for the EF took place on the secluded Renaissance Island and catamarans were chartered to get everybody to the party island. With the most tropical setting possible, turquoise water as a backdrop, a DJ booth surrounded by palm trees and beautiful people dancing, the closing party for the Electric Fest was as if it came straight out of a video clip. People partied till sunrise and beyond!