Saturday the 20th of April 2013 marked the launch of a brand new single stage festival experience – IQON Festival 2013. Coming from the minds of the Dutch masters of Hard Dance events, Q-dance. From the ongoing success of the massive Australian Defqon.1 festival, expectations were high and I was anything but disappointed.
"IQON was fucking insane! Thank you my Aussie fans for all the energy you gave me!!!!"~ Zatox
After mention of IQON after last years Defqon.1 and the mysterious IQON trailer I was counting down the days until the 20th of April. Q-dance promised us "a whole new experience" and done just that with a first of its kind event.
Despite the pouring rain, windy, and muddy it didn't stop any of the festival goers as the Aussie party people were out in force. Even being soaked to the core couldn't stop people from having the absolute time of their lives.
Stage and lighting is easily one of the things that really sets Q-dance events apart from the rest. Going well beyond what almost all other festivals can come up with, IQON was full of cutting edge technology and quality in their production. Being a single stage event the stage really got the royal treatment, starting the amazing venue at the Sydney International Dragway. The first event of its kind at this venue the stage had an amazing dragway backdrop.
The event really had its own vibe with a clean and futuristic metallic feel. The centrepiece of it all was an insane circular digital projection screen with next-generation visualizations. Kind of reminded me of the gate from Stargate, very cool! It was the first I've ever seen at a festival like this and for sure I hope to see more of this type of thing in festivals going forward.
As for the lighting itself it was surprisingly constant with a lot of blue and white tones which really set the feel, with other colours coming up every once in a while to keep things interesting. So much lighting for a single stage is rare, but IQON made it work. If you were expecting a light show you would have been impressed far beyond your expectations.
It all has to been seen to comprehend the enormity of it. If you didn't get to experience it yourself definitely check out this highlights video on YouTube from one of the party goers.
Music throughout the day was off tap. The all-star lineup of big name internationals had a great selection for Hardstyle lovers. With a bit of everything in the Hardstyle realm, from old school, to commercial, to raw hard, and even a bit of Hard Trance and Dubstep influenced tracks coming from Zatox.
All the artists had rocking sets but as the sun went down and Brennan Heart hit the stage, the light show really got started and the crowd went insane. Followed by Headhunterz, Zatox, and Noisecontrollers, the big guys really got the crowd pumping well into the night. The host of the day was MC Villain, who done a good job of not speaking over the climactic parts of the tracks and getting still getting the crowd going. Just how we like it.
The quality and set-up of the sound system was perfect for this type of event, impossible to say anything bad about this. There were a few hiccups along the way with sound equipment cutting out during the day, but by sundown everything seamed was sorted out.
The end show is always so awesome at Q-dance events I think it deserves its own special mention. I wasn't fully expecting as big an end show as Defqon.1, but I was blown away with the last 15 minutes and surprised that the end show was just as spectacular as what I've seen at earlier Q-dance events.
The sheer volume of lighting, lasers, CO2 cannons, and fireworks on the one stage made for a mind-blowing experience. Plus the lighting was expertly synced to the music, better than I've ever seen before. With all this going on and knowing that it was going to be a whole year until we could experience this again, the vibe among the crowd was just immense. It definitely left a massive smile on everyone's face who was lucky enough to be there.
A truly iconic lineup, attention to detail, and cutting edge production all made IQON an experience well beyond your average Aussie music festival. IQON 2013 brought the full rave experience to a large scale outdoor event. Once things had quieted down we were all left feeling a little empty and leaving us hungry for more. Can't wait until the next Aussie Q-dance event, Defqon.1 Australia 2013!
Photos by Q-dance.