Found (Dark Beauty at ADE 2017 pt.4)

I’m sitting in an Uber. The way over to Q-Factory is kind of complicated for me tonight, so I’m spoiling myself (as I do the whole ADE). Since Martin is not with me tonight, I’m enjoying speaking to Imad, my driver.

Uber Drivers are quite happy about ADE. The business is good, especially when the night falls. We’re speaking about lives of musicians, about moving to the Netherlands (not necessarily Amsterdam), about the Dunes and the beach. As soon as I mention Haarlem as the city I love and want to move to, Imad’s eyes shine. He’s from Haarlem.

Coat check and security done, and I make my way up to the rooms. The locker service is a bit expensive for my taste, but I go for it, since there seems to be no cloakroom. As soon as I lock all the stuff I won’t need, I feel relief. Expensive lockers are a good thing. You have control, there’s no queue to get your stuff afterwards.

The fam is already here (“The all-black family you never thought you had”). I hope it does not sound careless, but… At Lost&Found events, you don’t really need to care where your friends are. Everybody is your friend here.

Since I plan to spend more time here than yesterday at WU, I’m buying more tokens. As I learned few minutes later, the pricing is a bit different to yesterday. I’m destined to drink tonight. A lot.

The room is packed. I’m vibing to the music I love, mostly with my eyes closed. I don’t really care about who’s playing. It’s official. I’m not “mostly into trance music” anymore. It’s a feeling of relief. I feel like I found my new self.

Flash forward two hours later. I recognize Khen behind the decks and realize this is the side room. The embarrassing part of the evening ends when I confuse Guy Mantzur with Sahar Z. It’s all ok. Everybody smiles. Lost & Found is a true family. Behind the decks, on the floor, around the venue. DJs who are not playing at the moment are behind the DJ booth, dancing and enjoying themselves. I’m so grateful that this lineup came together for ADE.

I was already tired, but still having the time of my life. Bumping into Linda, one of many fellow ravers I regularly see around the world, makes me come to reality for a bit. I grab a bottle of Desperados (my new go-to drink), and start to recognize more familiar faces. It’s quite full and quite loud in the main room (yes, I managed to find it), so I decide to enjoy myself instead of talking. I’m challenging myself to go to the front.

The 2nd frontline experience at ADE

You are never coming back from the frontline experience at Lost & Found. I’m almost at the front row when Guy J starts setting up, preparing to take over from Chicola. I’ve seen those guys play so much recently, and yet it’s never the same. The music is not so loud anymore, since I’m in a blind spot. Most of the people in the front row seem to know each other for a long time, so it comes as a surprise they start interacting with me in just a few minutes.

Being nice is not punished here, which is awesome (since I tend to come along as the guy who behaves well). Guys are nice, because they know you’re not hitting on their Ladies – you are just being friendly. Ladies are nice, cause they enjoy the unobtrusive attention. For some reason, there’s a lot of respect overall. It’s a homeostasis, except for the moments when the pyro a flames hit. But even after that, you unite in… burned eyebrows. I see Emiel nearby, a party buddy I know for a long time already, and decide to say hi. My new friends seem upset, but hold my place in the front row and act relieved when I’m back.

Did I mention that I bought a lot of tokens? Well, you obviously can spend those with your new friends. Unfortunately (for me), expect that this kind of small favor is always going to be returned. Everybody feels like gifting. May it be drinks, or smiles. It almost feels like what I imagine Burning Man to be.

Lost & Found ADE 2017 by Lieke van Kalken
Lost & Found ADE 2017 by Lieke van Kalken

 

The music is pure magic

Guy J is playing and people are so immersed in the experience, they barely breathe. It’s the standard mix of percussions, hypnotic bass lines, and beautiful melodic breakdowns. The time feels like standing still, but flies fast as hell. It’s the time, where both Guys are supposed to switch, but seem to have slight tech difficulties. Guy J gets an extra 30 minutes and steps on the gas pedal. The vibe gets harder and we all enjoy it.

As soon as Guy Mantzur and Sahar Z take over, I check my mobile phone to realize I missed my tram. There’s so many things I need right now, most notably a bit of fresh air. There’s an itch in my right ear, so I’m pulling out my earplug to immediately lose it on the floor without any hope of recovery. It looks like it’s the sign to leave, but it’s not going to be easy. I need to high five, hug, and kiss hands of (while I do this only to people I feel to respect, this might be the ultimate icebreaker towards your sudden crush on the dance floor) my new friends. Some 10 minutes later I’m out of the main room, in the hallway.

I realize I did not pee for the whole evening. I’m getting rid of one more token, yay! I’m opting in to listen to the main room from the hallway for some more time. It’s still so good!

This is to shed light on the story of the lonely open can of Red Bull

It’s 6:13am. I have few tokens left. My tram is due in about 5 minutes, so I’m opting to invest into the treatment of what is expected to come when I get up in about 3 hours from now. I’m ordering a can of Red Bull. The 3 seconds afterwards come to me in something like a slow-motion: the bartender picks up the can, grabs the seal, and while I try to breathe in to tell her to not open it, she pulls. Pssst… My plans for the morning seem ruined. I want to go to sleep…

So: Can a lonely open can survive a 50 minutes trip to the hotel room? Answer: Yes, it can! I see my lovely friend Betty online on Facebook, so I’m sharing the story as I walk. She seems annoyed when I ask her why she’s not sleeping. Today, I live in an alternate ADE reality, where there’s no such thing as getting up to go to work. But Betty is a good, understanding friend. My story of the night made her morning. And in a flash, I found myself opening the hotel room…

My best party at ADE (and possibly, ever)

The statement is true. I had an experience that possibly redefined how my next 5 years of rave-life are going to look like. I’m pretty sure we see each other. Latest next year, same place, same party, front row. Promise! ❤️

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