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An English Girl’s Review of HardBass 2016

I’m not going to pretend I’m a huge fan of hardstyle music, I wouldn’t choose to listen to it in my car or chill out to it in the evening. However, what I do love about hardstyle music is the feeling it creates, the passion that hardstyle fans have for the music and the amazing feelings that buzz around hardstyle parties.

Gino and his friends are HUGE hardstyle fans, which I’m sure goes some way into making me enjoy the parties so much. I would say I am still a hardstyle novice, having only gone to a few in the last 10 months, and my dancing still needs a great deal of improvement, but I will get to that later.

The Event


Last weekend we went to Hardbass 2016, an indoor festival in Arnhem, about an hour from den Bosch. I have been to the venue before, and its always nice to know where the toilets are located without having to go on a search! We got the train from den Bosch to the venue, which gave us just enough time for a few drinks on the train with the other several hundred people also heading to the party.

The party was organised by B2S, that arrange some of the biggest parties on the hardstyle calendar, so I always knew it would be well organised. Somehow the Dutch can easily, without fuss get 30,000 people in and out of a venue with a flair that the English just can’t master. I have lost count of how many times I have had to queue for three hours to get out of a venue after a gig in the UK…. but the Dutch are way too efficient for that.

The Music

The music was divided into four sections, for four different teams. The teams were made up of different well known DJs who would collaborate together, with the likes of Detox, Delete, Warface and Wildstylez on the bill. As with all parties the music started off quite Euphoric, with some songs that even I knew the words to, and then got harder as the night went on. Finishing at the end with a more Raw style.

Even with my novice ears, I can say the music was amazing, with plenty of Gino’s favourite “kick-rolls”. Also a huge shout out to the saxophone solo in the Bass Modulators and Noisecontrollers set for Solo…. AMAZING!

The Stage


The stage and theme is always part of these parties I find amazing, the designers obviously spend the whole year designing the concept and different moving parts. HardBass was one of the least impressive of the parties I have been to, but none the less there was obviously alt of creativity that went into the military theme.

The Dancing

As I mentioned earlier I would not call myself a good dancer…. in fact I don’t think I would even call myself a dancer. I like to throw shapes like the best of them, but managing to do this in time with the music, to the right beat… that’s something different.

Dancing to hardstyle is a skill, a skill that I am yet to master and I’m not holding out hope that I will master it either. But thankfully Gino’s friends don’t seem to mind, and are happy for me to be bobbing along to my own beat whilst they are all dancing enthusiastically the hardstyle way.

Overall Experience


Once again I was amazed by another hardstyle party and Hardbass 2016 certainly delivered. I must also give credit to the group of people that continued to put a smile on my face or scooped me up on their shoulders (probably to stop me from dancing) through the eight hour event.

So when’s the next one….?

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Sinterklaas: The Lowdown!

Christmas is a time when our family get out some very weird traditions – the weirdest probably being mushy peas with our dinner… YUM! But this year I have had to adopt a new tradition Sinterklaas.

Sinterklaas is the Dutch (and Belgian) version of Saint Nicholas, now don’t get this confused with Father Christmas or Santa, who rides a sleigh pulled by reindeer, lives in the North Pole and arrives on the 24th December. Sinterklaas does none of these!

Instead of Dancer, Prancer, Donner and Vixen Sinterklaas arrives on a white horse called Amerigo (but most Dutchies call him Schimmel) in the middle of November from Spain into the Netherlands. He stays here until 6th December, meeting children and checking his naughty and nice list. But don’t worry he’s not alone, he comes with his trusty helpers “Zwarte Piet” (Black Pete).


From the time he arrives until the 6th he visits children’s houses leaving sweet treats and small gifts in shoes that children leave out with hay and carrots for the horse. There is no actual set date that SInterklaas arrives at your house, so you shoe must always be prepared! This time of year also brings pepernoten – small round shaped cinnamon cookie things that I have already eaten 3 x my body weight of!

The 5th December is known as Pakjesavond, (literally translated as package evening), and is when you get your main SInterklaas presents. I know what you’re thinking… “So you get presents on the 5th and not on the 25th?”… oh no my friend… we get presents on BOTH!!! That’s right, BOTH! Well when I say “we” I mean children, but seeing as it’s my first year living in the Netherlands, I am really a child in Sinterklaas terms!

Therefore at some unspeakable hour before work, there was suddenly a gift left in my shoe by the door!! …

Sinterklaas pic.jpg

OK, OK, so the Netherlands obviously has way to many names beginning with K, so I had to have an S letter for my second name instead, which surely would be made of more chocolate, so a bonus right!

All I know is I could get used to this double Christmas thing!




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My Last Six Months…

So I have been pretty slack on the updating front in the last six months, so apologies. Life has been pretty jam packed and a lot has been going on, which I want to update you on over the next month or so in more detailed posts.

Here is a snap shot of what’s been going on:

I got a job!

Yes that’s right, I finally had to leave my very comfortable working from home job, and start integrating into office life once again. I found a great job in Roosendaal, which is continuing what I love (marketing) with a great international company. I had a few “interesting” interviews including one that said my personality was too bubbly… errrm OK!

We got an apartment

home** Please excuse the half-naked man in the picture!

If you want to be utterly confused, try renting in a foreign country! After nearly three months of living in the luxury of Gino’s mum and dad’s house, we decided we should stop eating their food, and pay our own way (apart from on Sundays when we still return for a good meal cooked from the parents). We now live in a beautiful apartment in the city, just a short walk from bars, restaurants and the buzz of Den Bosch.

I had my hard style festival virginity taken

hardstyle_changed_my_life.-1163375You know that loud noise that you hear Europeans listening to and think “What the hell is that noise”… no not Scooter! It’s fair to say that despite my early concerns, I am a convert to the hard style way, and can (sometimes) do the dance!

DecibelDecibel 2015

I turned the BIG 3-0!

And what girl shouldn’t be totally spoilt by surprise trips to Rome and having her friends flown over for surprise weekends in Amsterdam! My birthday once again was stretched out to about a month. I made sure I said goodbye to my 20’s very VERY well!


Yes, it was a surprise, and yes, there were tears!

RomeIf there was one place in the word that could turn me religious, it would be this place! St Paul’s Cathedral, Rome!

I successfully drove on the right side of the road

One of my fears since moving to the Netherlands has been transitioning to driving on the other side of the road. After eight months behind the wheel in the Netherlands I am brave enough to drive without chanting “right, right, right, right”! And I only dove on the wrong side once… ok maybe twice!

 I started Dutch lessons

This was actually only a few weeks ago, but the first few lessons went well, and I can now say more than “ik moet plassen” (I need to pee), WINNING! Gino and I plan to talk an hour a day of Dutch… let’s see how that one goes!

I learned how to make satésaus

This is a huge step in me becoming a proper Dutchy!`


There have been so many things that have happened over the last six months it’s hard to summarize in such a short blog post, but hopefully this gives you a bit of an insight into major things that have happened so far. I will update more detailed soon.


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