A festival in a football stadium is certainly as appealing as it sounds. The epic production values that come with them speak volumes when put in front of a 40,000 strong, EDM hungry crowd. Big City Beats World Club Dome extravaganza spans over 3 days drafting over 200 DJs from all genres of the electronic dance music market. The 2016 show set unprecedented feats with over 130,000 punters flocking through the Commerzbank Arena. Not only that but prior to the festival itself, the team at Big City Beats offered 500 lucky winners the opportunity to travel the festival via a Boeing 747 with none other than Robin Schulz performing on board. The flight took place in Paris before taking the short trip to London and then Hamburg before finally docking in Frankfurt, where the frenzied flyers were ready to party for a further 3 days.
The stadium was packed from the get go with Armin Van Buuren being the initial highlight. Setting the stage, he had the near packed Big City Beats stage in a near frenzy through the duration of his set right before David Guetta – who usually performs the closing show – stepped up. The Parisian superstar was in total amazement when looking onto the full stadium and he got huge applause when performing his heavy hitters such as ‘Titanium’ and bits from his new EP, which was a premiere of ‘This One’s For You’, which was a sure fire treat for the audience. The opening show was rounded off with a series of fireworks and an outrageous lighting display that made a serious mark on the 2016 festival.
The second day was highlighted with shows from the ever present Steve Aoki and Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, with Steve even sticking around on the third day to meet and great the fans. Saturday also witnessed the opening of the outdoor arenas Q Dance and the Pool Party sessions which were making their World Club Dome debuts. With sporadic time in the bass heavy Q Dance stage, it was a real hit amongst the WCD fans who kept it a full house throughout the duration. The Pool Party sessions were also a positive addition to this summer festival and with the baking heat it married perfectly. Solomun and his brigade of DIYnamic producers performed the inaugural outing in front of a happy crowd. The change in genre from the bass heavy sounds in the stadium were a welcome bonus and the deeper sounds of HOSH and Solomun himself were highlights of the day.
The third day started off so well with Cocoon hosting the Pool area and Guy Gerber performing a sultry sexy 90 minute mix to ease us into early evening. Minologue’s ‘Doiicie A’ was part of his arsenal and got a positive ‘hands in the air’ moment from the intimate audience. Illario Alicante took things a little darker and heavier with his approach and Sven performed one of his best sets before the shameful thunder storm that cut off another festival earlier in the weekend sadly drenched everyone. However these clubbers that flocked from over 60 countries weren’t harmed by the storm, they simply ran for the stadium were the party continued into its adolescence with Hardwell rounding off the night with a sublime fun filled saga. The Dutch stalwart performed the final show in style, leaving a message of gratitude at the end, thanking the fans on the behalf of Big City Beats for creating the loudest atmosphere in the history of the festival.
The main emphasis at World Club Dome has always been their aim to set records and raise the bar even further each year, this year gaining more momentum to do something different and simply wow their audience. From the production to the finer detail of really welcoming the fans with open arms, everything links perfectly to create one serious weekend. The programming of the arenas also deserves a mention with genres from all walks of our dance culture providing various options for the fans to have something different to sink their teeth into. The festival provides a safe and friendly atmosphere in which countries from all over the world flock to and I know I can’t wait for next year.