On September 15th I attended a really unique party. Online magazine and forum AVO celebrated their 15th birthday with the second edition of AVO J-music festival at Zuiderpark, Den Haag. The lucky acts to play at this event were gothic duo Remnant and rockband Esprit D’air. But the acts weren’t the only thing that made this a real festival!
The location was in the middle of the park and the weather was excellent, the doors opened a bit later than planned and there weren’t that many people. I had heard that not many tickets were sold so I was a bit worried. Luckily everything changed when people kept appearing and in the end the theatre was quite filled! While waiting we got a variety of music from DJ Nachtraaf and although people weren’t really dancing they still seemed to enjoy it.
A bit past 8 pm the head of AVO, Francisca, walked up the stage to welcome everyone and to pump up the audience for the first act: Remnant! The stage was decorated with candles and white fabric to give some spooky atmosphere to the theatre. Remnant’s music wasn’t really my cup of tea, it’s a combination of dark, new wave and gothic rock. I still tried to enjoy it as much as I could and a few people near the stage thought the same, they were dancing and gave the duo support. At the beginning of their show there were some problems with Marie’s microphone but it was solved quickly, they gave her another microphone so she could show her angel-like voice while Takmi was concentrating on his guitar. After an hour their show ended and got a big applause from the audience. They thanked everyone politely for coming and also got a few thanks from the audience.
Remnant ended and DJ Nachtraaf came back on stage to continue with his awesome playlists. While waiting for the next act (which was about 30 minutes) there was a chance to get some food, drinks and candy. Yoshi Bento and Special Edition brought a selection of yummy food to choose from and it was really delicious! Their stands were decorated with cute outdoor lights so it gave an extra festival feeling. Tables were also available and because it was small you could easily have small talk with all kinds of people. Remnant was selling their merchandise on their own, you could have a talk and a photo with them. I was very glad to see that a lot of people bought their stuff.
After a break of 30 minutes the last act of the night appeared on stage: Esprit D’Air. Only a handful of fans were near the stage but after 2-3 of their rocking songs it got more crowded, even I joined. Both the audience and the band seemed to enjoy the really enthusiastic atmosphere, jumping, headbanging, cheering, it all was included! Near the end of the concert the guitar of vocalist Kai got unplugged but he didn’t care that much. He kept smiling and singing because he had so much fun. They played their last song and Kai layed down on the ground, he was tired but the audience didn’t agree with that. They kept screaming for an encore and after a minute they got it. Two more songs were played whenever guitarist Ryo was ready, yes the bandmembers like to tease eachother which made it very enjoyable to watch them play.
The end of AVO J-music festival was near but it wasn’t finished yet. DJ Nachtraaf came back to play a few more songs and you got the chance to buy some merchandise from Esprit D’air. If you were lucky enough you even could take a picture with the guys. Drinks and food were also still available until the doors were about to close.
This festival was a great succes, due to the extra food stands and the small audience it felt like a big family listening to music and having fun. I’m looking forward to the 3rd edition of AVO J-music Festival!