4. Rain and Fire
I headed to the main stage to catch Mim Suleyman on the main stage; Tako and Izabel were still DJing, doing a playful back to back.
The petite Zanzibar diva was a pure delight with her incendiary afro house and engaging performance - she danced, jumped, made jokes with the audience and delivered one of the best performances of the festival. It all culminated with her instigating the audience to "Fire fire I love you" along with her and one fan gifting her an actual doll.
She played an encore, but people kept begging for more, but their time was up unfortunately. Tako kicking off his set with Yellow Power's "Hi Samurai" made the situation more sweet than bitter.
Back at Red Light, Lena Willikens as just warming up; I've seen her in many contexts over the past couple of years, but this time she seemed to be really in her element.
By the time I went back to the Rush Hour stage, the place had morphed into foggy mystery planet, with people dancing behind the DJ booth De School-style. Due to last minute visa issues, Mutant Beat Dance had Beau Wanzer and new group member Steve Summers play without Traxx and rethink their entire set within 24 hours.
Despite these issues, their performance was a dark, trance-like ritual where haunting, distorted vocals and analogue synths formed dream sequences of Gothic psychedelia.
Daphni changed the mood back into disco territory, although a few tracks in he was straight up teasing the audience with a loopy old school Detroit track. His set was a masterful display of skill and timing, making the entire room vibrate in unison.
Black Merlin was playing a more meditative set as the dark clouds were darkening the horizon; he swiftly switched things up with a catchy techno track, just as the storm was howling in the distance.
By the time Vladimir Ivkovic was starting, the first drops of rain started. It wasn't long before the storm started getting more violent, with more and more people seeking refuge in the little tented DJ booth at Red Light. It was a cozy sort of Noah's ark, with DJs huddled together opening beers and bouncing to Vladimir's sleek selection
As it was starting to get dark, I finally mustered up the courage to brave the rain and go see Selda, a rare and much-anticipated performance. With flimsy rain coats and umbrellas, the crowd was dancing in the muddy ground. The Turkish singer was radiant and her energy contagious. A few songs in, I started shivering, my legs and feet completely wet; it was really heartbreaking to leave, but my body doesn't have any rain-repelling Dutch DNA.