Dutch tek Eemshaven Groningen August 2000
Little did I know on Thursday evening, that this trip to Holland would be a lost weekend involving a 1000 road miles, dykes and plenty of the Dutch greenery. Fuelled by adrenaline, we made our way to the coastal port of Dover, to catch the EuroTunnel over to Calais. A top blag, resulted in our car being trained over to France for free.
Early Friday morning, and were on our way up to Amsterdam, via a maze of motorways. After 3-4 hours driving, we find a place to dump the car, and walk into the city centre. Various coffee shops entertain our needs - Global Chillage, Greenhouse Effect, and The 222. Spending the night in the city, a dodgy hostel was found for our much needed rest.
Saturday morning comes around, and we head off to meet friends at Central Station. In the afternoon, the car parking place is found again, and the journey to the north continues. A 10 mile dyke across the sea, carries a dual carriageway. We're all impressed - quite a feat of engineering! We travel across it and carry on our way to Groningen.
Getting to Groningen, petrol is needed. While wandering around the fuel shop, I start talking to a random bloke, who turns out to be from the Czech Republic..we both confirm where the party is... Emmshaven. Not too far away now.
Right at the far northern tip of Holland, we find Emmshaven. and the first thing we see is....wind turbines. Hundreds of them, all lined up along the coastline. Now to find the party. We drive around for a bit, before stopping and asking someone. They point us in the right direction....
Driving along a wind-turbined lined road, we spot activity up ahead. Cars, trucks, vans, tents and soundsystems have been put into the field next to the road. Parking up, we stumble out. It's about 8pm on Saturday evening, the sun is going down leaving the sky with red streak's. Climbing onto the man-made sea defence mounds, we have a great view of the party on one side, and the sea with the beautiful sunset on the other. People from all over Europe have travelled up to this remote area of Holland - It's a long way to drive, but well worth the journey!
A mismatch of beats form a lovely background noise, emitting from the 30+ soundsystems in attendance. Desert Storm, have come all the way from the Czech Tek with their huge trucks. They have an impressive setup with pounding techno coming from their large stack of speakers. English systems include, Technosense from Bristol/Bournemouth, who have brought with them a big marquee to house their system. Panik from London, had also brought up their system...but weren't as quite as prepared as some of the other systems...tarpaulin covered speakers! They played some good tunes, and I hung around their system for most of the night.
I didn't catch most of the other systems names, but the final list from the net includes...Plexat, AA, Teknomads, OHM, Dstruct all from Holland.... KDU, Technotice, Teknoasfuk, Kamikaze, Panik, Desert Storm all from the UK.... Tboost, TMLP, Kayhass, TTC all from France...... and Acid Drops from Italy.... loads more systems were there, but it's not easy knowing what's going on when your there!
At night, the site was a totally different place to the daytime. Standing on the sea defences, gave a great view of the flashing lights coming from all the systems. A couple of Spotlights lit up one or two of the wind turbines, making them visible for miles. As the night, turns back into morning, the sun brings warmth, and the sky becomes extremely clear.
We have to make a move, around noon. As it's a long way back to the UK. We say out goodbyes, and head back to Groningen. We stop off in Amsterdam for a few hours, before heading all the way back to Calais. My navigator passengers fall asleep on me, which results in me getting lost in Belgium. After a while we're soon back the right track to the Channel Tunnel.... few hours later and I'm sitting at home. Half a joint, and I pass out. definitely Fear and Loathing in Holland!!