Sunwaves Festival reached its 11th edition and sixth year anniversary on labour day weekend. And thanks to some really hard work, it has grown into somewhat of a tradition for hardcore party goers from all across Europe to attend its non stop schedule of great line-ups. Sunwaves, hosted by Sunrise agency and Kristal Club, showcases their roster’s talents alongside the greatest minds in house and techno history, such as Ricardo Villalobos, Richie Hawtin, Zip, Cassy, Thomas Melchior to name a few. This is probably the best recipe for success you can ever apply to a party, and you can trust us when we say that Sunrise artists really rise to the occasion and excel in these circumstances. So we decided to embark on a journey to, what promised to be, the best one yet.
When we got to Mamaia and finally sneaked into the hotel room, upon taking a seat on the balcony to have a cigarette, we got another good omen that things were going to be great, in the shape of a guy wearing a purple hoodie, with Funktion-One printed on it, coming out of the hotel where most of the artists playing at Sunwaves were staying at. After getting settled in, we went on a traditional scouting walk along the beach where all the major parties were going on. The weather was quite great, blue skies and no clouds in sight, but the sea was so cold that feet went numb after a few minutes of walking barefoot on the shore.
Upon arrival we were greeted by the same lovely Denise who gave us the backstage passes and we were off to the first tent. Herodot and Valentino Kanzyani were playing back to back and there were already quite a few people dancing to the energetic house and techno beats, clapping and screaming like it was the middle of the night. The big surprise for me was the Funktion-One sound system, which was leagues better than the ElectroVoice that they had in 2010. This tent was lined with orange transparent fabric and the intricate visuals were being projected on several rhombus shaped styrofoam cut-outs arranged in patterns above the DJ booth. The visuals were very interesting, as we always expect from the Sunrise crew and their head visuals master Dreamrec. After shaking a few hands and toasting, as we Romanians do to raise optimism, we headed over to the other tent to give Dan Andrei a listen, and greet some more familiar faces. Here, the same Funktion-One sound system, no lining on the walls and the visuals were projected on different size circles. Dan Andrei was playing some deep, deep sounds that seemed monotonous at first, as we were coming from a very energetic ambience in the other tent, but it got better after a few minutes. For the better part of the night we remained in the tent where Dan Andrei was playing and after grabing a bite to eat, we returned to listen to RPR Sound as they best perform in their element, twisting those jacking house beats with techno and some abstract melodies, well after the sun came up.
After a quick nap, we returned to the beach for the afterhours, where NoiDoi were playing on a Nexo sound system and most people were smiling and dancing without a care in the world. It is safe to say that Sunwaves was awash with foreign festival goers and I ended up speaking just as much English as we did Romanian. Around 3 PM, Kozo and Praslea took to the stage and the energy and euphoria went up considerably. Their set was very good, with dub flavors lingering every couple of tracks combined with the usual house and techno with great mastery by the two Sunrise artists all throughout the day, while in the evening, Rhadoo joined in to take it to a whole new level.
Saturday night started off great with Cezar playing, a DJ whom we very much like to listen at any time and any place. On this night, compared to the former,Sunwaves had three tents instead of two. The third tent was considerably darker than the rest, this one being lined with green fabric and the visuals were being projected onto interweaving empty circles. We managed to hit the tents and hear Ricardo for a few hours, backed by Cezar. They played some powerful classic anthems that gave the party a really authentic rave feeling.
Spirits were high as we then moved to the beach to listen to Alexandra, whom I was hearing for the first time and was also quite pleasantly surprised to hear play a few of my dubby and deep favourites. The moment we had been waiting for came around the 2 PM, when the atmosphere was well warmed up and ZIP came on the decks. At that point in time, that was my heaven, listening to some of the greatest afterhours tracks we have ever heard, letting go and riding on those sounds until late in the evening.
In the end, to sum it all up, this year Sunwaves blew our minds with their line-up, sound system and the amazing crowd it attracted. From hanging backstage, or watching the waves, drinking to sleep and dancing on amazing music, this probably was the most memorable and well organized party experience we ever had. Thank you Sunrise, Kristal Glam Club and thank you to all those bright smiles that greeted us every step of the way!