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ZeeZout Festival Review

The Amsterdam based ZeeZout crew has been producing events with solid lineups of electronic talent at local clubs for some time now. This year marked the first edition of ZeeZout’s summer music festival, testing their event skills at a new level. For their first time hosting a festival, ZeeZout did a great job. They had a killer lineup of local and international talent, and an eye for detail in the organization and ambiance. There is still some room for improvement though.

ZeeZout Festival was held in the outskirts of Amsterdam around a lake in the middle of a forest called Diemerbos. The décor was sparse, but inviting, with picnic tables and benches set up between the three stages to spend time at. We appreciated the wood pallets placed everywhere so we didn’t have to trudge through the mud that developed from the rain.

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There were three stages surrounding the lake with DJs playing consistently throughout the event. One major fault was the lack of signs identifying which stage was which and the absence of a map and timetable at the main entrance.

They had a wide variety of food and drinks, spanning from Asian to Mexican to American barbecue. The token system of buying food and drink made purchasing things quite inconvenient.

The intimacy of the festival allowed us to catch a variety of acts in just one day including Bicep, Marquis Hawkes, Tom Trago, and I-F. One of my favorite selectors earlier in the day was Tama Sumo. The Berlin-based DJ (and a Berghain/Panorama Bar resident) is a hard act to catch in The States. She is a seasoned DJ who has a diverse taste that consistently left the crowd moving with her prime mixing skills. They also brought some solid Detroit talent into the mix with Omar S. Although there were some technical issues at the start of Omar’s set, they were quickly resolved. His set created a distinctly different vibe for me, his American roots bringing out a more soulful, Motown influenced selection of house music.

Tama Sumo

Tama Sumo

We ended the night with a lovely back to back session between Hunee and Jeremy Underground. It’s always a fun to watch two DJs find a balance between their two tastes for a crowd, although it didn’t seem hard for these two to do. They played out a mix of international house and disco through the rain to end the night.

It’s hard to do a festival completely right your first time.  Overall ZeeZout Festival was a put together event that benefited from great curation of artists, as well as the passion of ZeeZout staff and festivalgoers. ZeeZout has already announced that they are throwing a Winter ZeeZout Festival in March, and has some some solid lineups planned for Amsterdam Dance Event in October.

Ken Jarvis, Assistant Music Director & Naomi Menezes, Promotions Director