Think back to 2008. It might not seem like that long ago, but it was a different time. George Bush was still President of the US, Usain Bolt wasn't yet a household name, and the iPhone was a new-fangled gadget.
What's more, we were on the cusp of global economic crisis, as the team behind E-Mission were all too aware as they prepared for their debut festival:
"The economic crisis started spreading worldwide. But we are risk takers; without risking you will never achieve anything. That’s why we didn’t let this crisis stop our intention of creating the biggest Italian harder styles festival ever."
In celebration of E-Mission celebrating its 10th anniversary this summer, the team behind the festival – founder, promoters, merch manager and more – talk us through their memories, and their essential tracks from the last decade.
Lorenzo – Graphic & Video Director:
The most remarkable E-Mission experience was the first one back in 2008, when I had the chance both to design the artwork (it was my first important assignment) and to play there alongside my friend 3-mor in the hardcore stage.
William - Marketing & Communications Manager:
2009 was a turning point in my life. I first started listening to hardstyle music in those days and finally I had the chance to attend my first harder styles festival at E-Mission.
I went there with my best friend. The party was 12 hours long and I remember that around 2.00 AM we fell asleep! It seems quite impossible to sleep while the sound system was blowing up our ears but it really happened.
When we finally woke up around 4.00 AM I remember I was shocked by this awesome collab track.
Daniele - Event Manager:
After a many years of absence we finally managed to bring a hardcore legend like Nosferatu back to Italy. It was an enormous success and I remember the crowd going wild when he played one of his signature tracks.
In 2012, Tatanka – one of the most respected Italian hardstyle artists in the world – performed in the blue stage and showcased We Don't Care, a track that made history and has been played all over the world: a real floor filler and a dance killer.
It was my first time standing on a stage (I was working as a stage manager) and of course I was really nervous. I held my breath the entire night, working hard to keep everything under control.
But when Tatanka played We Don’t Care I finally relaxed and started jumping around!
Luca & Denver - Promoters :
In 2013 everybody was incredibly excited for Zatox’s upcoming performance at E-Mission. But the day before the festival something magic happened: Zatox’s son was born and so he couldn’t participate at the festival.
We dedicated this track to him.
Marco - Promoter:
This year we had a special guest on the stage: Warez Man. His laser show was unique and everybody couldn’t take their eyes off it.
For the track it's got to be Rewind by DJ Mad Dog, I've never heard such an innovative sound.
One of the most fearful days in my entire career as an event manager [was in 2015]. That day all the flights from the Netherlands were late due an incredibly violent storm. Many Dutch festivals were obliged to shut down and we didn’t know if all the Dutch artists we had booked would have been able to reach E-Mission.
But they made it at last. We adapted the timetable while the festival was running and we managed to deliver a great event.
In addition I remember Max (The Stunned Guys) playing seven hours solo in the early hardcore area, to celebrate Traxtorm Records' 20 year anniversary. And so the track that reminds me that moment is Thrillseeka by The Stunned Guys & DJ Paul.
Flavio - Merchandise Manager:
Since I work as a merchandising manager, the feeling I miss the most are the vibes of the dancefloor. During the entire festival I have to coordinate and follow the team that is working in the various merch stands, so I can never take a break and rampage.
But during the 2016 edition, around 2.00 AM there was an unexpected calm at the stand. I delegated the management of the stands to a trusted colleague, and without even thinking too much I took the chance to rush on the dancefloor.
The Melodyst, friends of mine and amazing performers, were blowing up the main stage. On the dancefloor I met a lot of friends and I remember those 20 minutes as the most glorious ever. I was really missing this special feeling of freedom and happiness that only the harder styles scene is able to transmit.
Max - Co-Founder:
10 years ago our desire was to grow, from scratch, the first harder styles festival in the country. Italy is famous for being adverse towards music festivals and there is no social infrastructure able to support the organisations.
We took ownership of this mission and for an entire decade we've honoured the scene. It’s not only about skills, budgets and professionalism but is also about passion, dedication and heart.
The path wasn’t always easy, but the greater the difficulty, the greater the glory. Every year we gathered the most enthusiastic crowd ever and the finest artists in the scene, giving rise to memorable experiences.
This summer, the moment to pay tribute to the legacy has come. On 22 July, E-Mission will celebrate “10 Years of Glory”. This year we are expecting the biggest edition ever. This year we will set a milestone in harder styles history.
I have chosen this track because of its completely new and never heard sound. For me it’s like a metaphor of our unfulfilled appetite for innovations and novelties. Every year we strive to build an exciting and unprecedented line up. Reevoid is a fresh, rising talent that I have discovered, and we will bring him to the stage this year.
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