DGTL Barcelona went down at Parc del Fòrum over the weekend. The sun was shining, the music was on point, the toilets were eco-friendly, the people had a great time. That's the condensed version for the modern reader always on the go.
The longer version is similarly positive, with just one caveat: the lack of free water. If you're not going to provide free access to water then hiking up the price of a can to four euros a pop is hard to look past as an attendee.
Outside of that, the festival was a smashing success. Even though it's a little boring to talk about, one thing that doesn't get enough attention is that a well organised festival almost always leads to a better experience. When queues are manageable, the layout makes sense, there's ample room to dance and chill out, the sound is consistent, and sets run to schedule, everyone can relax and focus on having a great time. Other than one set cancellation, DGTL Barcelona went off without a hitch this year. And in this age of the Great Festival Proliferation, where smooth sailing is becoming less common, that's something to be commended and appreciated.
49 sets took place across four stages over two days. Each stage had its own sound and elaborate stage design, varying from upbeat house and disco vibes at the Frequency stage to pumping techno at the Generator stage. Personally I haven't come across another festival that has successfully created such unique aesthetics for each of their stages as DGTL did here. Furthermore, whereas art installations are often afterthoughts at festivals, here the Cyclo installation was truly necessary viewing.
DGTL has long been able to curate an enviable lineup, and this edition was no different. Mixing legendary acts with up-and-comers, the festival offered a succinct yet effective cross section of the contemporary electronic music scene. The lineup didn't focus too much on any given sound, but it was easy to figure out where to go if you were in the mood for a certain vibe.
Case and point, the best sets came from ANNA, Recondite & Marcus Worgull, Barnt & Roman Flügel, Skatebård, and Lil' Louis (with honourable mentions going to Ross From Friends and Mr. G). Together they showcased the range in sounds on offer over the weekend. ANNA played her typical darker sounds while maintaining a sense of groove at the Amp stage, while Recondite & Marcus Worgull and Barnt & Roman Flügel brought silvery cerebral beats in which to lose yourself at the Modular main stage, and Skatebård and Lil' Louis put on a clinic on how to get the crowd going with eclectic stylings at the Frequency stage.
Like the music, the crowd was also an interesting cross-section of the electronic music scene. The age range was noticeably wider than most festivals, with everyone from uni-bound teenagers to seasoned dance floor vets all peacefully co-existing in the name of a good time.
Let's see, what else. The buses to the afterparties were cheap, frequent, and comfortable. Staff were nice. Parc del Fòrum is always great setting for a festival. I think by now you get the point: it was a great experience that exceeded my expectations and I would without a doubt recommend going to a DGTL event or festival if you get the chance.
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