After checking in at Munich, I waited in the terminal at my gate for my plane. Lufthansa provides free coffee and newspapers, and have smoking rooms inside the terminal. Unfortunately, the exhaust fans don’t work too well, so I smoked in there for the novelty value, but would not do it again since the room was so smoky. I boarded my flight to Copenhagen, using SAS again, and waited impatiently to arrive. Unfortunately, the only flight they had that day was scheduled to arrive at 7:30pm, and Sensation White started at 6pm, so I had to get there as quickly as possible, then meet Tegan and Timmy inside, as they had already been in Copenhagen for the day.
I grabbed a taxi and headed to the venue. More than half an hour, and 50 euros later I arrived. It was extremely busy, with people dressed in white lining the streets. I got off on the main road, took some money out and walked to the venue, following the crowd. Along the path were lots of stalls set up selling glowing and flashing apparatus, from swords, headbands, lights and glowsticks. I also noticed as I approached the venue, that there were empty alcohol bottles lining the streets. In many parts of Europe, you can drink on the street, and the locals were taking full advantage of this rule, predrinking in preparation for the big event. When I arrived at the venue, which was huge, there were crowds of people lining up everywhere. I managed to find the locker key collection area, and went to put away my backpack. Unfortunately, my locker was near the ground, and I lost my balance and toppled over onto the filthy ground. When I stood up, I noticed a large patch of brown, staining the right knee of my white pants. My clumsiness had struck yet again, and I had ruined my outfit before even entering the venue. I scanned the lines of people, looking for a sign for Deluxe, but when I couldn’t see one I chose the shortest line. One line curved all the way around the carpark and back for about 100m. I noticed a little side line next to this one, which only had about 20 people in it. After being checked by security I entered the hall, only to be told that I couldn’t enter here as I had a Deluxe ticket, so I had to push my way back through the crowd and go around the other side of the building to Gate G.
As I walked to the other side of the arena, I saw a sign for Deluxe entry but it said Gate A, so I kept walking. The further I walked the less people I saw, then I finally spotted Gate G, fenced off and covered by a walkway leading back to Gate A. I hurried back to the Deluxe entrance, where again everyone was forming one long line even though there were eight queueing points. I jumped in the shortest line and waited, highly frustrated at the poor organisation of this venue and event. It was now 8:30pm, so the event had been going for over two hours. While waiting in line, two very tall girls in tiny dresses and stiletto heels, jumped in beside me, started talking to the guys in front of me, then boxed me out and pushed their way in front of me. This happens to be one of my pet hates. I noticed throughout the night that there were a lot of girls who acted like this any time there was a queue at the bathrooms or bar, or even cloakrooms. They walked with an air of ‘I’m beautiful, what are you going to do about it?’ before abruptly shoving their way in front of you. Luckily I was sober at this point, or I may have decided to take them down a peg or two. The funniest thing was, most of these girls were not very attractive. They were all tall and slim with great bodies, but when you looked at their faces, they were strangely shaped, or had caked on so much make-up they looked like transvestites. By this stage I was just relieved to finally be in the venue ready to enjoy the event.
I quickly cloaked my jacket and headed to the right hand viewing platform where I had agreed to meet Tim and Tegan. It was this point when I realised I had left my phone in my backpack in my locker. Looking around the room filled with people all dressed in white, it suddenly dawned on me how difficult it may be to find them without a phone. I decided to have a few drinks by myself, sit in one spot so it would be easier to see them if they walked past, as there were a limited number of deluxe tickets, and enjoy the show. When I got to the bar, I found the drinks to be cheaper than any other event I had ever been to. Usually, you have to buy tokens and the mark-ups are extremely high. These events had no tokens, and you could buy a 600ml bottle of Smirnoff Vodka at the bar with six energy drinks for 600 kroner (approximately 75 euro or $100AUS). As I was by myself, I didn’t think this was a safe option, so I bought straight vodka (which I had gotten used to drinking in Germany), and they made me doubles. These only cost about 40 kroner (5 euro or $7.50AUS), so I was a happy girl. I found myself a raised vantage point to keep an eye out for the others and enjoy the spectacle.
In all my raves and events, I have never seen a sight as spectacular as Sensation White. The whole event is set in a huge indoor arena with general admission on the floor, and Deluxe had two elevated viewing platforms, and seating overlooking the whole arena, including a third tier up high with cushiony seats. Behind the seats were walkways with bathrooms, bars and cloakrooms, and there were more bars on the platforms. In the centre of the arena was a giant flower, where the DJ played from one of the petals that rotated around the flower, so he could play to all sides of the room. There were four smaller flowers in the corners of the room, and all of these flowers were illuminated with different coloured lights throughout the sets. As everyone was dressed in white, the crowd also changed colour, depending on the lights displaying at the time. At the back of the room were three large round screens, displaying the DJs playing, or words from the songs. The most amazing sight were the hundreds of white orbs lined in rows across the ceiling. Throughout the night these lowered toward the crowd, where you could see each was a few metres in diameter. Each ball could be raised and lowered individually, so sometimes whole rows would lower, creating a canon effect, other times individual orbs would rise and fall, creating waves or spiral patterns. From each of the flowers sprayed fireworks and flames to emphasise the movement of the room. At other stages dancers were lowered from the ceiling around the main flower. They then went out on spires along the flowers edge into the crowd to dance with the music. There was also an elevated platform directly above the DJ flower, where a singer came out to sing with the music. As she sang, a spray of water spiralled around her, lit by different coloured lights, creating a waterfall effect around her. I tried to film and photograph some of these events, but it really didn’t do justice to the amazing feeling all these effects created.
After waiting for Tim and Tegan for an hour and a half, I resigned myself to not finding them, and decided to enjoy the rest of the night on my own. I headed down into the pit to circle the flower and see how the crowd was down there. Although there were heaps of people, there was still plenty of room to move and dance, and work your way through the crowd. This was lucky, as everyone was so drunk they would constantly crash into you or fall into each other. I realised as I moved through the crowd, that there were a lot of really good looking guys with their shirts off, who would randomly grab you as you moved past. I kept walking, as I just wanted to see what else was around, but figured I could make friends really easily in the pit. The music was awesome, old school electro house beats, that reminded me of the music I used to listen to when I went clubbing when I was 20. Some of my favourite old tracks were played, as well as remixes of songs I did not expect, like Nirvana and REM. It was a nice change from all the hardstyle we had been partying to, and reminded me why I fell in love with dance music in the first place. After circling the DJ flower, I went back through the Deluxe entrance and out to have a smoke. As I walked out the door, I heard my name called, and looked right to see Timmy and Tegz! I couldn’t believe I had found them after resigning myself to spending the night alone.
My night was definitely more enjoyable once our threesome had been reunited. They took me upstairs to the comfy seats with an awesome view, and showed me the white masks they had collected from the floor. Luckily people had been dropping items everywhere, so they also collected a string of blue LEDs which we attached to Timmy’s hat. I couldn’t believe this was the one event where I hadn’t brought my finger lights, which are not very common in the Netherlands, but everyone had them here. We headed down to the main arena to dance some more and had a good shuffle together in open space. As we headed towards the centre, we noticed some people had blue glowing lightsabers. We then realised that they were being thrown into the crowd by the Smirnoff girls, and quickly collected a few each. At one stage Tegz was walking round with four shoved into the top of her pants. We then had a lightsaber fight, naturally, and started spinning and twirling them around our heads. The rest of the night passed in a blur of laughter, lights and music, but I know we had a great time. Especially considering this style of music was not what Tim and Tegz were into, it was surprisingly good fun. Of course by the end of the night, most of the sabers and masks were broken or lost, so we then had people trying to steal them off us, or buy them. In the end, Timmy and Tegz sold their masks for a pile of change worth about 5 euro, and we gave away our sabers to people who asked nicely. We also fought with people who tried to snatch them for being rude. It was amazing the number of people who had travelled from different countries to this event. I overheard some British and Americans talking in line, met some Spanish and Italians in the pit, and a Brazilian girl in the bathroom. Most people described it as the best event they have ever been to, though I feel as it’s more popular style music, some of these people haven’t been to many events. It was definitely the best staging I have ever seen, though I have experienced better atmospheres and productions. I am definitely planning on attending another one while I’m in Europe, hopefully in Amsterdam. The good thing is they change the theme every year, but have different themes running in different countries. So I have already experienced Innerspace, and am looking forward to a different theme. Hopefully they will bring it out to Australia again one day.
After leaving the venue and grabbing our things, we walked to the main road and fought the crowds to grab a taxi, sneaking up a side street that was less busy. We went to the train station, to head back to the airport for our early morning flight, then realised the train didn’t come until 4:40am. Sensation had finished at 3am, but unfortunately, it was the end of daylight savings time across most of Europe, so it was now 2am and we had wait another two hours, on the open station in the freezing cold. Luckily we had tracksuit pants, but it was still an awful experience. I don’t know why Sensation White is on from 6pm-3am, as most events we attend start and finish later, but it was definitely an inconvenience. When we finally got to the airport, it wouldn’t let me self check in for some reason, so I had to line up behind a giant family and wait another half hour. We then found our gate and tried to sleep in the little chairs we found there. These chairs were two seaters, with metal armrests at each end, so you could only half lay down, but at this stage, that was good enough for me. We woke up just as check in was closing, and got roused on by the clerk, who told us we shouldn’t fall asleep in airports… yeah right. We rode on another bus to the middle of the tarmac surrounded by tiny planes to catch our little SAS ex-private jet home. I felt so relieved to arrive in the Netherlands and go to bed. The rest of our events were in the Netherlands, so no more flying, but we were destined to spend much more time on train stations in the freezing cold.
Next up… more interesting people at the Pig, and Qore 3.0