Festival Report Card

Festival Report Card: Mysteryland 2023

Mysteryland 2023… where do we even start? We’re still processing the magic that took place this year in The Netherlands. 

Mysteryland had so many surprises, interactive activities, gorgeous decorations, places to wander, and more. 

Read below to hear about EDM Maniac’s experience: 

mysteryland main stage, mysteryland production

Vibes: A

There must have been some magical pixie dust circulating through the air at Mysteryland, because joy, love, connection, smiles, and laughter were constantly present in attendees.

Not once did we see someone who looked like they were having a bad time. Not once did we see someone overly intoxicated. Everyone… and we truly mean everyone was happy. 

The atmosphere this festival was able to curate is truly beyond comprehension. It was obvious how much hard work their team put in to ensure attendees would have the greatest possible experience. 

Mysteryland has an “are you okay?” policy. They stress the importance of taking care of one another, and asking if anyone sees someone having a bad time, being harassed, or in need of any help to simply ask “are you ok?” The festival also has a “celebrate safe” stand on site if anyone wishes to have a safe space to ask questions or for support. 

Being from the US, we were slightly worried about any cultural/international barriers. This was not the case at all. While wandering through the campsite, dancing at each stage, and exploring the breathtaking festival grounds, we met many people whom, within minutes… we felt like we had known for a lifetime.

The love and connection we felt from not only attendees but staff members made the festival have a level of genuine comfort and intimacy… which is insane since Mysteryland hosted 138,000 people this year. 

Production: A

600,000 screws, 7,200 lamps, 2,800 kg of fireworks, 50,000 meters of wooden floors. Every detail of Mysteryland was produced to perfection. 

The stages and construction used 600,000 screws and weighed 210 tons combined. There was no shortage of lasers, CO2, pyro, and fire at every stage.  The execution of every element was flawless.

The Main Stage build was something out of a dream. In the center was a peaceful, serene face, and the encompassing mega structure was filled with majestic flying birds, gold-adorned snakes, and so much more… all surrounded by giant wings.

Our experience at this stage correlates directly with what Mysteryland has released about the idea behind the stage. They say:  “The Main Stage was a tribute to escapism, a respite from daily routines heightened by the pandemic’s call to break free and unwind. It encapsulated a yearning for freedom and artistic expression, from outer body experiences to inner reflections.” 

Perfect production at a festival elevates the experience of attendees, and the Mysteryland camping experience did just that. Camping was conveniently located right next to the festival grounds.

The campground featured five stages, a wellness area where you could get massages, an arcade, a workout area, and a camping terrace which was the living room of the campsite where you could relax or make new connections. 

If you were looking for a worry-free, luxurious camping experience, Mysteryland had you covered with their “comfort camping”. We’ve seen different options for “glamping” at festivals, but Mysteryland takes it a step above and beyond.

All options include made beds with real mattresses, electricity and power strips, duvet with pillow, bedding, blankets, lamp, doormat, and a Mysteryland welcome gift.

At least two of the options- “The Mystic Lodge” and “The Premium Suite” had lockable doors, which adds an extra layer of security for your belongings when you leave the campground. 

The premium suite quite literally looks like a mini house, and on top of all the mentioned amenities, has an en-suite bathroom with a shower, sink, and your own toilet.

Speaking of bathrooms, the bathrooms and showers in the glamping area were always pristine. The showers were always hot, and there was even a makeup area with numerous mirrors and hair dryers for use. 

Both regular camping and comfort camping had pools with sun beds, but the comfort camping area was more of a private oasis, and this year had the addition of multiple hot tubs. Sore from dancing? A nice dip in the hot tub at night was perfect after a long night out.

Mysteryland’s production was incredible. Everything including the stages, campgrounds, and activations were fully thought out and perfectly executed by their team. 

mysteryland festival fireworks, mysteryland production

Venue: A

The festival is located on a lush exhibition ground in The Netherlands. The space is beautiful and engulfed in greenery, and has even been used to host a Dutch gardening festival. 

When it rains in The Netherlands, it pours. We were impressed with how many wooden floors were spread throughout the festival (50,000 square meters to be exact) which ensured safe walkways and dance floors for a large majority of the festival. 

The venue also had a massive pyramid landmark, covered in green grass, with stairs in the middle to guide you to the top. At the top, there was a magnificent Mysteryland sign. Large, colorful flags were strategically placed on each ledge.

Walking up the pyramid made us feel like we were in another world, on a once-in-a-lifetime vacation climbing to a magical place. 

The grounds at Mysteryland were some of the cleanest we’ve seen, and that’s largely thanks to their recycling program. To buy any beverage on site, whether it’s a bottle of water or a cocktail, you have to hand in a recycle token.

Upon entering the festival, attendees are given one recycle token, which serves as the token necessary for the first beverage. You can then either take your cup to trade it in for a new recycle token (to hold onto until you buy your next drink), or if you’re anything like us, trade in your cup directly at the bar when you’re grabbing another beer. 

The recycle program isn’t the only thing Mysteryland does to keep the festival green. They’re actually one of the most sustainable festivals in the world, and have even received awards for this.

They worked in cooperation with the municipality of Haarlemmermeer to invest in green power. They also rented land for the campsite from an entrepreneur who has solar panels on his roof that were also put to use for the festival.

These strategic moves to ensure the safety of our planet do not go unnoticed, especially since a whopping “80% of the festival’s power consumption consisted of green, locally generated, grid power.

The remaining 20% consisted of flexible, sustainably generated energy.” Also, all of the trays, bags, utensils, napkins, and any other disposables coming from the caterers on site were compostable.

Music: A

For the 30th edition of Mysteryland, they did not hold back. They hosted 300 artists across 22 different stages, and there was a genre for everyone.

The Main Stage had all the more mainstream artists we know, love, and have danced our hearts out to. This included Oliver Heldens, Hardwell, Alesso, Don Diablo, and so many more. 

We saw an incredible techno set by HI-LO, a sexy after-hours set with Mau P, and even a few sets dancing in the rain. Sidepiece (Nitti Gritti and Party Favor) brought insane energy to their performance. Chris Lorenzo was all smiles, and played his “California Dreamin” remix which had the crowd moving and grooving. 

Every artist we saw, whether it was at the Subway club, sofa sessions, or any of the larger stages completely crushed it. 

green festival grounds, mysteryland festival

Overall: A

Not many festivals are able to surprise and delight us in the way Mysteryland did. Every corner had a place to explore. The food was delicious. The energy was high. The staff was all friendly. The production was impeccable.

Mysteryland has been around since 1993, making it the longest-running electronic music event in the world. Their dedication to great music, attendees’ safety and comfort, sustainability, and much much more makes this festival one of the best festivals we’ve attended.

We can’t wait to see what they have planned for future years to come.

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