Dominator Festival 2019 – Rally of Retribution was one for the books

Nina van Zelst
By Nina van Zelst

Last weekend it was finally time for Dominator Festival 2019 – Rally of Retribution: the valhalla for gabbers, the ultimate place to be for hardcore lovers and an event in your party agenda to look forward to all year long. Also for this edition the organisation went all out, which I will tell you about elaborately. 

Even though the rain woke us up in the morning, this had completely gone away by the time we made it to the E3-Beach in Eersel: it was bloody hot! So, whilst wearing our sunglasses, we quickly made our way to the entrance. Normally entering a festival is nothing special, but when visiting Dominator this sets the tone for the rest of the day…

“DOMINATOOOOOOR!”

Why? First of all, when you enter Dominator Festival there’s always someone screaming “DOMINATOOOOOOR!” and left and right people are running past you to make their wat to the mainstage as quickly as possible. That’s also the second great thing about entering: right in front of you lies the grand Dominator mainstage, which makes sure you can feast your eyeballs the very first second and you know: this will be FUCKING EPIC!

“READY, SET, GO! Welcome to Dominator 2019 – Rally of Retribution!”
Dominator Festival 2019

Quickly we moved towards the lockers and coins, while ‘Still Nr. 1‘ was already blasted through the E3-Beach. After this it was time to admire the mainstage close up, which is definitely worth mentioning as well: from cars to giant skulls and fom dashboard to epic LED-screens, this stage truly had everything to create the hard Dominator – Rally of Retribution feeling.

“Miss K8 dropping bass like an earthquake!”

After knocking back a cold drink, it was time to walk a ‘small’ lap at the right side of the terrain. Here you’d find the Guardian Maesters (Classic Hardcore), the Chainsaw Tribe (Extreme Hardcore) and the Decapitators (Hardcore II). We stayed inside of this last tent since it started to rain a little bit, and of course because none other than Re-Style was behind the decks. With the Sefa remix of his ‘Get It Crackin’  the atmosphere was truly great, and everyone sang and shouted along.

It was bloody hot in there though, so we quickly rushed back to the mainstage for lady boss Miss K8. She gave birth to her little girl Mia only a few weeks (!) ago, but was all ready to conquer the Dominator mainstage with her very first solo live act. Just like you would expect, this set was really great: she started with ‘Icebreaker‘ and continued with the well-known 2014 Dominator anthem ‘Metropolis of Massacre‘, to which everyone screamed along: “Miss K8 dropping bass like an earthquake!”

The first and also last ponchos of the day

After more highlights such as ‘Santiago’, ‘Bogotá’ and number 1 hit ‘Out of The Frame’ that were mixed very fast, the rain started and the entire Dominator mainstage was filled with ponchos. Luckily it seemed like everyone was well prepared, and after 10 minutes it was sunny and dry for the rest of the day! Personally, I also think ponchos are great for the atmosphere as well (not for too long of course).

Also my compliments to the organisation: just to be sure they evacuated the VIP and relation decks, and they did this incredibly fast. In this way, you could perfectly see how well the organisation was prepared for bad weather. Anyhow, we continued to the Chainsaw Tribe again for some ‘extreme hardcore’ by none other than Partyraiser vs Bulletproof. This was also a great set, and very nice to crank up the past of your dance moves.

From hardcore karaoke en bungeejumpen tot trouwen op Dominator

In the meantime the sun was out again and of course we couldn’t stay inside the tent… Time for some laps! What we ran into here is also definitely worth mentioning: hardcore karaoke, bungee jumping in a Dominator car, a sick racetrack by No Fear Energy, a wedding chapel for gabbers and of course the good old carousel. Enough adrenaline rushers this year!

At the (this year expanded) south side of the festival we had a look at the House of Dragons (terror), the Guillotine Clan (frenchcore) and the Cult of Desperados (raw). Especially the raw stage got a grand upgrade, and the atmosphere here was great – which was quite understandable. A drink in your hand, the sun on your facne and kicks from Killshot? Nice!

“Enough to make you wanna break shit, no longer will I take shit…”

After relaxing a little bit, while enjoying the set of Deathmachine being blasted across the beach, we found our way back to the mainstage once again. I would have loved to tell you more about the other stages, but there truly aren’t enough hours within a Dominator day! By now, you could clearly see quite the festival hours had passed: everyone had black stripes across their faces and was ’50 shades of sand’ – once again loved this, Dominator feels.

And then it was time for young talent Sefa to make his debut at the mainstage. After last edition, when the terrain literally was too small for his set, he got to take over the grand Dominator stage during the Rally of Retribution with a live-set. This half hour was sick as well: ‘Release The Kraken’, ‘Muzika’, ‘Nothing Like The Oldschool’ and ‘Survive The Streets’ were being blasted across the beautiful mainstage, and everyone screamed and clapped along during ‘Get It Crackin’ and ‘We Don’t Play’: goosebumps!

Enjoying N-Vitral at the front

Scarphase will come out with a brand new album at the end of 2019, of which we got a little preview during a special showcase at the mainstage. During this set – Scarphase Presents Phase 2 – I only wrote ‘fuck this is hard’, which actually covers it haha! The audience was going at it, the sun was out and the new tracks sounded great. One to recommend!

And then we continue to maybe my favorite moment of the day: the N-Vitral set. We (or really I) decided to go all the way to the front of the stage, and guys this was so sick! De atmosphere in the front was out of this world, and while ‘Vault of Violence’, ‘Bare Knuckle Fist’ and ‘Troublemakers’ were being blasted through the speakers also the flames and lasers were all around you. Truly epic!

“A deafening sandstorm approaches with deadly speed… Enter the Rally of Retribution”

Having a look at the clock brought the disbelief of the last hour had begun. “But HOW?!” Luckily we got to spend this hour with a set from the masked man Angerfist, who played his well-known tracks such as ‘Make It Bun Dem’, ‘Street Fighter’, ‘The Voice of Mayhem’ and ‘Knock Knock’. While enjoying sick fireworks we experienced loads of goosebumps during the final 20 minutes end show, in which aong others the anthem ‘Rally of Retribution’ and ‘Basskick Paradise‘ were played. And that was it…

“Thank you for your everlasting dedication to hardcore. We are honored to welcome you next year, on another edition of… DOMINATOOOOOOOOR!”

Footage via Facebook-page Dominator 

Rating

  • LINE-UP95%
  • LOCATION100%
  • SOUND90%
  • STAGE90%
  • SHOW85%
  • ATMOSPHERE100%

Overall
rating

93%

In my opinion, Dominator can be a weekender. Especially with the festival grounds being expanded once again, the day passes by so quickly: before you know it you’re on the way to your car and bumming, because you wanted to experience way more sets and stages. This was my 6th time visiting Dominator, and the festival truly never disappoints. Of course every edition has its pros and cons (the caterpillar was definitely present this year), but Dominator just has to be in your party agenda!

Comments

  • Si Winstanley 28 July 2019 - 21:30

    I love the festival. Meet so many great people and see all the great hardcore acts I can never see here in the Uk as our governments and clubs ban this music for being too dangerous and encourage drugs lol.
    I loved the rain and being a true Brit I got out in the rain and danced when all the other people had to run for cover.
    My mum though, Gabber Gran, she is nicknamed, loves it and comes with me every year. Everywhere she goes she gets photo request and I feel she has started showing the older generation they can do festivals as this year Dominator has a lot more older people.
    Also I love the fact I won the competition to ride in a buggy of which my mum went in the second :-) was great till the cam belt broke lol
    This is me and my mums Favourite festival and we shal keep going back :-)
    See u all next year for another edition of…
    DDDOOMMIINNAATTOORRRR!!

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  • Jenny walter 25 July 2019 - 18:30

    It was my 7th time this year at Dominator and I think it is getting way to crowded.. at the end it was difficult to walk around or to sit somewhere to relax.. also the sound of some areas like the industrial area wasn’t really good… for the money that we spend to come to this festival from other countries we could expect something more like other festivals give us.. also there should have been some information about the Caterpillars.. any way we had great fun as always and the line up was dope!

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  • Gabber Gran (Liz Winstanley) 28 July 2019 - 22:12

    Wonderful time at Dominator. Everyone was lovely. Only regret was I didn’t get a photo with Angerfist. Never mind – I shall return next year.

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