“Welcome to… Sensation.” These grandiose words will be heard in North America for the very first time in a couple of weeks, with two massive arena-sized Sensation events launching in NYC, the spectacular production heightened by the fact tens of thousands of punters will be dressed head to toe in white. The party is one of the centerpieces in the portfolio of renowned Dutch EDM events company ID&T, also responsible for a host of other parties like Tomorrowland in Belgium which, are viewed from afar around the world with green-eyed envy.
Dutch co-founder Irfan van Ewijk (the ‘I’ in ID&T), who’s been helping steer the company to international glory since the dawn of EDM in the early 90s, said when he talked to VIBE that he was more than a little excited about Sensation’s debut in the US. His exuberance has a little to do with the fact he already helped oversee ID&T’s first adventure into America in July, in the form of the Q-dance stage at Electric Daisy Carnival; a massive setup showcasing the aggressive sounds of hardstyle, which left quite the impression on punters.
“For the people who are exploring these experiences for the first time, it’s always extra elevating, and it’s also always promising, in terms of for setting the standard for the editions in the years to come,” van Ewijk told VIBE. “We had a massive stage there, unbelievable, and people really responded very positively to the way we approach the interaction between music and stage production, the show and entertainment. They were blown away. So that was a good start, and then we’ll see Sensation launching, and ID&T in America will be in effect.”
ID&T is the word leader in A-class, spectacle-filled EDM events, and they’ve taken brands like Sensation to every corner of the globe. First launching in Amsterdam in 2000, this year Sensation was held in close to 20 countries, and NYC won’t be the only place to debut; 2012 also saw Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Turkey and Romania welcomed to the fold. As van Ewijk explains, it’s a different approach to creating experiences that sets ID&T apart.
“If you look at the portfolio of ID&T, anybody with a little knowledge of our history, and our position of being a producer instead of just a promoter, can definitely see the difference in our events,” he told VIBE, emphasising it’s about a lot more than booking the world’s hottest DJs.
“It’s mainly driven on the music, the public, and the interaction between the two. These artists, although they are very motivated to join the ranks of the other DJs worldwide… the events themselves are not driven by the popularity of big names, of $200-300,000 costing talent. It’s purely about the feelings that are being created at the event, and the gathering of like-minded people who are enjoying the surroundings and music. With events like Sensation in particular, it’s top notch in terms of the production and the show.”
Every year, ID&T unveil a brand new Sensation theme in the party’s spiritual home in Amsterdam, which is then subsequently toured worldwide. One of the most iconic was the ‘Oak of Love’ was unveiled to Dutch audiences in 2007, a magnificent, giant white tree in the middle of the stadium with branches extending out across the roof. It was an image of grandeur etched into the minds of clubbers everywhere; though this year punters in NYC will be enjoying the ‘Innerspace’ theme that was toured through Europe last year. Expect an experience that combines the craziest EDM party you’ve ever been to, with all the theatre of Cirque Du Soleil.
“We really want to give people a 360 experience, whether it’s in the moment, or their memories looking back at it. It should cover all senses. What we try to do is really get in deep into people’s memories, and also try and influence them in a positive manner, to try and inject the maximum amount of positivity in their leisure time. I mean, I think we can all use it in times like these.”
So what’s the next stage for ID&T’s American invasion? Mysteryland of course, which is set to arrive on US soil in the very-near future. The multi-genre day event has been running in Amsterdam for nearly 20 years, and was the inspiration for Tomorrowland, with its spectacular stage setups, immersive fantasy setting and varied musical approach. It’s already expanded into Chile, with events in Argentina and Denmark also on the way, and van Ewijk tells VIBE that American EDM fans can expect massive things.
“We are already exploring possible venues, teaming up with local promoters and researching the possible options of entering the country as much as possible, to bring more of our portfolio. In addition to Sensation, Mysteryland will have the same fate pretty soon. It’s very exciting.”