Admittedly, this was on my bucket list.
Over the past 10-15 years, I often thought of attending a big, booming European dance festival of some kind. I would often gaze wistfully at photos of blissful people of all stripes - attractive, eccentric, downright freaky - only to retreat to the subdued suburban life I had chosen for myself.
And so it was that I entered Loveland 2010 in Amsterdam's Sloterpark, a large waterfront green space transformed into some 10 stages of various types of dance music with a few friends. Also accompanying me was my friend Fear. Fear of being the oldest guy there by those same 10-15 years.
He didn't even make it into the front gate however, as there were easily just as many people older than me than there were younger pups. I was reminded once again of one of the beautiful things about Amsterdam - its all-inclusive vibe.
Loveland was in its fifth year, and for those who care about such things (not many do), it featured a stellar line-up of DJs from around the world. It was an extremely well-run event, from the smart concession munten (chips), to lockers, to easy-to-navigate walking paths between stages. And non-stop music from 10am-11pm.
For those following the blog regularly this may sound like a broken (remixed) record, but the overwhelming sense again was of the positive, relaxed mood of a large diverse crowd. Below, some photos of diversity at its finest.
Arrival in true Amsterdam style
At dusk, a water-bound reveler
Now the tricky part... finding the bike at the end of the night