RAD Review: Shadows Of Wonderland

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Shadows Of Wonderland: Melbourne’s Biggest Hardstyle Festival

2019 marks another epic edition of Melbourne’s largest hardstyle event, Shadows Of Wonderland. Taking place in Melbourne’s iconic Festival Hall each year, Hard Kandy, Finders Keepers Entertainment and Harder Styles United once again brought the biggest and best names down under for an epic evening and truly magical celebration. Featuring the likes of Da Tweekaz, Sub Zero Project, Angerfist and more, Shadows Of Wonderland continues to prove themselves time and time again as one of the best harder styles events in Australia. 

Photo credit: Katarina Cvetko

The evening kicked off with Melbourne’s local favourite Synthsoldier; who opened up the event with an epic performance filled with everyone’s favourite hardstyle anthems; as well as a number of his own popular tracks and remixes. 

Next up and first on the international bill was none other than Coone. The Belgian DJ and producer quickly filled the entire hall, opening with his latest tracks ‘The Elite’ and ‘Fight For Something’; in collaboration with fellow chart-topping international DJ’s. The evening was well and truly underway, with lasers and pyro in full force and the sold-out crowd singing along to all the Coone classics; including his heartwarming track ‘Faye’. 

Photo credit: Katarina Cvetko

With the night still young, it was hard to believe that the best was still yet to come. Dutch duo Sub Zero Project took to the stage to release the Contagion on the Melbourne crowd with their debut album. The rising stars of the harder styles were one of the most anticipated acts of the evening; it didn’t take long to see why. 

After a two-year absence, Zatox was next to return to the Shadows Of Wonderland stage. Dropping everything from New World Order to Oxygen, the best of Italian Hardstyle and so much more, I was blown away by the energy of this performance. The hard-hitting Italian DJ had the entire crowd jumping and singing along throughout the whole set. 

Photo credit: Katarina Cvetko

Following the performance was another energetic duo. Dutch DJ’s and producers D-Block & S-te-Fan returned to the Festival Hall stage after an epic performance earlier in December. Getting the crowd ‘fired up’, the duo showcased banger after banger from their extensive list of chart-topping tracks. From Ghost Stories to World Renowned, this was without a doubt one of my favourite sets of the night! 

Finally, the set I had been waiting all night for was finally upon us. Norwegian duo Da Tweekaz returned to the Shadows Of Wonderland stage for another epic performance. Kicking off the set with ‘Scatman’, it was obvious Festival Hall was in for an hour of pure madness. I was even able to share a drink with the boys during Jagermeister before they closed out with an absolute bang! 

Photo credit: Katarina Cvetko

Kicking the bpm up a notch, Dutch DJ Warface showcased his undeniable passion for the harder styles with his unique raw sounds and fast-paced kicks. Closing out the epic event was none other than the ‘man in the mask’. Dutch hardcore hero Angerfist ended Shadows Of Wonderland at 200bpm; with his iconic hard and fast beats and energy to match. 

Photo credit: Katarina Cvetko

This year’s edition of Shadows Of Wonderland absolutely blew me away. After attending my first Shadows Of Wonderland in 2018, there was no doubt in my mind I would return. Boasting their biggest edition to date, Hard Kandy, Finders Keepers Entertainment and Harder Styles United delivered everything and more. The world-class lineup alone sold me and thousands more, and the new extravagant stage design and jaw-dropping production was simply the cherry on top. 

Despite a sold-out event, the festival did not feel crowded at all. The capacity of Festival Hall creates the perfect combination of a large scale festival with a unique and intimate atmosphere. One of my favourite things about the 2018 edition was the production and I was absolutely blown away when I returned to the event to find that the stage was bigger and better than ever! There was no shortage of lasers, flames or visuals throughout the entire night; which made the entire event not only pleasant to listen to, but also to watch. I definitely found myself lost in the lasers multiple times throughout the night! 

Overall, Shadows Of Wonderland has proven once again why it has claimed the title of the biggest and best hardstyle festival in Melbourne. The event truly transported me into a magical creation and I’m already counting down the days until I get to return! 

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Katarina Cvetko

Katarina is an international journalist and photographer from Sydney, Australia with a strong passion for music festivals. Since her first solo adventure in 2015, Katarina has travelled to over 30 countries in 5 continents and has attended over 100 music festivals worldwide. After conquering a bucket list journey of 52 music festivals in 52 weeks in 2018, Katarina continues to live a digital nomad lifestyle, travelling to festivals in a different country every week and sharing her experiences on social media.

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