This weekend, the opening festivities continue for Brooklyn, New York’s brand-new Barclays Center , as one of dance music’s most cherished traditions, Sensation, makes its North American debut.
With 20 years in events and upward of 70 Sensation parties in 24 countries, ID&T’s big brand — this one called Sensation Innerspace — can’t be compared to any domestic electronic festivals. It’s a scripted, highly choreographed affair with five enormous, flower-like pods, moving lights, waterworks, dancers, DJ’s and a host of other players moving in sync over six hours, twice this weekend.
And rather than the DJ being the sole focal point of the night, the entire experience is meant to be the star.
“I think the best comparison is Cirque Du Soleil vs. a really good EDM party,” nearly 30-time returning Sensation performer Fedde Le Grand told MTV News on our exclusive tour Thursday of the build of Innerspace. “As you can see,” the Dutch DJ/producer said, pointing to the flower-like DJ pod at the center of the venue, “Everything is next-level.”
Including the talent: According to Sensation and ID&T CEO Duncan Stutterheim, sonics for the affair are also atypical of most heavily attended U.S. electronic events.
“There’s big-room EDM sound going on at all of the main stages [in America], but Sensation is more of a clubby feeling,” he explained. ” We want to be the biggest club in the world [for the night], and we think house, tech house, a bit deeper sound, fits more of that feeling.”
It’s certainly an adventure that New York electronic lord Danny Tenaglia is proud to be a part of.
“The fact that they are hiring guys like myself, Dennis Ferrer, Nick Fanciulli, of course, Fedde Le Grand, it’s wonderful that they are keeping it broad and not going 100 percent commercial,” he said. “A lot of us are striving to remain strong in the underground, and they are bringing that to New York.”
“It’s slightly more underground, but I know from experience, it just works very, very well,” Fedde added.
Stutterheim explained the basics of the night’s lineup progression. “Mr. White [Sensation's branded opening act] plays. No hits at all. He just gets the train going,” he explained. “Then Fedde and Mark Knight, they will give some mainstream and commercial. Then it will be taken over by Joris Voorn and the deeper sounds. So it’s a journey.
“It’s a six hour show/party,” Stutterheim continued, “But the most important thing for me is when you buy a ticket and you come in, you walk into the venue and go, ‘Wow!’ But even more importantly, you walk out going, ‘What a great evening!’ ”
Friday night’s (October 26) lineup includes Mr. White, Dennis Ferrer, Fedde Le Grand, Joris Voorn, and Nic Fanciulli. Saturday’s lineup: Mr. White, Danny Tenaglia, Fedde Le Grand, 2000 and One, Mark Knight.