Started in 2013 by the German radio station of the same name, Frankfurt’s Big City Beats (BCB) World Club Dome is already attracting some of the biggest names in EDM – Avicii, David Guetta, Tiesto, Steve Aoki, Hardwell and Martin Garrix have all played the main stage. This year Avicii opened, 148 DJ’s played and David Guetta closed. Randomly (a week before the festival) we managed to win tickets and flights (on the World Club Dome Jet with EDX), so we decided to join 100,000 other people to see what all the fuss was about. Here are 10 things we learnt from partying at the world’s biggest club.
1. Use the App
As soon as I realised I’d won tickets to the festival I jumped on the BCB website and downloaded the free World Club Dome App. It lists all the artists alphabetically or by day, tells you what time they’re on and what stage they’re playing. It also lets you build your own schedule and sends you reminders when one of your selected artists are about to come on. It works offline as well, which was great as I wasn’t roaming and coverage at the event was patchy.
2. Drink en-route
Festival prices are always ridiculous and whilst BCB is cheaper than your usual UK event (€4 pints vs. £5 pints) it’s still expensive. We opted for a couple of train beers followed by a few pints at a small cash only bar on the way into the arena. Drinking at the bar saved us the headache of loading cash onto our E-Card (see lesson #5) and we got to sit in the shade for a while.
3. The main stage isn’t where it’s at
Apparently none of the head-liners mix live so if you’re looking for a more authentic (crowd-free) experience check out some of the smaller stages. Over the course of the weekend they featured EDX, Croatia Squad, Watermat, Tai, Don Diablo, Robin Schulz and Ping Pong.
4. We speak German here
Apparently the festival attracts people from all over the world so you’d assume that the staff and the sign-posting would feature some English, you’d assume wrong. German everywhere. You’ll need to know your Eintrag from your Ausgang and where to find the Badezimmers. We walked in the wrong direction, we stood in the wrong line for drinks and after asking a number of different people who didn’t know (or wouldn’t tell us), we gave up trying to figure out how the drink tokens worked. So frustrierend!!
5. Your cash is not wanted, nor are your crushed cider cans
We wrongly assumed that we’d be able to buy drinks and food with cash. Turns out BCB is cash-free, which means you have to stand in a line for 15 mins (or longer) to purchase an E-Card (for a 2 Euro deposit), load money onto said card (minimum is 20 Euros) and then go and stand in another line to buy drinks and food only to be “accidentally” charged more than you should have been, which then can’t be refunded, which is why you should drink en-route (see lesson #2).
Every time you buy a drink (in a plastic cup or can) you get a token. The tokens are to encourage you to recycle and return your plastic cup or can for cash. To save space we crushed the cans down. Too bad every time we tried to return them (crushed or not) either a) nobody would take them, “that is not normal” or b) we didn’t get any money refunded. Stupid tokens.
6. 3, 2, 1, JUMP
The majority of the head-liner sets were all about the drop. Up down, up down, up down and if you weren’t already jumping around, you were promptly reminded that you should be. I’d rather the focus was on playing the tunes in their entirety, but that’s just me. Hardwell took it one step further and added a sit-down which is becoming a theme during his sets. At least it gave my legs a rest!
7. David Guetta has a potty mouth
David Guetta knows how to work the crowd – they were jumping, singing, chanting, dancing and screaming. David Guetta also has a potty mouth. Every time he wanted something from the crowd it came with the f word attached. “Everybody f***ing jump! Put your f***ing hands up, etc etc.” Considering his ‘F**k Me I’m Famous’ compilations and parties are famous world over, maybe it’s just his thing?
8. Bangers on repeat
I love a good Top 40 song as much as the next person but hearing “Animals“, all things Calvin Harris and “Tremor” almost every set starts to become very samey (and a tiny bit irritating). Apparently the BCB crowd don’t think so, they lapped it up. Over and over and over again.
9. 30,000 friendly people
Alcohol plus wait time usually equals cranky, pushy people but not so at BCB. Everyone we encountered was so chipper. Lots of flags, lots of random hugs, lots of smiles. Someone accidentally stood on my foot, (it happens, I was in the pit and it was crowded) and they promptly turned around and apologised. I was shocked. Happiness everywhere.
10. Get Amongst It or Admire From Afar
Ground level at these kind of things is usually my go-to. It’s the best place to really get amongst it. Waving your arms, bouncing around and feeling the crazy, loud bass on your face with thousands of others just isn’t the same from the seats. However in this instance I think the stadium seating offers a nice alternative. You get an excellent view of both the crowd and the laser-light shows and the lines for both the drinks and the toilets are non-existent. Watching David Guetta whip the crowd into a frenzy with “Shot Me Down” whilst they wave giant glow sticks around in crazy fits is a memory that will stay with me for a long time.
I’m happy we went along. The event was well organised, the venue was easy to get to from the centre of town and the line-up was amazing.
Have you been to Big City Beats World Club Dome? Please add your tips in the comments below.