Culture dutch gabber games germany hardstyle henrike naumann History Life Music netherlands rave Society techno thunderdome WHM

Controversial Teen Craze Spreads Like Wildfire Before Huge Parental Backlash Ignites

Controversial Teen Craze Spreads Like Wildfire Before Huge Parental Backlash Ignites

Music has introduced individuals together since lengthy before we had genres, recordings, or even proper devices. Something a few bopping beat or a tender tune awakes feelings in us that we need to share with each other, even when there are not any words involved. No matter what type you want, there’s a group for you.

Actually, that music group can develop to turn out to be a subculture that unites tens of millions of people around an inspiring message, even if it’s merely “dance ’til you drop and overlook the remaining.” However when youngsters started immersing themselves in a world of aggressive dance and hard-core medicine, mother and father questioned if a certain music craze had finally gone too far.

It’s definitely no secret that Germanic Europeans love digital music. The Belgians rejoice at Tomorrowland, The Netherlands has The Flying Dutch pageant, and the Germans take pleasure in World Club Dome, but is the tradition getting out of hand?

Much of Dutch electronic music has truly grow to be mainstream, with DJs like Armin Van Buuren, Afrojack, and Martin Garrix leading the pack. Yet, this isn’t the music nor the culture that was worrying mother and father left and right again within the ’90s.

First launched in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, in 1992, a brand new genre of techno took the nation by a storm. With songs as quick as 200 beats per minute, the aggressive bass together with a capsule or two had young individuals flocking to underground raves like flies to honey.

Within no time, a subculture of bald guys in tracksuits and women with half-shaven heads and piercings emerged. Whereas from the surface they intently resembled Neo-Nazis, most of them truly preached anti-racist and anti-fascist messages on the raves.

 The music was nicknamed “Gabber,” and its followers the “Gabber Nation,” the latter of which sparked terror in older generations just because they didn’t know something concerning the scene.

The identify Gabber is actually Dutch slang for “mate,” “dude,” or “good friend.” The time period was popularized when DJ Okay.C. the Funkaholic was asked how he felt concerning the more durable Rotterdam house music scene. “They’re only a bunch of gabbers having enjoyable,” he stated.

While there have been plenty of small-scale, local raves for the gabbers to get their repair, all of them appeared forward to at least one particular annual event: Thunderdome, a pageant that can only be described as a Gabber’s ultimate dream. There was dancing, medicine, hook-ups, and of course: Gabber music.

The identify was inspired by the 1985 Mel Gibson film Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. The outrageous outfits, anarchist characters, and, in fact, the dome itself, served as inspiration for the pageant, which went down in historical past as completely legendary.

To keep the followers’ thirst quenched for the rest of the yr, Thunderdome would promote CDs with all the mixes played on the pageant that yr. On average, they might sell three million copies. For reference, The Dutch population consisted of solely 15 million individuals!

For probably the most part, opponents of the subculture merely ignored the motion, but when Thunderdome began internet hosting Kid’s Night time, the peace treaty was over. Mother and father frightened about their youngsters, and conservatives apprehensive about their nation.

The subculture had become one thing extra. “Gabber was at one point such a mainstream thing that folks didn’t regard it as a drug-crazed subculture anymore,” DJ Aron Friedman explained. “But oh sure, the conservatives rioted!”

Listed on the Thunderdome Corridor Of Disgrace was the Dutch evangelical tv choir Nederland Zingt (The Netherlands Sings), because the group stored producing documentaries that painted Gabber tradition as satanic, dangerous, and contagious. However they weren’t Gabber’s only enemy…

With Gabber rising in popularity, it also turned a softer culture, and other people began making enjoyable of it. Out of the blue, producing Gabber parodies turned a well-liked type of humor. Comedian Ruben Van Der Meer even shaped a band referred to as Hakkuhbar to mock the scene, a lot to the annoyance of true Gabbers.

But what really brought about the scene’s downfall was when Gabber turned commercialized. Artists like the Vengaboys (left) added sunshine and unicorns to the aggressive music type, whereas well-known artist Gabber Piet (right) was accused of promoting out and betraying his individuals.

So by the early 2000s, Gabber was fading quick, with the final official Thunderdome pageant held in 2012. Five years later, Gabber fanatic and German artists Henrike Naumann returned to The Netherlands to see if there have been any traces left of the Nation that when took over the country.

In her search for answers, she got here across a handful of people that nonetheless threw their very own Gabber parties or who stored the memorabilia of a now-forgotten time. It was the epitome of Europe within the ’90s and early aughts, nevertheless it was nothing but a memory now. Or was it?

Rumors and suspicions floated around that Gabber — like most subcultures and types of the previous century — was on the verge of a comeback. For example, Dutch designer Tom Nijhuis created a clothing line within the spirit of Gabber, utilizing actual Gabber women as models.

And while the raves have been arduous to seek out, you’d still discover Dutch youth working towards Gabber’s signature dance: hakken (which interprets to each hacking and heels). They may not have been conscious of the dance’s history, but a part of the culture lived on at parks and schoolyards.

“It’s not solely former Gabbers who’ve tales about raves and drugs,” Naumann concluded. “The older era is popping out with reminiscences of sleepless nights worrying about their youngsters. It seems as if every single neighbor has a narrative to tell about gabber, whether or not they like it or not.”

And whereas it might by no means be the culture it as soon as was, Gabbers are nonetheless discovering houses, like at the 2017 Thunderdome stage at Dutch digital music pageant Mysteryland, and perhaps at another music pageant that was changing the world.

Yearly since 2004, through the vacation season, a special event takes place in a special major Dutch city’s major sq.. Lots of of hundreds of people from everywhere in the country come to witness the feeling, watch it on TV, and speak about it for weeks to return.

Ramon Mangold/ Pix4Profs

It’s a charity event referred to as Critical Request, colloquially dubbed as “the glass house.” Radio DJs from station 3FM lock themselves up in, you guessed it, a glass house for every week to play music 24/7, for everyone to see.

They play video games, hang out with celebrities, and dance along with the gang outdoors when a well-liked tune comes on. Being seen by lots of of individuals always is hard, but the DJs face a good higher problem than public scrutiny…

The DJs take turns sleeping for about 6 hours and aren’t allowed to eat! They only eat smoothies, coffee, and water during their week in the home, yet they nonetheless act energetic and have fun with their friends and their fans outdoors. Regardless of getting pretty sick of the smoothies, the DJs who’ve participated to date haven’t any regrets.


The home includes a mailbox, nevertheless it’s not only for fan mail: individuals can push in envelopes with a word requesting their favorite music and a money donation to have it played. Recently, the event has develop into so well-liked that folks start groups to boost funds to deposit within the mailbox months before the event starts.


The donated money all the time goes to the Pink Cross but with a unique focus every year. In earlier years, Critical Request has spread consciousness relating to sexual assault survivors, moms dying in childbirth, separated families, and youths in warfare zones.

Pink Cross Netherlands

In 2016, the Critical Request slogan was “laat ze niet stikken,” which interprets to “don’t allow them to suffocate.” The objective was to boost cash for individuals in poor communities in Africa that suffer from lung infections like Bronchitis or Pneumonia. However this Critical event did not go as planned.

That yr, only a day into the glass home week, a man stepped up to the mic outdoors the glass house together with his son, offering a bit of over €100, or about $115. With the entire nation listening, he relayed a story about his son the DJs couldn’t consider…


Tijn Kolsteren, the man’s son, was only 6 years previous when he was recognized with terminal brain stem most cancers earlier that yr. When he discovered about Critical Request, he felt it was his obligation to help others survive. He started portray nails for a euro to gather money for the great trigger, and his passion shone by means of the brilliant pink colour on his fingers.


Tijn’s household was absolutely devastated by the information of his illness, however have been 100 % supportive of his concept to donate to the Critical Request occasion. His mother and father had donated to the trigger earlier than their son was even born, so along with Tijn’s brother, they helped him paint countless nails.

Omroep Brabant

3FM DJs Frank Van Der Lende (left) and Domien Verschuuren (proper) have been smitten with Tijn and his passion to help others. Not solely did they invite him into the glass house, they advised everybody who would take heed to spread the phrase about Tijn and the nail polish, and the Dutch nation undoubtedly adopted by means of.


A small gap was created within the glass wall, and as Tijn started training his artwork on individuals by means of the glass, a whole lot of fans lined up in the sq. of Breda. Some waited for hours in the rain and the cold just to have their nails painted by the 6-year-old boy.


Dozens of celebrities who visited the glass house acquired their nails painted too. Though Tijn didn’t have the time to make everybody look fabulous, individuals painted their own nails and donated in his identify. One of the fortunate people who did get the Tijn special was Dutch prime-minister Mark Rutte (proper), whose help of the challenge created much more consciousness than earlier than.


Individuals started posting photographs of their painted nails with the hashtag #HeelHollandLakt, which means “all of Holland polishes.” There was not a single soul who hadn’t heard of Tijn, as he was even featured in the major newspapers. The media referred to as him a real-life superhero.


Tijn’s acts might have been selfless, but he was rewarded nonetheless. When he returned to his hometown after an extended few days of fame and nail polish, he was awarded a youth medal of honor by the mayor of his county. After that, Tijn definitely needed some relaxation, as a result of the truth remained: he was significantly sick.

Fotopersburo Van De Meulenhof BV

The Dutch pop-musician Miss Montreal wrote a music about Tijn, about what it is to be young and brave, to be sick but proceed to struggle and to stand up for others. When she performed the music for him, there was not a dry eye in the glass house — nor in all the nation.

On Christmas Eve, the DJs lastly came out of their cage. The whole metropolis was flooded by citizens able to take pleasure in some live shows, rejoice the holiday, and witness the ultimate rely of all the cash raised. The query on everyone’s thoughts that night time was: with all the notice spread by Tijn, what would the result be this yr?

Tijn joined his new DJ buddies on stage and collectively they held up the signal revealing the sum of every donation made to Critical Request that yr. Thanks to every single one that gave a couple of euros, the occasion had collected over €eight.5 million! That’s a whopping $10 million, in a country consisting of only 17 million individuals.


So what happened after the glass house broke down and the DJs went house to their households? The Netherlands’ most well-known comic Youp Van ‘T Heck and actress Wendy Van Dijk continued Tijn’s legacy, creating an internet site referred to as LAK (polish), where one can purchase a bottle of nail polish for €10 for a special good cause.

Pim Ras fotografie

Every cent made with LAK was donated on to the Semmy foundation, named for a younger boy who was taken from the Earth too soon. The inspiration funds brain most cancers research and organizes enjoyable events for individuals recognized with the illness. It was time to offer again to individuals like Tijn.

Stichting Semmy/Fb

On July 7, 2017, tragedy struck. Tijn had passed away in his residence, precisely one week before what would have been his 7th birthday. His mother and father have been heartbroken, however they weren’t alone. The complete nation mourned Tijn, as he was buried on his birthday, with nail polish on his fingers.

Tijn’s passing brought back the reminiscences from final Christmas, and of what a distinction such a young boy had made. Critical Request made a world impression, with different nations creating their own version of the glass home, and paying their respects to Tijn. One of the people who had great respect for the younger boy was no one aside from Pope Francis, who had given Tijn his blessing shortly before his demise.

Daniel Ibanez/CNA

The next December, the Kolsteren household honored him in the easiest way attainable. When that yr’s glass home arrived, the household arrange a glass nail salon in Breda, the place Tijn had stolen every Dutch coronary heart the earlier yr. Their objective was to boost €77,777 to honor the date of Tijn’s passing.

Joyce Van Belkom/Pics4Profs

In July of 2018, the remaining Kolsteren relations have been invited to the Purple Cross workplace in The Hague, the second largest Dutch metropolis, residence to the Dutch authorities and the U.N.’s Worldwide Courtroom of Justice. Once they arrived, a memorial in Tijn’s identify was revealed. As the household appeared at the nail-polish-lined walls, they knew their son would never be forgotten.

ANP (Dutch Press)