Innovation In The Dam 2016

Innovation In The Dam 2016

Innovation in the Dam is without a doubt a huge highlight on the drum and bass communities yearly planner and the 2016 events proved to be no exception with a totally sold out schedule.

Jamie S23 headed over to Amsterdam to link up with some of the artists and experience once again why Innovation leads the way with overseas parties.

Neil Badboy, one of the residents at Random Concept Academy and fully fledged DJ represented on Friday night at Melkweg.

Firstly, how did the set go? Run us through some of the highlights. Who was hosting your set?

“For me personally, I think I played one of the best live sets of my career. It had pretty much been a dream to play at innovation In The Dam so I made sure I gave it my best. The stand out moment for me was when I double dropped Chase & Status ‘No Problem’ with DJ Guv’s ‘Warning’, it was an instant rewind and I’ve literally never heard a crowd cheering so loud during one of my sets.

MC Eazee was hosting my set, talented guy and one to watch out for.”

The venue was pretty special on the Friday. Have you played at Melkweg before?

“This was my first time playing there. My friends and I went last year and I was blown away by the venue. Friday was definitely special – both rooms were amazing.”

The intimacy of both arenas was spot on – not being too big or small it really seemed to fit with the crowd. Do you agree?

“Arena 1 is set out really well, in fact the whole layout of the club is spot on and room 2 was like some venues main arena.”

Inno 1

Talking of the crowd, this year especially the raves seemed really united. Any idea why?

“Most of the UK drum and bass ravers are like a tight family, I always see the same faces about up and down the country whether I am performing or partying. It’s such a major event now, people return year after year.”

Do you find events abroad different to those in the UK?

“I’m lucky enough to play abroad so I do notice slight differences. I play in Germany quite a bit and they love the full spectrum of drum and bass. I can play a much wider selection where in the UK you have to cater more for the event you are playing at.”

Anything further planned with Innovation?

“All I can say is fingers crossed!”

I was lucky enough to chat to a real raver after Innovation had closed it’s doors on Amsterdam for 2016. I don’t use the term real raver loosely either – Fran is well known as a die hard lover of everything drum and bass and also works closely with Warning in Cambridge.

Innovation in the Dam is a big event for any ravers calendar. What do you look forward to the most about it?

“I love both venues in Amsterdam that Innovation use. My favourite thing is probably the immense sound systems!”

What makes these events stand out from others in the U.K.?

“The fact that everyone from all over the UK comes to Innovation In The Dam every year to meet each other, rave together and have one big party. You also get to spend time in a relaxed environment with people you have met along the way. It’s a great city to catch up and party.”

Out of all the big sets, what was your favourite and why?

“I would say my favourite set was probably DJ Guv, I love all types of drum and bass but this set towards the end of Saturday night gave everyone that extra bit of energy to go absolutely mental!”

Spring Break is looming for the new year, are you planning on attending?

“I’m hoping to attend Innovation Spring Break as it would be nice to go to a rave in the Spring, especially as I’ve not been to the Air club yet.”

When attending a large scale event, what’s the most important factor to you? Production, line up or something else?

“Probably for set times to run according to those advertised so we all know what room to be in and at what time! A lot of people rely on these times so they can plan the night ahead.”

If you could name your dream line up (dead or alive) who would be your top 3 DJs and MCs?

“Guv, Logan D and Bryan Gee alongside Shabba, Evil B and Azza. That would be a deadly combo.”

Any shouts and big ups?

“Shout out to Pete Edwards and the Warning massive, Innovation crew and my close raving pals Grant, Norrie, John Junglist Mason, Karis Driver, Suzie Mason, Maria Mason, Nicole Missfitz. Friends I’ve met over the last 8 to 9 years at events up and down the country who I love very much.”

Mollie Collins, the most exciting thing to happen to drum and bass since DJ Hazard stepped up on Saturday to play at The Box. A huge purpose built warehouse on the edge of the city.

This year has been a whirlwind for you with a huge amount of press coverage and DJ bookings. Was Innovation in the Dam a massive highlight so far?

“Being able to play a DJ set in Amsterdam for Innovation was without a doubt a huge highlight for me. The Box was probably the best venue I’ve played in so far this year, it’s just immense. From the size of the place to the levels of production set by Innovation – I don’t think it can be beaten to be honest. You can’t find anything like this type of event in London that’s for sure.”

Your set opener was pretty epic, can you remind us how it went down?

“I kicked off with ‘Deep Inside’ by Serum and ‘The Riot Squad’ (Feat Mind Vortex) by Jaguar Skills. I always try and start as I mean to go on so the intro is really important. I spend hours at home trying new things and dropping tunes together that you wouldn’t normally expect to hear.”

Phantom did an amazing job of hosting, have you worked with him before?

“No never! I found out he was on my set the day of the event. He’s an amazing host and someone that just gets the way I DJ.”

Talking of MCs, who would you say was your perfect MC to work with? It must be time for a full-time link up soon?

“IC3 would be one artist who I would really love on all my sets. We did one together at South Beach festival and it went really well. The crowd loved it and the participation was just next level.

Another would be Evil B, I love the way he works with both the DJ and the crowd.

I’m linking up with Miss Melody for a set on New Year’s Eve, she’s an up and coming female MC so that should be interesting although I really don’t want it to be labeled with the whole “female double act” stigma. We are all artists at the end of the day, regardless of sex.”

Innovation have been doing the Amsterdam events for sometime now, as a raver did you ever attend?

“No, I’ve only been to Amsterdam on holiday previously. The recent event just felt like Innovation In The Sun only it was bloody cold! The Inno’ vibe is the same though, it’s always fucking sick!”


In your opinion, what makes a good events promoter now you have experienced a whole load of them in such a short space of time?

“I love promoters who treat you the way they would like to be treated you know. Even a bottle of water goes a long way! Lloyd from Innovation is really good, he makes sure we know where we are going, who’s picking us up, dropping us off – all the information is provided in a handy rota which makes all the difference.”


Are you playing at Spring Break?

“I’ve not been booked but you never know!

Your Warning debut must have been epic considering the roots the club has in the scene. That must have been one gig this year that was truly special!

“Warning was scary, real scary! I’ve never been so worried about a booking as I was before my set. I was put on between two of the best DJs in the scene so I certainly felt the pressure but thankfully the crowd loved it and I had a blast!

After speaking to Five Alive at Innovation he said they just chucked me in the deep end to see how I deal with the pressure. I should be on a Warning flyer again soon so keep your eye out for that!”

Watch out for the next Innovation event coming soon. Check the website for more information.

You can follow Jamie Section 23 on Twitter, @JamieS23
Jamie S23 is part of the editorial team at Drum&BassArena, has a huge collection of vinyl from the 90’s and spends many hours wishing music still came on cassette. He’s stupidly into fitness and most importantly, a devoted Dad. Reminisce about air horns, lighters and The Sanctuary with him via Twitter or Soundcloud