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Madrid Electronic Conference 2006

Author: Kim Smith
Thursday, 17 August 2006
July 6th-9th saw Spain's capital city, Madrid turn into a hive of activity with over 50 DJs playing for three consecutive nights at Madrid's main sports arena in The Casa de Campo.

The arena is in the North of the city and usually houses the country's basketball games. The venue is a hi-tech, huge dome shaped space with one main arena and two other rooms to the side. All three ran constantly with different DJs and to give you an idea of its size, the venue can hold up to 30,000 people for its sporting events.

Thursday focused predominantly on trance with Tiësto wooing the crowds along side Spanish DJs Abel Ramos, Frank Trax and Fernando Ballesteros. Also in attendance were Brian Cross and a host of up and coming local DJs. Performers dressed as sailors, characters from Lord of the Rings, hula girls and various other bizarre individuals wandered around during the evening while some danced with fire!

Techno reigned supreme on Friday with Dave Clarke, Rush, Marco Carola, Cesar Almena, Raul Parra, Umek, Pepo, Ben Sims live, Nuke, Paul Mac live, Toni Verdi and many more. Umek's tough yet melodic set stood out and was the talk of the evening.

Despite getting into bed as the sun was coming up, Saturday was beautifully sunny so it seemed only fair to explore Madrid. The city is stunning with lots to see and do. I visited the Picasso Museum, Real Jardin Botanico (Botanical Gardens), Palacio Real (this is the palace in which the King lives!), Puerta del Sol (the shopping district) and finally topping off a successful day with a meal at traditional Spanish restaurant El Buey. They have a traditional way of serving Solimillo (red meat similar to beef) with hot plates for each person to cook the dish exactly how they want it. With batteries re-charged it was time to head off to the final night of partying at the Madrid Arena.

Unsurprisingly Saturday was the busiest night with over 4,000 people coming through the doors. The likes of Subliminal head honcho Erick Morillo, Italians Claudio Cocoluto and Francesco Farfa, Junkel XL live, Wally Lopez and Abely Raul to name a few all played their socks off. Eric Prydz sadly had to cancel his appearance due to travel problems. Eric is famed for his fear of flying and has to get trains across Europe which is sometimes problematic!

The third room was an exciting blend of electro and tech-house from relatively unknown talent including Freeman & Ramiro Lopez, Emy and Vincente. This third room was set up to give the new blood an opportunity to showcase themselves to a large audience. The event was made all the more exciting by putting on a mixture of recognised DJs and newcomers.

Spanish DJ Wally Lopez commented "It was great to play in a festival in my home town, I got loads of positive energy from the Spanish fans...I hope to see all of you there next year."

By the close of the three nights over 10,000 people had partied at the first MEC event. To have so many people attend an opening year bodes well for future parties - bring on next year!
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