On Sunday September 17, Typhoon Talim ripped through southern Japan. A huge chunk of the storm reached Tokyo, resulting in one of the biggest dumpings of torrential rain that we’ve had all year. Despite heaven’s drama, the show continued down below, as the Ultra Festival Japan swung into day two of its three day stint. The event saw the likes of The Chainsmokers, Hardwell, Nick Martin and Knife Party take to the main stage featuring eye popping LED displays with fire, smoke and all sorts blaring out of this beast of a production.

With the whole thing streamed live on the website (https://ultrajapan.com/), we were tempted to avoid the rain and enjoy the show from the comfort of home, but the lure of seeing so many big name acts from the electronic dance music scene had us donning our clear ponchos along with the rest of Tokyo’s dance enthusiasts and braving the weather in Odaiba. So was the soak worth it? For almost all festival goers that day, it was a very unanimous yes, drips and all. Girls showed up scantily dressed, boys high-fived and cheered on with other revelers, and the entire crowd got up, down, and everything in between, to the beats of some of the world’s greatest DJs.

They say that every dance music fan should experience an Ultra once in their life, but one person who has the privilege of enjoying the festivities year round is top Dutch DJ, Hardwell (Robbert van de Corput). We nabbed the busy man who’s been twice voted “Best DJ in the World” for a very quick chat fresh off the stage.


Welcome back to Japan! You had a great reaction from the crowd, what do you think they look most forward to about your sets?
Thanks! I always try to make my sets about energy, groove and lots of exciting elements to keep it fresh and fun for the fans, so I hope this is part of the reason they look forward to me performing for them. Dancing with friends and having a good time is what a party is all about!

The typhoon definitely didn’t put any damper on the party. Did it worry you at all before the show?
Well, of course playing against the elements is something you do worry about but as long as the crowd are safe, happy and all is ok to continue, then my role is to give them the best party experience I can.

How does Ultra Japan compare to the other festivals you play all over the world?
The Japanese fans have a fierce passion for electronic music which is very unique and it’s an amazing to experience this as a DJ and it’s something that makes Ultra Japan a very special place to play.

You have shared the stage with so many legendary DJs. Have you ever been star struck to meet anyone?
To be honest I don’t really get star struck by people, although it’s quite funny because I’m not really a big football fan but I once met Lionel Messi in Barcelona. It was a little unexpected but that was very cool because he’s of course an incredible footballer.

Who do you most enjoy bumping into and are there any fellow performers that you have become great friends with?
I love running into friends on the road, but getting a chance to see a lot of my Dutch buddies on the road is especially fun.

What’s the best advice another DJ has given you?
Just believe in yourself and follow your own passion for what you do.


Hardwell & Austin Mahone – Creatures Of The Night (Official Music Video)

Images courtesy of Ultra Japan
Hardwell image credit Gerard Henninger