For the uninitiated, hardcore is a genre that revolves around distorted basses and extremely hard kicks, with song tempos ranging from around 150 BPM to more than 200 BPM.

As a genre, hardcore has been around since the ’90s, and has since given birth to a lot of sub-genres including hard techno, hardstyle, jumpstyle and speedcore among several others.

There are a handful of festivals that promote the hard-hitting genre, that has itself seen a steadily growing fan following over the years; a majority of them happen in the Netherlands! The Sherp has listed seven of them that must be on your bucket list, and if you’re curious about hardcore music, look no further and check these amazing festivals now!

1. Dominator



With a subtitle that says “The Hardcore Festival”, you know it’s big. Dominator has been around since 2005, and has featured some of the most influential hardcore artists in the scene. The festival crams as many artists as possible into a one-day time frame, and features multiple stage areas for different types of hardcore.

This year’s edition of Dominator will happen on July 16, at E3 Strand Eersel in the Netherlands.

2. Qapital



Being one of the newer hardcore festivals on the block with its origins in 2013, Qapital is no slouch. The festival revolves around raw hardstyle, and the 2016 edition will feature two separate arenas.

The 2016 event will take place at Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on April 2.

3. Defqon 1

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The big daddy of all hardstyle festivals, Defqon 1 happens in three countries now, all during different times in the year. The first edition of this mammoth festival happened in the Netherlands back in 2003, and has since spread to Australia and, most recently, Chile.

The Netherlands edition of the 3-day festival will happen on 24-26 June this year, while no details have been announced for the Australian and Chilean editions this year.

4. Masters Of Hardcore

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Masters Of Hardcore is a full-fledged company promoting hardcore music; they have a label, a music promotion channel and a festival under the MOH moniker. While the company was founded in 1995, they have been hosting events and parties throughout the Netherlands since 1998.

MOH will return to the Netherlands this year on March 26, and will feature 6 arenas loaded with hardcore music performances.

5. Hardshock



Another Dutch festival to add to the list, Hardshock is a single-day indoor festival that started off in 2012. It has since expanded into a mega event featuring six areas and a lineup with more than a hundred artists.

2016 will mark its fifth anniversary, and it will take place on April 16 at Almere Strand!

6. Harmony Of Hardcore



Harmony Of Hardcore has been around since 2004, and has not stopped since. With an average of 20000 attendees every year, HOH is one of the biggest hardcore events in the world, considering that it happens for only one day!

HOH will happen on May 14 this year at Festivalterrein De Roost in the Netherlands!

7. Qlimax

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Qlimax is considered as one of the oldest large-scale hardstyle events in the world. Organised by the same guys behind Defqon 1 and Qapital, the one-day festival began in the year 2000, hosting multiple events in a single year before moving to an annual format in 2004.

This year, Qlimax will return to the GelreDome in the Netherlands on November 19!

While a majority of these events still happen in the Netherlands, hardcore music is slowly widening its reach, and people will become more aware of it in the coming years!