Tag Archives: Solo Set

12 Steps to Survive 12 Hours with Markus Schulz at Tomorrowland

This week Markus Schulz will be hosting a stage at Tomorrowland, one of the world’s most well known dance music festivals. There have been a lot of DJs that have hosted stages at festivals around the world but the one thing that makes this unique is that he’s the only one playing on the stage and he’ll be playing for 12 hours, from 1 PM until 1 AM. There won’t be any bathroom breaks. He has said he may arrange to have a light meal near the stage but don’t expect to see him eating a slice of pizza or cheeseburger behind the decks.

Markus Schulz has played numerous sets over 12 hours long but this will be the first that’s going to be mostly during daylight hours. The biggest challenge facing him is the heat and humidity expected during the daylight slaying hours.

Markus Schulz will make it, will you? If you have any doubt we’ve put together these 12 steps to surviving 12 hours at Tomorrowland.

1. Get a full nights sleep the night before. If this was a typical solo set going from doors open until doors close going all night we’d suggest a disco nap before heading to the club but with these 1 PM until 1 AM hours you’ll want a full night of sleep the night before. We’d also suggest avoiding any alcohol the night before to avoid any potential hangovers. The temptations will be heavy to party the night away in DreamVille but you’ll have a long weekend ahead, rest up.

2. Eat breakfast that will digest easily. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it’s not a cliche, it’s the truth. The meal in the morning gives your body fuel for the rest of the day and it can also leave your body in various ways depending on what you eat. In simple terms: don’t eat anything that’ll have you searching for a porta potty.

3. Stay hydrated. Standard festival tip. Before his set begins make sure to have a full bottle of water or two and if those run out take the time to get some refills, you’ll only miss a song or two.

4. Think about time and your alcohol consumption or drug usage. Alcohol will make you tired and drugs only last for so long. Be mindful of the effects of these things on your body so that you aren’t ready to crash as the sun is setting and there’s still over three hours left in his set. During a solo set at a club the dance floor will often begin to empty out as the time nears 4 AM as those who had been drinking a lot begin to tire out. There’s no denying that these things happen at any time of music event but for something like this you’ll want to think out your actions more than usual.

5. Follow the lead of Markus. The solo set will take you on a long journey and Markus will guide you right through until the end.  The solo set is broken into a few different sets starting with the warm up. He’s not going to go into full slaying mode from the start so relax and enjoy the build up and save your energy. After the warm up he’ll take you into the slaying mode where you’ll want to let loose. In a typical solo set after about six or seven hours he’ll guide the crowd down the rabbit hole. Follow his lead and energy in the music and you’ll go the distance. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Tomorrowland 2010


6. Comfort first and fashion second. Everyone wants to look their best and express themselves at a festival but do you really think you’ll be able to go the distance in flip flops or heels? Wear comfortable shoes and clothes that you’ll be able to dance, sweat and relax in.

7. Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses and rain poncho. Don’t risk a sunburn on the first day of the festival out in the sun. Keep the sun out of your eyes and skin protected. Weather update:  There is an  60% change of rain and thunderstorms on Friday. Be sure to pack a rain jacket or poncho and some plastic bags to keep your digital devices and other personal items dry.


8. Try to avoid sitting down. Instead of sitting down just stand in one spot with your knees bent and slowly moving back and forth. Once you’re down it’s harder to get back up so try and resist sitting down if you can. You’re the only one who really knows your body but our professional tip is to avoid sitting if possible.

9. Don’t let your friends influence you to leave. You don’t want to get split up from your friends but if you’re intention is to stay for the entire set don’t let anyone drag you away. You’ll regret it later on hearing about what you missed and will likely hold a small grudge. It may sound petty but we’ve heard it numerous times from people who have left solo sets before the end.

10. Go with the flow. It may be hot. It’ll likely be crowded. There’ll be annoying people. There’ll be people who will step on your foot. There’ll be people who’ll spill a drink on your, blow smoke in your face or even worst burn you with a cigarette. Those things all suck and hopefully none of them happen but at least one is bound to. Don’t get upset about it, just go with the flow and move on. Do not let one person or one incident take down your day.

11. Don’t watch the time. When you start to look at the time the thoughts will enter your mind that there’s still 7 hours to go and that’ll seem like a long time or you’ll get sad realizing there’s only two hours remaining. Let the music take you on a journey and be confident that Markus Schulz will guide you from beginning to end and will make it apparent when time is running down.

12. Get to know your neighbors. Everyone has a different way of experiencing a dance floor whether it’s finding a great spot and staying there or wandering around the entire time. For those who like to find a spot and stay in the same area make sure to get to know your neighbors because you’ll be spending a lot of time around them. This doesn’t mean carrying on in depth conversations but the simple hello’s, where are you from, etc. When you need to run to the bathroom or go and get something to eat or drink recognizing who you were around will make it easier to find your way back. It’ll also give everyone a chance to look out for one another.

Have fun, good luck going the distance and make sure to tag any social media you share with the #SchulzArmy hashtag for us to find and share. For anyone interested in writing a review of his set send an email to info@schulzarmy.com.
Markus Schulz’s 2 hour set from Tomorrowland 2011

Tomorrowland 2011

Travelling Down the Rabbit Hole in Toronto with Markus Schulz

The rabbit hole is a time when things get a little weird and the music may get a little trippy but there’s no need to fear it. This past Saturday night Markus Schulz was given the reigns of the DJ booth at The Guvernment nightclub in Toronto for his first solo set and he played for nine hours ending just before 8 AM. The Guvernment is a venue that deserves legendary status and has been dancing until dawn for nearly 20 years and has hosted Markus Schulz many times over the years. There was a lot of asking, begging and pleading for this event to happen and it was well worth the wait. Read the back story here.

I have heard a lot of great things about the solo set and this was the first one I’ve ever been a part of and was worth the over three hour drive to enjoy it. Suzanne Welker Jurgens, a partner in Schulz Army, flew to Toronto from San Francisco for the weekend just for this event as well. There was also people we knew of who had travelled to Toronto from Boston, New York City, Washington DC and Montreal. This was a destination event.

Keith Patrick Suzanne ASOT 650 TorontoThe hotel of choice was the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto which is only a few blocks from the club and was filled with partiers going to The Guvernment as well as the Digital Dreams Festival that was also being held in Toronto that weekend featuring Tiesto, Dash Berlin, Paul van Dyk, Wolfgang Gartner, Richie Hawtin and many more. Toronto is an amazing city to visit and possibly one of the most underrated in North America when it comes to electronic music. If you’re looking for a place to travel to this would be worth it.

We met with A State of Trance 650 Toronto campaign during the day to pickup some original t-shirts they had designed for the night and to also get a glimpse of the shirt they had made specifically for Markus Schulz to give him that night. Every trance addict dreams of hosting A State of Trance event in their city and Toronto has been working hard to make it happen and getting everyone they can on board.

The club was scheduled to open it’s doors at 10 PM with Markus Schulz going on at 11 PM and then playing until closing time. We arrived at the club around 9:30 PM and quickly traded some #SchulzArmy Down the Rabbit Hole We Go bracelets with some people from Hamilton to be first in line. The doors finally opened, searches were conducted and everyone ran in the doors. Markus was already in the DJ booth trying to finish his setup and had an instant smile on his face as the dance floor began to fill up. He had flown in to Toronto after playing in Las Vegas the night before and probably had little time between travel, a disco nap and the setup.

The nine hour journey began shortly after 10:30 PM and didn’t end until after 7:30 AM in the morning and I would’ve loved to have reviewed the night hour by hour but the dance floor and music suck you into having a good time. An hourly review wouldn’t even do it justice, this is something that you need to experience if you’re a fan of the music. It was hot, sweaty and packed at times but it was to be expected with a set like this and also 50,000 people attending a festival down the street looking for an after party as well.

Markus began the journey with a progressive build up getting everyone in a groove and warmed up for the extended slaying that was headed our way. The crowd was cheering and chanting “Markus” as he set the pace for the night and it was clearly noticed on his face that he acknowledged the affection. The City of Toronto has been a special place for him over the years and was also featured on the 2009 city series compilation. The 2013 city is expected to be announced at any time. As the night progressed into what’s considered the peak hour material it featured Scream tracks, all of the New World Punx tracks and a lot of old school trance tracks.

There was also a special moment in the night during “Perfect” when the words in the picture below appeared on the screen and Julie said yes to the proposal from Chris. Chris had gotten word to Markus that he wanted this to happen and the two of them worked out details and it went off without a hitch. A perfect moment for an amazing couple from Montreal!

Chris asks Julie to marry him in Toronto
Photo by xoxstacey

As the club started to clear out from those not in it for the long haul the rabbit hole began where as Markus always says, things get a little bit weird and trippy but not a time to fear. The rabbit hole featured staples like “Nothing Matters”, “Man with the Red Face” and of course “Rapture”. If you’d like to really get a taste of the music during a rabbit hole set listen to the over three hour mix recorded at Space in Miami.

The club has a side door that leads to a patio outside and at one point in the morning with the sun shining and the door open Markus got on the microphone and quickly said, “Close the door, you’re letting unicorns in!” One unicorn either survived the slaying portion of the set or entered the club during the moment that those doors were opened.


IMG_2042 (2)As the music ended towards the 8 AM hour there was still almost half of the club left cheering him on as the music wound down but he had to finish up since he had to get to Ottawa for another gig in less than 12 hours. Markus took the time like he usually does to take pictures, shake hands and sign autographs. The club cleared out and the zombie walk back towards the hotel began.

There’s few DJs in the world that can play an extended solo set like this and Markus Schulz is a master of the art. I had the pleasure of seeing Sasha and Digweed play an extended set at Twilo in New York City before it closed it’s doors and at the time I never thought anything would compare but this surpassed that experience. Once you’ve enjoyed sets like these the standard one to two hour club or festival set just don’t compare.

Sign me up for the solo set travel club!

Here’s almost 50 minutes of the final hour or so that he played. It’ll give you an idea but really doesn’t do it justice, you need to experience this.

Markus Asked, The Army Asked, The Guvernment Listened

Markus Schulz and The Guvernment Nightclub in Toronto announced in early April that Markus was finally booked to be playing his first ever solo marathon set at the club that was recently ranked at #22 by Dj Mag in their Top 100 list.

There’s more to the story than just a simple booking though. The story involves Markus saying that he’d love an opportunity like this, an online petition asking for it and a lot of tweets and Facebook posts asking the club for it. If you read enough tweets or posts on Facebook from fans to their favorite dj’s asking for a gig the common response will be, “ask your local club or promoter to make it happen.” That’s exactly what happened here and here’s how it happened.

Markus has played short sets and even as long as 6 hours at The Guvernment in the past but he has never gone the distance with a true open to close that a handful of other cities around the world have experienced. His last appearance at the club was for Labour of Love in September 2012 when he played for four and a half hours ending his set at 8am which is what really set all of this in motion. You can read my review of that set here.

His set from that event in Toronto was the Global DJ Broadcast World Tour edition that aired on September 13, 2012.

Markus Schulz Toronto 2009The Guvernment in Toronto was also chose for the 2009 city compilation based on his six hour set that year.

During that Sept 13, 2012 edition broadcast a question by Tim Gonzalez was brought up to Markus asking him about playing the deeper tracks he’s been known to play and Markus responded, “That is exactly the reason why they need me to play open to close. I can’t start off deep in the middle of a night after 2 or 3 DJs have been banging it out before me.”

“I could have ended it at 5, and would have been the wise decision after barely any sleep from NY the night before and playing in Montreal during the day,” Markus Schulz had said during a GDJB chat. “But I try my best to make the fans’ experience as best as possible.”

A lot of us had asked him more about this happening and Markus Schulz continued to say, “I would absolutely love if the Guv gave me that room or Koolhaus to play open to close. Might be worth you guys encouraging them.”

After I had read that I thought it was time to try and gather support for such a thing and get the attention of The Guvernment. One way to get attention was to start an online petition that gathered 398 signatures during the whole process. Not a lot of signatures but it created some buzz every week and sent emails to the club every time that someone signed off. This was spread every Thursday for months.

Was anyone listening to the constant emails? The tweets? The Facebook posts? They noticed.

In early March Markus had said that he knew talks had started with The Guvernment which was a great sign and that sometime towards summer was a possibility. And then things went silent. Just before the Winter Music Conference in Miami the latest word that was shared was that there were whispers but nothing else. It was time for WMC, Ultra Music Festival, Space in Miami, a lot of media, meetings, panels and of course the New World Punx events at A State of Trance 600 New York City and Bal en Blanc. In hindsight, I think that was his way of calming the buzz prior to those large events.

Fast forward to the April 4, 2013 edition of Global DJ Broadcast when this conversation took place:

Markus Marathon Guv Tease

The Guvernment had retweeted it which meant something was up.

Fast forward about two hours and the news was unleashed!

Markus Schulz Marathon Set Toronto Announced

The rest is history! If you’ve never been to the club before you can expect the typical large room with big lights, big sound and lasers that will send everyone deep into the rabbit hole late in the night. The venue is 19+ and the crowd will range from those just turning of age to those over 40 that have been dancing until dawn in Toronto since the early 90’s. The club will likely be packed early in the night but only the strong will survive beyond 3:00 AM. Will you be one of them?

For more information about the club visit http://theguvernment.com/ and to purchase tickets click here http://inktickets.com/show.cfm?id=97828&key=o03R7MKVGT.

Markus Schulz Marathon Set The Guvernment Toronto June 2013