Does 'Europapa' lead to a comeback of the gabber dance?

Julian Schaap in De Standaard on 'hakken' and the Dutch Eurovision entry
Picture of nightlife club

On Tiktok, the song 'Europapa' by Joost Klein has sparked a true trend, with users massively engaging in the dance style known as 'hakken'. Can the Dutch entry for the Eurovision Song Contest lead to a comeback of the gabber dance? Julian Schaap (ESHCC) analyzes in De Standaard the impact of the Dutch entry on the popularity of the gabber culture.

The phenomenon of 'hakken', the distinctive dance to hardcore music characterized by fast footwork and rhythmic movements, originated as part of the gabber subculture in the nineties in Rotterdam. With Joost Klein's Eurovision song, the dance style now seems to be shifting towards the mainstream. But what does the gabber world itself think of this?

Poor imitation?

Opinions are divided on this new wave of interest, but Schaap emphasizes the difference between, on the one hand, the gabber culture and, on the other hand, the pounding gabber music. "Some in the scene will certainly see this as a poor imitation of the real thing, and consider it as appropriation of their culture," he says. But according to him, Tiktokkers are mostly just riding along with a trend: "I don't think they will form a deep connection with that subculture."

New interest

The article also discusses the broader impact of subcultures transitioning into the mainstream, with references to previous examples such as the rise of happy hardcore in the nineties. Schaap points out that while such trends are often temporary, they can also lead to a broader acceptance of the subculture and potentially attract new participants. Thus, it is possible that 'Europapa' could generate new interest in the gabber scene, although Schaap doubts whether that will actually be the case. "For those who delve deeper into it, the song could serve as a stepping stone, but the group interested in it is unlikely to be large."

More information

Read the full article (NL) via De Standaard.

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