The Maize Monster of Hartstocht
This week a beautiful gif flyer came online to announce a new edition of Hartstocht in September 2024. I could almost hear the Hartstochtelingen coo like doves. To celebrate the coming event, I asked one of Hartstochts superheroes, the British top-Dj Phil 'Moonface' Thompson, to write a story about the walk he'd made in September 2023. A 'stroll' from the Hartstocht site to his BnB.
Story, illustrations & videos by Phil 'Moonface' Thompson.
Beware of the Maize Monsters!
As it was getting colder in the evening of the 8th of September 2023 Moonface wanted to pick up some warmer clothing for him and Ani, his lovely wife... Okay, I won't say more.
Mr. Thompson (a real devil artist) also made the wonderful illustrations of two I'm-not-gonna-tell-things. Enjoy this crazy and very funny piece of this superhero. Whose superpowers turned off when he tasted the Happy Tea...
('shut op now, Mick!')
This was my second time Dj'ing at the venue as I had already played earlier in the year in March. So I was kinda familiar with the settings. We were in the middle of farmland 2 hours and 2 train changes away from Amsterdam heading North East. From the station we were picked up by a very nervous driver who had only just passed his driving test days before. We weren taken to the venue in peak midday summer time heat wave. We asked our fresh out of nappies driver if he could wait for us as I had no idea where we were staying and I needed to find Sir DepGlobe (Hilbrand, the main event organiser). He was my only contact with what was happening and where we were staying and Dj'ing. Unfortunately he was not responding to my messages as I later found out he was Dj'ing at the time. So i ran in and found DepGlobe playing music and asked him where we were staying. He gave me the address and I ran back to the driver, who was patiently waiting for us. As it was so crazy hot we didn't want to do the 20 minute walk from the accommodation and back to the venue so we asked the driver if he could wait for us whilst we checked in. The driver was really cool and waited as we got the keys to our amazing little villa B & B converted barn. We had time to change and grab what we needed for the evening. It was so hot all day we never took any extra layers with us then the driver dropped us back to the festival that afternoon.
Our friends from the UK Tim, Debbie and Chris drove all the way from the Isle of White to join us for this weekend of music, friends and fun in the sun. They had already arrived and set up camp outside right by the main dance floor. We were getting used to the amazing Dj's that were playing on the 5 stages. It was quite hard to choose where you wanted to hang, because you always felt you might be missing something. There was amazing music coming from every speaker wherever you strolled. Everyone was smiling and loving the vibes.
So we had heard about this Happy Tea. Ever had Happy Tea before? NOPE... What's in it?
Truffles and mushrooms, they said. It's a light buzz and will calm you and enhance your emotions. So we all had a cup and as time went by we kept questioning each other. Asking things like... Do you feel anything yet? Nope not me. But then I started to feel something and the music was enhanced and the lights were more magical, but in a very subtle way.
It started to get dark. The music got louder. More people arrived. We were in our element loving just being here. Being asked to Dj in such an amazing setting with some really cool people of all ages was a blessing for me and my wife Ani.
More people started to arrive and most of the best vibes were outside on the main stage.
BUT Suddenly it got cold. Very cold.. Mist and condensation started to appear and vapour from our mouths as we talked. Ani and I were not prepared for this sudden chill and we had nothing with us, no coats or extra layers and it had been so hot all day.
OHHHHH SHITT... I needed to go back to the accommodation and get some nice layers and our coats as it was going to be a very damp and cold evening with clear skies.
DepGlobe kept telling me at the end of the night I can walk home. It's just a short walk, he said. If you google it, it will show you the way.
So suddenly around 9pm it's getting dark and misty and bloody freezing and I am in my sports non sweat wick t-shirt that has no heat benefits at all. I Need to walk back to the accommodation somewhere I have never walked before.
I said to Ani it might be best if i go alone as i can walk way faster than my petite wife, who moans at me as soon as i am walking slightly faster. Even a Sunday stroll is too fast for her. She cheekily smiled and said, "sure ok, i'll be here". So I left her enjoying the vibes and walked into the unknown to get supplies.
I googled where we were staying and it said about a 20min walk out the front gate of the venue round to the East and round the whole back of the festival venue and then two or three tractor farm tracks through a farm yard and finally to where our room was to the right.
So I set off.. walking and walking.. I passed round the back of the festival venue on the other side of some dykes and a big high fence with overgrown shrubs. I could hear the bass thumping of many clashing sound systems along with many people cheering, whooping it up and whistling.
I was smiling as it was quite a unique perspective. Although suddenly I felt like the Happy tea had just kicked in and I was looking back from where I had walked and forward to where I was going, double taking it all in. Now my overused senses from being in the Festival environment could now calm down as I needed to focus on not getting lost.
It was already a little scary as I was suddenly alone. It was getting into the well known twilightzone of darkness and I felt like if anything happened to me no one would know.. Suddenly the Happy/Unhappy Tea really kicked in.
I was walking super fast as it was really cold...Then my heart started racing as I almost felt like a panic attack was coming on. Slow down, I was saying to myself. No rush. Then I came to the end of this straight track with some trees either side of it. Suddenly it opened out into another straight track that according to my Google maps was the last walk through a farmyard. And the place we were staying at, was on the right along a short bit of road.
It was getting darker, it was misty over the flat fields to my right and then to my left a Maize / Cornfield with pretty high Maize nearly ready to harvest.
'Flat fields to my right and then to my left a Maize / Cornfield....
I didn't want to use my mobile phone torch as I was already trying to conserve my battery, knowing later that night we also had to walk this way to get home after the night was over.
I was already in a mess and suddenly I had this Cornfield to deal with. I was trying not to look too far ahead, just in case I saw something. You know when you see reflecting eyes in the dark. No one was around. There were some damaged maize stalks as if a creature had been through them. My mind was racing.. What if I get murdered by the Maize Monster? Then eaten, no one would know until hours later. It would be my fault as I was the idiot who walked into the jungle at night, I was thinking to myself as my thoughts raced.
I walked even faster even though I thought I might be hyperventilating. Making sure every step was perfectly placed as there were water ditches at the side of the gravel track.
It's getting darker and scarier..
Phew, I had made it to the farm yard... only to look to my left and see a silhouette of a man standing in a doorway back lit and just looking at me. Where did I come from walking through his farm yard I am sure he was thinking. "Hello" I said but didn't get a reply.
Now I had made it to the road. The base was just minutes away now. A car passes me by on the short walk along the road to the accommodation. Wow, I made it. I stopped to listen as I could still hear the music from the distance wafting bass as I then caught my breath. The car pulled over in the same place I was staying. I cannot see what car it is as it's now dark under all the surrounding trees. I go to our room and hunt for the things I was told to bring by my wife Ani, that if I did not bring i would get in big trouble and either she would freeze or i would have to walk back again. Leggings, top, and Jean jacket and winter jacket. I then changed into my warmer stuff that I had packed as back up just in case it was the usual NL coldness.
So, check, check, check.. Phone?.. yep. Keys... yep.. Ani's warm clothing.. check...
I leave the B & B and head back the way I came. The car that pulled in was still there with a man standing by it at the rear of the car. I could not see him, just a silhouette in the darkness. Suddenly I hear in a quaint light sounding voice with a strong Dutch accent.. "Hello Phil".. How the fuck did this guy know it was me in the dark? I said "Hello" back in shock someone recognized me and in my mind was wishing he would say: "Hey, do you want a lift back to the Festival? I'm going that way!" Nope, he never said that and he left me to walk off into the darkness carrying shit loads of clothing. No phone torch as I needed the battery to get home later with. He just left me to walk off! The Maize Monster could have been waiting for me on the way back to the festival.
I just locked onto the distant wafting beats and was now on a mission to get back. I surrendered to the universe and my destiny was in its hands.. I marched past the maize field. Through the woods as the music and cheering got louder. I was peeking through the fence as I was on the borders of the Festival. Back round to the front of the entrance through the gates and back into civilization heading to the dance floor where my wife was along with my mates from IOW UK.
The next day I found out the very guy who said hello to me in the dark at the B & B stood by his car was none other than Mick Boskamp and his legendary Toyota Starlet 1998 that has never let him down.
Cheers Mick for asking me to to write this for you, and cheers for leaving me to walk into my destiny narrowly escaping death and avoiding being eaten by the MAIZE MONSTER, to never been seen again and everyone on Facebook say what a nice bloke he was and didn't he make great music? Then my music goes to number 1 and my art sells for millions. After i'm DEAD!
Reaction from the driver of the Toyota Starlet: 'Have you ever wondered why I was there with my car? At the very same moment you were afraid of being eaten by the Maize Monster? Isn't it a coincidence that Maize, Monster and Mick start with the same letter M? Just chew on that for awhile, while I listen to 5 hours (!) of, as you call it, 'a collection of unique creations that i feel have gone well under the radar'. And what a great collection Moonface Under The Radar is: 41 tracks in total, each one of them a growth diamant. To all the Dance Monsters in the universe: check this album out!'
From left to right: Ani (Phil's beautiful wife), Phil Moonface, me & Nick Mjoer.