By Dominic Wren
The Flag Gang is an Internet sensation. Today their instagram page has reached over 27,000 followers. This is an EDM specific page that aims to unite people from all over the world together. I was lucky enough to sit down with Mathijs van Dam and Renata Stuckert Vasconcellos, the creators on The Flag Gang. Their instagram page has become one of the most recognizable names in the rave community. From the idea of bringing people together with an online page to Laidback Luke wearing their logo, it’s been an exciting journey through electronic dance music for this wonderful couple.
We finally sit down after having to pull Mathijs and Renata out of the heavy bass music from Riverside Festival and people asking them for selfies. Mathijs started by saying that he was very impressed with the festival we were attending. Originally from the Netherlands and Renata coming north from the hot country of Brazil, the couple explained why they fell in love with raves and the rave community. “You go out to meet people, but it’s very difficult to meet people. So I brought a Brazilian flag and lots of people were approaching me. So he got the idea and he started this” said Renata with a unbreakable smile. Mathijs then added that flags made an easy door to conversation so from there on in, he started bring a bunch a different flags for people to wear while they were people’s shoulders so he could take photos of them in their most beautiful moments. And that was the start of an instagram mega page.
For people who have been to so many different concerts and raves, I asked them what was their best show that they’ve ever been to. Mathijs responded: “Virtual Self at New City Gas a couple of weeks ago was an experience for me. It was so different. It made me feel so nostalgic of the music I used to listen to back in the day. He’s just so different everything that we hear today.” His Brazilian better half had a bit of a different opinion. She mentioned that Virtual Self wasn’t her cup of tea but added that Oliver Heldens’ three hour set at Ile Soniq a couple of years ago was sensational for her.
The Dutch media entrepreneur went on to tell of the meaning behind The Flag Gang. If you check their instagram page, you’ll notice that their posts are crowd specific. It’s not about the DJ’s; it’s about the people. They’re promoting good vibes over who’s playing. “But we also want to have good music” affirmed Mathijs. Uniting people and creating one big family is the main goal behind the page. “We have a slogan for a while now which is ‘Break borders and party together’” said the EDM craving couple.
Today the page has caught the attention of thousands of people including some big time DJs. This summer at Ile Soniq festival in Montreal, Laidback Luke was wearing a The Flag Gang t-shirt at his set on the main stage. This story started a couple of years ago. The couple won a meet 'n greet with Laidback Luke at New City Gas. As they finally meet him and explained their concept of The Flag Gang to him and he thought it was a great idea. Weeks go by and one of Mathijs’ friend went to a DJ conference where Laidback Luke was also attending it. Mathijs jumped on the opportunity to give his friend a TFG shirt to pass on to the famous DJ. When Laidback Luke came back to New City Gas in January of 2018, Mathijs tweeted at him asking to wear his TFG shirt during his set. He tweeted back responding: “I forgot it at home” so nothing came of it, but his Ile Soniq set, he came to stage and played his whole set wearing the The Flag Gang shirt. “It was such a beautiful gesture and that I am very thankful,” said Mathijs.
If anyone is wanting to see the beauty behind the raving community, their instagram page is where you’ll find it. These two amazing souls have not only found themselves, but a whole other incredible family.