NETHERLANDS: On October 24, this year’s Amsterdam Dance Event was brought to a close. From October 19 onwards, the city of Amsterdam was fully dedicated to the 21st iteration of ADE, the world’s biggest club festival for dance music and one of the most important business platforms for the electronic music industry.
After raising this year’s capacity to meet the growing demand, ADE has announced that its conference sold out for the 10th consecutive year. This year’s edition also broke new records, with 550 speakers, over 2,200 artists in more than 140 venues, 1000 events and 375,000 visitors.
This year’s festival programme covered the whole spectrum of electronic sub-genres, with over 2,200 artists including Adam Beyer, Ben UFO, Craig David, David Guetta, Dixon, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, DJ Harvey, Francesco Tristano, Gilles Peterson, Jessy Lanza, Hudson Mohawke, Jazzy Jeff, Laurent Garnier, Laurie Anderson, Martin Garrix, Maya Jane Coles, Metropole Orkest, Nicole Moudaber, Netsky, Philip Glass, Rebekah, Richie Hawtin, Seth Troxler, Skepta and Voices From The Lake performing in 140 of Amsterdam’s finest music and nightlife spaces.
ADE’s multiple conference streams offered the ultimate annual business and inspiration platform in the field of electronic music, featuring dedicated programming for business professionals, start-ups, aspiring producers and musicians, students, VJs, visual artists and stage designers. The programmes featured in-depth expertise and insight into harder and more urban music genres, the connection between dance & brands, the relationship between music and technology, and sustainable, ecologically responsible practices for the global dance music industry. Keynote speakers included Kickstarter’s head of music Molly Neuman; Def Jam CEO Steve Bartel; Gilles Peterson; Grammy Award winner Om’mas Keith; Spotify’s Matthew Ogle; COO of Red Light Management Bruce Eskowitz; Rob Newlan of Facebook Creative Shop; Mute founder Daniel Miller; Emagen Entertainment Group’s Anthony Saleh; and Martin Goldschmidt, Managing Director of the global indie label Cooking Vinyl.
The festival’s daytime programme, ADE Playground, provided entertainment, engagement and plenty of surprises for the legions of electronic music fans visiting Amsterdam for ADE. The mostly free offerings featured a wealth of dance music-related exhibitions, films, documentaries, DJ showcases, gear master classes and artist Q&As, taking place across Amsterdam’s five main districts, utilising historical locations and unique venues across the city. ADE MusicTalks, a series of open interviews and Q&A sessions, brought fans up close and personal with their heroes including Joris Voorn, Noisia, Octave One, Joe Claussell, Oliver Heldens and Richie Hawtin. Music giants Roland, Ableton, Native Instruments, Pioneer, Moog and more, offered unique insight into the latest gear. The Conservatorium hotel played host a healthy and unwinding alternative with ‘The Healing Garden’, providing an opportunity for attendees to engage with more mindfulness-related purpose with yoga and relaxation techniques.
There were also several new features launched at this year’s event. Former shipyard NDSM Wharf played host to the debut of ADE SLEEP/OVER, a pop-up campsite located on the impressive post-industrial site in Amsterdam Noord. The festival-village on the banks of the IJ boasted a 100% occupancy rate, offering over 400 comfortable, heated, sleeping accommodations with views over the city of Amsterdam, along with an an extensive programme of music, artist talks, art and performances. It also hosted the the Dutch National Opera’s first show at ADE, ‘Before Present’.
The first ADE Hackathon also took place in the Greenpeace office. Launched in collaboration with DGTL and Young Creators, ADE Hackathon challenged a group of young professionals to work on innovation and entrepreneurship for improvement and in dance and festival scene. With the addition of ADE Live, ADE offered new electronic live acts an extra chance to present themselves to the public and industry. The two-day showcase program was held in collaboration with and at Melkweg, Paradiso and Sugar Factory.