Amsterdam Dance Event is undoubtedly the biggest electronic music conference in the world.
Starting out as a relatively unassuming gathering back in 1995, when just 300 delegates and 30 DJs were in attendance, the Amsterdam Dance Event now attracts over 350,000 visitors every year. During Amsterdam Dance Event, the Dutch capital hosts myriad events from countless panels discussions at the main conference through to pop-up performances, tech schools, and even a cooking competition.
The event is one of the highlights of the electronic music industry calendar with delegates flying in from all over the world to network, collaborate and hit the dance floor. ADE’s impact is felt throughout the industry every single year, with thousands of meetings occurring across the city, creating new relationships and helping many aspects of the dance music scene to continue flourishing, from the studios of the world’s greatest producers and the boardrooms of the biggest labels to the bedrooms of the latest new stars and the DJ booths of the hottest new clubs. A veritable who’s who of dance music superstars is also in attendance every year, putting on parties at most of Amsterdam’s clubs, from intimate, underground and quirky spaces to the superclubs, so whether you’re keen to expand your business, or you simply want to party all week long (or both), there is something to please everyone.
Here are five reasons to get yourself over to Amsterdam Dance Event, this year.
Meet lots of faces (new and old)
With such a huge number of international delegates flying in from every corner of the globe, there are so many opportunities to meet people face to face. Finally, you can put an actual face to the name you’ve been emailing for the last year, or maybe you’ll bump into a mutual acquaintance who becomes your next business partner. As well as the dizzying number of formal meetings that are organized every year, there are just as many, if not more, meet-ups that happen completely by accident – on the street outside the Dylan, in cafes and coffee shops, on the dance floor or backstage. If you go home with less than 10 business cards you’ve done something wrong…
Discover new artists
Amsterdam Dance Event has become a mecca for electronic music artists. The travel to Amsterdam in the hope of pushing their careers forward, getting management or a booking agent, finding a label to sign their music or a gig to showcase their talent. This means there’s a good chance you’ll discover someone you’ve never heard of at ADE, simply because there are so many musicians trying to break through. Label showcases, debuts for newcomers at some of the bigger parties, impromptu street performances or in-store shows, it’s all happening – you just have to keep your ear to the ground. From David Guetta to Like Mike, Matt Sassari to Truncate, Mall Grab to I Hate Models, there are thousands of artists playing all over town, new and old. A good place to start is the ADE University, where wannabe artists are encouraged to attend workshops, talks, networking events and panel discussions aimed at helping them to become industry professionals.
Trial the latest technology
Every year the industry’s technology giants fly into Amsterdam to present the music industry with their latest developments. Ableton, Pioneer, Native Instruments and many other hardware manufacturers see ADE as the perfect platform to deliver brand new concepts and innovations to delegates. At ADE Sound Lab you’ll find a smorgasbord of studio gear and equipment designed for those who have a penchant for live performance. Contemporary artists such as Bonobo and Joseph Capriati will be giving talks, alongside the legendary Orbital, whose new album is due for release this year. There are also plenty of opportunities to hear experienced producers discuss their creative process and masterclasses where you can witness live demonstrations of how they operate.
Absorb a ton of new info
Knowledge is power, as they say, and one thing you can be sure of at ADE is that you will learn at least a couple of new things that may well help you to get further with your business endeavours. Attending the conference will give you lots and lots of insight into how the industry works, opinions from a wide range of luminaries from all different aspects of the business and a ton of information comes forth during these crucial discussions. Whether it’s feminism and misogyny, the inner workings of a manager’s life, mental health, intimate one-to-one Q&As with dance music legends or panels that focus on how to get your foot in the door, ADE’s conference is a prime source of knowledge for many many industry heads. Speakers already announced include Alex Boateng, head of the Urban Division at Island Records, Bruce Carbone who was A&R at Def Jam and Shanti Das, who will be speaking about mental health and her campaign ‘Silencing The Shame’.
Party with progressive people
The Netherlands is one of the most forward-thinking and relaxed nations on Earth. Policies on drugs, sex education, sports, creativity, and well-being have helped shape their society into one that is open, inclusive and a lot more mature (in the best sense of the word) than many of their European cousins. That means the rave experience is just as open and inclusive, giving you the chance to experience unparalleled dance floor energy. From Shelter with its distinct booking policy, amazing sound system and underground vibe, to the likes of Paradiso, Melkweg, Air and the stupendous warehouse at NDSM, you cannot fail to find somewhere that will blow your mind – clubs where you can make friends with other ravers, where security treat you with respect and where you don’t feel as though you’re under surveillance the whole time. Expect to see legends like Paul Oakenfold, Dave Clarke, Luke Slater and Laurent Garnier, along with modern-day heroes Maya Jane Coles, Helena Hauff, Rebekah, Tale Of Us and many many more…