Amsterdam Dance Event has outdone itself. Again. Its latest edition, held from October 18 to 22, has broken the record of attendees and has demonstrated why so many people travel from all over the world to live this unique experience. Hosting almost three thousand artists at over a thousand events and initiatives taking place in over two hundred locations across the city, the festival that brings together the best of global electronic music has been a complete success. And we were there to experience it first hand.
When I first learned that there would be over a thousand events, I couldn’t get over my astonishment. We’re used to macro festivals with overwhelming programmes and overlapping performances, but this year’s schedule played on a league of its own. As you will understand, it’s hard to decide which parties, sets and conferences to attend. Every year, ADE’s roster of activities brings together so much talent over a five-day period that the task of selecting where to go and who to see becomes more and more difficult. Luckily, the Amsterdam Dance Event programme is suitable for everybody, but before the festival kicks off, you should spend some time organising your personal schedule according to your interests. But another highly recommended option is to let yourself flow, it never fails!
Welcoming a record number of 500,000 global visitors and with 650,000 sold tickets, ADE has grown to become the most important and influential breeding ground for electronic music culture and talent. And this project, which is an initiative of Buma, is much more than a festival. It’s an appointment with the sector, with some of the most inspiring voices on the scene who also take the opportunity to meet and share some time surrounded by friends despite their very busy schedules.
Not only do professionals come together at ADE, but the main Dutch festivals also organise stunning events celebrating electronic music. The one by DGTL deserves special mention. Held on Saturday and titled We Still Believe, hosted together with The Blessed Madonna, it left us with a myriad of unforgettable memories. The NDSM was transformed into a safe space to celebrate freedom, self-expression, identity and music. The DGTL events in connection with the latest edition of ADE also invited Bicep, Dixon, Stephan Bodzin or the incredible Peggy Gou to take the stage, who joined a day-time event to properly end the ADE week together with DJ Stingray 313, Carista, Objekt and many more.
Awakenings, one of the essential festivals in the European summer schuedle – we attended it a few months ago –, didn’t want to miss the appointment, organising many events for the occasion with artists such as Solomun, Nina Kraviz, Reinier Zonneveld, Joris Voorn, Mind Against and Amelie Lens, among many others.
In addition to the enormous variety of sold-out festival events, the ADE Pro Conference extended its programming to four days for the first time this year. As we’ve already mentioned, Amsterdam Dance Event not only invites us to be an active part of its parties and DJ sets but also a very interesting programme to continue to learn, which this year has welcomed global artists and influential companies to Felix Meritis to cover the strategies, opportunities and responsibilities that define the music industry.
Some of the most important leaders and tech experts at Google, TuneCore, SEG and many more shared their thoughts on the development of Artificial Intelligence as well as the different platforms and social media, an issue which requires deep analysis. The conference invited world-class artists on stage, including DJ icon Grandmaster Flash, The Blessed Madonna, Röyksopp and Max Cooper.
We can’t ignore ADE Lab, the talent development gathering for young artists and professionals. Its second edition, in which more than 2,000 young artists, producers and aspiring professionals gathered and had the opportunity to continue learning alongside artists including Reinier Zonneveld, Mama Snake, Saoirse, Héctor Oaks and A-Trak, generating very exciting synergies and connections.
We could extend for days talking about all the activities that took place in these five days, but the best is that you experience it by yourself next year. Amsterdam Dance Event has just announced the dates of its 2024 edition. It will be from October 16 to 20, and you can now pre-register here. The countdown has started!