Dreams do come true, and they take place during ADE. The biggest electronic music conference just took place this past 17th to 21st of October. That’s right, Amsterdam Dance Event is back for its 23rd edition and stronger than ever, breaking its record from previous years and rightly so.
I had heard lots about Amsterdam Dance Event, but words can not do justice to the magnitude and level of what takes place during ADE. I will try, however, to do it justice and tell you guys what you can expect if you consider attending, or if you sadly missed this year´s ADE.
What is ADE?
Amsterdam Dance Event consists of the perfect combination of business and fun, having conferences during the day led by the most knowledgeable and talented people in the EDM world and A rated festivals throughout day and night. This year there were (hold on to your chairs) 1000 events, 400,000 attendees from over 100 countries, 450 night and 650 day events which took place in over 200 locations, 2500 performing artists and 600 speakers participating in the several workshops, keynotes and masterclasses. Mind blowing numbers for a mind blowing week. There are however, some positives and negatives to the magnitude of this festival. Positives, not only are you in a beautiful city but the city center is so concentrated that you will most likely cross paths with your favorite DJs, whether at your hotel, a restaurant, a party, the street. If you are looking to get involved in the scene and want to make contacts, I cannot think of a better opportunity, everyone there is somebody. The artists, the conferences, the venues are incredible, prime level and worth your time, you just have to check the calendar for the events that peak your interest and voila. If you ever get bored it’s because you want to, not because you have to. There are so many events taking place at all hours and so many people to meet that you can be doing something at every minute of the day, which also leads me to the negatives. Because there are so many things going on at all times, you cannot, unfortunately clone yourself, and will have to make tough decisions between what to attend. Because you will want to attend many, and trust me when I say many events, you will probably have to sacrifice sleep. If you’re visiting Amsterdam for the first time and are interested in doing a little tourism, I recommend you try to arrive a couple of days before ADE to actually dedicate time to some touristic activities. Hotels, Airbnbs, hostels all tend to jack up the prices due to demand, so I strongly recommend you have everything booked way ahead of time and save yourself some headaches. So here is an overview of what you can expect to attend.
ADE By Day
During the day you can expect to find different activities: from chats about how to succeed in the business, lead by only the best, to electronic music yoga classes, to films, to gear demonstrations. There’s a bit of everything for all tastes. Whether you like dance music, techno, dubstep, chances are you favorite DJ will be at ADE. If you don’t want to wait until night to start raving, check to see if they’re having a session like Jonas Blue, Paula Temple, Seth Troxler and many others did this year. If you’re intrigued by producing, singing, collaboration, and everything involved in the process of music making then you must attend the masterclasses and radio talks. For those of you minglers who want to make new connections and meet incredible people, grab a free cocktail at one of the many events meet and greet events. For those who want to get an very early start, or never go to sleep, there are some festivals, such as Awakenings, that take place for 24 hours.
ADE By Night
This is a tough one, since there are so many incredible artists playing in incredible venues, it is very hard to choose what to attend. No matter what aspect of EDM you like, you will be able to find the best talent playing the best festivals. I, the techno lover that I am, had a hard time choosing between Awakenings, which was on every night at the immense Gashouder club (you can read a detailed article about it here: https://theknockturnal.com/ade-awakenings-x-adam-beyer-presents-drumcode-review/), Afterlife whose line-up was the best I have seen, Circoloco, SolomunxAll Night, etc. You can look at the timelines of each event you’d want to go and try to move places to see the artists you’d like or if you don’t want to move stay at the same spot. I did both tactics both nights that I attended. Even though a lot of time was waisted between waiting in line and transportation moving, I really enjoyed being able to see the multiple, very original clubs such as Das School, which if you dreamed of having a rave in a school once you can make your dream come true, Ruigoord, a church with green surrounding it and very intriguing vibes and decorations and the Crane, which a hotel with a club on top of a crane, unfortunately I did not make it because of time but it’s on my list for next year. I extremely recommend you check them out.
There are multiple options for how you can go about doing ADE. If you want to take advantage of all it offers, both Day and Night activities then I recommend you go for the ADE bracelet which starts off at 225€ if bought first release.The bracelet won’t only give you access to conferences and shows but also to certain spots, such as the DeLaMar theatre, where you can find many involved in the business throughout the day and can only enter with the bracelet. One thing to keep in mind for bracelets, which I heard some complaining attendees about is that you are not guaranteed entrance to all night festivals. There are certain venues that hold out a certain number of spots for bracelets holders so if you want to guarantee your entry either get there early or buy a ticket for the event. Some events tend to specify how they go about handling bracelets.
If you are only interested in attending few events then you can buy single tickets, make you get them ahead of time so you’re guaranteed one and save up before prices go up. Tickets do sell out and resales are very expensive.
The best advice I can give you if you are planning to attend ADE 2019 or future years, is that you organize everything well, that way your stay in Amsterdam will go very smoothly. Have your hotel booked, your tickets bought as soon as announced, give yourself time to go to the night events and keep in mind that if it is a sold out night then the earlier you go, the lesser you’ll have to wait in line. ADE is extremely well organized and really raises up to the occasion, so all you have to do is do your homework well, search the ADE page for information, events and enjoy the most incredible 5 days of electronic music you will experience in one magical city.
You can check out some of the events that took place in this 2018 ADE here:
Thank you ADE team for having us, it was a true pleasure to have this experience and hats off to you for what you’ve accomplished!