About This Festival
A Dance Music Mecca
Amsterdam Dance event is a five-day industry and entertainment extravaganza scattered across 115 reputable venues throughout the iconic Netherlands’ capital city. The festival boasts some of the biggest names in the international electronic club scene as well as its fair share of up-and-comers and underground artists. ADE takes place in October, meaning it bookends the tourist travel season and shares September’s usually favorable weather, providing attendees with exciting sights and sounds to feast their senses upon. In its entirety, ADE involves an astronomical 450 conference and music events – including over 2,200 DJs. It’s all business during the day with presentations and networking opportunities at ADE Pro, ADE Tech, HDE, ADE University, ADE Next and ADE Green. Things really take off at night, when the who’s who of club music creators and aficionados take over the town.
Mapping Out ADE
Amsterdam Dance Event began in 1996 during EDM’s booming early days as a conference attended by 300 delegates and involving 30 DJs over three days. All of this took place at the famous De Balie, a theatre, center for politics and cultural hub. Now, the event spans across a whopping 115 venues over five days. Today, numerous acclaimed venues in Amsterdam take part, including art house café club OT301, classic music hall the Royal Concertgebouw and the historical Chez De Marktkantine.
ADE is composed of three parts: the Festival, the Conference and the Playground. On top of the spread of both new and legendary clubs that fuel Amsterdam’s reputation as a leading force in dance music, various buildings, businesses and unconventional venues are transformed for ADE’s nighttime festivities. The program features the biggest artists on the planet alongside fresh, upcoming talent and everything in between. Every year the ADE Festival attracts 350,000 festival visitors from around the globe and is truly the biggest international club festival covering the whole spectrum of electronic sub-genres. Tickets for events are sold individually (usually for about €15) and separate from the conference ticket packages as well.
All Work and All Play
An incomparable chunk of the worldwide electronic music industry congregates at ADE every year, offering the ultimate combination of business and inspiration. The Conference is quite comprehensive, covering the modern music industry, and featuring dedicated programming for business professionals, start-ups, aspiring producers and musicians, students, VJs, visual artists and stage designers. About 5,000 people opt into the conference portion of this festival each year. The programs break down into categories that cover deeper insight into the harder music genres, the relationship between music and technology, and sustainable, ecologically responsible practices for the global dance music industry. The conference is open to anyone with a one-day or five-day pass and spread across six different themed programs:
- ADE Pro (the main conference)
- ADE Green (a dedicated conference focusing on sustainability)
- Hard Dance Event (ADE’s conference focused on the harder styles in dance music)
- ADE Next (a conference for up-and-coming DJs and producers)
- ADE Tech (covering startups and tech trends in the world of electronic music)
- ADE University (a select group of students and young professionals who get to learn from industry professionals)
Amsterdam is one giant playground for grown-ups and ADE takes this aspect of the city to the extreme. ADE Playground lacks distinct boundaries, happening all throughout the city center during the festival. It is a unique, dance-related lifestyle program offering five days of film screenings, music hardware presentations, art shows and exhibitions, exclusive fashion offers, interactive talk shows, promotional activities and pop-up musical performances at 25 creative hotspots around the city, including roof-top terraces, clothing shops, and art galleries, as well as outdoor exhibitions and cinemas.
Cooking Up More than Just Beats
Every year on the first day of ADE, the organizers put together a DJ cook-off where five famous producers literally whip up their own unique entrees in a friendly competition. The food is judged by some lucky invited panelists and the kitchen showdown is witnessed by hundreds of spectators. It’s just as tasty as it sounds, but the real question is how to secure a spot at the judges table.