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Go BackAMSTERDAM DANCE EVENT! – Over 300 DJs, 30 venues, 3 days and nights... So use your head, don’t lose it, says ADE insider Pieter van Adrichem…

Posted: 3/10/04 11:40

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Indeed it’s all about music in The Netherlands from the 21st - 23rd of October with over 300 international DJ’s and acts set to perform, plus many more industry heads going Dutch for business during the eighth annual Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) and Live Dance Music Conference (LDMC).

A double conference and festival, the ADE is a three-day affair organised by Conamus and Buma/Stemra blending established artists and fresh talent with industry experts. A conference within a conference the LDMC, as its title suggests, caters for the live vibe and enjoys its third edition this year. The LDMC attendees however have full networking access to ADE facilities, and versa-vice.

Widely known as one of the largest conferences in Europe the ADE/LDMC is mainly for professionals from the electronic and dance scenes, but has a new urban angle this year. In summary the venture is incredibly magnetic in attracting: artists, labels, publishers, agents, promoters, and so on down the line... This year topics for discussion, among many, include: festivals, tourism, and technology. The ADE also features inspired and inspiring talk shows. Former Kraftwerk member Karl Bartos, now a professor at Berlin University, is once such speaker and the team have more planned like the Final Scratch workshop with Funk D’Void. The conference with its extensive panels, presentations, keynotes, and other meetings will take place in Amsterdam’s Felix Meritis centre during the day, while at night the event goes into festival mode at countless venues across the city. An ample amount of well-known artists are confirmed already, but with a great deal of unsung talent out there rest assured the ADE proudly embraces all!

Well the forthcoming ADE edition, with its largest program to date, looks seriously impressive. So reflecting this Ibiza-Voice now brings you a sneak preview (Full review will also be feature in The Voice)  of what’s happening, and why, this October in Amsterdam via Conamus’ own Pieter van Adrichem. As an energetic PR spokesperson and music lover, van the ADE man thus converses on catering for creativity, sound motives, his vision for the event, and one or two other matters…

Hello Pieter we hope that you are well, how’s your year been since we last spoke in 2003?
“It’s been an eventful year for the ADE as it has for dance music in general, and a lot of things have gone back to the underground. The good news though is that many people are still active in some way within music and the industry. I find dance and electronic music a very lively thing in 2004.”

ADE is organised by Conamus, do you work for them the whole year round on other events, or just with the ADE?
“Yeah, there are too many projects to mention really. We also do a new talent event aimed more at rock, alternative and pop music called EuroSonic, taking place early January in Groningen. Then there’s the Holland stand that we do at some international conferences like the Miami Winter Music Conference, promotional CD’s, newsletters and websites… ADE is about 40% of what I do the whole year round; but right now it’s about 200%!”

Can you quickly introduce us to some of the other team members who work on the ADE project maybe?
“Yes, the ADE is very much a team effort. Apart from Richard Zijlma, who is the general manager, there’s also: Dennis doing registrations, Danielle on production, Inge as our promotions assistant, a whole bunch of interns and other assistants, plus a lot of people in and outside of Holland who help us with a multitude of things. The ‘good’ thing about the ADE is that everybody misses a lot of sleep around September and October, and spends too much time in the office. We are very good customers of the local Thai takeaway around these times I can assure you…” 

This is the eighth year for the ADE. How have you personally seen the event change and evolve in relation to its aims and objectives?

“It’s always been important for us to create possibilities for new artists, and during the last few years there’s been a lot more European input at the ADE. Up to two or three years ago you would get the impression that UK/US names were omnipotent, but you see more local talent from mainland Europe crossing borders nowadays. Dutch trance has been very big for a long time now, but I really enjoy seeing acts from Italy, Denmark, Germany and Belgium making an impression on the audience too.”

How do you balance nurturing a creative hotbed of the underground with more commercial objectives and ADE’s longer-term progression?
“It’s not that complicated, we try to cater for everyone when it comes to the conference. Amsterdam has numerous clubs and venues where you can set things up, so we can still bring a very broad program to the ADE. In our opinion there’s room for both small-scale underground parties at venues such as Desmet, Winston and Club11; but we also view the program in big clubs such as Escape, as a necessary and very important part of the ADE. It was also a conscious decision to bring more live talent from Europe to the ADE… I think it’s fair to say that Europe definitely has a tradition of its own when it comes to dance music. Europeans, and I include the Brits in that, should be proud of the music that has been bred here!” 

The Live Dance Music Conference (LDMC) addition issues its third edition in 2004 and is supported by the Netherlands Culture Fund, as such what’s new?
“Well, the good thing about the LDMC is that it really hit a chord with a lot of festival organisers and agents. A lot of people now use the LDMC and ADE as a place to either showcase their latest acts, or to scout for new artists and DJ’s for use at their own club or festival.”

Last time we spoke you said that dance music has ‘an image problem’; do you think this could be part of the reason why we, as a community, are being treated generally by conservative rulers the world over like an errant child? 
“Yes, but that’s part of getting established; jazz music in the 20s, rock & roll in the 50s, acid rock in the 60s, many kinds of music (usually combined with a specific youth culture and a drug of choice) have met with moral uproar. I think it’s only a matter of time until ‘electronic music’, and I use that term intentionally as a broader definition then dance, is viewed as a serious cultural force.”

How is local government treating your business, you thankfully seem to have their full support?
“Indeed, both local and national government are supporting the ADE. In general, clubs in Amsterdam have a good relationship with police and the powers that be. Of course DJ Tiësto is one hell of a Dutch ambassador… I think a lot of people in the Dutch government realise that electronic music is something that this nation should be proud of.”

Who decides what subjects the conference covers, and what are the hot topics of 2004 – we see there are sessions on festivals, tourism and technology, but what else will be discussed primarily and why?
“In general it’s what comes up in the field. We definitely don’t do it all ourselves. There are a lot of people who fill us in on what we should be covering, so our thanks go to all of them!” 

Are there any notes or memos made from these insightful sessions or is that a journalist’s job?
“Unfortunately not. You’re right, that’s a journalist’s job…”

There’s so much going on, and it is detailed online now; but do participants get a diary of what’s available to them when they arrive?
“Yes, we have a very comprehensive guide. And it’s still a bit sketchy, but we do have an online program at” 

Do the Amsterdam nightclubs dramatically increase prices, and have they gone all red-rope (Miami WMC style) on their doors yet?
“Not really. For one, nightclubbing in Holland is extremely cheap, when you compare it to say London or Miami. I also think that the vibe here is a bit more relaxed, but no less glamorous (depending on the venue of course…). Then again, this ADE is set to have the biggest program ever and so we do expect a lot of people to head for the clubs at night.” 

What plans can you reveal concerning the future of this event?
“Apart from getting more European talent appearing at the ADE, I think it’s time to have a European Dance Award Show at the ADE, but that’s still a very vague feeling I have. In many ways the ADE could be the perfect setting for an award show, with so many DJ’s and industry professionals together at the same time, and Amsterdam has a couple of good venues for this...”

What will you be personally doing over those three hectic days and nights in October?
“Speaking to people, losing sleep, and watching the machine running its course.”

Thanks Pieter, anything we should have mentioned as we look forward to the event?

“Use your head, don’t lose it.”

The third registration deadline for the 2004 edition of the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) and the Live Dance Music Conference (LDMC) is the 1st October. So register before the 1st for 225 Euro (approx 285 USD).

The ADE/LDMC DJ’s and acts confirmed include:
Black Strobe, Dubfire (Deep Dish), Behrouz, Nic Fanciulli, Stef Vrolijk, FC Kahuna, Headman/Manhead, Mylo, Roog, Ellen Allien, Remy, Luke Slater, Jazzanova, Marcello, MarySol, Whitey, Laidback Luke, Alter Ego, Armin van Buuren, Todd Terry, Johan Gielen, Joost van Bellen, Paul Johnson, Erick E, Lisa Lashes, Joey Beltram, Rino Cerrone, 100% Isis, Quazar, Tom Neville, Bart Skils, DJ Fetish, Sandy Rivera, Tom Harding, Dimitri, Eric de Man, M.A.N.D.Y., Gideon vs. MBC, Brian S, Stonebridge, Melon, Tom Trago, Ben Sims, King Britt, James Ruskin, Christian Wunsch, Mauricio Aviles, Earforce, Oliver Kucera, Warren Suicide, Matthew Johnson, Plastyc Buddha, Def Jaguar, Alexander Koning, Sven van Hees, Harry Lemon, Nick K, Josh Wink, D'julz, Sony Miguel, 154, Sebastien Leger, League of XO Gentlemen, Basteroid, Dr. Kucho, Munk, Angelo d'Onorio, Liquid Spirits, Ricardo Villalobos, Breakestra, Robert Feelgood, Future Groove Express, Sandrien, John Taylor, Stuart Hirst, and Sharam Jey.

Of course there are many more DJ’s and acts, about 300 in fact, originating from numerous countries and performing at around 30 venues including: record stores, cafes, bars and clubs!

The festival features club nights hosted by:
Yoshitoshi, Warp, Ministry Of Sound, Dy-Na-Mix, Defected, Naked Music, Dutch DJ Agency,, Decked Out, MTV, Hed Kandi, Kindred Spirits, Delsin/Ann Aimee, Armada and countless others… Enjoy!

Words by Beara