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Go BackSENSIBLE SHOES...? MD of the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE), Richard Zijlma, speaks about the huge forthcoming event, 27– 29 Oct…

Posted: 17/10/05 10:04

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“If you come to dance, bring some good shoes!” says Richard Zijlma, general manager of the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE). And he’s right (as mum knows) it’s sound advice.
A mammoth 10th edition of the ADE is now racked up and ready to roll, and this year you will need to put your best foot forward. With an increase of 25%+ more attendees celebrating the event’s 10th anniversary in 2005, ADE will unite in excess of 1,300 industry professionals for a daytime conference and a nighttime program featuring over 300 DJs and acts at 30 clubs around the magnificent city.

Organised by Conamus and Buma/Stemra, ADE is a prime platform for talent and an intense international networking experience for industry with masses of good music everywhere. Highly educational and always entertaining, ADE is fast approaching and takes place at the Felix Meritis from 27–29 October. We spoke with Richard Zijlma to find out more.

A decade of ADE, almost, what’s the latest news on the grand anniversary edition?
“The latest? Pfff. The latest is that I definitely think this will be the best edition ever, as it now looks like we will have 25% more professionals from the dance industry coming over to Amsterdam. Also for the night program we are expecting more international visitors just to party a whole weekend in Amsterdam. People can face a long trip!”

Tell us a little about your personal history with ADE, have you been general manger since the beginning and whose idea was the ADE?
“I started working a freelance producer for the ADE and worked with former general managers Maria Jimenez and Anna Knaup. When Anna left I became general manager and I had a lot to learn, ha-ha! I always had some ideas about how to run the ADE, but it took about three years (which I was aware of) to push ADE to the next level. We now have a good team working for the ADE, each with their own individual skills. The ADE was started by Conamus in 1996 to create a meeting place for the Dutch music industry, from there we tried to attract more and more international participants and artists.”

How many people attended early ADEs and how has the event adjusted to the escalating international numbers attending?
“Well, it started with 300 participants and a handful of DJs performing. It’s a matter of building and building to attract more attendees – never think that you are there! We have had our dips, and when I started as general manager I noticed that it was mostly labels that came to ADE. So I focused on attracting agencies, managers and promoters as well! From that moment, it was also important to have a bigger night program where the industry could showcase their artists and/or discover new talent.”

ADE highlights are probably too numerous to mention, but what do you feel most proud of in terms of this anniversary edition?
“That everybody will have a good time at the upcoming ADE! When you look at events like this the most important thing is that the industry supports the event, and it looks like this is more and more the case at ADE. This is also essential for the years ahead. But please ask me afterwards as right now I’m so focused on all the final details over here that I’m too tired to feel anything, ha-ha!”

ADE in 2005 is all about the unexpected, can tell us anything that has surprised you about the event this year?
“That it seems to have its own dynamic, that we have 25% + more participants this year.” 

How did the mayor of Amsterdam, Job Cohen, end up writing the introduction to the ADE magazine this year? Read here
“We sent out a ghost writer to his castle in the middle of the night and, when he was dreaming about how quiet Amsterdam should be, the writer succeeded in getting an autograph of the mayor in his sleep! No seriously, the City of Amsterdam really supports the ADE and is aware of the potential of our event for the city. As I said, we are expecting more and more people to visit ADE during the upcoming years!”
Your open-minded team are obviously keen to explore the different dimensions of ‘dance’ music culture, any comment?   
“What would the dance scene be without those aspects?”
ADE presents boundless opportunities and choices every day and night. Faced with such an abundance of options, what advice can you offer first timers attending?
“I think that depends on your goal. If you attend in a business capacity then it gives you the opportunity to meet a lot of useful contacts. I always recommend that people register to the conference and make their appointments before attending ADE. If you come to dance, bring some good shoes!”

Where have you been on your travels this summer and what kind of impression have these places left?
“I stayed in Holland this year (yes really!), and visited festivals like Dance Valley and Extrema Outdoor, so no travelling around. I was very busy and also became a father for the second time, so I had to dance at home…” 
Have you ever been to Ibiza?
“Ehmmm, no…”

The Felix Meritis is simply the best location, but won’t you have to move soon as the ADE grows even BIGGERRR?
“This could be the case, but for now it’s looking fine. For this year’s edition we will change some room’s functions to make sure ADE participants have the great opportunity to hold their meetings in a good setting, for example we will have an extra business lounge!”

ADE 2015 – what are your hopes for the next decade?
“2015… that’s not up to me, I think. But somebody told me that Madonna is coming to do a keynote…” 

The ADE features shows by:
Roisin Murphy (uk), Soulwax (b), Paul van Dyk (d), Darren Emerson (uk), Derrick May (us), Ferry Corsten (nl), Dave Clarke (uk), Radio Soulwax (b), Armin van Buuren (nl), Anthony Rother (d), Speedy J (nl), Kraak & Smaak (nl), Fixmer & McCarthy (f/uk), Full Intention (uk), DJ Jean (nl), Bobby Friction & Nihal (uk), Mediengruppe Telekommander (d), Billy Nasty (uk), Joris Voorn (nl), Martin Solveig (f), Joost van Bellen (nl), Gene Farris (us), Don Diablo (nl), Freestylers DJ Set (uk) Benny Sings (nl), Marco V (nl), Jori Hulkkonen (fin), Sebastien Leger (f), Sneak (us), Christian Wünsch (e), Kevin Saunderson (us), Futureshock (uk), StoneBridge (s), Chris Salt (uk), The Penelopes (f), Sammy Jo (Scissor Sisters, us), John Acquaviva (can), Rude 66 (nl), Dexter (nl), DJ Shockers (f), Chris Liebing (d), Adam Freeland (uk), Legowelt vs Orgue Electronique (nl), Micatone (d) Sterac Electronics (nl), Lucien Foort (nl), Touché (uk), Seymour Bits (nl), Solvent (can), Josh Wink (us), John Taylor (uk), Hardsoul/DJ Roog (nl), Laidback Luke (nl) and many more...

Words by Beara