It was another mind blowing week for ADE and a huge week for Amsterdam as a raving destination — but how can the event remain at the top of its game?
It’s a little over a week since ADE finished and the dust has settled. Or has it? It’s conceivable that the dust will never stop settling from such a seismic event.
The Amsterdam conference is more than just the world’s most exciting electronic music conference. It is one of those gatherings where dreams begin. As 395,000 visitors gathered in the city for the event, all week long it was impossible to ignore that the future stars of tomorrow were receiving the inspirational kick that would propel them in the right direction on their paths. If you want to get inspired, ADE has proven time and again it is the world’s best electronic music conference to do so at.
The atmosphere at its daytime venues was fizzing with energy and opportunity all week long. Aspiring producers could play a Moog synthesizer worth thousands of Euros. Or try out modular synthesis for the first time before hearing stars like Nina Kraviz, Matthew Dear, Tiga, Surgeon or Modeselektor divulge the kind of career secrets that are impossible to find out unless you’re lucky enough to be able to pin these people down in the back room of a club.
A video blogger starts off doing a guide to the event and ends up jamming with the legendary DJ Pierre
For those engaged in the business of dance music, it is widely agreed to be the conference where most work gets done. The concentration of industry professionals is acute, even if you’re just hovering around a hotel lobby in a flurry of agents and promoters.
It has the air of Miami’s Winter Music Conference in the early 2000s, an intersection when it still attracted the big as well as the interesting names. And the raves and events revolving around them provided some of the biggest and most forward thinking experiences and performances of the year.
Perhaps it is perfect timing. Amsterdam, as a city, is on fire thanks to new clubs, new crews and some of the world’s most sensational venues. All helped along by a night time Cszar encouraging government to work more closely with its nocturnal communities.
Audio Obscura are a shining example of this new link. The promoter team hosted standout events at the Rijksmuseum (the museum home to the works of the Dutch masters), once again for ADE as well as the classical concert venue Muziekgebouw. And while more than just a great night out, both events demonstrated that dance music has just as much of a cultural right to inhabit these kind of spaces as more established art forms.
Largely, however it is the ADE organisers approach that makes the gathering so special. The event is a not-for-profit enterprise and it is this uncompromising devotion to pushing dance music culture and Amsterdam as a cultural hub for electronic music as far as it can be pushed, that is responsible for ADE becoming the world’s favourite dance music conference.
There are winds of change whistling through the city however. And how long the organisation can remain not for profit remains to be seen. But if ADE is to maintain its position as such as force of positivity in dance music, it must remain free from the financial constraints that a more self interested, business approach would take. And in doing so, continue to be the world’s best event to get inspired about electronic music.
Check out the first in our series ADE 2017 highlights here.