For over 25 years, the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) has been recognized as the most influential gathering for the electronic dance music industry. Hundreds of thousands of people from around the world come together for the massive summit and ADE Festival, which take over Amsterdam every October.
In the wake of the region’s #UnmuteUs protests, which were carried out in response to the Dutch government’s restrictions on nightlife and music festivals instated weeks before ADE 2021, the conference’s organizers managed to produce another wildly successful event. Opting to ax the conference portion, they gave attendees just what they needed: dance music hedonism.
ADE offers an abundance of events that are educational as well as entertaining. Part conference, part festival experience, the Amsterdam Dance Event is able to offer not only the biggest celebration of the EDM industry, but also build a solid foundation for future generations of electronic music professionals to learn and grow.
It’s essentially a networking haven.
ADE’s programming is designed and meticulously curated for DJs, music producers, label execs, tech start-ups, brand managers, agents, and many more industry pros. Hosting hundreds of guest speakers at approximately 450 events across the city, there is no shortage of learning opportunities for aspiring artists.
The main thing to focus on for any young artist is the fact that there are thousands of influential people who in attendance during any given year, so it’s an ideal opportunity to network and get your work out there.
You never know—you could meet your favorite artist in line at a coffee shop, share a boat ride with the manager of a label you want to sign to, or meet a fellow artist to collaborate on a breakthrough song.
While not a feature of the 2021 edition one of the most direct ways to be heard is through Demo Pitch. Demo Pitch is a daily 1.5-hour session where rotating sets of A&Rs, sound engineers, artists, and managers sit across from you and listen to your music for approximately 10 minutes. They’ll provide you will their expert advice and feedback on the spot.
Roughly 2,500 dance music artists are tapped in, and they come with their circles. It’s one of the only events in the world where you can experience impromptu, intimate DJ sets by some of the biggest artists in the world, like the one we captured during the 2021 edition featuring Laidback Luke, Dada Life, Don Diablo, Dannic and more.
Another thing to keep in mind for anyone considering attending ADE: come prepared.
There are so many events going on every moment of the day—spread across hundreds of locations around the city—so be sure you have an idea of what you want to do and who you want to meet. It can be easy to get sidetracked and party too hard and miss out. By arriving organized, you can ensure that you’re able to hit the right events to help advance your career or, at the very least, become inspired.
The conference portion of ADE offers a wealth of industry insights that could prove invaluable to an aspiring electronic musician. One theme of the conference is aimed at inspiring newcomers to this exciting field, while another focuses on sharing knowledge about business trends in the field.
Some conference sessions in the past have been about rebranding, diversity and inclusion, investing, and even discovering new equipment.
Aside from the conference and its potential for learning, the entire event represents an opportunity to hear new sounds at the bleeding edge of electronic dance music. There are clubbing nights, basement parties, secret events, boat outings, ice cream socials, meet-and-greets, interactive experiences, vinyl markets, and much more. And that list doesn’t even remotely cover the full variety.
For five days and nights, the city of Amsterdam truly breathes electronic music and if you want to experience the culture and open doors for your career, attendance is essential.
ADE returns in full effect October 19th to 22nd, 2022. You can find out more and subscribe for updates here.