Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) is the biggest club festival in the world. They are the Kings of October, with this edition alone welcoming over 500,000 global visitors to the Dutch city. This year set a new record for attendance with over 650,000 tickets sold to events. Over 2,900 artists were in the city at over 1,000 events in 200 locations. For 5 days, every venue in the city has world-class DJs. It is an experience like no other, and one I highly recommend if you love the music.
This was my second year attending and I hope to be back every year if possible. ADE is a special place where producers from around the world can come together and collaborate. The whole Dance music industry is there, eager to connect with their peers. If you are looking to break into the industry as an artist manager or with a label or in the press, ADE is the place to go.
Even if you are not looking to work in the industry, ADE is still a special place. By day you can experience parties or run around the city to the many tourist attractions. By night, you will have so many shows to choose from you may get upset at having to miss an artist you love. Dates for 2024 have already been announced as October 20th – 24th.
Plan your trip, I swear you will have an unforgettable time. I feel more connected to the music here than anywhere in the world. The world of Dance music comes to Amsterdam for 5 incredible days.
The City of Amsterdam
Amsterdam is my favorite European city. I find it so charming to just bike or walk through. The streets are fairytale-like and you might find yourself saying “This looks like Harry Potter“. And that is ’cause it does! The buildings are irregular and jolt out around the curved streets.
The city’s layout is perfect for walking but made for biking. I traveled from event to event on the bike and it’s a necessity. Plus you feel like a local too. You can also take the tram or Metro which is option #2 in my view. Driving around and Ubering is not a viable option as it tends to take longer and will be expensive over time. I did Uber to events farther out of the city, AMF for instance.
The people of Amsterdam and those visiting are the best. I have never felt a more positive vibe while traveling. Everyone was so nice and welcoming. I met so many fellow producers and artists. People just wanted to get to know each other. Conversations were so easy and flowed from one topic to the next.
ADE Conference Events
If you have a Pro Pass you can attend as many events as you can get to. This is of course if you get enough sleep (not likely). For the first time in history, ADE Pro Conference events expanded to 4 days. The conference events centered around Felix Meritis. The events are always looking into the future of the industry and feature talks on a variety of topics.
Some of my favorites I attended regarded the current and future state of Spotify, YouTube, and TikTok. They provided real insider knowledge to attendees. Dillon Francis hosted my favorite masterclass of the conference with a discussion on digital media. He has a powerful comedic brand on Social Media and can attract fans who may not even know he does music. He had tips for all and left me inspired.
Global industry leaders and tech experts at Google, TuneCore, SEG, and more, envisioned the enormous impact of Artificial Intelligence.
ADE Lab came back again this year too. This is a more financially viable option for visitors if looking to attend only a few events. It is focused on the talent development for young artists and professionals. Over 2,000 young artists, producers, and aspiring professionals learned from world-class artists including Reinier Zonneveld, Mama Snake, Saoirse, Héctor Oaksand, and A-Trak.
ADE Showcases, Parties, and More
Now to the real fun of ADE. There were more events than you could imagine during these 5 days. I tried to summarize them all for visitors prior but I couldn’t cover it all. Standout events included the opening event at Rijksmuseum by upsammy, Metropole Orkest & Tinlicker. There was a one-off B2B between KI/KI and Armin van Buuren. Familiar staples such as Speedy J’s STOOR and Audio Obscura also saw their return to ADE. There were new collaborations such as Andalusisch Orkest x Mary Lake and Het HEM x Horst.
Awakenings continued to dominate ADE with event after event. They hosted Adam Beyer presenting Drumcode at Gashouder with Eli Brown, Bart Skils, and Juliet Fox. They also took over the Ziggo Dome with Solomun in the daytime and Amelie Lens presenting Exhale at night.
In Chronological order, I kicked off ADE at Thuishaven with Mau P. This was a super cool venue on the outskirts of the main city that in the Summer is like a mini music theme park. For this show, just the warehouse bunker was opened and I will say, the vibe from Mr. Drugs In Amsterdam was immaculate. The next night I took to both STMPD night at AIR and the Monstercat showcase at Melkweg. These were 2 shows I attended the year prior and wanted to make sure I hit both again.
On Friday Night I had the pleasure of attending a show I have wanted to for 5 years. Martin Garrix’s RAI show returned to ADE as he presented IDEM at the RAI convention center. It was easily my favorite show of ADE with the production being eye candy for all.
Finally, I closed ADE off in style with the Amsterdam Music Festival (AMF). Some would say it is the crown jewel of ADE with it welcoming over 40,000 attendees. AMF takes over the Johan Cruijff ArenA with the help of Insomniac and makes it into a massive party. The lineup this year featured Afrojack, Armin Van Buuren, Charlotte De Witte, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, and more.