ADE had its humble beginnings in 1996 as a small three-day conference, attended by 300 delegates from the music industry and featuring performances by 30 DJs. Initially, ADE was a compact event that took place at just one hotel and three clubs: Paradiso, Melkweg, and Club Escape. It was founded by Zijlma, who leads foundations dedicated to safeguarding musicians’ copyright.
Over the years, ADE has evolved significantly. While it initially served as a business gathering for music industry professionals, it has since transformed into a mecca for music enthusiasts and clubgoers. The Amsterdam Dance Event Foundation, which currently oversees ADE, has substantially expanded the festival’s scope to accommodate its growing audience. ADE now encompasses 200 venues across Amsterdam, hosting over 1,000 events, and featuring performances by 2,500 artists each year.
The annual ADE Conference is not just remarkable for its scale; it’s also a trailblazer in terms of progressiveness and experimentation. The conference explores a wide range of topics, from representing protest movements advocating for LGBT and BAME communities to pushing the boundaries of electronic music. One memorable example was Defected’s performance at the Panama club about a decade ago. Instead of traditional DJing, the artist commissioned live performances of their tracks using organic instruments.
The Roots of ADE
The origins of ADE trace back to 1995 when a small group of Dutch promoters and artists identified the need for a platform to showcase electronic music and foster connections within the industry. They envisioned an event that would celebrate the vibrant local music scene while providing a space for emerging artists to shine.
Growth and Expansion
In its early years, ADE primarily focused on spotlighting local talent and offering emerging artists a platform to launch their careers. As its reputation grew, so did its ambitions. The festival expanded, attracting international DJs, producers, and record labels who recognized the significance of ADE as a crucial destination for the electronic music industry.
Signature ADE Events:
- The Future of Festivals: This TalkShow, held at Felix Meritis, examines the changing sociological dynamics of festival audiences, the impact of technology, and the role of brands in the live music scene.
- Demo: Drop Do’s and Don’ts with Nicky Romero & Jorik van de Pol: This event at Brakke Grond provides insights into submitting music demos effectively, with practical tips from Nicky Romero and Jorik van de Pol.
- 20 Years of Armada Music: How to Stay Relevant: This gathering at Felix Meritis discusses how Armada Music, an independent label, has maintained its relevance in the dance music industry over two decades.
- Check-In at HBO’s The White Lotus: Composer Cristobal Tapia de Veer, known for creating the atmospheric music in HBO’s The White Lotus, unveils the secrets behind the show’s viral sound.
In summary, ADE has come a long way since its inception, growing into a global platform that celebrates electronic music, fosters industry connections, and provides thought-provoking discussions on the future of the music industry.