The Festival Insider Guide to ADE 2021
Yannick van de Wijngaert
ADE (Amsterdam Dance Event) has a storied history from its beginnings in the mid 90s as a basic conference and several night events. Taking hints from other global conferences and dance music gatherings before it, it has grown to a five-day conference with associated (and non-associated) daytime and nighttime club events stretching throughout the weeks leading up to and the week of the event.
Unfortunately, due to COVID, all of the official ADE Conference gatherings & speakers scheduled for live appearances were canceled and all events must be closed between Midnight and 6 AM CET. But, this doesn't mean you can't enjoy any number of the other 350+ artist, club, and festival events at over 140+ locations all over Amsterdam associated with ADE, as well as virtually in the metaverse.
With that many events going on, there's absolutely no way to definitively tell you what to attend. Are you looking for relaxation? Or information about getting on the radio? Or, what about sustainability in the industry? Or do you just want to dance to only techno music? Want to just see the biggest names? Only looking for the livestreams? Make sure you check out the full schedule of events to create your own personalized schedule:
Wednesday, October 13
Iconic festival brand Awakenings makes a week-long all-day affair of of their regular all-night rave. All events will be held at the massive Ziggo Dome, which will once again turn into the awe-inspiring techno cathedral. The first host will be the queen of acid techno, Charlotte DeWitte's KNTXT record label.
Armada is just as vital to the Dutch music scene as ADE is. The legendary imprint takes over the rooftop of the W hotel in Amsterdam for an evening of melodic house with Italian brothers, Mathame.
Thursday, October 14
DGTL returns to its home in Amsterdam for four days of events at what can only be described as the optimal location for underground dance music, Scheepsbouwloods is a partially exposed industrial venue perfect for a party that starts amidst the afternoon sun at 4 pm and goes till midnight.
The boundary-breaking event brand, record label, and fashion house focuses on creating inclusive and spaces for dance. They will take over club Shelter's basement on Thursday night. Label regular Maya Jane Coles heads up the lineup that includes Freddy K, Sama' Abdulhadi, Sandiren, and Syreeta.
Friday, October 15
Martinez Brothers led imprint, Cuttin Headz teams up with their sublabel Boogeyman for a night of house music at Shelter. The label showcase includes the dynamic brother-sister duo, Shermanology. The duo from Curaçao fuses the sounds of the Carribean with bottom-heavy tech house.
We've all grown used to wearing masks, but this time it's just for fun. Join the enigmatic DJ producer for a night veiled in mystery and magic. The event promises to plunge you into a dreamworld soundtracked by Claptone, Ferreck Dawn, Riva Starr, Martin Ikin, and Michel de Hey
Saturday, October 16
The conference schedule was always a great place to meet with executives and A&Rs. Even in its absence there is an opportunity to get some face time with folks from labels like Mixmash and Revealed. Bring in your best beats, and finally find out who's in charge of signing records at these landmark labels. Maybe you'll get something signed!
LA's premier techno, arts, and street culture festival makes its international debut at ADE 2021. Combining emersive dance environments, large scale art installations, and the finest underground house and techno, Secret Project's previous iterations in LA and Miami are examples of the innovative ways we can exprience dance music. The lineup includes Marco Corola, Artbat, Camelphat, Chris Liebing, Jeff Mills, Honey Dijon, and more
Spanish experience creators bring the technicolor tech house circus to Amsterdam. Elrow is known for grabbing hold of a theme and creating an entire environment with it replete with top to bottom decorations, full stage production, and performers that roam the crowd and elevate the experience. The Growenlandia concept is based around the idea of a festival thrown in sub-zero temperatures. Elrow parties are more than a place to dance, it's an immersive feast for the senses.
Sunday, October 17
No late nights mean getting up early should be a cinch. Breakfast Club is an institution at ADE. And after two years off they are ready turn their home venue RADION into the ultimate two-day closing party. DJs Ben UFO, Laurine, and Pangea will take the stage for the all day event.
Enjoy this rare ocassion to witness these two technicians decimate a dancefloor. Richie Hawtin and Hector Oaks both come with a near lifetime of experience behind the decks, and a crate of underground gems that will keep you on your toes at every turn.