ADE: Celebrating Electronic and Techno Music 25 years in a row
To say that Amsterdam is known for its passionate techno music scene (among many other amazing things) wouldn't be an overstatement. Famous for its numerous techno and electronic music festivals and events, Amsterdam is also a proud birthplace of one of the world's biggest ones in the kind - the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE).
"Born" in 1996, the world's biggest electronic music gathering celebrates its 25th birthday this year by coming back offline (this October the 13th - 17th ). Moving forward and welcoming the new normal while ensuring public health guidelines, ADE shares exciting news about the upcoming event this year. The widespread vaccination campaign and rapid test capacity in the Netherlands makes this possible, and the ravers are stoked to hear the news. The first round of events for ADE 2021 will include extensive collaborations and showcases, with Loveland, Into The Woods, Verknipt, and many more.
Just like many electronic and techno music enthusiasts who come from all the different parts of the world to visit the festival almost every year, we are also here to celebrate this anniversary. Thus, we feel it is essential to not only shine some light on how techno music grew its influence through the event and the importance of the festival itself.
When the director and current head of Conservatorium Haarlem, Richard Zijlma, and the Buma/Stemra Foundation first founded the event in 1996, their motive was to advocate for the copyright rights of composers, lyricists, and music producers in the Netherlands. In the beginning, the event had only one venue (a hotel on the Vijzelgracht), which served as a business event for members of the Dutch music industry.
The event soon reached colossal success and global interest, and since 2018, the annual festival has been organized by the Amsterdam Dance Event Foundation, offering a complete program of daytime conferences at ADE Pro, ADE Tech, ADE University, ADE Beamlab, ADE Green, ADE Sound Lab, and ADE Beats alongside the ADE By Day festival program and the nighttime ADE.
Amsterdam Dance Event is not your regular dance music festival; it is much more than that. ADE is the world's biggest club festival and Europe's leading electronic music conference, which welcomes more than 400,000 people every year, features over 1000 events and 2500 artists over five days in 200 clubs and venues. The event usually starts on Wednesday with the daytime conferences, continues with the extensive day and night festival program, and ends on Monday morning.
Today, ADE plays a significant role in the music world as a diverse platform for different electronic music genres such as electro, acid, techno, trance, house, hip-hop, drum 'n' bass, etc., giving voice opportunities to those who can't easily find them and giving voice to those who need it.
Most importantly, ADE is famous for its educational and influential significance. It is providing a foundation for future generations of electronic music enthusiasts and professionals, respecting the origins of dance and techno music and their role in the many underground movements and protests against the mainstream mentality, social injustice, oppression of minorities, and a celebration of black culture, queer culture and transculture.
Meanwhile, ADE's conference program is the business side of the fun. It features dedicated programming for music professionals, aspiring DJs/producers and musicians, tech start-ups, brand- and marketing managers through various conferences, lectures, workshops, installations, and demonstrations.
Celebrating the diversity of dance culture, ADE has always given techno music its respected place among the many other electronic music genres. With a rich list of techno DJ names (showing up as artists and speakers) added to the programming every year, ADE has helped the genre grow, strengthen its roots and empower its audience.
Since 2012, ADE has also given the opportunity to the largest outdoor techno festival in the world - Awakenings Festival, to take part during its active days. Awakenings is the collective name of techno parties that have been organized since 1997 by events agency Monumental Productions BV. The famous Gashouder was the first place a legendary Awakenings techno night was held in. With over 190.000 visitors a year, 80.000 visitors, and more than 100 techno DJs in a weekend, Awakenings has proven it is the highlight of Europe's techno music calendar that brings the ultimate techno experience.
In 2020, just like numerous other techno and electronic music events, ADE also moved its programming online. It proved to be the best place to forget about the pandemic and immerse in an unforgettable virtual experience during the most challenging times. The 2020 programming featured many live streams, concerts, and shows from the ADE Specials program live in Amsterdam. It offered a peek behind the curtain from artists worldwide, interactive workshops, masterclasses, DJ sets, artistic cross-overs, an extensive film, and a documentary program.
The world got to see the techno powerhouse Carl Cox presenting an exclusive tour of his Awesome Soundwave studio. Launched in May 2018, Awesome Soundwave is geared towards artists who make and perform their music live, enabling them to be themselves and create their music without any boundaries. Together with label partner Christopher Coe, Cox offered a peek behind the scenes of their studio. The duo also performed a live jam, which was streamed worldwide.
Richie Hawtin, Jon Hopkins, Orbital, Marcel Dettmann, Carl Craig, Ben Klock, Marco Bailey, FJAAK, Adam Beyer, Carl Cox, Charlotte de Witte, Jeff Mills, Amelie Lens, Nina Kraviz, Chris Liebing, Ricardo Villalobos, Âme, Marcel Dettmann, Seth Troxler, Joris Voorn, Tale of Us, DJ Rush, Skream, and Agoria make just a portion of the techno DJ names that found themselves on the past few years' line ups.
The lineup for ADE 2021 is curated by a number of promoters, including Tomorrowland, Awakenings, DGTL, Straf_Werk, elrow, and many more, and it is yet to be announced.