The crew of Nexus Radio took on the Amsterdam Dance Event for the first time this year. The premiere European dance music conference, The ADE celebrated its 20th anniversary with an incredible daytime conference and nighttime program of shows featuring just about every superstar DJ from around the world.
We couldn’t get over how organized the event was. By registering for the conference, we had access to the website database which was searchable with all the delegates, so we could find new connections and schedule meetings easily. This tool is the true definition of power networking. The ADE just has a certain class and style to it with an incredible attention to detail. The registration backpack also had an umbrella (thank you, Ultra Records), which came in very handy.
At first, we were a little nervous about the language barrier- but we found that everyone spoke English. Unlike other European countries, the Dutch people are friendly and will gladly speak English to you. The ADE staff were also very friendly and always ready to help. Maybe it’s something in the water, or Air (excuse the pun for one of our favorite nightclubs), but whatever it is, we like it. We stopped at a little coffee shop and heard everyone saying “dankjewel,” which means ‘thank you’ and sounds like “donk-avel.” The baristas were kind of enough to help with the pronunciation. They giggled the first time I said it, but they knew we were foreigners so it ended up being a cute moment.
Even with all of our planning, sometimes the best things just seem to happen randomly. We bumped into Dee Dee, the singer of “Forever,” and Peter Luts right outside of the Felix Meritis. You could easily trip over Martin Garrix or Fedde Le Grand and not even realize it. Everybody was there… Another highlight was bumping into a gaggle of singers – Crystal Waters, Vassy, and Eric Lumiere – and joining them for dinner. We sat down for a delicious Thai meal and chatted about everything under the sun.
The only thing missing from The ADE was a people tracker app. When you are in the Felix Meritis trying to find your next meeting or wandering around a big club, an app similar to WAZE or Grindr that uses GPS to find who you are looking for would be a killer app.
You definitely have to keep your eyes open because there were random things happening everywhere. At one point, an aerial water skier with a jet pack hovered over the river to the beat of Armin van Buuren’s “This is What it Feels Like.” Walking down the street, you would hear chirping and realize there were robotic birds set up to spread a social message.
After a full day of meeting and events, we would take a quick nap and head to the clubs to check out DJs and entertainers from around the world. Franky Rizardo at the Defected Party (AIR) was a highlight. People were dancing like no one was watching. I forgot that I was standing in a room full of people and was feeling the house vibe. You know the music is good when you can enjoy the feeling when you are completely sober. Don Diablo’s night at Jimmy Woo was quite insane, with a powerful vibe and so many different DJs tagteaming on the decks. It’s always great when you see DJs having as much fun as the people dancing.
Although we were incredibly busy with meetings and interviews, we took time out to see the city. Our Riverboat trip was incredible as Amsterdam is such a beautiful city to see. The museums are amazing – the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum, especially. And visiting the Anne Frank House is also quite a moving experience.
We wish we would have mapped all the good restaurants. The worst thing to do is end up in a chain restaurant. We accidentally stumbled upon “Blue,” where we ate delicious dutch meatballs and had an amazing view of the city. It’s in an unexpected spot, but sometimes that’s where the gems are hidden. Another gem is the Nutella bakery which is just as sinful as it sounds. You also have to experience the various cheese shops.
If you are involved with the dance music industry, or even just a fan who wants to dance their ass off for an entire week, you should start saving your money and make plans to attend when the dates are announced. We would advise you to rest up before you go, because ADE is so jam packed with activities that there’s simply not enough time in the day to enjoy everything. Don’t forget your power adapter (and that means more than one!), several sweaters, an umbrella, and a scarf.