10 things we learned at Amsterdam Dance Event 2016


Undoubtedly the biggest, if not the best, of its kind in Europe all year, Amsterdam Dance Event connects people from all ends of the EDM stratosphere.

Celebrating its 21st year,  ADE 2016 welcomed over 35, 000 festival goers, with more than 2,500 artists performing at the city’s unique nightclubs. Remember nightclubs? We used to have them in London.

Fear of missing out stays with you as you race between canals trying to pack everything into your schedule. It’s impossible to cover everything. Here’s ten things we learned.

Amsterdam knows how to party

There’s a lot London can learn from Amsterdam. Mourning the loss of Fabric, Holland’s Cultural Capital opens its big, beating heart and reminds us how important it is that we fight to keep rave culture alive.

There’s no brand doing it like elrow

Smashing festival season with stage takeovers at Lovebox, Parklife and more, elrow made a name for themselves as party trailblazers. You can’t out-confetti elrow. Happiness and hedonism reaches fever pitch on Sunday at ADE 2016 in a psychedelic world, ruled by exuberant characters (a giant chicken).

Joris Voorn wins at everything

With over 2,500 artists speaking and performing at ADE 2016, one man is on everyone’s radar. From his debut at Boiler Room, to his unforgettable Awakenings set, to his unique photography exhibition. Voorn’s career is as vibrant and fresh as ever and continues to build and evolve with many exciting new projects in the pipeline.

Mental health is the industry’s new priority

Artists like Benga, Ben Pearce and Alison Wonderland have all spoken publicly about their battles with mental health, provoking a catalyst for change. Hosted by shesaid.so, former A&R turned behavioural psychologist Clare Scivier gave her unique perspective and advice to those working in music – an industry that often comes with long hours, nighttime schedules, and creative pressure.

Overworking yourself is a serious threat. Ultimately, it’s all about spending at least 10% of your time doing something which is so unbelievably amazing, that it makes the rest of it worth it. Having a genuine team around you with your mental health at heart is key.

ADE is one hell of a ride

By the end of day one, 502 artists had already performed. A statistic that only begins to paint a picture of Amsterdam Dance Event. By Sunday, 2515 artists have dropped beats in the city. This festival requires some serious stamina!

Martin Garrix is the youngest ever no.1 DJ

The 20-year-old Dutch superstar is the youngest ever No.1 DJ, and takes the coveted top spot from 2015 winners, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. Martin Garrix was awarded the No.1 trophy by his mentor, Tiesto, on stage at the Top 100 DJs Poll Awards Party at the Heineken Music Hall.

As part of the extended awards ceremony at ADE, thousands of dance music fans also saw performances from the Highest Live Act (KSHMR), Highest Ranked Female DJ (Nervo), Highest House DJ (Oliver Heldens), Highest Climber (Swanky Tunes), and the Highest Hard DJ (Angerfist).

Much more than the music, ADE is an education

You can embrace your inner-nerd in a world where underground music coexists with the mainstream. It’s not only ADE’s unique sound labs that set you up for best newcomer DJ, after listening in on a few expert panels and witnessing an all-star DJ cook-off, we were ready to take on the world.

UK stands tall at DGTL

DGTL stood at the forefront of ADE’s festival programme this year, with its sold out Paradise link up turning into the most popular club night on offer. Head honcho Jamie Jones kept revellers dancing until 7am, with the likes of Route 94, Richy Ahmed and Patrick Topping on warm up duties throughout the night.

Dance and hip-hop industries unite

ADE Beats, the conference focussed on hip-hop bass and beats, gets five stars from us. Speaking on the current trends and latest waves in the global music scene, even Godfather of Grime, Wiley, shouts his love for The Netherlands while talking about his forthcoming album.

Networking is fun sometimes

The thought of attending a networking event probably makes you cringe. There’s nothing more awkward than a forced business card exchange. Luckily, ADE makes networking fun. From insightful Q & As with artists to exclusive industry parties, everyone shares the same motive. To connect, improve, inspire and plan for the future. Knowledge is power. If you want to make a name for yourself in the industry, Amsterdam Dance Event is a good place to start.