Electronic music's premier international networking event and urban club festival just concluded its' first day of festivities in a new format. Amsterdam Dance Event perseveres in a time where very few things are certain, with the team behind the annual gathering investing their efforts this year in delivering what's widely accepted as the pinnacle of the electronic music industry experience via a comprehensive virtual platform.
The digital-first edition is built upon the same foundation of which the in-person gathering is traditionally comprised of. Kicking off Wednesday, October 21st and reaching its' conclusion on Sunday, October 25th the 5 days provide both professionals and enthusiasts alike with a variety of content satisfying the curiosities of all those interested in electronic music.
Of what is typically an expansive array of programming housed across multiple umbrellas, this year organizers dial in on the core strengths comprising the pillars of Amsterdam Dance Event's foundation in this year's edition. In two parts, the ADE Pro and ADE Online experiences do not skimp on previous areas of focus, but channel the spirit of the program and relevant content into a comprehensive live-stream experience with much footage of streams being available to the public at no cost. With all areas of the music industry being forced to adapt to the volatile landscape imparted by COVID-19, ADE is setting a strong example of what can be done to satiate fans and industry professionals alike — not only adapting well to the situation, but positioning itself to be a resource to the industry on how to navigate the turbulence imposed by forces outside of anybody's control.
The most prominent innovation for this year's edition is organizers' progressive improvisation to be able to still provide exceptional networking opportunities for its' attendees. In the absence of the entire Dutch capitol acting as an industry battleground, organizers have expanded upon their already progressive delegates database to provide ADE Pro pass holders with a full-fledged social platform available year-round, whereas in years prior it was only accessible for the season. The platform is impressive and is a warmly welcomed service to those looking to connect and network in these unprecedented times.
The full conference and virtual festival program is complete and in progress. Important topics are on the docket for this year's event with panels slated to open the discussion of on pressing issue such as new opportunities for artists, labels, clubs and festivals after the impact of the pandemic, social activism in music, gender equality and sexual misconduct in the music industry and strategies for managing mental health. Key highlights of the first day's digitally hosted panels included a 3-part series surrounding different topics in the presently volatile event landscape. Topics of alternative events such as drive-in concerts and limited capacity art installations such as that hosted by Berlin's Berghain, live streams and more were discussed; alongside how various countries' government have or have not been a part of supporting nightlife in this pandemic. While not claiming these activations are a suitable replacement for the live concert or clubbing experience, they are indeed confirmed a crucial way to keep consumers of dance music culture engaged in the interim between now and the launch of a vaccine.
Closing out the first day, anxiety treatment expert and osteopath Jennie Morton and GRAMMY-award winning artist James Blake discussed what make someone an artist, and what makes many of those same people vulnerable to depression and addiction - an issue earning significantly more attention within the industry. Morton and Blake offered strategies for managing the challenges of a life dominated by artistic creativity, as well as discussing ways to survive the seemingly endless COVID-19 crisis.
As we go into day two, there is still time to connect to Amsterdam Dance Event's digital-first experience, with all days of content impending delivery on-demand. Purchase an ADE Pro pass for access to all content, the full-fledged social networking platform and a €50 discount on passes for next year's reunion in Amsterdam.
Stay tuned for conference-end coverage and more news surrounding Amsterdam Dance Event.