There's almost nothing more exciting than being at a world renowned gathering full of like minded individuals all united under one mutual love - music. Whether it's the NAMM show in California, or the Sonar conference in Spain, these gatherings bring together and inspire lovers of music to make magic happen. From the various panels and conference events to the seemingly infinite amount of shows you can attend, there's just something magical about the Amsterdam Dance Event that keeps it as a destination for dance music fans worldwide.
The near week long event encompasses the entire city and outer edges with events for attendees who seek networking opportunities, seeing their favorite artists perform, and learning about the latest and greatest product offerings from companies from all over.
As a lover of techno, there was no way I was going to miss a chance to experience the Gashouder, more commonly known as the techno temple. This is one venue that is a sight to see, and with Awakenings hosting an event each night at this prestigious dome it was hard to not go there every single night. But before I went there, I had to stop by the FKN SERIOUS takeover at another warehouse nearby to see Boris Brejcha perform. Being alone at an event is already an interesting experience, now add the level of intensity of being in another country and surrounded by locals and international fans alike, it definitely made for an interesting experience.
We then made our way to the Gashouder for the KNTXT takeover hosted by Charlotte De Witte, and we were blown away by the high level of production and the driving hard techno played by the likes of Chris Liebing and Dax J. Another thing I had to get used to was having events go well into the morning. You could very well stay out and about for the entire duration of the event if you aren't careful.
After returning at 8:30AM from the first night's activities, I made it a point to go to a panel and check out the networking side of ADE. I luckily stumbled upon one that touched on the subject of streaming in music, and how it is making its way into the DJ realm, with the advent of being able to stream tracks during a DJ set. The panel had a star studded lineup of speakers, with the featured speaker being the CEO of Beatport himself. It was really interesting to hear what he thought about the idea and how it would effect revenue for both publishers and artists alike, since purchasing physical copies of music is becoming more and more of a rarity nowadays.
As we approached night 2, I felt that it was a no brainer to return to the Gashouder for the Drumcode takeover. I made it in time to catch the end of Bart Skils b2b Layton Giordani and see the entirety of Maceo Plex's set, which was an awesome time to say the least. We wrapped up the night by going to see Carl Cox and Reiner Zonneveld at a different warehouse.
We switched it up the third night and went to see the Paradise party featuring wAFF, Alan Fitzpatrick, and Jamie Jones b2b Marco Carola. It was a nice change of pace to groove out throughout the night instead of being pounded by heavy booming kicks, and the crowd was much more lively and social compared to the techno lovers (no hate here).
After the 3 night marathon, I found it best for me to take a break from all the partying on Saturday and take the time to enjoy what the city has to offer, along with the other pop ups that ADE had been hosting. I stopped by the Zen Space, which was in an old church, and had beds laid out along the floor while ambient electronic music was ringing through the church. It was a truly relaxing time and made for a nice decompression after dancing on my feet for 3 nights straight.
There was also another building nearby that had rooms full of the latest and greatest synthesizers for you to play to your heart's content. We then made our way to the official ADE techno bar located in the red light district, which provided a nice relaxed environment to listen to techno and enjoy drinks with like minded individuals.
Our last night there was going to be a special one, since we were going to attend our first Elrow event, which are notorious for being extremely decadent and featuring a stacked lineup that blurred the lines between house and techno. This party surely did not disappoint, with production that rivals the Electric Daisy Carnival in the states, with attendees getting themed props and dancers moving through the crowd in the most insane and entertaining outfits that provided attendees with much joy and excitement. If you ever have the chance to attend an Elrow party, I would highly recommend going without hesitation. It is most definitely one of the best times I've had and I could not stop smiling for the entirety of the event.
Overall, it was really hard to say goodbye to Amsterdam and all the amazing times that were had, but it was also such a fulfilling experience for the soul and it felt damn near perfect. If you ever considered attending ADE, there is nothing else I can say other than you 100% should experience the entire event. There's almost no way you can go and not have a good time, whether you're a fan of house, techno, trap, or whatever. Needless to say, I am very excited to return next year and hope that every person gets to experience it at least once in their lifetime.
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