More Than Just The Rave: Amsterdam Dance Event 2019

Between 16th-20th October, the 24th edition of Amsterdam Dance Event occurred: a conference and festival gathering of artists, DJs, musicians, industry creatives and punters from across all corners of the globe.

Photo Credit: | Niels de Vries

From industry behemoths to next-gen talent, Amsterdam is a hub of electronic dance music at the intersection of art and technology with over 2,500 artists performing at over 200 venues. Like pandora’s box, the festival of over 400,000 attendees offers a cornucopia of multi-sensory experiences, leaving an indelible mark on electronic dance music culture.

A pilgrimage of sorts, people far and wide travel to attend this infamous event. From enthusiastic 18-year-old dubstep and progressive house aficionados, hustling tech start-ups closing deals, international dance exports showcasing new music to lifelong ravers unleashing their inner-rave child, the festival and conference offers something unique for everyone.

For those virtual ravers who missed out on ADE 2019, here’s the quick lowdown:



Photo Credit: Het Patrool

An excuse for like-minded activists to shape and challenge culture, ADE Green is a prime example of activists joining together to discuss and act upon environmental sustainability and social change in the electronic dance industry with international keynote speakers and practical hands-on workshops. Leading International festival leaders signed the ‘green pledge’ to completely eradicate waste by 2025. As Fatboy Slim and Greta Thunberg would say “RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!”


THERE ARE NO LOCKOUTS (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, Sydney)

That’s right, with over 200 venues and 2,500 artists to choose from, Amsterdam is raving all hours of the night – no rest for the wicked!



Photo Credit: YouTube

Richie Hawtin, Modeselektor and SOPHIE’s keynote was a highlight of ADE 2019 taking the audience through their live sets and process of creating a show exploring the symbiotic and complex relationship between man and machine. Deeper philosophical discussions such as Fernando Garibay’s “Beyond Technology: Unleashing Your Inner Creativity to Master Your Full Potential” explores the impact of neuroscience on sound creation and creative potential.



Photo Credit: Amsterdam Dance Event

Amsterdam Dance Event is more than just drinking and endless partying. ADE’s programming included museums and art exhibitions (such as MoMI: miniature Museum of Modern Instruments), synth and music technology expos (ADE Sound Lab), as well as screenings of legendary dance culture films such as Daft Punk’s Interstella 5555 as well as Justice’s Iris: A Space Opera.

Yoga and meditation classes and sound healing baths as a part of the ADE Zen
Space were also offered throughout the event. Creative ventures such as Armin Van Buuren’s Escape Room also titillated the senses leaving an unforgettable experience.

Albeit the unfortunate pepper spray incident at Martin Garrix’s concert at the RAI Amsterdam as well as the imminent threat of meeting death’s door with every bicycle encounter, ADE 2019 shaped up to be a truly memorable experience.

A poignant conference in a time of political uncertainty. Shaking up more than just the dance floors, dance music and its power should not be underestimated. Rather, ADE should be coined Activist Dancers Embrace.

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