Alongside the Miami Winter Music Conference, IMS Ibiza and Sónar Barcelona, Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) is up there with one of the most important dates on the annual clubbing and conference calendar.
ADE 2017 featured hundreds of events and thousands of DJs over five days in various clubs and venues, which together combined to make Amsterdam one of the busiest and most inspiring clubbing cities in the world. This year’s ADE offering, held on 18-22 October, was the 22nd edition set in this beautiful city with a program featuring the biggest artists on the planet alongside fresh, upcoming talent and everything in between. A record number of 395,000 visitors to ADE in 2017 has once again cemented its position as one of the world’s leading platforms for electronic music.
Industry professionals, DJs and clubbers alike enjoyed the general buzz and busyness of the daytime conference and meetings in central Amsterdam around the various canals. This year’s conference included many highlights. There was the ADE Soundlab, which gave an insight into the DJ and studio set ups of some of the world’s biggest DJs, including the likes of Martin Garrix, Richie Hawtin, KiNK, Soulwax, Tiga, Oliver Heldens and more. There was also a keynote interview with Underworld, who discussed their whole career to date, from writing film music to new Underworld material, against a visual backdrop of unseen material from their archives.
As well as various networking lounges, which gave attendees the chance to discuss various industry happenings, Youtube also hosted their own lounge discussing tips on breaking into the music industry, and the latest tools for artists on the YouTube platform.
The night time events included special performances such as Underworld playing at the cycle passage of Rijksmuseum and 80-year-old composer Philipp Glass performing at the Melkweg, as well as many other parties of differing genres of the electronic spectrum. Also at Melkweg, one of the city’s most well-known electronic music venues, was the Dave Clarke presents event, which included a strong techno line up.
Elrow at ADE on Sunday was one of the closing events of the festival. They’ve had a great summer at events at their home in Barcelona, Amnesia every Saturday in Ibiza, and in London at the Olympic Park in August. Their Sambodromo do Brazil party at ADE was full of confetti, inflatables, plenty of colors and crazy costumes!
Perhaps the biggest event of ADE was AMF at the Amsterdam Arena, home of Amsterdam’s famous football team, Ajax. It was here that the infamous DJ Mag Top 100 DJ poll winner was announced. Martin Garrix was crowned as the world’s No.1 DJ for a second consecutive year, and was joined on stage by the Highest Duo, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike (2), and Armin van Buuren (3), the Highest Trance DJ.
AMF 2017 also featured an exclusive back-to-back performance by Armin van Buuren and Hardwell during the #TwoIsOne showcase, with further sets from David Guetta, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Marshmello, Don Diablo and many more.
Some interesting polling from the DJ Mag Top 100 included Solomun having a debut chart placing at 81, Maceo Plex at 71, and South African hero Black Coffee debuted at 85. Eric Prydz was up 32 places to 34 and Claptone was also a new entry at 69. All of the above held residencies in Ibiza through 2017, which shows that the island (and in particular, being a resident DJ in one of the biggest clubs) plays an important part in a DJ’s continued success.
In terms of techno, Richie Hawtin returned in the Poll at 80 after slipping out in 2016, but Carl Cox is once again the Highest Techno DJ — up 12 places to 62. Paul Kalkbrenner was back in the Top 100 for the first time since 2012, while in the next 50 places (101-150), Loco Dice, Marco Carola, Adam Beyer, Jamie Jones, Green Velvet, Seth Troxler, Nina Kraviz and Kolsch all made an appearance.
Text by music journalist and editor of Uneek Ibiza, Andrew Darwin