ADE: The Beginner's Guide

ADE: The Beginner's Guide

Quickfire questions

What is ADE? Amsterdam Dance Event is the biggest and most important electronic music event in the world. Simple as that.

What happens at ADE? For 5 days each October, Amsterdam’s population swells by 300,000 as every last inch of space in the city is invaded by everything from performances by the world’s best DJs, to creative workshops run by industry experts.

So is it for professionals or punters? ADE is for anyone and everyone with a love for electronic music. The conference element of ADE leads the way worldwide, and the sheer density of talent and experience that it creates in the city have seen the night music programme explode in recent years. There really is no better place for electronic music lovers to be.

Our top tips

1. Don't be daunted

This year’s record total of 2,224 artists at 330 shows in 85 venues might seem like an insurmountable mountain of music for one person in only 5 days, but don’t panic! One of the real beauties of ADE is the staggering choice on offer, and the chance to see your favourite artists in relatively small venues is one of ADE’s unique attractions.

2. Book your room before you go

You might think we’re just saying this because we’re a travel agency, but it really is true. The tidal wave of 300,000 people that washes over Amsterdam during ADE is a modern wonder of all the world. And all o’ them people gotta stay somewhere, so hotels get filled up real quick. For a handy nudge in the right direction, check out our ticket and hotel packages.

3. Get yourself a game plan

Turning up at ADE without much idea which events you want to go to is a bit of a kamikaze mission. You may end up missing things you really wanted to see before you’ve even had time to figure out where the nearest bar is. A quick search online before you go will tell you where and when your favourite artists are performing, and booking tickets in advance is smart if you want to go to the biggest parties.

4. Explore the Playground

Maybe exhibitions, workshops and fashion events aren’t at the top of your priority list when you’re in the midst of all the electronic music you could ever ask for, but taking some time to enjoy it all is definitely worth your while. ADE unifies the entire city in a powerful way, and the Playground is a great opportunity to delve deeper into Amsterdam’s hidden gems, from record stores to high-street shops and downtown warehouses.

5. Budding DJs and producers: Be prepared, and jump in feet first

ADE is the place to meet the most influential people in the electronic music industry. If you’re looking to get started or make new progress in the business, then grab hold of all the experiences you can, and make sure introduce yourself to as many people as possible.

But above all, make it the easiest thing in the world for the people you meet to listen to your music: give them a CD, or maybe a business card with links to your Soundcloud. And remember that there will be hundreds of people doing this, so use all your creativity to make sure you stand out from the crowd.

For a summary guide of the whole event, have a look here. If you're after some cool events to attend, we recommend checking out the following:


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