The World’s Biggest Electronic Music Festival: A Dispatch From The Annual Amsterdam Dance Event

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Amsterdam is already pretty cool.

So what happens when you combine a city that is already more than contentedly “rocking it” on a daily basis with the world’s biggest club festival? Answer: shiny, debauched and wonderful things. And bicycles. Lots and lots of bicycles.

This year’s edition of the Amsterdam Dance Event has just come to a close. Something that many peoples’ bodies are surely thankful for. Running over the course of five days, it was comprised of no less than 2,000 artists taking part in 300 events in 80 locations. Seth Troxler, Villalobos, Richie Hawtin and Boraka Som Sistema were just a few of the names who appeared as part of this year’s remarkable edition, alongside other more mainstream peddlers of groove, Pete Tong, DJ Shadow and Calvin Harris.

The concept of the ADE is this: rather than the more traditional “all-go-mental-in-a-field” festival format (which, when you are talking Northern Europe, can be a rather moist experience), the party consists of hundreds of venues across town that team up to become part of the experience. Think Edinburgh festival on crack.

The downer is that it ain’t cheap. Far from it. We are talking between 10 to 50 euros per entry, the equivalent of around 15 to 50 U.S. dollars depending on the show. Also, unless you are the prince of the Netherlands — they are almost as batty about their royals as the British — it is nearly impossible to get hold of a pass that covers entry to the whole event. This means buying a ticket to each venue separately, something that involves perusing the web armed with a heavily loaded Visa card.

Financial considerations aside, and especially for those who know their tremolos from their overdubs, this leading electronic music conference was a party not to be missed. Simply be sure to pack a hefty sense of adventure and more than a couple of Aspirin.

By Hannah Bowman


About the Author

HannahBowmanBioPicA restless Brit with big dreams and limited cash flow, Hannah is a freelance journalist and student. She is currently being sponsored by the European Union to take a Masters in Journalism and International Politics at the University of Amsterdam/University of Santiago, Chile, and the Danish School of Journalism. Check out her site or follow her on Twitter: @Hannah__Bowman.

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