A First-time Guide to ADE Festival in Amsterdam
Amsterdam Dance Event, aka ADE, isn’t just a music festival. It’s where all the world’s biggest electronic music fans meet to discuss, debate and of course listen to music by the best in the industry. If you’re in Amsterdam between 16th and 20th October, there’s no escaping it. The conferences and gigs take over venues across the city - there’s so much going on that you’ll need to have an idea of what you wanna see and hear before you go. Check out our ADE guide for all the info you need ahead of the greatest electronic music festival in the world…
Need somewhere to stay for ADE? Check out the Flying Pig hostels in Amsterdam
What is ADE?
ADE is the largest electronic and dance music festival in the world, taking place in venues all over Amsterdam. However it’s not just your normal music festival, as you’ll find more than just DJs on stage, with conferences, exhibitions, workshops and more being held by industry professionals all day every day. It’s the ideal festival for those of you with a real passion for learning about the field of music, especially if electronic music is your thing.
Over 1,000 events are put on by ADE over the 5 days and nights at more than 200 venues, turning Amsterdam into the ultimate electronic music fan’s heaven.
ADE by Day…
Be inspired by ADE’s insane conference program and sit in on talks hosted by huge names in the industry. From artists and producers to investors and event promoters, they won’t miss a single element of what it takes to really understand the field of music and make it big time.
Whether you’re already a professional or you’re aspiring to make a full-time career out of music (be that DJing, producing, music marketing, tech start-ups or anything) or you simply love music, it’s a conference all people within or interested in the industry should experience.
Aside from the conference, you’ll find exhibitions, documentaries, films, master classes, DJ showcases and more taking place across some awesome locations in the city. Check out the ADE website here for the daytime ADE program.
ADE by Night…
While you’ll find plenty of venues that host DJs during the day, nighttime is when the music really comes to life. Over 2,500 artists will be getting behind the decks to play tracks that fall under pretty much every subgenre of electronic that you can think of - techno, trance, house, you name it. Expect Dutch DJs like Martin Garrix, Tiesto and Armin van Buuren, as well as huge international artists like Jamie Jones, Marcel Dettmann, Nina Kraviz, Ricardo Cillalobos, David Guetta and way way more.
ADE 2019 will be spread across 140 venues, so planning your nights at ADE and booking your tickets well in advance is essential! Check below for a few of the biggest parties for ADE 2019 that are well worth checking out.
Biggest ADE parties for 2019
Carl Cox presents… Awesome Soundwave
Anyone that has any interest in electronic music will know Carl Cox. Being one of the best DJs in the world, you know he’s gonna put on a show to be rivalled by the rest this ADE. See him live bringing his label Awesome Soundwaves along with him, as well as a whole load of his favourite artists - some you’ll know, and some pretty new to the scene. Get your tickets ASAP if you’re hoping to get a look in on this one.
When: Thursday 17th October Where: Warehouse Elementenstraat Line-up: Carl Cox, Christopher Coe, Hannes Bieger, Julien Chaptal, Mat Playford, Reinier Zonneveld, Quazar and more
The Johan Cruijff Arena is the biggest venue for ADE 2019, making AMF the biggest party of the festival. Here you’ll find an epic line-up of big name artists taking over the program on the Saturday of ADE so you better book soon as it’s selling out already.
When: Saturday 19th October Where: Johan Cruijff Arena Line-up: Tiesto, Armin van Buuren, Alesso and more
DGTL x Bonobo presents Outlier
Amsterdam’s DGTL combines with Bonobo, a music producer from the UK, to bring one of the biggest parties in ADE 2019. Get the free ferry over the River IJ to Amsterdam’s former shipyard, NDSM, where Bonobo will return to put on a show even better than his sell-out last year.
When: Saturday 19th October Where: NDSM, Amsterdam Noord Line-up: Bonobo, The Black Madonna, Bradley Zero, Jon Hopkins, Catching Flies, David August and more
Our Story - 15 Years Tomorrowland
Join the biggest dance festival in the world to celebrate 15 years in the making. Tomorrowland in Belgium will be taking over the Ziggo Dome for two nights this ADE, hosting some of the most well-known electronic dance artists in the world. This is Tomorrowland’s first time at ADE but don’t expect them to go in lightly - if it’s the Tomorrowland we know, then it’s gonna be an unbelievable show.
When: Thursday 17th & Friday 18th October Where: Ziggo Dome Line-up: Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, Steve Aoki, Afrojack, Netsky, The Bloody Beetroots and more
ADE top tips
Book your accommodation now
Over 300,000 people came to ADE in 2018 and these people need a bed to sleep in. We’ve got two seriously affordable hostels which are both smack bang in the heart of Amsterdam, one by Vondelpark and the other by Centraal Station. Plus, the Flying Pigs are ideal if you wanna meet other people heading to the festival whether that’s in the on-site bar or in a sociable dorm room if you don’t choose a private. Book a room ASAP before they all go.
Book the Flying Pig Uptown near Vondelpark
Book the Flying Pig Downtown near Centraal Station
Plan your days and nights
ADE isn’t one of those festivals you can just turn up to and wing it. There’s 140 venues and thousands of events going on, so you could easily miss the things you really wanted to see. Take a bit of time to map out all your must-see events and plan your days out so you get as much out of the festival as you can. Plus, you’ll need to buy tickets. Get onto the ADE website to map out all the events you really don’t want to miss.
Wanna be part of the industry? Prepare to network
ADE is your chance to speak face-to-face to some pretty well established people in the music industry who are based all across the world. Whether you’re a budding producer or DJ, or maybe you run a start-up, don't just sit back. Get talking to people - you never know, they could change your life.
Article by Darcy King