Jungle and junglists are not the only things that deserve a verified ‘massive’ status. Amsterdam Dance Event is due that accolade, too…
Over the course of five days the annual event, now in its 24th year, hosts over 1000 events across 200 venues attracting a staggering 400,000 people. Massive is actually an understatement; from panels and workshops to parties and full-on raves, ADE is all encompassing, it takes over the entire city and covers every possible topic, angle and facet of the electronic music and club culture game from how to run a label to the analysis of iconic album art.
Yet the event has always been heavily characterised by house and techno and not always had its fair share of D&B representation over the years. Party-wise D&B has always been a hotspot at ADE with the likes of Viper, Hospital, RAM and Noisia Invites hosting high-profile shindigs but the daytime schedule has lacked a little 170 spirit. Until this year…
On Friday October 19 Amsterdam Dance Event was given the full D&B treatment as we made our ADE debut and took over Café Lux as part of the ADE Beats schedule with 9 hours of premium, uncut drum & bass and jungle. History, future, beats: The full day and night programs were a complete success right down to the venue. Café Lux’s cosy underground space was an ideal setting for both day time talks and evening brock outs. An apt space, too; the venue famously held some of the Dutch city’s earliest drum & bass events well over 25 years ago.
The session was launched with a keynote speech from Viper Recordings head honcho Futurebound who took us right back to his earliest roots growing up in Liverpool and how one fateful night at an acid house party changed his path from hopeful footballer to card carrying raver. Wrapping up with a strong salute to the new generation and remarking on how exciting drum & bass’s melting pot is right now, it set the foundation for the afternoon of talks that followed.
From the foundations to the future, the afternoon enjoyed a solid schedule of panels that covered the spectrum of the jungle continuum. A lively discussion was had by DJ Hype, Futurebound, Aphrodite and Scott Bourne about jungle’s earliest roots, key cities that incubated its development such as Birmingham and Manchester and unsung heroes such as The Scientist.
Micha from Black Sun Empire and Noisia’s manager Walter Flapper were among the panellists analysing how a more global community has changed the sound and culture of drum & bass, while The Prototypes, A.M.C, Thrasher and Kove considered the genre’s current state of health and what they’d like to see in the future. The final panel then saw some of the genre’s most successful promoters such as Let It Roll founder Suki, Metropolis’s Wilf Gregory and Major League’s Lars Dingham talk about the ever changing event landscape and how we’ve come from warehouses and fields to full size festivals, arenas and representing at large-scale conferences such as ADE.
As the afternoon of thoughtful conversation and insight came to an end, we did what we do best: Flipped the party switch. The slightly studious and reflective vibe of the consistently packed bar suddenly switched into a full on dance as Futurebound took the lead before jetting off for his own Viper boat and club events. He was followed by Kove who teased us with a rolling selection of forthcoming dubs before A.M.C closed business with his signature chop slapping salvo that spanned the ages of D&B and jungle, just as the talks throughout the day had done.
400,000 visitors, 1000 events, 200 venues… One successful ADE debut for Drum&BassArena. Big shouts to all the panellists and delegates who joined us, partied with us and helped us continue to develop and celebrate the music and culture we love even further around the world. See you there next year.