Amsterdam Dance Event confirms first speakers for digital conference

The Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE), the global industry meeting point and citywide festival for electronic music, is to go digital-first for its 2020 edition, which will take place from October 21st – 25th. The first speakers for the virtual ADE Pro conference are revealed today, alongside a select number of Covid-proof seated concerts and cross-cultural projects under the ADE Specials banner, set to take place in Amsterdam in close coordination with the city council.

This year’s 25th anniversary edition of ADE was set to become the biggest celebration of electronic music yet. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the organisers of the annual gathering have been obliged to ensure the safety of its 400,000 international visitors by shifting its conference program to an online-first environment, as well as drastically changing its festival proposition to a limited number of seated ADE Specials.

The latest announcement by the Dutch government affecting clubs and nightlife is another blow for the industry, says co-director Jan-Willem van de Ven: “Clubs and music venues form the backbone of Amsterdam’s nightlife and are incredibly important in shaping and innovating the cultural identity of the city, its inhabitants and visitors alike. Without them, electronic music loses an integral part of its culture and industry and therefore needs all support from the government.”

Nonetheless, co-director Meindert Kennis is confident ADE can continue to provide a leading industry platform for artists and industry professionals. “Creating a digital alternative of ADE’s annual industry gathering in Amsterdam was quite a puzzle because we needed to represent not just a conference program, but meaningful connections between visitors as well. Whereas other digital conferences offer a one-off knowledge sharing event, we wanted to embrace the challenge of investing in a sustainable social platform that provides real value throughout the year for music industry professionals globally.”

Some of the first confirmed ADE Pro digital conference highlights include Grammy award-winning artist James Blake in conversation with mental health expert Jennie Morton, and an in-depth workshop on music clearance by Deborah Mannis-Gardner, as well as panels talks and interviews with Bandcamp’s Aly Gillani, VFX specialist Angelo White, VEVO’s Claudia de Wolff, BBC Radio 1 DJ Jaguar and music industry entrepreneur Merck Mercuriadis. More ADE Pro announcements are set to follow soon.

The ADE 2020 Digital Pro Pass grants access to the entire ADE Pro conference program as well as a year-long subscription to its social media platform. It also includes a hefty discount for next year’s edition, and is available here.

The first participating venues under the Covid-proof ADE Specials banner to take place throughout Amsterdam include Bimhuis, Concertgebouw, Melkweg, Paradiso and Paradiso Noord, with more to be announced soon. Furthermore, the organisation will provide a free online platform that hosts a variety of digital content including DJ sets, artist talks, studio tours, masterclasses and an art & film program.

News about ADE 2020’s offering and program, including confirmed artists and news about its virtual efforts, will follow soon. All news and updates can be found here.