We take a closer look at some of the Conference and Lab sessions at this year’s ADE
The arrival of October signals the return of the world’s premier electronic music conference and festival Amsterdam Dance Event.
If you’ve somehow got to this stage in your life without becoming aware of its existence, ADE takes place between the 19th and 23rd of October, unsurprisingly in Amsterdam, Holland and is a five-day event that engages with every imaginable aspect of electronic music and the surrounding culture.
This year’s ADE festival features 2500 artists and DJs from across pretty much every genre and sub-genre you can think of, playing in nearly 200 venues across the city.
Confirmed artists include Blawan, Martin Garrix, Suzanne Ciani & Metropole Orkest, DJ Stingray, Jayda G, Eric Prydz, Don Diablo, Paula Temple, Hardwell, Fatima Hajji, Flava D, Holy Other, The Blessed Madonna, Nils Frahm, Peggy Gou, Honey Dijon, Âme and Richie Hawtin to name just a few.
It’s a pretty packed week so we thought we’d take a closer look at some of the Conference and Lab events going on this year and pick out just a few choice sessions.
This year the Pro conference is split into three themed strands. Business, Future and World.
The Business strand is described as “The core layer of ADE Pro and the industry, with a program focus on business, entrepreneurship and the professional lives of electronic music’s entire value chain.” These are the sessions that give attendees a chance to listen to and talk to seasoned players and new professionals who are currently working at the cutting edge of the industry. It’s an opportunity to pick up valuable advice, experience and best practice as well as gain insights into how the industry actually functions.
As recent high-profile disputes over royalties and contracts involving acts like Four Tet, A Guy Called Gerald and Larry Heard/Robert Owens V Trax Records have shown, this area of the industry is still vitally important. Thursday’s Legal Update For Entertainment Technology session will be examining how legal developments are affecting issues like royalties, copyright, contracts etc.
The success of brand partnerships has been vital for injecting money into parts of the dance music and DJ industry – see UK independent radio for example – but there will always be challenges around maintaining authenticity when underground dance outfits team up with big brands.
If this is an area of interest to you then check Wednesday’s I’m With the Brand: Best Cases in Music & Brand Partnerships in 2022 session.
Taking a look behind the scenes of the industry, Diplo: The Team Behind on Thursday is shaping up to be a particularly interesting session as the team behind Diplo success share their experiences of 15 years working in dance music.
And then at a completely different end of the electronic music industry, on Wednesday, Stranger Things composers Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein deliver a keynote speech on the reality of composing for film and television.
The Future strand of the Pro Conference is all about the latest trends and innovations and includes some leading-edge sessions exploring the impact and potential of Web 3, including Thursday’s Democratizing the Future of The Music Business and Why Communities Are The Future of The Music Industry. There’s also a Thursday keynote speech from Warner Music’s Chief Digital Officer Oana Ruxandra looking at how Web 3 might influence the industry.
Post covid and in an international cost of living crisis, the economic fragility of our live music sector will be discussed in The Cost-of-Working Crisis – How Do We Continue to Build Back Better? while on Thursday How Innovative Companies Are Bringing Artists And Fans Closer Together looks into how events like Sónar and DICE are navigating the current festival landscape.
The third strand of the ADE Pro Conference is themed World and looks at issues like sustainability, social change, inclusion and mental health, issues that affect us all but that might be perhaps a little more challenging to discuss than how to maximise your streaming revenue.
Inclusion remains one of the single most important issues facing our industry and Wednesday’s Pushing towards an inclusive Music Industry Q&A with Sydney Blu will be looking into the importance of signing women, trans and non-binary artists, as well as discussing practical initiatives like her 23by23 campaign.
On Friday, the Harnessing the Power of Dance Musics Gender Parity Initiatives session will be discussing growing the presence of women and marginalised gender groups within electronic and dance music.
And also on Friday, Black Artist Database co-founder NIKs will be talking about the hows and whys of enacting structural change in the industry in her Everyday Is a Good Day To Support And Buy From Black Artists.
Photos by Tom Doms, Marco Scheurink, Enrique Meesters and Kapa Photography
…While you’re here.. you may enjoy our podcast with Niks Delanancy who you can find speaking at this year’s ADE.