ADE2017 - Rotationz Review by Pedro Mercado

Let's start with the most and in fact only important conclusion: ADE 2017 was again thé best week of the year in my life as a DJ, producer, labelmanager, electronic music lover & professional raver! The world’s biggest club festival for dance music and most important business platform for electronic music industry, is also thé best, no doubt about that! From 18/10/2017 till 22/10/2017, edition n°22 of Amsterdam Dance Event broke again new records, and has once again cemented it's position as the largest club festival and the most important business conference for electronic music attracting a record number of 395,000 visitors.

In my review I’ll give you an overview of some panels, debates, lectures,... I attended and some flyers & line-ups of showcases, parties, afterparties, raves, etc I did. That's really the best way I think to show you that the possibilities and opportunities at ADE are endless and amazing.


Tuesday 17/10/2016 – Day 0:

This year ADE started one day earlier for me because I hosted my own Chrom Recordings label showcase already on Tuesdays at the legendary Club NL, a sort of unofficial ADE Kick Off party. There were already quite some people in town and we had a great night, thx to my artists (The Note V, Aves Volare, Si Rob, Modeplex & Kris Adrian) and everybody who came down!

Wednesday 18/10/2016 – Day 1:

A typical day at ADE for me normally starts around/in the Felix Meritis & The Dylan Hotel for networking with other people from the music industry. But this year the location of the Conference had changed: after 16 years in the Felix Meritis, the Amsterdam Dance Event moved to the DeLaMar Theater to allow major renovations to take place in its old venue. The DeLaMar is ideally situated next to Leidseplein and De Melkweg and allowed also the event to bring previously separately-housed events such as ADE Dance & Brands under one roof. And to be honest I liked this new venue very much: the DeLaMar Theater is a perfect new location if you ask me, offering various network & business lounges as a place where you can meet in a relaxed atmosphere for networking and business opportunities.

After my label party of the night before I took it easy, just checked out the new venue and only did some small meetings before I took some extra rest in the hotel: relaxing a bit and preparing for the night. On the first official ADE night there was already plenty of choice: Pan-Pot presents Second State at Marktkantine, Andhim all night long, etc. But we decided to head to a fixed value in the Amsterdam Clublife: Panama Club for their ADE Opening Party with a fierce line-up including Carlo Lio, Fatima Hajji, James Zabiela, Jay Lumen, Pleasurekraft, Technasia,… Cool club, nice company and a great set by James Zabiela, so a perfect first official ADE nightout!

Thursday 19/10/2016 – Day 2:

After a few hours of sleep everybody heads again to the Conference during the day. Some interesting panels: Best and Worst of Being a Music Publisher in the 21st Century, Other Ways To Make Money Out of Music, Streaming Music/DJ’s & the Future of Indie Labels, etc. And of course the obligatory networking with the other delegates you know.

After a series of very interesting meetings at the Conference, it’s time for my favourite thing: the pre-party at one of the many bars around Leidseplein or Rembrandtplein which all host great label showcases during ADE, most of them are free, you can still network but in a more relaxed atmosphere and it's perfect to get you in the right party mood for the night. Choice of the evening is just like last year the party from We Are E, one of the most important booking agencies in Amsterdam & abroad, at the lovely cocktail Bar Feijoa ! Tasty cocktails and free entrance, a quality pre-night with some amazing dj’s behind the booth: Britta Arnold, Gabriel Ananda, Spaceandtime, unders,... and one of Amsterdam favourites the crazy Olivier Weiter.

After the cocktails it’s time for the first label showcase of the night: One Of A Kind at Recycle Lounge Gallery Club, which is a really great underground location. One Of A Kind is definitely one of the best progressive house labels on the market and they presented us a great B2B line-up: Scott James b2b Filip Fisher, Sonic Union b2b Bonaca, Peter Makto b2b Gregory S, Kasper Koman b2b Jelly For The Babies, Ran Salman b2b Audio Junkies, Rauschhaus b2b AFFECT!

For the Second label showcase of the night we opted for some proper techhouse like only the Spanish Stereo Productions can do, at the beautiful Van Dyk Bar with label heads Chus & Ceballos in charge + some nice guests such as Dennis Cruz & Rafa Barrios.

Third and last label showcase of the night was the Einmusika Showcase at De Balie, celebrating their 10th birthday with Einmusik Live, Rafael Cerato, Jonas Saalbach Live, Florian Kruse, Miyagi, Budakid, Philipp Kempnich, and a really fantastic set by Sébastien Léger.

Friday 20/10/2016 – Day 3:

After some sleep, back to the Conference for a very interesting panel that I didn’t want to miss: Best and Worst of Running a Label in the 21st Century by Christian Smith (Tronic, SE), Ineke Daans (PIAS, BE) & Kees van Weijen (STOMP, NL). Especially Christian Smith & the Moderator Chris Goss (Hospital Records, GB) gave us some nice insights about the upsides & downsides of being a label these days, and about the things that continue to frustrate the people who've survived the massive disruption of the last decade.

After this panel we headed to the Belgian Village, the central place for Belgians like me during Amsterdam Dance Event. The past has shown that all Belgians were spread all over Amsterdam during ADE and there was no central spot to meet with each other, network, invite relations and have chat and drink. For this reason Belgian Village is born, a great initiative from Tibbaa Belgium, a reinventing Ticketing System. Every single visitor received a free Gin Tonic which was very cool :-) During 7 hours long, renowned Belgian clubs, events and festivals took over the decks at the Holland Casino with a DJ of their choice. Tibbaa ON AIR livestreamed the whole event and media partner Fuzz Magazine kept everybody updated with live feeds and interviews.

Then we went again to the centrally-located Bar Feijoa for the label showcase of UK-based label Chapter 24 which I called last year already one of the most promising labels from the UK. For their second Amsterdam Dance Event showcase in association with When We Dip they had prepared a stellar line-up with key label talents such Rancido, JOBE, Stevie R, Malbetrieb & THC, Paul Nolan, KatrinKa, Kieran Apter & Vverses.

We continued in a special location: the quirky and centrally located Winston Kingdom located in a basement somewhere in the Red Light District, for the Constant Circles / Sincopat / Comport Showcase: from the UK to Spain to the Netherlands, connected by the thread of cutting edge underground music. Three labels with a passion for curating eclectic, emotional and unique sounds across the spectrum of electronic music joined forces for one night at the Amsterdam Dance Event, to deliver the finest underground sounds from electronica to techno by AFFKT, Audio Junkies, Dansor feat. Ewa Pepper (Violinist), DkA, Just Her, Mattia Pompeo, Nandu, Onur Özman Live & Zoë Xenia.

As we were now completely warmedup for a proper rave, we went to my favourite Amsterdam venue: WesterUnie. This club has everything: 3 fantastic rooms, a cosy smoking garden, an amazing chill-out area with supercomfortable sofas and even a great locker room, wow! Tonight it’s Berlin Night: two of Berlin’s finest crews team up for a night of pure musical bliss. Watergate and Katermukke both live and breathe everything we love about the club and festival culture from the German capital. Watergate celebrates their 15 years and brought some amazing dj’s with them: La Fleur, M.A.N.D.Y., Matthias Meyer, Mathias Kaden, Marek Hemmann live, Oliver Huntemann b2b Marco Resmann. In the other room Katermukke presented Stab Virus, Umami, Rey & Kjavik, Dirty Doering, Britta Arnold, Madmotormiquel. WesterUnie + Berlin, just like last year, thé perfect combo!

Saturday 21/10/2016 –


Day 4:

ADE NEXT on Saturday is every year a-must-do at ADE for every young talent or every starting musician in electronic music. ADE Next continued this year with a new name, namely ADE Sound Lab. The ADE Next (ADE Sound Lab) was added this year with elements of the old ADE Sound Lab and Music Talks and was 3 days instead of 1 at De Brakke Grond, with Saturday still being the main day if you ask me. So even more gear, more program and more demo pitches this year. Great initiative!

But so far the networking for me, from now on I only concentrate on relaxing, enjoying the general atmosphere of ADE & the city of Amsterdam, and partying. So in the early evening we head to club Claire (formerly known as Studio80), another great location with the same underground feel as some of Berlin’s best nightclubs where we heard amazing deep tribal sounds: live performances by Amentia & KMLN, and DJ sets from Kora, unders, and Sabo... and there was free food too!

After we headed to the canals for the joined label showcase of Manual/MNL/Cinematique at a very cosy whisky cocktail bar. Also here some great artits behind the decks: Amber Long, Juliane Wolf, Paul Hazendonk, Ryan Sullivan, Steve Slight, etc.

And then it’s time again for a proper rave: back to WesterUnie for the Pleinvrees ADE Closing with a lot of German talent in control: Fritz Kalkbrenner leaded a pack of musically gifted friends (Till von Sein, GHEIST, Adana Twins, & Noir who was in great shape) while Oliver Koletzki brings the very best his label Stil vor Talent has to offer (Björn Störig, Moonwalk,Klangkuenstler, Reinier Zonneveld live, Teenage Mutants). Also a great set from Rafael Cerato in the basement btw.

And if you still don't have enough, like me, you can end the nights in the weekend in one of the many ADE after-parties. I mostly end up in Club NL, the club where ADE started for me already on Tuesday with my own Chrom label showcase. This morning there was Timelapse hosted by a trio of highly regarded and long-standing electronic labels: Sudbeat, Reworck and Asymmetric Recordings. It was an epic 17-hour marathon that started already at 19:00 H on Saturday evening and closed on Sunday at noon with great melodic after sounds from Audio Junkies, Bonaca, Lonya, Pole Folder, etc.

Sunday 22/10/2016 Day 5:

After a few hours of sleep (finally!) I decided to skip the day-time party of Elrow, because it was already too late. So I probably missed the most loco party on the planet right now. Elrow started in Barcelona, and then conquered Ibiza (first in the Vista Room of Privilege, then in Space Ibiza and finally in Amnesia), and now they conquer the world, including Amsterdam last year at ADE. But no worries, I did already so many Elrows in my life and there were plenty of other wicked Sunday daytime parties to choose from. And you can probably guess it: I ended up again at WesterUnie! The Gardens of Babylon presented a day-into-night Nomad event with a hippie market, performers and the most magical crowd that were all ready to dive in deep. It was an amazing ceremony lead by the masters of Desert House: Kora, Britta Unders, Jan Blomqvist live, Blond:ish, Satori live, Damian Lazarus, Monolink live, DJ Three b2b Behrouz, Audiofly, YokoO b2b Chaim.

At midnight when Westerunie closed we headed over to the spectacular venue nextdoors, the amazing Gashouder, to end this insane ADE rollercoaster with a bang: Awakenings! This year Awakenings extended their annual ADE techno marathon to 7 editions, incl. 2 day-time editions. On their last night Ben Klock presented his new Photon concept for the first time in Holland. Berlin Techno with Etapp Kyle, Ø [Phase] live, RØDHÅD, Dax J, Marcel Dettmann and of course Ben Klock himself. And it seemed like many of the nice people I had met during this insane week had the same idea, this was the best way to end the best party week of my life in a fantastic city!


* written by Pedro Mercado for Rotationz:


- Offical ADE'17 Press Review:

- ADE'17 Radio Review (Dutch spoken, Rotationz Radio Show, Topradio FM, live, 05/11/2017):

- Pure ADE'17 mix session featured by Planet Ibiza as "The Sound Of ADE 2017" by Pedro Mercado:

- Up-To-Deep presents "ADE 2017-recovery Mix" by Pedro Mercado (Ibiza Global Radio, 28/10/'17):

- EXTRA: our Chrom Recordings ADE Showcase @ Club NL, live recorded:




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