For those who visit the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) for the first time, the experience can turn into a lasting cultural shock. Although prepared with enough information, during my first visit of this cultural event, I was unable to withstand the size and impetus of the festival. For 5 days, Amsterdam turned into a huge playground for grown ups, where the only rules were the limits of human creativity.
The festival focuses on electronic music and its influence on other cultural spheres. Interviews with artists, master classes with proven names on the world stage, new audiovisual technologies, discussions on the vast possibilities of acoustics, all sorts of “gadgets” and a lot more await those who dare to get lost in the streets of Amsterdam, only to find what the future can bring. Because of its size, this event undoubtedly transforms the world as we know it into an endless tales of emotion and music. I have visited various interesting places around the world, but I have never felt so powerless standing before the diversity of a cultural event.
The meeting point of the festival is considered to be the ADE Hangout place in the transformed especially for the occasion theatre De Brakke Grond, located a minute away from The Dam Square – the heart of Amsterdam’s street life. Here were the ADE panel halls, where all the conferences, sound laboratories and workshops with names like Dave Clarke, Reinier Zonneveld, Joris Voorn, Nina Kravitz, Surgeon, Anthony Rother took place. Along with this stream of information, every visitor had the chance to test the latest technology hits from manufactures such as Roland, Native Instruments, Pioneer, Novation, Ableton and many others. Personally, I didn’t feel nearly as excited at Christmas as a kid, as I did in the middle of these halls filled with “toys for grown ups.”
The next 50 pages would not have been enough to describe everything inspiring I encountered during these few days. One of the turning points of the whole trip happened on Friday when I was at a live performance of the best of Bulgarian electronic music – KiNK, who tested new sample players from Pioneer. Perhaps a more accurate word in this case would not have been testing, rather it was demonstrating to Pioneer how to use their own gear. Strahil Velchev is probably the most innovative figure in the whole history of Bulgarian electronic music, but we’ll go back to his story in an exclusive feature, due to the special attention that it requires. In the moments when I listened to KiNK, I felt proud of the huge influence a Bulgarian has on culture internationally. At times like these, I strongly believe in the immense opportunities of International Business Alliance.Bulgaria, whose purpose is precisely to connect and promote Bulgarian talent and business opportunities.
The real magic of the Amsterdam Dance Event happened beyond the walls of De Brakke Grond. Every corner of the city became a musical world of its own. Turning to a small street you never knew what awaits you – a favourite artist in a plate shop, an improvised party at a city square – behind every corner there was a little musical surprise waiting to be discovered.
This event is a true example of the power of a society that is subject to a common goal.
Starting from the Central Station and reaching the far districts of Amsterdam, various parts of the city were painted yellow, symbolising that ADE had been there. This festival blurs the boundaries between business and fun, involving everyone on it’s way, giving one of the strongest examples I know about the fact that together we have better fun and together we are more progressive.
Text and photos by Asen Nedyalkov