As the organisers of this year's inaugural London Calling found out, hosting an international music conference in a city pivotal to the explosion of dance music culture, doesn't necessarily guarantee the success like that afforded by the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE).
Organiser Pieter van Adrichem attributes the ongoing and future success of the event to the "growing up" of dance music.
“These days dance events are established events. Mayors come and visit them to see what’s happening and actually really like what they see," says van Adrichem. "That’s really important! The music itself also has more depth and an identity."
Indeed, such an event like the ADE does require a certain amount of infrastructure, the kind usually only put into place after a scene, like that of Amsterdam or Holland, has matured.
"If you read about dance music in a Dutch newspaper 10 years ago, it was always about people dying from drugs and idiots dancing in the mud but today it’s considered a serious culture,” says van Adrichem. "However a connection has been made to modern technology and innovation. You could say that dance music is the new jazz. Actually it’s better to use the term “electronic music” instead of dance music. That itself is a really interesting development on the part of the media."
Having tapped into the media and garnered the support of local authorities, the ADE has grown to the extent that the city now considers it as an event that puts Amsterdam on the map. But is Amsterdam, the "Capital of Dance", as the organizers of the upcoming tenth edition of the Amsterdam Dance Event want us to believe or is it still about tulips, coffee shops and the red light district? Is there more to explore during the day and night?
In the second of our ADE features, we posed this question to organiser Pieter van Adrichem and asked him about the future of the conference and dance music as a whole.