ADE reaches millions with virtual 2020 event
The 25th edition of Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE), which took place from Wednesday 21 to Sunday 25 October, reached millions of people across the world with the festival’s first-ever digital event, organisers have revealed.
The yearly ADE Pro conference, which traditionally takes place alongside the festival, also took place in an online environment and attracted thousands of electronic music industry professionals.
Highlights of the event included a live conversation between Timbaland, Martin Garrix and David Guetta, The Evolution of Sounds, with more than 250,000 people tuning in globally. Meanwhile, the ADE Pro conference delved into future prospects for artists, clubs and festivals, health issues with James Blake, activism and music with Neneh Cherry and more. All ADE Pro content is available on demand via the platform.
Other sessions of note included the European premiere of the documentary Larry’s Garage, a collaboration with Nyege Nyege festival from Uganda and a livestream from Elrow with Desperados, which attracted hundreds of thousands of viewers.
“It’s great we were able to fulfil our role as a world-leading platform for electronic music even in these strange times”
In addition, studio tours and master classes by a wide range of artists, including Bloody Mary, Carista, Carl Cox, Âme’s Frank Wiedeman and Pan-Pot, formed an in-depth program for the new generation of DJs, while viewers were given a glimpse into the future of digital performances with innovative audiovisual experiences.
Elsewhere, favourite moments from previous editions of ADE were shared on TikTok with the hashtag #ADEmoments throughout the week, with the likes of Tiësto, Martin Garrix, Stella Bossi, Don Diablo, Armin van Buuren and Carly Wilford getting involved, as well as the Rijksmuseum and other organisations. This reached more than 35 million people.
ADE co-directors Jan-Willem van de Ven and Meindert Kennis, who took over from Mariana Sanchotene for this year’s event, jointly comment: “We obviously had something different in mind when we started in December, but given the circumstances we’re happy to hear people say we’ve raised the bar for the future of digital events.
“It’s great that we were able to fulfil our role as a world-leading platform for electronic music even in these strange times and we look forward to further developing the digital platform over the coming months to benefit our subscribers.”
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Clubs “on the verge” in key European markets
Some of Europe’s key markets have delivered damning new surveys revealing the impact of Covid-19 on their night-time industries.
Germany has revealed that 94% of the participating disco and club operators are “on the verge of giving up their business,” while the Netherlands – which this week has hosted the world’s biggest electronic music event, Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) – expects to lose almost half its expected turnover of €7.4bn this year.
In the UK this week, new campaign group #SaveNightclubs conducted a survey of 101 nightclub owners and managers which revealed that 58% of nightclubs across the nation will go out of business within a month.
Four in five (81%) nightclubs will be shut by Christmas and just 10% said that they expect their business to survive longer than four months.
The vast majority of the live entertainment and nightlife businesses are shuttered due to the UK’s restrictions – which include a 10 pm curfew, capacity restrictions with social distancing and the most recently introduced Tier 2 and 3 measures – as well as being missed out of support schemes.
The survey follows the government’s announcement that selected nightclubs would receive financial assistance from the Culture Recovery Fund, though many operators have missed out and fear their clubs won’t last long without funding.
Printworks, Studio 338, Egg London and Pickle Factory/Oval Space are among the iconic London nightclubs that were denied grants from the Culture Recovery Fund.
“With only a handful of nightclubs receiving Culture Recovery Funding, the rest of the country is in dire need of a survival fund. The government must act now or permanently lose the country’s nightclub industry and the enormous economic contribution it makes,” says Asher Grant, co-owner of London club Reign and a member of #SaveNightclubs.
In the UK, 58% of nightclubs will go out of business within a month
“We’re facing mounting rent bills, ongoing running costs and the prospect of business rates in April. We’re pleading with the government to prevent a devastating tsunami of job losses, a wipeout of future economic contributions and further ruin to towns and cities across the UK which are already on their knees.”
The nightclub industry generates £3bn a year in income for the UK’s economy and is a vital source of jobs, particularly for the young, employing around 45,000 people – 72% of who are under 25 years old. Nightclubs are also an important part of domestic tourism, with 10% bar visits and 9% club visits forming part of a city break.
#SaveNightclubs launched this week, uniting over 100 late-night venues across the UK along with thousands of staff to call on the government to offer a survival plan including emergency financial aid, eviction protection and extended rate relief to April 2022.
Nightclub owners, workers and goers will be joining together to drum up noise outside Parliament Square on Wednesday 28 October at 12 pm to coincide with the prime minister’s Question Time.
In the Netherlands, Dutch organisations including Buma, Amsterdam Dance Event, and Music Ally have published a report, The electronic music industry during Covid-19, which outlines the value of its “world-famous nightlife culture” and its decline due to Covid-19.
In 2018, 73% of the €216.5m total value of Dutch music was attributed to electronic music
Buma, a copyright organisation which presents an annual report of the value of Dutch popular music, revealed that in 2018, 73% of the €216.5m total value of Dutch music was attributed to electronic music, based on recordings and performances.
Festival and party concepts developed in the Netherlands, including Sensation, DGTL, Dekmantel and Mysteryland, are rolled out all over the world with resounding success. While Dutch superstar DJs such as Tiësto, Armin van Buuren, Afrojack, Ferry Corsten, Hardwell, Martin Garrix, Joris Voorn and Chuckie perform sold-out shows around the world.
The Dutch government has released emergency funding to the cultural sector – a total of €728m through packages and €77m through the Performing Arts Fund – but the report says “very little” seems to have found its way to nightclubs or electronic music organisations so far.
Furthermore, while live music venues have been allowed to reopen, albeit with capacity restrictions, nightclubs have now been closed for over six months and will remain shuttered until a vaccine is on the market, says Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte.
In March, RTL reported that the Dutch event industry will lose almost half its expected turnover of €7.4bn this year.
In Germany, 94% of the participating disco and club operators are “on the verge of giving up their business”
Elsewhere, in Germany, according to a recent survey by the umbrella organization DEHOGA, 94% of the participating disco and club operators are “on the verge of giving up their business” as a result of the pandemic.
“The situation of clubs and discos in Germany is getting worse,” explained Knut Walsleben, the newly elected president of the Federal Association of German Discotheques and Dance Companies (BDT), part of DEHOGA, at the Club Convention industry meeting on 20 October.
“The current state aid is by far not sufficient for our existentially affected companies. The club operators and discotheque entrepreneurs are running out of breath, ”said Walsleben, and called for further political support for his branch.
This week the German government announced an extension of the bridging aid, which will allow medium-sized companies, self-employed professionals and freelancers from all industries to apply for non-repayable direct grants for operational fixed costs up to 90% for the months between September to December 2020.
BDT has welcomed the extension of the bridging aid but is calling for 100% of fixed costs to be covered; the maximum monthly limit of 50,000 euros to be increased; an appropriate entrepreneur wage for the club and discotheque operators; and a VAT reduction which includes drinks and the entrance fee.
Germany is currently operating with an 11pm curfew and a hotspot strategy to tackle Covid cases, which yesterday soared past the 10,000 mark for the first time.
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DGTL to be first 100% sustainable electronic music fest
The team behind the flagship Amsterdam edition of DGTL festival has created a circular blueprint for festivals – also applicable to cities – becoming the first electronic music festival to become fully sustainable.
The DGTL sustainability programme has been running since 2013, aiming to create a completely circular, or sustainable, festival in terms of energy, water and sanitation, food, waste and transport.
The festival was among those to pledge their commitment to the Green Deal and become fully circular by 2025 at Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) in October. A special festival-focused panel is taking place in collaboration with the International Green Deal at the Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) in London on Tuesday 3 March.
The festival was among those to pledge their commitment to the Green Deal and become fully circular by 2025
Working with the City of Amsterdam and central government, this year’s DGTL Amsterdam, which takes place on 11 and 12 April, will be entirely powered by renewable energy sources. The event will also implement a fully circular sanitary system.
The festival is introducing a fully plant-based food menu and will use biodiesel to fuel all machinery used pre- and post-event. Special deals on train travel to the festival aim to deter fans from flying.
Artists playing at this year’s DGTL Amsterdam include Bonobo, Nicola Cruz, Nina Kraviz, the Black Madonna, Theo Parrish and Honey Dijon.
Tickets for GEI 2020 are available here. The conference will feature speakers from The Membranes singer John Robb, Live Nation, Extinction Rebellion, AEG Europe, Mojo Concerts, CAA, and more.
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ADE director Mariana Sanchotene leaves role
Mariana Sanchotene, the director of electronic music conference and festival Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE), is leaving her position after one year in the role.
Sanchotene, who led the 24th edition of ADE in October this year, will depart from the ADE Foundation on 6 December.
Prior to becoming ADE director in October 2018, Sanchotene worked for Dutch electronic music promoter ID&T, Cirque du Soleil and Stage Entertainment, and now plans to continue her career in the cultural sector.
“This has been a special year, where we have worked hard to give ADE the place in the creative sector that it now has and deserves,” says Sanchotene. “I am very proud of it”.
“We are indebted to Mariana Sanchotene for her full dedication to ADE”
Willemijn Maas, chairman of the ADE Foundation supervisory board, comments: “We are indebted to Mariana Sanchotene for her full dedication to ADE. We wish her every success in her further career.”
The board is now looking for a successor to lead the event, which became independent in last year.
The 25th edition of Amsterdam Dance Event will take place from Wednesday 21 to Sunday 25 October 2020, organised by ADE Foundation founding partner, Buma, with support from the municipality of Amsterdam and VSB Fonds.
Exit 2.0: back to the future of the Balkans’ biggest festival
Exit Festival, a live music event spawned from the desire for peace and freedom in the Balkans, is turning twenty years old this year, with a brand new set of social aims appearing at the top of its agenda.
Founded by Dusan Kovačević, Ivan Milivojev, Bojan Boskovic and Milos Ignjatovic in 2000, the first edition of Exit Festival took place in University Park in the Serbian city of Novi Sad, with the objective of connecting like-minded Balkan people and encouraging political engagement among the youth.
“Exit was the first mass gathering of young people from former Yugoslavian countries after the Balkans War [which took place from 1991-1999],” Sagor Mešković, the festival’s chief communications officer, explains to IQ. “It started off as a youth activism movement for peace in Serbia and the Balkans.”
“After ten years of war and isolation in the region, the first edition of the festival was characterised by a feeling that normal life was back again,” adds Exit co-founder Kovačević. “Emotions were so high, that most of the artists said that they played the best concert of their tour , or even their whole career, at the event.”
Twenty years on, Exit Festival has just enjoyed its biggest year yet, welcoming 200,000 fans to its permanent site at Novi Sad’s Petrovaradin Fortress for four days of performances from the likes of the Cure, Carl Cox, Amelie Lens, the Chainsmokers and Greta van Fleet.
“After ten years of war and isolation in the region, the first edition of the festival was characterised by a feeling that normal life was back again”
Adding to its flagship event, the Exit team have now developed an extended festival network, providing “the biggest cultural bridge between the countries of the former Yugoslavia” in the form of No Sleep Festival in Serbia, Sea Star in Croatia, Revolution Festival in Romania and Sea Dance Festival in Montenegro.
This unique history and ethos is the driving force behind the desire for Exit to remain independent.
“Exit didn’t start for profit,” states Kovačević. “I respect the investment funds that are taking over festivals – they are still doing great shows and people are having fun – but we have decided to stay independent because we know the festival world needs something like this.”
With so much history behind them, the twentieth anniversary of Exit Festival is “important on so many levels, not just for us, but for the whole region,” says Kovačević.
Exit 2.0, as the anniversary event is dubbed, will look to the future as well as celebrating of the past, a fact reflected in the very programming of the festival. “We are going to bring back some of the acts that marked our history and mix them together with those who are making an impact in this day and age,” states Kovačević.
With over 20 stages and even more genres of music, Exit’s line-ups are broad and diverse, frequently seeing pop stars and leading electronic acts headlining alongside rock, and even metal, bands. A dedicated Latin stage has been present at Exit since day one, which now seems “almost prophetic”, given the global Latin music rise we see today.
“I respect the investment funds that are taking over festivals, but we have decided to stay independent because we know the festival world needs something like this”
Although line-ups are always eclectic, the billing never tends towards the generic due to the team’s habit of booking based on “gut feeling”, in addition to using data, metrics and ticket sales figures. “The irrational part of us is the one that makes a good line-up,” states Mešković. On a more personal level, the team also strive to work with the artists “who have a similar ethos to ours.”
For Exit, it is vital to “be one with the audience”, making sure every decision is guided by the wants and needs of the fan. To this end, the festival aims to keep tickets affordable, especially for the local audience. “We never want to lose our local fans,” says Kovačević, “because if we did, we would lose our soul.”
In addition to its core audience of locals, Exit’s fan base has become more and more international over the years. Fans travel to Serbia from elsewhere in Europe, as well as from Asia, America and Australia to attend the event.
“We are bringing a lot of tourism into the country,” says the Exit co-founder, explaining that the boost the festival has given to the country’s international reputation is often compared to that made by Serbian tennis champion Novak Djokovic.
Together with the tennis player, Exit Festival has now set up a foundation to help build nursery schools in Serbia, one example of the festival’s continuation of its social activist roots.
“We know that through a good party and the love of music, you really can engage people in a meaningful way and make a difference”
Another example is Life Stream, the environmental campaign launched by Exit at Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) in October. “The Life Stream project aims to put the festival industry at the forefront of the fight for life on the planet,” explains Kovačević.
The idea is to inject imagery, text and data relating to environmental issues into live streams from music festivals, to harness the “visibility and influence” they have for the good of the planet.
“We don’t want to show despair only,” says Mešković, “we also want to show there is some hope and to mobilise people to take action – because there is still time.”
The upcoming edition of Exit will serve as a major platform for the project, with both Kovačević and Mešković hoping other festivals will follow suit.
“We know that through a good party and the love of music, you really can engage people in a meaningful way and make a difference.”
Exit 2.0 takes place from 9 to 12 July 2020 in Novi Sad, Serbia.
Festivals make green pledge at ADE 2019
A group of 20 festivals from seven different countries have pledged their commitment to increasing sustainability efforts today (Friday 18 October) at ADE Green, the environment-focused sub-conference of Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE).
Representatives from Dutch festivals including Amsterdam Open Air, DGTL, Down the Rabbit Hole, Lowlands, North Sea Jazz and Into the Great Wide Open, as well as Denmark’s Roskilde, the UK’s Boardmasters, Boomtown and Shambala, Ireland’s Body & Soul, French festival We Love Green, the Berlin edition of Festival Republic’s Lollapalooza festival, and others, signed the Green Deal Festivals Circular onstage with Dutch environment minister Stientje van Veldhoven.
The pledge will see the participating festivals become completely circular, or sustainable, by 2025.
“This deal has a great value for all involved,” said Roskilde’s Freja Marie Frederiksen, speaking at the event. “We can all learn from each other and improve things much more quickly.”
“Collaboration is the key to the urgently needed change in how we deal with energy, water, food, mobility, plastic and other materials,” added Paul Schurink of Green Events International, organising partner of ADE Green and an initiator of the green deal along with the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.
“Collaboration is the key to the urgently needed change in how we deal with energy, water, food, mobility, plastic and other materials”.
“With a combined number of over three million festival visitors we can make an enormous impact.”
Topics discussed throughout the day at ADE Green included responsible plastic use, DJ’s air miles and innovative ways to change the industry. A workshop run by sustainability expert Douwe Luijnenburg instructed delegates on how to manage events in a environmentally friendly way.
Elsewhere, green initiatives will again take centre stage later today at the launch of Exit festival’s Life Stream, a project aiming to increase audience awareness around environmental issues.
The team behind the Exit events will broadcast performances from DJs Artbat, Coeus, After Affair, Andrew Meller and DJ Jock live from the Faralda Crane Hotel in Amsterdam from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Environmental imagery and statements will be incorporated into the live stream.
The Life Stream platform will be used throughout Exit Festival’s 20th anniversary event, which takes place from 9 to 12 July 2020 in Novi Sad, Serbia.
More than 9,000 delegates registered for this year’s ADE which kicked off on 16 October and wraps up on Sunday, 20 October.
‘A space of music discovery’: New ADE boss talks first year
The 24th edition of Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) will take place under new leadership, as director Mariana Sanchotene looks to boost daytime offerings, incorporate different art forms and explore the crossover between music and technology.
From 16 to 20 October, ADE festival and conference will take over the concert halls, clubs, and theatres of the Dutch capital. More than 2,500 artists and 600 speakers are expected to take part in the event.
“ADE is massive, it really is mind blowing to be in charge,” Sanchotene tells IQ ahead of her first year leading the event. “The planning is going well so far and it is looking like we will have a strong programme this year.”
The festival recently released its second wave of artists, with DJs Avalon Emerson, Peggy Gou and Carl Craig joining previously announced acts Martin Garrix, the Black Madonna, New Order, Carl Cox and Helena Hauff.
A record 400,000 people attended ADE last year, but Sanchotene states the event has no ambition for growing attendance further.
“We are staying with the same number of venues  as last year and expect to match attendance,” says the ADE boss, explaining that the city of Amsterdam is “overwhelmed” by visitors as it is.
“My advice to anyone attending ADE is to experiment with new artists”
“The focus is on increasing artistic quality and on growing the day programme in particular to showcase the crossover between electronic music and different cultural forms such as the visual and performing arts,” explains Sanchotene.
The crossover between different musical styles is important for the ADE director too, who believes that people are “more curious” these days and more likely to deviate from what they know.
“My advice to anyone attending ADE is to experiment with new artists. Don’t just go for the usual suspects, really dig into what new talent is on offer,” Sanchotene tells IQ. “ADE is a space of music discovery – I am very much looking forward to seeing how all the acts turn out.”
The 2019 conference will focus on the celebration of 100 years of electronic musical instruments, with exhibits of old equipment and experts speaking about antique gear. The event will also look to the future with an exploration of how technology is shaping the industry, particularly of how augmented reality and gaming are interacting with electronic music.
Health will also be another important topic at the conference, with panel discussions on wellbeing and relaxation spaces to “remind people of the balance” between work, socialising and rest.
Tickets for ADE 2019 are available here, priced at €450 for a five-day festival and conference pass and at €300 for a four-day conference-only pass. Prices go up on Sunday 1 September.
“Special” Meduza were June’s fastest-growing new act
Rising Italian producers Meduza, who reached No2 in the UK singles chart in February with their breakthrough, ‘Piece of My Heart’, were the hottest new artists in June 2019, the latest Radar Station chart reveals.
Hailing from Milan, the trio – Mattia Vitale, Simone Giani and Luca De Gregorio – were signed to Polydor in the UK and Virgin in Germany after impressing at Amsterdam Dance Event, in what has been called the “hottest signing in recent years”. After debuting with a remix of Friendly Fires’ ‘Heaven Let Me In’, their first original material, house smash ‘Piece of Your Heart’, featuring British act Goodboys, picked up more than 7m streams on Spotify and 6m on YouTube in the space of two months, and also propelled them to the top of the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart.
CAA’s Ben Kouijzer, who represents the band outside North America, tells IQ: “When Serg and Kevin from Club Class/Komplete played me ‘Piece of Your Heart’ at ADE, it was love at first listen – I knew Meduza had something special. They had just signed the record to Virgin Germany and Polydor UK in a JV, and we all believed it would be the biggest dance record of the year.”
Despite the “incredible commercial success” of ‘Piece of Your Heart’, Kouijzer says Team Meduza have focused establishing “foundations in the underground club circuit at cutting-edge house venues, nurturing a grassroots fanbase of house music lovers” and setting the stage for festival performances and headline shows beyond 2020.
“We all believed it would be the biggest dance record of the year”
The Radar Station algorithm calculates the fastest-growing new artists by combining data across a number of online platforms, including Spotify, Facebook, Songkick and Last.fm. Last month’s No1 was Texas-born rapper Megan thee Stallion, who become the first artist to successful defend her title, after initially topping the chart in April.
In second place in June was New Zealand folk singer-songwriter Aldous Harding (repped by ATC Live’s Clémence Renau in Europe), who climbs from No28, while Jade Bird (booked in the UK by Olly Hodgson at Coda) rose one place, to fourth, in a consecutive strong showing for the Tony Visconti-approved Brit.
See below for a Spotify playlist of this month’s top 20, plus the full chart with links to artists’ Facebook pages and booking agency details.
|This month||Last month||Artist||Country||Agency|
|1||-||Meduza||Italy||CAA (RoW), Spin (US)|
|2||28||Aldous Harding||NZ||ATC (Europe), Panache (US), Collective Artists (Aus), Julian Carswell (NZ)|
|3||4||Jade Bird||UK||Coda (UK), Paradigm (US)|
|4||14||No Rome||UK||Primary, Paradigm|
|5||39||NOTD||Sweden||Coda (Europe), WME (RoW)|
|6||2||Fontaines DC||Republic of Ireland||ATC (Europe), Paradigm (US)|
|7||37||Jakob Ogawa||Norway||Time Out (Norway), Primary (Europe), Paradigm (Americas)|
|8||42||Emotional Oranges||US||X-ray Touring, WME|
|9||6||Maisie Peters||UK||CAA (excl. N. America)|
|10||9||Kelsey Lu||US||WME, Primary|
|12||5||Lolo Zouaï||US||Paradigm (N. America), Coda (RoW)|
|14||33||Leven Kali||US||UTA (excl. N. America)|
|17||18||Flora Cash||Sweden||UTA (RoW), Paradigm (Americas)|
|18||78||Yeek||US||Paradigm (US), Coda (Europe)|
|19||31||Julia Jacklin||Australia||Collective (Aus/NZ), ATC (Europe), Paradigm (N. America)|
For more details about the Radar Station, contact [email protected].