Technology, multi-tasking and routes to a prosperous future were the hot topics on the daytime agenda as the 11th annual Amsterdam Dance Event, Europe's main dance music convention, kicked off Thursda

Technology, multi-tasking and routes to a prosperous future were the hot topics on the daytime agenda as the 11th annual Amsterdam Dance Event, Europe's main dance music convention, kicked off Thursday (Oct. 19).

In the face of competition from digital download stores, the dance compilation format was whole-heartedly supported by panellists on the session, "The future of the dance compilation." "The compilations market may not be as healthy as it was, but they are still core for us," says Matt Stuart, label manager at powerhouse London-based dance label Ministry of Sound Recordings. "I think the CD is a wicked format and it will be around for a long time yet," he added.

During a session titled, "And then, there was dance," panellists urged their fellow musicians to beef up their game. Moderator Ben Liebrand, a veteran DJ, producer and remixer told the audience, "You can't just be a DJ any more. Clubbers and the record buying public will, at some point, expect you to release your own records." Fellow DJ and panellist Erick E added, "I don't think there's such a thing anymore as a pure DJ. You have to have a release."

Liebrand also emphasised that producers had to get their hands dirty doing the "nasty business side" of their work, such as meticulously registering all their works with the relevant collecting societies. "The business side is boring," he admitted, "and you need to find someone you trust who isn't financially interested in you. But it's absolutely critical."

Meanwhile, executives in the gaming sector gave an insight into the symbiotic relationship between video games and music. Sergio Pimentel, director with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (U.K.), told attendees that the games giant placed music at the heart of its product. "We have a budget for music, and we will always pay for it," he explained. The company's executives actively liaised with label representatives to ensure cross-promotion of synchronized tracks, he said. In a novel approach, he described one Sony-created driving game in which the virtual billboards beside the racing track featured record label logos.

The ADE's night program featured sets and performances from heavyweight DJs Dave Clarke, Carl Craig and electro artist Peaches, among others.

The event, organized by Dutch music organization Buma Cultuur, concludes Saturday (Oct. 21). More than 1,800 delegates and 475 DJs and artists are expected to take part in the three-day confab.