Organizers of the Amsterdam Dance Event say this year’s edition hit new heights of attendance, with the event selling out for the fourth successive year.
In total, 2,500 delegates from 58 countries attended the event, which doubles as a trade confab and dance music showcase. Last year, the event said 2,100 delegates attended (Billboard, Nov. 7, 2009).
Meanwhile, ADE said its the live music program attracted a record 110,000 people over four nights, up from around 90,000 last year. The event, held Oct. 20 to Oct. 23 in the Dutch capital, featured performances from over 700 dance acts across 44 official partner clubs.
Notable seminars that took place during the final two days of the event included the “Finding the Tribes” panel, which featured Mark Stockx, manager of the Dutch division of social networking site Habbo Hotel, and Stuart Knight, director of Toolroom Records, among the panelists.
Reflecting on the fact that Habbo Hotel members pay small fees to decorate their virtual houses, Knight expressed a feeling shared by many music execs in the room.
“I’d like to see that willingness to pay for a virtual chair converted into a recognition that music also has to be paid for, even if the prices were to be lowered to make it more affordable,” Knight said.
In “Happy Accidents,” a panel about how things going wrong in the studio can lead to something ground-breaking, Nathaniel “DJ Pierre” Jones and Earl “Spanky” Smith described the night they accidentally invented Acid House—a sound their group Phuture pioneered—while playing with a Roland TB-303 synthesizer.
“I was playing with a sequence and messing with the filters when this extraordinary noise came out of the speakers, so I phoned Pierre straight away,” Spanky said. “He was in bed, but I insisted that he came over and then we continued experimenting with the sound that became known around the world, and which still resonates today.”
The final territory focus of ADE covered the burgeoning Brazilian market, and featured some of the local dance scene’s prime movers, including Renato Ratier, DJ and owner of the globally famous D-Edge club, and Edo van Duyn, director of 3Plus Talent.
“Brazil is definitely now on the global dance music map, but the honeymoon period has passed,” van Duyn told delegates. “Now is the moment where a lot of local artists and agencies like ourselves are concerned about where the market is going. There is diversity, but the market isn’t big enough to support a wide array of artists. So, if you play underground music, don’t give up your day job, and if you play commercial house you may just be able to make a living DJ-ing.”
Another key point within the nascent Brazilian market is the enduring import/export deficit, according to van Duyn, who told delegates: “We import a huge amount of international talent, but only one local artist breaks into the international market each year on average.”