Every October the Dutch capital hosts the Amsterdam Dance Event—a music festival and conference—and becomes the global epicenter of the electronic dance scene. For 2016, ADE partnered with Urbanears for a fourth consecutive year as the official headphone sponsor and, together, they welcomed back the Urbanears Hideout.
To find out more about one of Europe's biggest music festivals and the Hideout's significance, we spoke to General Manager Richard Zijlma, who has been with the ADE team for over two decades. He began by giving us a quick summary of the event, "ADE encompasses all aspects of the electronic music scene, like a full eco-system consisting of and connecting all of the elements we love so much." He told us that despite being small 21 years ago when it first started, it was always an intense experience.
Zijlma explained that working with Urbanears was about a shared passion for music, and the philosophy behind it, making the partnership perfectly organic. Located near Dam Square, the Hideout was an escape and recharge zone featuring relaxing spaces, Swedish refreshments, and a pop-up Clone Records store. It was also home to daily PechaKucha presentations by various speakers.
"Instead of hosting a party, seeing as there is no shortage of them during ADE, we set out to create an oasis with more of a living room vibe where anyone could come to relax and hang out", said Oscar Axhede, co-founder and creative director of Urbanears. The headphone brand also released special edition Zinken DJ headphones to celebrate the occasion; decked out in ADE's signature black and yellow, the on-ear design is available now.
With so many festivals taking place in Europe, we wanted to find out what makes ADE and the Hideout unique. "ADE is more than a festival, it is a global gathering for the electronic music scene," Zijlma explained. "Every niche has a landmark event—for sports people, it's the Olympic Games—where people from all over the world meet from various backgrounds. I see ADE being this for our community."
Every community needs a retreat, and the Hideout is ADE's place to escape. It gives guests the opportunity to get away from the buzz and take everything in with a full 360° view of inner city Amsterdam. It's a creative space bringing together community figureheads such as Richie Hawtin, Cassy, Patrice Bäumel, and Michael Mayer.
The once small event is now a five day festival featuring over 450 individual events, including the Urbanears Hideout, and 2,200 artists in 115 clubs and venues around the city, drawing upward of 375,000 attendees. Zijlma has been there since the beginning but he said his personal favorite moment came this year. "An artist will always say his latest record is the best and I think this year’s ADE highlight was the closing concert’s performance by Philip Glass and Laurie Anderson, it almost brought me to tears."
In cities such as London, nightlife is under threat. Projects like ADE keep it alive and celebrate all aspects of the culture, commemorating its history and providing support for the future. Keep up to date and sign up for 2017 now; hear more from DJ's and other ADE guests over on Urbanears' Facebook and YouTube pages where they'll be posting new interviews from the Hideout every week.
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