Party tips for ADE 2023
Every year, the capital becomes a global hub for superstar DJs, dance music lovers and industry professionals. That’s right: it’s time for Amsterdam Dance Event. Besides the conference and cultural events, it’s always tough to choose from ADE’s innumerable raves: at the city’s biggest arenas, outdoor spaces and classic venues, but also boutique bars, hidden warehouses and underground dives. Still picking your party? These are our top tips for ADE 2023.
Welcome to ADE with Todd Terry
An intimate one for the early birds, this free party at the Park Plaza Victoria Hotel bar kicks ADE off in style with a house music heavyweight. Since Todd Terry’s distinctly New York sound first thrilled European audiences back in the ‘80s, he’s cut a legendary figure in and beyond dance music. So, who better than ‘Todd the God’ to get the party started this ADE? Just don’t be late: this one’s guaranteed to fill up.
Another festival opener, this Afro extravaganza brings South Africa’s latest international dance craze to one of Amsterdam’s most charming small venues. For the uninitiated, Amapiano is a unique sound originating from kwaito and South African house: think offbeat, downtempo percussion; slinky, melodic vocals; and the iconic, percussive “log drum” bassline. For Afro fans, this one’s a no-brainer: get your gqom hats on and prepare to get low.
Echo Records x Metamorphosis
Ahead of the weekend’s glut of parties, hot new Houthavens venue Toekomstmuziek delivers a treat for techno freaks. The Netherlands’ own Echo Records and Metamorphosis collective join forces for over 10 hours of the hard stuff, spanning homegrown and international underground techno talent. Besides reliably blistering dance music, look out for bespoke visual installations and live trio LOPSIDED playing with DIY instruments. A hardcore haven for whoever can stand the heat.
Into the Woods
If you’re serious about milking ADE for all it’s worth, consider shelling out for one of its many mini-festivals – from big-name events giants like DGTL, Awakenings or Thuishaven. Our money’s on Into the Woods, whose all-day Friday edition at the sprawling NDSM Wharf features multiple stages, bonfires, flashy art installations and a stellar roster of acts. This year, catch local hero Young Marco, UK techno icon Blawan and crossover duo Maribou State, among many others. Another honourable mention in this category: ZeeZout’s Saturday party boasts an edenic outdoor location and equally banging lineup.
Ninja Tune Boat Party
Why confine yourself to the shores when Amsterdam’s waters are waiting for revelry? And who better to sail off into pure hedonism with than veteran UK label Ninja Tune – known and loved since 1991 for fostering oddball hip hop, nu jazz and electronic classics; for cultivating sleeper stars like Bonobo; and for signing crossover hitters from Kelis to Róisín Murphy. Expect many exciting names to join first announcement Weval (DJ set) at this floating paradise for clubbers.
For something a little more homegrown, look no further than Radio TNP’s now-annual takeover of Cinetol. It’s a perfect match: Cinetol’s sprawling, multifunctional space fosters Amsterdam talent year-round, while Radio Tempo Não Pára (TNP for short) has built its own vibrant community of DJs and fans since 2018. The resulting chemistry is infectious. Boogie your way through multiple dancefloors to the beat of a meticulously curated set of local and international selectors – craft beer in hand, thanks to Oedipus hosting the excellent Tolbar.
Pardon x Night Slugs
This one’s for ravers into UK flavours. Newcomer Amsterdam night PARDON has spent a couple of years booking big names in oh-so-British dance music. So it was only a matter of time until they invited Night Slugs: a label originating in London, but whose bass-forward music sounds like it came from another galaxy. For their 15th anniversary, label boss Bok Bok joins legendary producer/DJ Ikonika and other Night Slugs veterans for a night of futuristic, wall-rattling good times.
Clone Records: Afra / Mad Miran / Sansibar / Serge
One of the city’s most dependable small dancefloors Radio Radio presents yet another ADE weekend full of choice bookings. Though any night would do, Saturday’s takeover by Rotterdam store Clone Records looks set to impress, with local heroes – and regular Clone customers – Afra and mad miran, Helsinki’s Sansibar and Clone boss Serge. Expect a packed, intimate dancefloor, raw rave energy and lots and lots of vinyl.
FRRC with Ricardo Villalobos
Torn between ADE’s biggest, priciest events and something a little cosier and more affordable? Look no further than this Saturday night party at Lofi, a raver haven out in the industrial surrounds of Sloterdijk. Bounce between one indoor and one outdoor stage in festive surroundings, with two of the most celebrated names in minimal. Chilean-German legend (and FFRC boss) Ricardo Villalobos will go back to back with Romania’s Raresh – plus a full lineup of international names in house and techno, including Carlos Valdes, founder of Amsterdam LGBTQI+ night IsBurning. A superior blowout without shelling out.
Breakfast Club ADE Marathon: Runner’s High
A byword for illustrious Amsterdam afterparties, Breakfast Club are serving up much more than their usual late-night sustenance this ADE: tunes to keep the night alive and, yes, a hearty breakfast. Over four events and almost 48 continuous hours, their ADE Marathon is set to freshly squeeze every last drop from the weekend. And what better point to join than near the finish line, with this final stretch egging on Sunday’s survivors to the beat of local and international DJs at distinguished rave cave RADION. To the last in the dance, we salute you.