Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) kicks off next week, and most by now know the event’s robust scheduling means being inundated with party/lineup decisions and challenges. With countless events featuring even bigger talent, planning the “ideal” weekend in Amsterdam can be tricky. To help guide the way, we’ve curated a few of our favorites to help steer attendees in the right direction. Of course, there’s many more to choose from, but here are our 10 events not to miss.
The Classic Music Company
It’s the first night at ADE, and there are so many parties it’s hard know where to start. Look no further than Sugar Factory — a mainstay in Amsterdam club culture for the better part of the last decade. Featuring Dot Audio sound, and two rooms (a main, and a more intimate space), Sugar Factory is the first ingredient in the recipe for a great night out. Throw in the lineup for the legendary Luke Solomon’s last night of a recent residency and attendees’ ADE appetizer is complete. Headlining is Honey Dijon, known for an incredibly progressive blend of club-sound brilliance, and Horse Meat Disco, a talented duo riding disco’s wave of resurgence. What better way to kick off a long weekend in Amsterdam?
ADE is warming up and it’s time to get a little freaky for night two. Look no further than Sexyland — a new temporary club concept. The concept is simple: New Owner, Every Day. Every experience at Sexyland will be different. Headlining the night is Boys Noize, German industrial techno wunderkin. Fresh off a variety of new releases throughout the past year including a collaboration with Virgil Abloh, the music is guaranteed to be as banging as the space, art-installations, and crowd.
Perhaps there’s an affinity for the airier sounds of the house spectrum? Head over to Tolhuistuin, the three-room Amsterdam nightclub right off the water with views, and green spaces to boot. There lies a massive Anjunadeep showcase featuring some of the top deep and progressive house acts. Key acts include Yotto, whose original productions find their way into everyone’s favorite DJ’s sets, and 16 Bit Lolitas. These Amsterdam locals are bound to make for a a huge hometown show.
The weekend is finally here! Head over to Thuishaven for an unforgettable evening in and incredibly unique space. With multiple stages nestled between bars in a hugely industrial scene (think scrapyards and abandoned oil tankers), Life and Death’s ADE showcase awaits. The Italian label brought out all the stops, with huge names littered throughout this lineup. Between Henrik Schwartz, Axel Boman, and DJ Tennis, there’s a sound for all styles and a DJ pushing that sound to its furthest limits.
This one’s definitely something special. First, the promoter, Audio Obscura, which is known for its legendary events in obscure and unexpected settings. Next, the fascinating architecture of the famous National Maritime Museum in central Amsterdam. Finally, four hours of the incredible talents of Stephan Bodzin, the live-techno genius. Combine those three elements for one of ADE’s most unique events this year. For those looking for somewhere to physically stay put while going on a musical journey — look no further.
It would be impossible to have an ADE list without mentioning an event at Gashouder. This techno Mecca features a massive dancefloor, booming sounds, incredible production, and even indoor screaming fireworks. With so many events at this pinnacle space, it can be hard to choose just one, but Maceo Plex’s Mosaic party is guaranteed to be one to remember. Backstopped by the brilliant minds behind Awakenings, Mosaic’s lineup is hugely diverse. While mainstays like Maceo Plex and Floating points are obvious must-sees, don’t sleep on Helena Hauff, one of the princesses of acid and electro. That German sound is bound to get attendees jumping.
Speaking of Germany, famous Berlin club, Watergate, is hosting what looks to be an unmissable night. The lineup is full of regular German club residents and additional stars from across Europe. Ears will perk at the idea of an Anja Schneider B2B La Fleur set, which is bound to be entirely epic. Two female label bosses and boundary-pushers together on the same stage. German and Swedish sounds will collide. What more could you ask for?
Scheepsbouwloods is described by Resident Advisor as the “ultimate rave location on the NDSM-wharf.” What better way to hit the “ultimate rave location” than with the ultimate rave? DGTL, Amsterdam-based cutting edge dance music event producers, bring Jamie Jones‘ Paradise party to this epic location. And of course, following Jones comes an insane lineup of techno, tech house, and house heavyweights. It doesn’t only feature label boss and tech-house party-vibes legend Jones. It doesn’t only feature Derrick May, one of the Detroit-based pioneers of techno and members of legendary trio, Belleville Three. It doesn’t only feature a rare live Dubfire set, featuring all original production. This lineup features all three of them plus Maya Jane Coles, Richy Ahmed, and countless others.
For those looking to avoid party-hopping and seeking a true, nearly endless, immersive experience, look no further than the Afterlife party on Saturday night. Curated by masters Tale of Us, the lineup a deep mix of incredibly diverse minimal and masterful artists. Not only are Tale of Us, Ardiatique, and Mind Against hitting the decks, but there’s a huge variety of live sets in the mix. Mathew Jonson, Recondite, and Agents of Time are all coming out to round out the incredible mix of DJs with their live sets. Additionally, a special Solomun B2B Dixon set is bound to feature a full dance floor surging to dimension bending sounds.
An elrow party is not to be missed. The legendary Barcelona day club that has taken their event international. Known for its incredible tech-house and dance party sounds, elrow is has made a name for itself with the sheer spectacle of it all. No lineup announced yet? No problem. Attendees can expect everything from confetti blasts to themed dancers in the crowd on stilts to hundreds of inflatable pool toys to throw at friends — and, of course, the dancing chicken. Aside from the spectacle of it, the music at elrow is guaranteed to meet high standards. The theme for this party is Chinese “ROW” year, and time will tell exactly what that entails.
Photo credit: Max Kneefel