Eight hours of dancing and music (until midnight) at ADE

Wednesday 3 p.m

gas holder. In the spacious Gashouder, in the Westerpark in Amsterdam, you can dance from 2 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. to the music of well-known DJs, such as the Belgian Charlotte de Witte. Feestorganisator Awakenings saw many festivals canceled in the past period, and celebrates here, on Amsterdam Dance Event his resurrection.

At 3 p.m. the darkened room is already half full. The Spanish DJ Indira Paganotto and its equipment are set up on a wide, steel construction. Awakenings is ready: the ice cream stalls and now empty massage tables are set up, there is a chill area, there is plenty of food and drink. Once inside, you no longer need to go outside.

Read this interview with the management of ADE: ‘Organizing ADE 2020 was accelerating in quicksand’

This Wednesday is the first day of the five-day ADE, which can be held live again this year, after last year’s digital edition. Hundreds of artists and thousands of guests will fill the halls in Amsterdam, for all possible interpretations of electronic (dance) music. The Danish DJ Monoloc is now playing in the Gashouder, turning up the beats harder, the first hands are going up in the air. As one boy at the exit regretfully remarks: “It gets more fun by the minute.”

The packed Gashouder has turned into a temple where the god of rhythm is idolized with ferocious jumps, roars and sweats


Blinking against the daylight.


headbutt bar. But the visitor wants to continue, because although this edition is smaller than that of 2019 and previous editions, there is a lot to experience in all kinds of cafes and clubs. In a bar on Leidseplein it gives duo Anden a surprise performance. Although it is not possible to get the handful of visitors moving, the two American brothers play a nice set with their own tracks, from, among others, their new album ‘Youth Is Wasted On The Young’. The meandering electronics float and vibrate in elaborate arrangements


At a Belgian party in Klub Melk, in the Reguliersdwarstraat entertainment street, the guests jump around. all is dj Claire Breilly no Charlotte de Witte yet, her eighties-influenced techno has an alternative sound, which is welcomed cheerfully.


The appearance of Weval with the Metropole Orchestra, in the sold-out Rabozaal, starts more than two hours after the announced 6.30 pm. Because that’s how long it takes for the small thousand visitors to overcome the four prescribed obstacles: QR code check, ID check, ticket check, search.

But then about fifty orchestra members, plus five musicians from Weval take the stage and the magic begins. From the clear Kraftwerk-esque opening through a lone synthesizer, to the symphonic embrace in which Weval and orchestra meet. The duo Weval has always played a subtle version of dance, with micro-shifts instead of drones. Here their electronics sound so ‘natural’ that you can hardly hear what was being played by whom: the keyboards or the winds or strings. The crowd cheers for the trumpet solo and rocks to the beautiful renditions of “The Weight” and “Changed For The Better.” Moments of drama, excitement and moving minimalism alternate. The conductor dances with his shoulders.

Dj Afrojack performs during the Amsterdam Musical Festival, part of Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE).
Photo Paul Bergen/ ANP


At this hour, the Gashouder has turned into a temple where the god of rhythm is idolized with ferocious jumps, roars and sweats, by several thousand dance enthusiasts. There are swirling flames and lavish clouds of smoke. With pounding beats and dictatorial-sounding voice samples, dj Alignment each song skilfully to a climax.

Also read: The ‘new clubbing’ during Amsterdam Dance Event

Fans flutter, ice creams melt. At the massage tables, where there is now a row, naked torsos are lovingly kneaded. Meanwhile, the dancers dance as if it were top sport, with a fanatical gaze and angular arm movements. After the missed sultry summer, the hot autumn has now started.


In Bitterzoet, the Afrobeat reigns. ‘Amapiano’ (Zulu for ‘piano’) is the name of the specific genre that the South African dj Major League presents here. Amapiano, which combines jazz and lounge, turns out to be a stimulating mix of polyphonic rhythms and pulsating electronics. The hall is so full that there is no longer any distinction between dance floor and stage. Here the dancing is not angular, but flowing. Everywhere the body parts twist, waves and jerks. No distance is kept.

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