ADE – the Amsterdam Dance Event – is one of the most important gatherings of the electronic music industry in the world. DJs, producers, agents, labels, and all the rest, all in one place for five days of seminars, networking, panels, talks, gear demos, and of course partying.
We’re just back from this year’s ADE, and so it’s time to report on some of the things we learned. As ever, there is much we were shown “under wraps”, which we can’t specifically share right now. And do bear in mind that this is just our list, based on the events we were attending and the people we were meeting – I am sure everyone comes away from ADE with their own impressions about what is going on in the industry, which is of course part of the point of it all.
Watch the show
Check out the replay of our live show, where we chat with our DJ community about everything that happened at this huge electronic music event.
But here are just a few things we took away from this year’s ADE, having had a few days to recover and reflect…
5 Things We Learned At ADE 2022
- There is a genuine shortage of DJ and production equipment, and nobody’s hiding the fact – It was striking how honest the big tech brands were being about the issues they’re having getting gear into stores. We heard not only about acute and ongoing component shortages, but stories of shipping costs rising 15-fold, it being impossible to book air freight distribution due to demand, and people being comfortable saying “we are completely out of stock of practically everything, and not sure when things will change”. These are strange times indeed
- Music production is increasingly NOT all about software – We saw some genuinely interesting equipment (sadly, can’t quite talk about it yet, and of course they’ve got to get it into stores – see above) that shows that BIG companies are heavily invested in putting powerful, standalone music production gear into DJ/producer’s hands, meaning more than ever you really don’t have to make music on laptops, great though that is, if you don’t want to
- …but there is some COOL new software, especially from independent developers – Time after time at ADE, we saw small, agile companies eager to show us exciting software. Three new stand-outs worthy of mention are Mixo, a phone platform designed to put your DJ music library literally into your hand; DJ.Studio, a close-to-beta-release app that is basically a way of automating DJ mixes using AI (if you remember Mixmeister, this is “Mixmeister 2022”), which will be a boon for radio producers or indeed anyone currently using a DAW for this task; and Beatport DJ Party Mode, a way for up to four DJs to spin together remotely, with up to 100 guests watching, in a browser…
- Social is all about short-form video at the moment – Whether TikTok, YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels… all everyone seemed to be talking about in the social sphere was the growth of short-form video. The TikTok and YouTube brands both had high-profile venues with morning-to-evening training on using their platforms for these purposes, which were as hard to get into as some of the big-name DJ events and free bars at ADE. It certainly is worth investigating how you can best use these platforms to promote your DJing or production if you’re not already, as they’re only going to grow even more in the coming year
- Diversity is top of mind – Not just with the festival itself, but with the companies involved too, you got a sense that everyone is taking diversity and equality seriously. Maybe things have changed a lot in the years since we last all got together, and ADE is just a reflection of that, but it was highly noticeable in the attitudes of all, and the spread of events aimed at everyone, gender, sexual orientation, race, age. This is of course a good thing – I for one didn’t recognise what I felt house music was becoming, say, a decade ago (muscle-bound bros and oiled female bums – yep, looking at you, YouTube deep house channels), and it’s good to see it swinging back to what it always was at the beginning, love of the music being the only thing that mattered
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So that’s our, admittedly subjective, list of some of the things we took away from ADE 2022. Why not come to ADE 2023 and make your own list? Check out our 7 Tips For Making The Most Of A Visit To ADE article, and get a trip in your calendar now!