October saw the Dance Music World move en masse to Amsterdam, Holland for the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE): a week of meetings, seminars and the odd club night or two. Given that most of the traditional music trade fairs such as Midem and Popkomm have suffered from dwindling numbers in recent years, it was great to see that ADE continues to go from strength to strength.
Whilst there, it was great to catch up with a few Orchard labels – Stealth, Vidisco, Fresco, Lifted House, Dojo, Seamless, Reverb and Balloon – as well as speak to some of the specialist dance stores such as Beatport, Bleep, Trackitdown and Juno. A plethora of club nights were available from the calm and serene Danish music Showcase featuring Music For Dream’s own Kenneth Bager, to the out-and-out huge party that was Stealth’s Roger Sanchez ADE closing party on the Sunday Evening.
Given that the event was sold out weeks before the date, it seems the Dance Music industry is as strong as ever and it certainly appeared that digital was where all of these labels saw their futures. Panels such as “Direct to Fan Marketing” hosted by Topspin, “The Album Returns as an App”, “The Killer App Panel”, “Labels in the Digital Age” and even a Q&A with our very own Boy George were all very much aimed at enlightening people into the digital arena – not that any of them needed much persuading! It seems most Dance labels are very much digital focussed, however we found some (non Orchard labels I hasten to add) that seemed to have extremely complicated set-ups with regards to their digital business – our aim was to help them simplify as much as possible.
The nature of ADE is very much laid back – no corporate stands or much branding. Superstar DJ’s would just mingle with major label reps, publishers, managers and even the odd distributor. A very relaxed outlook that hides a really productive working and deal making atmosphere.
After 3 days of meetings all day and club events all night I was glad to get back to London – can’t wait for the next one in 2012 though!