From re-purposed churches and dairy factories to underground warehouses and beer cafes, ADE employs some really unique venues for its city-based electronic music gathering.
As far as music festivals go, Amsterdam Dance Event or ADE is an absolute revolution, as it has converted inert city halls into buzzing musical spaces. Cities are plastic in nature; hollow blocks of cement. And almost every major city knows of spaces that are either unpurposed, or remain largely unused. But for ADE, which takes place across the city of Amsterdam for five days, most city venues are metamorphosed into thriving houses of music, as electronic music breathes and lives its best form for the musical gathering.
The Sherp was at ADE this year, and came back impressed at the festival’s ability to transform the otherwise beautiful city to a scene straight out an electronic music fan’s fantasy. We look at some of the best venues at ADE this year!
1. Dockyard Festival
At ADE, The Dockyard Festival is a space of grunge-meets-beat, as Amsterdam’s famous industrial NDSM area has a cultural revisit, as pop culture is infused through graffiti and music. In a warehouse, stylistically located between bricks, water and building cranes lying about, techno music of the experimentative kind is birthed as every year Dockyard Festival hosts some pretty high-flying artists such as Monika Kruse, The Advent and Paco Osuna this year!
Holland’s premier techno collective, Awakenings, comes to ADE every year at Gashouder. A once upon time gas chamber, now converted into a swanky venue, the huge, mostly pillarless house of music, that can house over 4000 people is apt for hosting techno parties of the most alluring kind. By bringing in the very dedicated of ADE’s techno attendees, Awakenings has never shied away from promoting Gashouder as a venue suitable for intimate and large gatherings, alike.
It doesn’t get more underground than Closure at Amsterdam as it is, literally, that. A space brimming with the lights and sounds of a culture craved for, but rarely commercialised, Closure has been one of the hottest venues at ADE every year, as it has remained responsible for hosting some of ADE best sets, such as Soul Clap and Seth Troxler. With 8 events across 5 days and over 70 hours of dancing, Closure reassumed its position as one of ADE’s most attended party spots!
Bret Beer Cafe serves a location that is hard to miss in Amsterdam; a colourfully, vibrant red structure that rises proud against the city’s custody of brick and stone. The beer cafe, since its initiation has earned quite the popularity among locals due to its terrace view, and collection of craft beers. This year’s edition of ADE saw Woodstock Bloemendaal and Half Baked chose Bret as a location for artists like Fumiya Tanaka, Sam Bangura and Daan Donk for some incredible dancing.
(Source: Bret Facebook)
Bitterzoet might just be the haunt for creative minds in Amsterdam as the venue triples up as club, and as a space for theatre and arts, in its most natural nature. During ADE though, the venue is one of raging electronic activity, as some of the most happening events of the edition find their way to Bitterzoet; such as this year’s Sffrvl ADE Edition along with performances by Hardwell, Barong Family and Yellow Claw. Known to be the hipster hound, Bitterzoet is for the ones who know what they want.
History speaks through the gothic structure of Paradiso, one of the most musical and prominent cultural centres of Amsterdam. Paradiso has one of the most interesting transformational stories. A former church, its confines were taken over by the hippies in 1967, who wanted to convert the space into an entertainment and leisure club, and succeeded in doing so, as Paradiso began to host European new-wave music and the punk revolution. Paradiso, at ADE, houses Hospital Records, whose Hospitalitydnb is one of the largest drum and bass collectives around.
(Source: Lumen Lineas | Hospitalitydnb Facebook)
As Sugarfactory is an expanse of creative confluence, where theatre, art and music come together in a wonderful mishmash. At ADE, Sugarfactory serves multiple purposes. From hosting live club events to the festival’s performance art segments, Sugarfactory is where the creative flock.
(Source: Sugarfactory Facebook)
Melkweg, meaning Milky Way, isn’t a profound metaphysical shoutout to the spatial quality of electronic music as it were. But the truly immersive club venue, which has been one since 1970, is a former dairy factory purposed to suit the taste of electronic music fans across Amsterdam. Just opposite to Sugarfactory, its various rooms help the building to not just serve as a music house, but also tend to other creative outpouring such as theatre. With Noisia dominating Melkweg at ADE this year, the venue was one of the very hottest!
(Source: Delicia Celik | Melkweg Facebook)
Really high ceilings categorise Panama, a former warehouse situated on the water in Amsterdam, as it doubles up as a concert venue and as a nightclub. The venue is deftly divided to accommodate a lobby and a high-end restaurant which serve as added bonuses to the brilliance that takes place at the club during ADE. This year, with Suara taking charge, it was every bit eclectic.
(Source: Panama Amsterdam)
Mediahaven, located in the very centre of Amsterdam’s bustling activity is a stunning three-floor location that is ruminative of luxury in its most enforcing form. The rooms may have a grunge feel to it, but so immaculately designed they are, that sound systems have a field play echoing through Mediahaven’s chambers. So much so, that The Sherp came back from ADE’s Loveland gig feeling all heady!
(Source: Fotograafniels.nl | Mediahaven Facebook)
11. The Cruquiusgilde Warehouse
With its elaborate graffiti workings that signal the presence of truly exclusive tastes, Cruquiusgilde, very early on, establishes itself as a space not for the mainstream. As a former warehouse converted into a cultural hub and social entrepreneurship centre, its leanings to the truly underground render it a following of a niche kind.