The anticipation began to build up weeks prior to ✈ boarding my flight that would sweep me away to attend my very first ADE (Amsterdam Dance Event) experience held annually in my most favourite city in the world, Amsterdam. This year’s ADE 2015 would hold place for their biggest yet – a whopping 365,000 visitors and 5,500 professionals from the electronic music industry, coming from countries all over the world – all partaking in the world’s biggest club festival for electronic music. Not only because this year’s Amsterdam Dance Event broke their attendee counts from previous years, but also because this year marked their 20th anniversary, celebrating the biggest club festival in the world! The Amsterdam Dance Event is truly electronic music’s biggest international club festival that covers the spectrum across all electronic music sub-genres.
Welcome to the biggest party of the Amsterdam Dance Event – Amsterdam Music Festival
The week, the iconic annual Amsterdam Dance Event is filled with renowned conferences, workshops, events, and meetings all building up to the highly anticipated, busier weekend of the ADE festivities. The Amsterdam Music Festival without a doubt takes the gold for the largest scaled event of the week, hosting a mere 68,000 attendees in the infamous Amsterdam ArenA. On Friday October 16th, the evening was a bit more wet☂ and chillier than the previous nights in Amsterdam. But that did
not stop the hard-core ravers and festival-goers to make their way towards the Arena (which was a little bit of a distance from the center where all the other events were held) to dance to their favourite electronic dance music artists all night.
Friday: The Amsterdam Music Festival is known for hosting one of the most highly-anticipated polls of the year – The DJ Mag Top 100, which announces the #1 Top DJ of The Year. Electronic Dance Music [EDM] fans all eagerly waiting, patiently, anxiously, anticipating, this year’s 2015 winning DJs amongst the other 68,000 fans in the crowd – and wondering if Mr. Hardwell can hold his place for the third year in a row..? But not this year. This year was the year Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike climbed and dominated the charts, with artists such as Hardwell, Martin Garrix, and Armin Van Buuren resting in the top 4 slots. This year’s Amsterdam Music Festival introduced a new concept: Amsterdam Music Festival TV – allowing fans from all over the world to join the party with the rest of us live by getting involved in the action from the HD live broadcasting of the world renowned electronic music festival from the comfort of wherever you may be in the world.
Friday night held performances from artists such as Armin van Buuren, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Hardwell, Martin Garrix, Nervo, and Vicetone. The Amsterdam ArenA opened their doors to festival attendees at 5:00pm with the show running from 7:00pm until 1:00AM. The EDM stakes were now set for the evening. Vicetone started off the party, followed by Nervo, and then the Top 4 winning artists of the DJ Mag Awards. Following Nervo’s performance, it was finally the moment electronic dance music fans from all over the world and inside the legendary arena were waiting for – the announcement of the Top DJ of the year, in accordance to the DJ Mag poll. Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike climbed the charts to the #1 slot, followed closely by DJ Mag’s Top DJ for the last two years: Hardwell, young star Martin Garrix and last but not least, trance GOD Mr. Armin Van Buuren. The Winning EDM duo Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike graced the entire arena delivering a victory performance of a lifetime to their fans. The crowds energy levels were soaring through the roof of Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike’s performance. The trance legend that is Armin Van Buuren took the stage and upped the ante with his usual outstanding and prestigious performances. Up next would be none-other than the Top DJ for previous past two year’s #1 DJ of the year Hardwell. Building on the power that took over the Arena, up next was Martin Garrix as he continued to raise the bar when he opened his set of the night with an unreleased-ID for his fans! The track was dropped at the beginning of Martin’s set and the arena went crazy for the tune! The unreleased track is being ID’d as “Poison” across the internet, and is apparently soon to be released… for FREE! The intensity of the night increased for the duration of Mr. Garrix’s performance. Martin Garrix closed out the Amsterdam Music Festival with a quality set and performance. The evening came to an end much earlier on the festival’s first day (1:00AM), in preparation for the festivities that would partake the following day of Saturday.
Saturday: Festival goers flocked to the Amsterdam ArenA Saturday when the doors opened at 6:00PM, the show would take place later at 8:00PM until the early hours of the morning (6:00AM). Alesso fans were in for a shock hearing the news that he would
not be able to perform at the party due to an ear infection affecting his ability to make his flight. Despite Alesso’s ear infection, that resulted in him not making his flight to perform in the Amsterdam ArenA, the AMF team had a perfect contingent plan up their sleeves for substitution. Which in the end exceeded expectations and allowed Afrojack to make his debut performance at the Amsterdam Music Festival 2015.. The night began with sets from Klingande, Oliver Heldens, and Robin Schulz. Alesso‘s festival substitute Afrojack exceeded fans expectations by delivering a highly-energetic and seamlessly mixed set. The crowd began to simmer down once David Guetta took control of the decks. Toughing it out through the entire set of David Guetta, spinning and talking over the microphone for longer than expected periods of time, we were all anxiously awaiting the next performer. Tiesto continued the party and got the crowd hyped up and moving more rapidly to his infectious electronic music sounds. Tiesto knew just how to keep the entire massive Amsterdam ArenA on their toes and begging for more!! The night was closely followed by acts from DJ Snake, Showtek, and Yellow Claw. A common-factor that took place in almost each and every DJ’s set was a remix of the popular The Weeknd tune “I Can’t Feel My Face” and Major Lazer and DJ Snake ft MØ‘s “Leon On”.
Overall, the festival was one for the books. Best sets of AMF 2015: Afrojack, Hardwell, Robin Schulz, and Tiesto. Worst sets of AMF 2015: David Guetta, Showtek, and DJ Snake. The chosen artists for best/worst sets were based on numerous factors including: crowd reaction, atmosphere, actual DJ skills, track selection, blending, interacting, style, and sound. The production was mind-blowing. Once I took my first steps into the arena, I was in shock. Throughout the entire festival I would get waves of butterflies and a chill would come over my body covering my arms in goosebumps – this is what electronic music is all about. Actually feeling the music, and connecting with it and the people surrounding you.
Not everyone knows this feeling, but if you do, you know exactly what I am talking about! The size of the stage, lighting, sounds, images…. I was in electronic music festival heaven. I have never been so impressed with a production set-up than I was for the Amsterdam Music Festival 2015. The details, work, art, and production that went into the festival shined through and exceeded expectations. The lights, confetti, and even fireworks synced harmoniously with the beats of the music. In each and every corner you could turn your head to see a screen to watch the artist’s performance with an up-close view (this was ideal for basically anyone not at the very front of the stage due to the size of the venue). It was all very breathtaking. The experience was different than what I am used to from where I am from in Vancouver, Canada. There is no comparison to the amount of work and the details that go into the larger scaled festivals in Europe to Canada, or even most parts of North America. This is one of those parties that you have to experience for yourself to understand. Me, not even being the biggest fan of this genre of music, I was super impressed and had the most amazing time dancing and embracing the music and the experience with friends.
From the crowds, to the staff, food selection; and quality, crowd-control, lighting, production, sound, atmosphere….it was truly magical. What a massive success this year’s Amsterdam Music Festival 2015 was – with this year’s party tipping the scale of festival standards with new records with visitors from over 100 countries, more than 1M views for AMF.TV from over 179 countries, and worldwide trending on social media!! CONGRATULATIONS to the Amsterdam Music Festival Team who made this all possible!! This party was definitely one for the books. We can’t wait for the next party: roll on Amsterdam Music Festival 2016 #AMF2016 🙂