It was sometime near 2:00 in the afternoon on Sunday as Moodymann embarked on his hit parade to close out the Detroit Love marathon in Amsterdam. From Nina Kraviz’s Taxi Talk to Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s Got Your Money and then yes, even to Blue Monday, Kenny Dixon Jr. was definitely having fun with it.
His crew behind him and Craig sipping on a glass of red wine by his side, they smiled and embraced each other during a moment that was all too familiar, but simultaneously indescribable for those in attendance. After more than 12 hours of dancing, the memorable party was coming to an end, but it wasn’t quite over yet.
As I stepped out with my umbrella into the dreary, rainy day hours later, I was taken aback by the sheer efficiency with which Amsterdam can throw parties. While this one was clearly something out of the ordinary, it was made possible by policies and a perspective that have become ordinary in Amsterdam.
At the same time as the Detroit Love party at the Sugarfactory, there were marathons taking place at Shelter, The Loft, Warehouse Elementenstraat and a list of others, some with 24-hour licenses. As the 22nd edition of ADE wrapped up, the city proceeded with life and order as if it was a regular day.
But according to ADE, almost 400,000 attended this year’s festival and conference, that’s nearly half of the city’s population. The ease with which Amsterdam hosted such a crowd was admirable; although accommodations were costly, public transport and infrastructure served visitors well and all the venues were either close enough to walk to, or easily accessible.
Then there was the music. There was so much music. Label showcases like Klockworks’ Photon, performances by Jeff Mills, Kerri Chandler and a seemingly infinite list of others continued to pump out bass for five days, most it without stopping. Although ADE doesn’t market itself as the number one festival party destination, it definitely has the potential to be one.
But, for those who chose to make a quiet exit, the day held some rewarding experiences. Highlights included panels on artist health — and hearing loss — navigating the world of personal branding as well as exclusive documentary screenings like If I Think of Germany at Night.
Setting often proves paramount in hosting a successful festival. During ADE, Amsterdam managed to act as the steady frame upon which dance music is hanging and after taking a closer look, it seems secure.