How ADE markets ADE
There are three weeks of the year that bring every corner of the electronic music scene together - Miami Music Week, Sonar/Off-Week, and Amsterdam Dance Event.
Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) happens on the third week of October every year. It's the ultimate key date in the calendar.
Be prepared to see your favourite artists share a photo of them from the streets of Amsterdam in front of canals and yellow flags/cubes over the next few days.
In this week's Blueprint, I thought I would show you how ADE markets ADE and how artists use this time of the year to their advantage.
If you make it to the deep end, let me know on Instagram. There's a 1:1 45-minute free coaching call for anyone who sends me the word I use to describe Amsterdam's airport.
ADE is the king of physical marketing
Everything ADE is black and yellow. From the flags to the cubes to the social media assets to the trams. You may have noticed that I have even changed the colours of my newsletter this week.
In the build-up to the event, ADE's marketing team takes over the whole city with flags and cubes being found outside every venue where an event takes place.
The flags stand out to ADE first-timers and also create awareness for the festival across the whole city.
Iconic buildings turn black and yellow
Throughout ADE, restaurants, hotels, coffee shops, boats, unused warehouses, churches, vinyl stores, and bars become clubs, after-party spots, and meeting points.
Amsterdam as a city is full of iconic buildings but one stands out head and shoulders above the rest. A'dam Tower is Amsterdam's much cooler version of The Shard in London.
A'dam Tower is a hotel with views of the river and the city that comes alive during ADE with events taking place across multiple spaces within the hotel.
If you're heading to ADE for the first time, check out events in The Loft and the Basement (better known as Shelter). You won't regret it.
Artists prepare special strategies for ADE
Dutch artist Luuk van Dijk used last year's Amsterdam Dance Event as the perfect opportunity to create awareness for his album 'First Contact'.
Luuk's first social post about the album was shared on the first morning of ADE (Wednesday). Luuk stood in front of a huge poster on the streets of Amsterdam and then shared a photo of him standing on top of one of the many cubes around the city.
The QR code gave fans the opportunity to scan it and pre-save the album on Spotify.
Partnerships. Partnerships. Partnerships.
Talking of Spotify. Everything at ADE is about partnerships.
One of my favourite sights from last year was Spotify's Drone light show over the river. You can see the full video here. It's pretty cool.
This is one of the major advantages ADE has as a brand. It can partner with the whole music industry from tech to wellness to music platforms.
This also creates so many opportunities for you as an artist and brand. ADE is full of opportunities for everyone to collaborate and work together. How many festivals create opportunities like this? Very few...
The Deep End
Welcome to the Deep End, the final section of The Blueprint where I say thank you for reading and offer some wisdom.
Amsterdam Dance Event may feel like it's for the major players. But that's where you're wrong. ADE is an underground music lover's dream. You can party at Gashouder with 10,000 people and then party on a boat with 150 people hours later.
From a networking perspective, ADE is a dream. One moment you can meet a bedroom DJ with big dreams. Next, you can meet the founder of Armada or ask him questions at their Amsterdam HQ,
If anything, the worst part of ADE is its official socials as they only showcase 1% of what truly happens within the city. With so much going on and so many partners to please, how could they?
One final thing...
Now let's talk about the airport.
I have missed my flight home from Amsterdam twice.
A word of warning, Amsterdam's airport is MASSHOOOSIVE. Be on time for your flight. They won't wait for you. I'm speaking from experience.
Don't forget to Instagram DM me the word I used to describe Amsterdam's airport for that free 1:1 coaching session.
See you next week
Andrew at Socially Sound 🧢