We are living in the best of times. Technology is speed lining the industry, connecting artists, promoters, label heads and most importantly the fans. The goal no matter what role you share is simple: party in a safe space. The general phrase can get sticky depending on who you’re talking to. Various fans will say a safe save to do your drugs in, a safe place to dance, or a safe place to just exist as yourself (cue your sexuality, race, and own being).
Like many music conferences around the world, ADE and the Dutch hold a special place in the dance music world for their astounding achievements, birth of many top notch DJs/producers, and of course countless numbers of the most sought after events, concluding with ADE. When the expression, “there must be something in the water,” comes to mind, one can always point to the Netherlands when dance music is the subject. 2018 has been quite the tumultuous years of good and bad happenings, both of which were subjects of debate and conversation at the ADE confluence. Forward-thinking technologies, DJ talks/lectures, environmental conservation, food & beverage filled the spaces of talks considered to be the good, while sexual identity, harassment and the “togetherness” of community occupied the harder subjects. ADE faced a rather difficult challenge this year taking on the subject of sexual harassment and identity with the poorly handled case of Konstatin that has clearly marked a divide between the dance music mainstream and the marginalized.
Our biggest takeaway from this year ADE conference and festival is clear: we are living in the best of times, but there is always room to do better, make improvements, and be more rationally tolerant. Industry leaders, promoters, DJs, personnel, managers, fans and the whole lot can always strive to be better and do better. Our community commitments depend on it.