The daytime event is unlike any other conference I have attended. Starting off, none of the events start before 1pm, giving you time to sleep after the night before. The "talk show" format, with several different panelists in short vignettes, is highly effective at covering topics in a cohesive yet complete way. The hosts Gary Miller (Billboard/Midem News), Heiko Hoffman (Groove Magazine), and Vivian Host (XLR8R) were all exceptional working within the format. Also impressive was the keynote with Jens Thele of Kontor Records who talked about the importance of indie labels reclaiming dance music in the absence of major label support.
A highlight of the daytime event was Saturday's "Dutch DJ Day," which opened the event to over 250 local DJs and producers to network and attend panels. Stonebridge's panel on the making of his massive hit "Put em High" was standing room only as he showed the Logic files and demonstrated everything live. Kudos to him for answering SO many questions about everything from sampling to mastering and making himself so available for up-and-coming producers. Showing his quick wit, he responded to one question by describing ProTools as a "tape recorder with a mixer."
Another important part of the daytime events are the meeting areas. The Felix Meritus was set up with numerous tables with CD players, record players, and DVD/VHS players for people to demonstrate and license their music. Before attending, registered delegates can login to the ADE website and obtain a list sorted by category (producer, label, journalist, etc) with contact info to set up meetings ahead of the game. Name tags are easily scannable (they are printed on both sides) and attendees are easily approachable for walk up meetings as well.
The ADE nighttime programs brought in over 300 DJs at 30 local clubs and bars. Unlike other conferences, the ADE wristband gets you into just about every event. Door people were respectful and allowed quick entrance for attendees (Miami nightclubs, take note). Some events were sponsored by record labels like Ministry of Sound, Defected, Hedkandi, Warp, Naked Music, Areal, Slip n Slide, and Yoshitoshi, while others were local nightly events expanded for the week. The DJ talent was top notch with Johan Gielen leading a special night with supporting DJs he selected and a night cruise hosted by Armin Van Buuren. Among the over 300 DJs lined up were internationally-known DJs James Holden, Nic Fanciulli (Skylark), Josh Wink, Todd Terry, Dr.Kucho, Ray Roc, King Britt, Lee Cabrera and Ricardo Villalobos, who had just been voted favorite DJ by an industry jury at the Dutch DJ Awards.
In addition to live performances by artists such as Aya, Mylo, Peyton, Sybren Danz, and Dynarec, I noticed a trend of including live musicians improvising with DJs. In addition to the clubs, cafes featured DJ sets. Two dance music-related movies, Maestro and Hey DJ, premiered and there were even museum galleries taking part in the event.