The Raver Mag. Experience
Kristine Kennedy and Michael Beas
Raver Magazine’s first Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) went off without a hitch. Everything from the city, the people, and each and every experience from start to finish made this trip simply unforgettable. For those that don’t know, this was 22nd edition of ADE and it was attended by a record number of 395,000 visitors from all over the world and spectrum of life. We spent the better part of the three months prior to this week creating our daily schedules, which was filled from start to finish with amazing experiences including over a dozen interviews, parties, networking events, conferences, and recording studio exclusive events. Once the schedules were set and the last emails were sent to the PR reps it was party time! Interviews in check, we downed a few Heinekens and brought the Raver Mag party to Amsterdam. The rest as they say “is history.”
With the world’s leading producers performing in one city, it proved to be a daily difficulty to select which parties to attend, what recording studio to visit, or what pop up store to shop in – all that were happening at the exact same times! Add to that mix our own Raver Mag exclusive interviews and needless to say, we did quite a bit of running around Amsterdam. It was almost as if we were in some massive EDM candy shop where the flavors of the day were Protocol, Reveled, Armada, Mixmash, Coldharbour..you name it and they were there. Every event had its own twist, its own unique vibe that you can truly take in and enjoy.
In our opinions, these were some of the top Amsterdam Dance Event parties we had the opportunity to attend:
5 Years of Protocol – Nicky Romero & Friends – ADE 2017
Melkweg Located at Lijnbaansgracht 234/a, 1017 Binnenstad, Amsterdam.
This party had it all – the ambiance, the lighting, the visuals, and not one, but two different stages. The Protocol Family of producers kept the star-studded sets coming all night long. Nicky did not stop until 5am on the dot, performing back-to-back sets with Florian Picasso, Fedde le Grand and so many more. On re-cap, we have to say that Nicky was truly the EDM boss in Amsterdam this year.
His personal performance was so uplifting and after experiencing some struggles in recent past, we cannot be happier for him and his successes. We definitely picked up an unforgettable souvenir both in physical form, but more so in a memory that we both will never forget. He and his entire Protocol Team crushed the night!!! We truly felt like members of the Protocol Family from the moment we stepped into the venue for this event until the moment we left as the last blast of glitter burst from the cannons and the music finally fell silent on us.
ASOT 836 ADE Special
AFAS Live – ArenA Boulevard 590, Amsterdam
Armin van Barren will always hold a special place in our hearts. This is the one and only party that we had an opportunity to catch with our friends from back home in The States. Zach Pappas and Garrett Mun partied with us as if there was no tomorrow. There’s something nostalgic about catching an Armin set next your true friends. I say true friends because we live in a world that is filled with so much hypocrisy, so much indifference and those who you may think are friends are actually in it for themselves. I mention this because Armin and his breathtaking performances are filled with truth and the essence of what it is to be human. His music teaches us what it is to love, and care for something that is far greater than you. His music is simply powerful beyond words…
Being in A State of Trance for us is being transported to a world that is untouchable by hate or envy. It’s being in a state that fills you with pure blissful emotion. It is a journey where time and space collide next to the person you’re with.
Armin said it best “People see me, they hear my music, and I see you because together we are one and we are all in A State of Trance.”
It was truly a magical, emotional experience on a really deep and personal level for not just us but also for our friends. Thank you, Armin, for bringing us together for another unforgettable moment in time.
Skyline Sessions by Lucas and Steve
Q- Factory Amsterdam
And then there was Lucas and Steve.
The place was definitely sold out and we really mean filled to capacity and then some. We somehow managed to get through the mob of people looking to get a glimpse of the duo and we walk into some wicked, almost too close for comfort, room where the pyros were blasting off nonstop on stage. Damn HOT!
It seems that Don Diablo was everywhere during ADE week because he was on the decks hyping up the crowd next to Lucas and Steve. With drinks in check and the right spot in the mob to party, this event was one of the highlights of the week. This duo is literally fire. There is not one thing that these guys can’t bring that the crowd is not going to bounce off their feet and enjoy. This is as perfect as perfect can be. Flawless in nature, the vibe was lit by an amazing crowd, great music and emotional influences that have now become a port of our life.
Markus Schulz Open to Close
Melkweg Located at Lijnbaansgracht 234/a, 1017 Binnenstad, Amsterdam.
Every time Markus is on the decks you can expect a trance journey. As he told us earlier in the day, “I zig when everyone else zags.” Markus can do both, zig and zag, and do so with beauty and grace. Hands down he is a master musician. He is the Trance master – the Dakota of unicorn slaying. He is the one who can literally play for hours non-stop, and we mean literally non-stop.
Who else but Markus can sell out a crowd with only him on the list performing? The title to his event did say “Open to Close,” and he did just that. His performance was a story in time that took the both of us to another place. It was in a realm all on its own. The lighting inside this venue was also amazing! It reminded us of being in the Trance Arena in Miami for Ultra Music Festival with the dropping down lights overhead like drips of rain from the sky. His journey for the night was riveting and inspiring.
Julian Jordan and Friends
Jimmy Woo Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 18, Amsterdam
Fast forward to Sunday night – our last night in Amsterdam. At this point we are completely partied out and wondering if we can make it for one more push, one more party. I look to Kristine and say, “Not sure of we can do one more event.” She looks to me and says, “we got this.” I turn around and say, “you’re right, let’s go.”
We should start off by saying that security, at least one bouncer in particular, was a complete buzzkill. For whatever reason he just had his mind made up about us and we were not picking that battle. With patience running thin from pure tiredness we contemplated our life decision and thought of leaving the party. That being said the music was popping and we both consider Julian to be a good friend of ours so we decided to stick it out.
Long story short he killed it, big room style. Julian had so many special guests in attendance it’s almost too much to write about. Don Diablo threw down some wicked house, Throttle dropped some new tracks, and then out of nowhere Martin Garrix came out and started spinning. Trust me when we say we are seriously giving you the cliff’s notes version of everything. The highlight of the night for us both was when Jebroer got to the decks.
Our Dutch is still a little (okay, very) rusty, so we’re not sure what was said but we clearly got the picture when we got tossed in the center of a Dutch mosh pit. It’s essentially like an unorganized electric slide meets a beer shower. Yep..you heard it here, Raver Mag’s first mosh pit hard-style / rap (we think, again this was in Dutch) in Amsterdam. And the beer was flying everywhere. Everyone literally lost his or her minds in the already sold out overcrowded venue.
When in Rome, right?
We definitely joined the madness with everyone else. Camera in the air and beer literally raining down like confetti we got our hype on. The highlight was when Julian looked over and saw the both of us, and came over from his set to give us both a hug, thanking us for supporting his event.
Julian is hand down one of the best and most down to earth producers we have ever met. Julian, keep being you and if he’s ever State side definitely come out to one of his parties, Raver Mag fam. You will not regret the experience.
Sander van Doorn as Purple Haze
Chin Chin Club Rozengracht 133, Amsterdam
Earlier this summer, we had the chance to interview Sander van Doorn when he was passing through New York City on tour. It was one of the most touching interviews in the sense that we truly felt Sander’s love for his music in every word he spoke. On a more personal level, we also noted the love and support that both he and his wife have for each other. They both became instant role models for us. This is a team that exemplifies what it means to live life to its fullest together. Needless to say, we were beyond excited for this event during ADE for months prior to ADE kicking off.
We were covering another event prior to getting to Chin Chin Club for our first live listen of Sander as Purple Haze. The Uber seemed to take forever..we just needed to get there already! After all, this was a special night being that it was the “SPECTRVM” album release party event. We finally arrived and walked up to the DJ booth to see Sander playing with nothing but a huge smile on his face. The room was so full of life and love and Sander was at its deliverance because this man just loves his job so much. Kristine nearly broke down when the astoundingly beautiful track, Choir 1.0 came on. There’s something about that one that carries so much emotion with it and it just grabs ahold of your heart, taking you on that euphoric journey. As the night drew to an end and the last track was played, there was an eruption of applause from the audience who gave nothing but their support and appreciation all night for this amazing artist. We’re elated that Sander is able to bring us all on this new voyage as Purple Haze and we’re really looking forward to seeing him again in the near future.
But wait, that’s not all…
ADE isn’t just about the parties. It’s about learning and it’s about being part of a music collective that is united by sound and community. Over 7,200 representatives from over 90 countries attended this year. The ADE Soundlab was insane, as it gave insight into DJ and studio set ups; Martin Garrix, Richie Hawtin and KiNK, Soulwax and Tiga, Oliver Heldens and more gave attendees insight into lessons from everyday life as well as the production side of the industry.
Also, the European vibe and culture is literally a 180 degrees difference from the USA side of the operation for our take of dance music. We didn’t see too many kandi bracelets being passed out, like none whatsoever. And definitely no furry boots in view, no legs donning ribbon from top to bottom, no pasties, and really no costumes at all. Drugs well…you can bring some but they have to be limited so that you party safe. The Dutch vibe is very much “we’re here for the music” and we really appreciated that tone. Another noticeable difference was that there were many older people enjoying the music also.
Thank goodness for Google Maps and the hospitality of the Dutch people to help get us around from spot to spot. This city is so walkable and so rich in history and beauty it almost begs you to get lost on its winding streets and alleys, hopping over canal after canal. We had some amazingly fresh Heinekens and the best cheese in the world. Even when it rained we still were able to walk around with stars in our eyes wondering just how is Amsterdam still so beautiful during a rain storm with 40 degree temperatures?
In closing, this was more then an event or a conference. This was an experience in time and a memory that the both of us will never forget. To say that we can, in some way, describe the feelings, the emotions felt, would be to do ADE an injustice. There is nothing that we can write to describe the feeling of being in this completely magical city, in a country where music is the forefront and foundation of life. We are fortunate enough to be part of a magazine that led us to this place, a place that we realized we never want to leave and only hope that we can come back to next year and every year after. Our only question to you, Raver Mag fam, is who’s up to join us next year and say “proost”?
Until next year, ADE…(unless of course we sneak in a quick trip to Amsterdam before October 2018…)