INTERVIEW: Richard Zijlma – Amsterdam Dance Event (2013)

The sold-out 18th edition of the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) will take place next week (October 15th-20th).? The premiere electronic and dance music conference is the place where all aspects of the industry come together to network.? The nightime festival will bring together over 300,000 clubgoers to over 300 events featuring the biggest DJs from around the world (including Armin Van Buuren, Calvin Harris, Sander Van Doorn, Steve Angello, and Tiesto). To learn more about ADE and what’s new for 2013, I spoke to the charming General Manager Richard Zijlma.

DJ Ron Slomowicz:? How did you get involved with Amsterdam Dance Event?
Richard Zijlma:? As I was already working in the music industry, mostly with experience in production, I was asked to get involved in ADE from the start, first as production manager and, after 3 years, as director.

RS:?? How has it grown or changed since you joined the team?
Richard Zijlma:? I was there from the beginning and a lot has changed. The scene has changed over the years, and ADE has changed from a small b2b conference mainly focusing on labels and publishers who came over to license tracks to a global platform serving the whole scene.
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ADE 2012: Day 1 (Quick Summary)

Rather than doing a full wrap up of each day – here are a few quick highlights.


Panel – ‘Does Music Criticism Matter” – Esteemed music critics from Resident Advisor, Mixmag, Pitchfork and URB discussed the world of music journalism in the 21st century. Bemoaning the “economy of the click,” the importance of search engine optimized headlines and short 500 word pieces replacing long form magazine journalism and how the online audience dictates what is covered (due to the exact statistics,) the panelists also focused on positive such as the relevance of printed magazines is still in evidence. In the magazine world, the reader is more likely to experience music they don’t already know about because they have actively purchased the magazine as opposed to online where people tend to read about music they already have heard. On similarities between DJing and writing, Joshua Glazer (URB) shared the sentiment of “I like it, I want to share it” on his motivation for both. While most agreed that they choose not to write negative reviews preferring to write about what they like, Nick DeCosemo (MixMag) shared the obvious point that “negative reviews are more fun to read.” Probably the best quote came from Joshua about the difficulty of reviewing events and having to remember that “the worst party I ever went to is the best night of someone else’s life.”

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