After a long summer without local festivals or nightclubs, the pressure for this year’s events to provide some relief for ravers felt more pronounced than ever. But if the audience on the dancefloor gave any indication of how DGTL ADE was received, it’s that the event’s return felt desperately needed.
ADE is one of the largest and most influential events in the electronic music industry. Pair that with DGTL, which first started in Amsterdam back in 2011, and you have the standalone event DGTL ADE. The DGTL events have since expanded across the world, becoming highlights on the calendar in Santiago, São Paulo, Barcelona and Madrid. With an impressive commitment to sustainability, DGTL is a carbon-neutral and circular affair, serving only vegetarian food and reusable cups – plus sustainable, state of the art technologies behind the scenes.
It feels like a lifetime since Amsterdammers have been legally allowed to enjoy the city’s nightlife, so the collective excitement of attendees cycling to Amsterdam Noord’s NDSM warehouses hit differently. This year, the event was spread out over two stages, with Saturday’s line-up featuring Dixon, Mano Le Tough, Jayda G and The Blessed Madonna. The location had multiple levels for the crowd, and the main room had the feeling of a mini amphitheatre. With ravers surrounding you, dancing to Jayda G’s rousing set felt like a shared experience after such a long hiatus from clubs. On the decks, Jayda G fused together house, disco, funk and soul; but it was when she broke out Are U Down from her 2020 EP that dancers in the warehouse began singing the melodies along with her. The London-based DJ’s set left no room for pause and the crowd was committed to the dancefloor for the full two hours, enraptured by her charismatic and euphoric performance.
Over on the second stage, The Blessed Madonna saw the evening in, racing through disco, techno, house and back. The BPMs and energy levels were kept high throughout, as Marea Stamper brought out Relight My Fire and tracks from Club Future Nostalgia – her remix version of Dua Lipa’s chart-smashing 2020 LP. Stamper’s enthusiasm and joy behind the decks proved the DJs were just as excited as the crowds to be back at DGTL ADE.
Despite only getting the go-ahead a few months prior, the event felt like a slick, safe and joyous space. With just two stages and little else in the NDSM warehouses, DGTL ADE retained a stripped back atmosphere. And by hosting some of the industry’s most in-demand names over the course of three days, extra frills didn’t feel like a necessity. Instead, the simplicity of the industrial location was dressed with mesmerising visuals; inside, an eager and euphoric crowd welcomed the return of DGTL ADE.