Throughout the years, Amsterdam Dance Event has become a melting pot of artists with various electronic backgrounds, unlimited creativity and one of the biggest stages in Europe to showcase your talent. Now, as the echoes of ADE 2023 are slowly fading away, it's time tor reflect on the unforgettable memories and share a small recap of our very own participation to this year's edition. In this article, we will touch on some of the higlights during the Inch by Inch Pop-up Record Store co-hosted by Gigstarter.
Music: electrifying performances of international DJs
Without a shadow of a doubt, electronic music took center stage throughout the entire five-day festival. We had the privilege of hosting talented musicians from various corners of Europe, including Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, and Austria. Inch by Inch's Pop-up Record Store event started on Wednesday at 10am with the dynamic Metulsky, passionate record collector and a DJ from Leipzig. Slowly but surely within hours attracted by intriguing beats and colorful industrial corners of Vrij Paleis, dozens of visitors started to come into the building. By the time when Thursday has arrived, a lot of locals were talking about the event during a smoke outside attracting more and more passersby.
Thursday's lineup featured remarkable artists such as Sello, FM Pause, and Suh+Moon. As the sun descended, the stage was handed over to the talented Gigstarter musicians, whose recognition had been fostered through our platform. Dekhengst's tracks with occasional hints of African and Eastern melodies, along with Esta Polyesta's beats blending electronic and ethnic sounds, created an unforgettable atmosphere. Esta proofed herself as Gigstarter DJ of The Year 2022 with her set. Whether you were there to dance or expand your network, it was an absolute pleasure for us as a music platform to witness these professionals' performances and play a role in their public success and making live music as accessible as possible.
DJ Dekhengst and DJ Esta Polyesta
Once the doors closed behind the last customer on Thursday, we geared up for the busiest days of Amsterdam Dance Event. During the morning many groups of friends entered Vrij Paleis intrigued by the live music and vinyl on display. DJ Balduin, Francesco Panettone and Arsy immediately began to warm up the atmosphere during the "Wake up breakfast" expertly mixing ambient and more classic EDM tracks. Once inside, onlookers were then taken by the representatives of Inch by Inch on an analog journey through the beauty of vinyl. Saturday was also filled with electrifying beats, more about it can be read later in this article.
On Sunday night, visitors were treated to a final opportunity to look through vinyl records brought all the way from Germany, attend an expert talk on the process of making records, and enjoy cozy performances by Recut and Yannick Roberts. The friendly atmosphere, energetic dancing, and genuine laughter over a bottle of Warsteiner made the closing evening of Inch by Inch Pop-up Store special for every customer and the crew. It was intriguing to witness the invisible impact of music during these five days on the hearts and souls of hundreds of people.
Arts & Dance: unexpected addition to the music
Next to the DJ set, visitors at Vrij Palais were also able to enjoy a rather unique display of paintings, starting with the splendid black-and-white artworks by Medgyesi. It was followed by an entire wall that had been sprayed with special paint by Lithuanian artist Gina Sarkova. Through the use of light and special 3D glasses, Gina's work appeared three-dimensional to the viewers, who could do nothing but be transported by the live music in the painting. Participating in the organization of such a project was an extraordinary opportunity for us during which we observed two young artists as they brought their creative mindset and vision to life.
The experience was not limited to the artwork on the wall; it also included a body painting show. In this performance, a skilled professional dancer was completely covered in color by the artist and danced using a fan and silk fabric. The show was a great success, and those present at Vrij Paleis were captivated by a truly fantastic atmosphere.
Masterclasses: learning while enjoying
Masterclass from Amsterdam DJ School
During the event, Gigstarter had the pleasure of organizing a small masterclass for aspiring DJs. On Thursday, the 19th, representatives of the Amsterdam DJ School came to Vrij Paleis to provide a talk on essential aspects that DJs need to know, such as mixing, effective promotion, ways to get booked, and necessary preparations for a gig.
The course was taught by Olivier Mejis, a highly experienced DJ and trainer who explained to those present the selection process used by the Big 4 when deciding whether or not to hire a DJ or producer. He focused on the laws of the market while also offering participants a chance to discover a few hidden tricks. The atmosphere was very informal, which helped in developing a friendly relationship among the participants. Olivier immediately proved to be a teacher capable of conveying important information and reading the crowd, qualities he has sharpened over more than twenty years.
Varia Instruments Test Session
What would a DJ be without a good mixer? On Saturday, visitors to the Vrij Paleis had a chance to test out professional equipment from Swiss company Varia Instruments created by Simon & Marcel, a team of two Swiss technicians and music lovers. People were able to try the RDM20 and RDM40 mixers in full operation, joined and helped by the guys from Inch by Inch.
Simon, the creator of Varia Instrument, also joined the Masterclass. It was very interesting for the participant to be able to ask the owner directly for advice on which mixer to buy, how particular equipment works, or just curiosity about the world of mixing.
All About Vinyls
As a record shop and distributor, Inch By Inch is deeply immersed in vinyl culture and its challenges. To address these topics and answer the questions that concern modern music experts, a panel open to the public was organized. The main goal of this masterclass was to examine whether analog media can still compete with digital media, explore the advantages and disadvantages of vinyl, and, above all, reveal what makes a record a bestseller. With a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, the DJs sparked a very interesting debate. Many of them also shared anecdotes from their childhood connected to vinyl and memories of the first records they listened to.
It was rightly pointed out that producing a record digitally costs significantly less and requires no maintenance. This is why, until the last few years, vinyl has carved out a much smaller market compared to digital, which is only in demand by a few enthusiasts. However, while vinyl records may not directly compete with streaming services, they continue to captivate collectors, which opens a door to an extraordinary niche for our visitors.
The Art of Making Records
Last but not least masterclass took place during Sunday lunch. Vrij Paleis was excited to have Oliver Bernstein take over the panel stage. He delved into the art and craft of vinyl manufacturing, drawing from his extensive experience in vinyl distribution and previous work at the R.A.N.D. Muzik pressing plant. During the discussion with attendees, Oliver shared valuable insights about the challenges to watch out for, how to achieve great sound quality, and what makes vinyl records visually appealing. He also entertained us with funny stories from one of Germany's oldest pressing plants. It was an informative and enjoyable journey into the world of vinyl which intrigued people of all ages.
Amsterdam Dance Event 2023 was a unique five-day experience of electronic music, featuring international DJs who electrified the stage. Our Social Club, Inch by Inch Pop-up Store, proudly presented a diverse lineup of talented musicians from across Europe, creating unforgettable moments for the festivalgoers. We hope as that 2023 was not the last year Gigstarter took part in such an international celebration of music.
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