The ADE Festival is going ahead – minus the conference – after Dutch Covid rule changes, but why does it feel like we haven’t heard the last word yet?

Sometimes, I will read or see something and it immediately feels a little bit off. Something somewhere isn’t quite making sense or stacking up in a way which seems logical. When I read about the latest developments with the Amsterdam Dance Event, I got this very familiar feeling.

The event normally takes place in October and is basically a combination of music being played and music being talked about by some of the people making it and playing it. Last year’s event was cancelled, and since the Netherlands reimposed a number of Covid restrictions earlier this year, it’s been looking doubtful for 2021 too. But nightclubs will now be able to open again from September 25th – but must close by midnight.

I started becoming suspicious earlier this week when I noticed a number of DJs announcing they were no longer going to ADE, whilst being very cagey about why. Now we know – the conference part is cancelled. Indeed, there will be no opportunity for them to get together and apply fresh grease onto the old boy network this year.

The festival is taking place, with some limitations – yet I can’t help but get the feeling that we haven’t heard the last about this yet. For example, the Dutch government has said social distancing won’t be required from September 25th – well in time for ADE’s start date of October 13th – but they’ve also said they’re limited to 75% capacity.

Does that mean if an event is sold out – and I understand a few are – 25% of those going are about to be told their tickets have been cancelled? What happens to those people – and what happens to any accommodation they’ve booked? Are they going to be able to replicate things in the middle of the day?

Oh, and given that the events are now in the daytime instead, who’s prepared to wager that illegal raves taking place out of hours won’t take place? Dutch police are going to be kept extremely busy…

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