So, here we are: One day away from the kick off to Amsterdam Dance Event’s 20th edition. With five days and nights stacked with events, showcases, pop ups, workshops, lectures, surprises, and more, we thought we would take one last look at some of the essential bits of information you should know about the festivities, especially if you happen to be from out of town.
Of course, the first priority is to celebrate safe. Firstly, and as we had initially reported, keep on the lookout for the potentially deadly square “ADE” pill. The pill is said to contain upwards of 250mg of MDMA (trust us, it’s a lot – almost 100mg higher than the average, and already extra potent, Dutch ecstasy pill) and comes in an off-white/yellow colour. Furthermore, again if coming from out of town, be aware of the official drug policy of the Netherlands as many may have the misguided thought that “anything goes”. Yes, it is true Amsterdam has a particularly lenient policy towards soft drugs, however hard drugs (under a description which MDMA, Cocaine, and Ketamine all fall) are not tolerated. Most venues employ body searches at the door, and some even prohibit the use of soft drugs (Cannabis, “Magic” Truffles) on their premises. Though it is under the venue’s discretion, people found with possession of such substances may be turned over to the authorities (word on the street is that anyone caught with 5+ pills or 0,5 grams will be subject to criminal prosecution). Also, DON’T buy drugs off street dealers. At the very least it will be Vitamin C, but it will most likely be something dangerous like rat poison (if you need proof, multiple deaths were reported last year when street dealers became awash with a deadly “White Heroin”). Should you have any concerns whatsoever about the substances you may have purchased, regardless of proprietor, do yourself a favour and take advantage of the cities many anonymous testing facilites (more information on which can be found here)
Of course drugs aren’t the only aspect of ADE by which you should be mindful of. As ADE themselves puts out: protecting your ears, adequate rest, safe sex, and more (see ADE’s complete list – here) are all vital things to think about when celebrating in Amsterdam. The best way, when at an event, to respect this is by always know where First Aid is located. If their is no First Aid in the vicinity, the emergency number to dial is 112.
ADE Essentials: Special Events, Films, Talks (October 14 – 18)
On some more practical (and lighter) information:
– Attendees under 21 should be aware that, though many events are 18+, a handful of venues are 21+, so check the websites to avoid disappointment.
– Amsterdam is a very accessible city with many transportation options. Though bicycle is part of the Amsterdam experience, foreigners should take heed that cycling through the city may not be as easy as it seems. Lanes merge, streets are narrow, and locals are impatient, so bear that in mind. As an alternative, the city’s metro system will be working throughout the event. Uber (an official partner) is also an option).
– VIP service: Yeah, it exists but do you really want to be “that guy”…
So, that’s about it. Make sure you stay connected with ADE at their official #ADE15 on twitter, and keep your eye on the real time updates, interactive maps, and media resources. Electronic music is more than a scene in the Netherlands; it is a science and is a €600m annual business, so if you know how to have a responsible time you will be guaranteed a good time. Now, get out there and have some fun!
Update: Today, the city announced that patrons WILL NOT be prosecuted if caught with up to and including 5 pills.