How to combine ADE with your exams

Year on year, every student runs into the same dilemma: ace your exams or attend the Amsterdam Dance Event? Just like this dilemma, efforts to change the timing of either the exam period or ADE return annually as well. Students even started a petition some years back to gain attention for their important cause.
Yet, none of these efforts have ever led to any results, so it might be time to ‘face the music’ and accept that ADE will always precede the exam week. But can you then combine the two and enjoy at least some of ADE without screwing up your first exams of the year? Yes you can! Read on to find out which ADE events you can attend without regret or feeling guilty.

The Amsterdam Dance Event is an annual, global dance conference and festival in one, making it one of the biggest and most important electronic music events in the world. For five days and nights, Amsterdam is flooded with music from over 2000 artists performing at more than 160 locations throughout the city.

The most important things to avoid if you have exams coming up are a lack of sleep & exam week hangovers, so it’s wise to avoid ADE during the weekend nights. Luckily, the dance event already kicks off with a lot of great parties before the weekend even begins and also hosts some great (and sometimes even free) events during the daytime! Keeping this in mind, we’ve highlighted the best exam-friendly events for each day of the Amsterdam Dance Event.


Although this day is usually one of the quietest days of ADE, this year’s calendar is packed with some major events. Loveland has the honor of hosting the Official ADE Opening with none other than Richie Hawtin at the Amsterdam Nieuwmarkt. The opening starts early at 6PM and is free of charge! Not even an hour later the Leidseplein is taken over by the famous clubs Paradiso, Sugarfactory, and Melkweg for the second exam-proof party: ADE LIVE with Fatima Yamaha and many others.

Both of these events end before midnight and are therefore perfect for every student, but on the other side… You can’t get any further away from the exams than today, so if you want to party ‘till the early hours, this is your best shot! If this is your plan, it doesn’t matter if you are into house or techno because both are well represented tonight.

Techno fans have the luxury of choosing between three opening nights: Awakenings with Len Faki, Jeff Mills & Robert Hood, the Marktkantine with Pan-Pot’s Second State label night, or Shelter with Seth Troxler. House fans are equally well treated with three label nights: Heldeep by Oliver Heldens, Protocol by Nicky Romero, and Spinnin’ Sessions.


On the second day, the daytime parties start popping up as well. Before the sun has set you can already catch the first beats of the day at recordstore Mary Go Wild! From Thursday on, the ADE Basement Raves will kick off beneath the store with a secret line-up every day from 2PM to 8PM. On top of these great times, there’s also free entry and free drinks so these raves couldn’t get any more student-friendly. From 6PM to 22PM DJ Mag will also launch their first free daily party at Club Nova with Joris Voorn, Patrice Bäumel, and Charlotte de Witte.

If you decide to squeeze in one last party after nightfall, these are your options for Day Two: Amsterdam-based party organizers DGTL, Pleinvrees, Verknipt, and ZeeZout are all taking over the city this night with some amazing artists like Âme, De Sluwe Vos, Modeselektor & Nina Kraviz (DGTL), Andhim & Miss Melera (Pleinvrees), AnD, Amelie Lens, ROD & Juan Sanchez (Verknipt), and Hunee & Mike Servito (ZeeZout). Furthermore, Loveland returns with Afterlife – the label of Tale of Us, who’ve also invited synth-master Stephan Bodzin, Recondite, Mind Against and many more – and Awakenings returns with Adam Beyer’s Drumcode night.

For those who don’t like techno, Armin van Buuren, Bakermat, Bingoplayers, Yellow Claw, David Guetta, Skrillex’ label OWSLA and Spinnin’ Deep have got you covered! All of them are hosting their own parties throughout Amsterdam with more well-known names such as Bassjackers, Cosmic Gate, Mike Mago and Jay Hardway.


Exams are really getting close now, so a good night’s sleep is essential. But did you know that a lot of established names are hosting daytime events this year? As long as your learning schedule is in point, you have the chance to get rid of your exam-stress at one of the ‘By Day’ parties from Into the Woods, Awakenings, or Amsterdam favorite Thuishaven who will be having DJ Tennis, Jackmaster, and many more. Also, the Mary Go Wild store will reopen their basement for another day of raves and Audio Obscura is presenting Underworld in the iconic bicycle passage of the Rijksmuseum.


Even though there are, of course, still plenty of events going on during the daytime – like ADE HangoverDe School, Hyte, Martin Garrix, and more Awakenings, Thuishaven, Audio Obscura & Into the Woods – we advise you to stay at home, fully focus on your exams and, maybe, be just a little bit hungover. One final tip we have for the students who really can’t resist is to check one of the many online livestreams provided by e.g., DJ Mag & Amsterdam Music Festival from the comforts of your own home:)

Hopefully, this will help you enjoy your first study week & weekend of the year just a little bit more and wish you the best of luck with your exams next week!

Disappointed that you will still miss out on a lot of music no matter what? Then come make up for lost time at VUSE – the university party of the year for all students of the School of Business and Economics – and Attend on Facebook to make sure you don’t miss out on this one once tickets go on sale!