We spoke to Level music lawyer Halina Wielogorska about all things ADE, and how her passion for dance music, which began long before she embarked on her legal career, has fuelled her success.
Can you tell us a bit about Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) and its background?
Nowhere makes me happier than being on the dancefloor and ADE is an international music conference with 1000 dancefloors. It has somehow achieved the great feat of holding the majority of the world’s leading electronic artists across its multiple venues over the course of ADE week – spanning all leading and underground genres in its extraordinary web. It’s a wonder to behold and impossible to come home without feeling you have barely dented its vastness. For context, it began in 1996. I began going in 2011 and try to make it annual to reconnect with the scene and its people. The event now hosts an unbelievable 500,000 visitors each year, with over 1000 events in 200 locations across the 5 days. It’s a behemoth undertaking and I have nothing but respect for what they have achieved.
How did you find your way into the world of electric dance music law?
After meeting a label owner (Del Dias of AEI Group) at an album launch party (Sub Focus) at Matter (remember that super club, sister to Fabric that used to be at O2?) and lockjawed on the contact like a ferret until he reluctantly agreed to give me an internship! Three and a half years later, I left a senior director, having helped them broker deals to acquire and partner with some of the largest YouTube channels in electronic dance music and helping them set up multiple new income streams including several labels and begin their first publishing entity. Following that I went to Boiler Room, starting as their second ever employee. During my tenure there we opened offices and launched Boiler Room events in multiple territories around the world, making international connections that I still count as friends and part of my industry network today. But really it all started before that, spending every Thu – Sun on a dancefloor somewhere in London and beyond.
What was your favourite set of the week?
Loco Dice at BRET was outstanding, the dancefloor was so packed that we moved as one human mass, and when you lifted your hand to dance, it was near impossible to fold it back down for all the bodies. Seeing SYREETA at NDSM was really special – seeing her rise to international fame is a wonder to behold. I also have to shout out Into The Woods, an entire festival within a festival with a 12,000 capacity and around 10, beautifully produced stages.
How does the Level model give you the flexibility to take this week away and immerse yourself in the industry?
Going to ADE in the past was always such a delicate balance between the clearance my roles would give me in terms of office absence, and doing the trip well. That conflict has been entirely dissolved by the Level model. I have complete freedom to go on my terms, and extend my stay (as I did this time) in accordance with my instincts. Not having the same time pressure made for a far more fluid experience, where I could take time out to rest without feeling the urgency of scarcity, and equally feeling entirely free to lean into opportunities where they presented themselves. I brought my work with me, and tackled it where it couldn’t wait, of course, but I also had the autonomy to make a call about what would bring the most value to my business.
What’s the next event you are most looking forward to?
Muallem’s (DJ, 10 year Berghain resident, and club owner of renowned Munich nightclub Blitz Club) and Milo's (founder of leading global rave Elrow) birthday party at Blitz Club. That should be pretty special.
What was your key take away from the event or top tips for those attending?
Given the popularity of the event, arranging your passes, guestlist, accommodation and meetings in advance is critical. The entire industry and all its artists descend on bulk, so get your blag on early! It’s important to prioritise meetings with the international community whilst they’re in town. Remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint, so pace yourself. If you can afford the time / resources to stay until the Monday, do so, you won’t regret it!