Imagine a wide-open arena in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, filled with as many people as it takes to fill from wall to wall. Then splash in floods of colored lights, lasers, strobes, and any other illuminate objects that come to mind.
Fill the rest of the space in the room with bass so heavy it can be felt from the ground up, all the way into the chests of every person in the arena.
Twirling rapidly among the bass is every essential sound of successful funk, groove and other types of electronic music.
Finally, imagine every person in the amphitheater flailing their limbs as much as possible, dancing as if the world was going to end right then and there. As the joyous crowd jigs among one another, confetti is released from the ceiling and in that moment, the crowd is infinite.
BRINGING IN EDM FANS FROM ALL OVER
The annual Amsterdam Music Festival calls for EDM lovers all over the world to gather for this noteworthy event. AMF has been held consecutively since it began in the capital of the Netherlands, with hundreds of participating venues that hold the more local and less known performances throughout the weekend. The main event, however, takes place in the Amsterdam Arena, and has something special in store for local and international concert attendees.
AMF also features the crowning of the World’s No. 1 DJ awards, sponsored by DJ Mag. The Top 100 DJ poll facilitated by DJ Mag is supposedly the world’s largest music poll, and is now in aid of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. In the past, DJs would put out a video introducing a call to action asking for donations to UNICEF. UNICEF was the top charity beneficiary for DJ Mag in 2017, and donations could even be tacked onto ticket purchases.
“AMF 2016 was something of a dream,” says Sarah Von Raesfeld, a former intern and representative for the European travel company Bus2Alps. “It was my first music festival, and I was lucky enough to be able to experience it in my favorite place in the world. Amsterdam is one of the most unique cities, and this music festival fits its personality to a T.”
This sort of response is not a new one for music festivals as a whole, but AMF brings a new perspective of diversity, inclusion, empathy and love to the scene. Like Amsterdam itself, AMF brings travelers from all over the world to experience an accepting and unique culture filled with positive interactions between concertgoers, even across language barriers. Many bring flags of their home countries to display pride and are enthusiastic to make friends of other nationalities.
Amsterdam is one of the most unique cities, and this music festival fits its personality to a T.
“Strangers around me were absorbing the experience in the same way I was, making it easy to bond with the people around us,” Von Raesfeld explains. “There was a point I was on some man’s shoulders and high-fiving the woman next to me on another man’s shoulders. In that one night, I felt like I was adopted into a festival family. There were people from all over the world, exchanging broken English conversations and complete happiness. It was one of the best experiences in my life.”
AMF and festivals like it bring a sense of international community in a setting that is easily judged. The underlying theme of most festivals is empathy, compassion and togetherness, inspired and pushed along by the musicians that make the festival come alive.