Amsterdam Dance Event has long been regarded as one of the most iconic festivals for electronic music – hosting 2,200 artists in 140 venues across Amsterdam and attracting around 365,000 visitors from around the world. However there is another event that runs in tandem with this that doesn’t seem to get as much love – DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs list.
Over the years, the list has gained a reputation for favouring mainstream and “obvious” DJs over more underground and basically credible acts. The announcement of this year’s winner – Martin Garrix – instigate mixed reactions amongst dance music fans, some going as far as accusing DJ Mag of rigging the votes and making comparisons to the US Presidential election. Garrix is also joined by David Guetta, Calvin Harris, Skrillex, Avicii, Alesso, Tiesto – all artists that are commendable for their success, but arguably have more of a place in Pacha than Melkweg. Other than Garrix, none of them have taken part in ADE.
Also notable in the list is the lack of female acts – it’s difficult to not consider The Black Madonna, Moxie, Avalon Emerson, Tokimonsta, Heidi and Maya Jane Coles (to name a few) as some of the most influential and popular DJs of the past year. So why were none of them included?
Additionally, the list doesn’t necessarily reflect what DJ Mag features in its publications – Seth Troxler and Paul Woolford, who they recently covered, aren’t present, despite the DJs iconic status in the underground scene.
Though its motives and logic will likely remain a mystery, what can definitely be said is this: for a list that is supposedly a celebration of the best current DJs, its existence seems to thrive on causing animosity and polarising opinions between fans of dance music. And that’s not cool at all.