Everything is Music credit L J Jones 2

Here + There Category

Everything is Music in Amsterdam

by Ben Price

Brief Overview:

Music lovers were invited to explore Amsterdam through a series of location-based digital stories created for mobile featuring electronic artists playing Amsterdam Dance Event 2022.

Running for the duration of Amsterdam Dance Event (19th - 23rd October 2022) and spread across the breadth of central Amsterdam, participants were able to unlock various musical experiences and artefacts on their mobile across various media. From Augmented Reality to podcasts and from video to photography, Everything is ADE invites participants to explore the city as well as engage with amazing content created especially for this project.

The project was an official ADE partnership which was brought to you by Everything is Music, a community interest company curated by Crack Magazine, powered by Landmrk. It aimed not just to celebrate the artists featured in the project but also the locations that form the geography of ADE. The experience was centred around an ADE digital branded map, that was populated with pins that notate hotspots at prominent local music landmarks in the city.

International Partnership:

Behind the work was a core mission, to expand the proposition of our platform beyond traditional arts and heritage funding routes into a robust international business proposition. In order to achieve this we needed to conduct research and develop with an international partner to understand their needs and further our R&D to refine our offering.

We proposed to investigate 4 business models through product R&D and the technical challenges that accompany them. The business models were:

  • Pre-paid (pre-experience)

  • Optional donation (post-experience)

  • Paid for by a brand (free for an end user)

  • Built into a festival ticket price

From round table discussions, quantitative & qualitative data collection we quickly realised that brand built business models was the clear front runner to our current audience at ADE. This was in part due to the audience we were engaging with at ADE, music industry peers with connections to brands who have marketing budgets for activities like EIM, and also due to the fact many audiences believed a platform like this should be free to end users due to how new the technology is.

In addition we were able to collect key data around the type of content our audiences were most engaged with, this was possible through on platform feedback, social engagement and round table discussions. Our findings were as follows:

  • AR content is still novel but to an engaged tech leaning audience like ADE its exciting and has a wow factor. It’s financial value is still unclear. This was the highest performing content on the platform, it was also the best received when promoted online with 87,000 people viewing the content through ADE IG alone.

  • Audio content is still top dog. Though presenting it how we did, as audio tours, extended mixes, location-based narratives added weight to our audio offering and allowed us to build out new R&D which opens up more opportunity for exciting immersive uses of audio.

  • The content which lacked engagement was often on the outskirts of the city. We found this with our Bristol & Bath version. To mitigate this we duplicated the content in city centre locations to showcase that content at high footfall locations. This allowed all content to be spotlighted in easily accessible locations. Though often the content was less location specific than we would have liked. A big takeaway here is how we make out of town content more engaging and rewarding to those that make the trip.

An extended list of featured artists on the ADE platform is below:

  • Lifetime Amsterdam resident Shinedoe took us on a tour of her favourite places of interest with a guided audio tour

  • Alberta Balsam soundtracked a musical walk through the city

  • Suze Ijo spoke to ADE about house music in the Netherlands and the importance of vinyl

  • Floating Points’ music got the audio reactive treatment in our visualiser

  • From the ADE archives, Nile Rodgers’ conversation from 2013 was available to unlock

  • A live recording from Dutch techno up-and-comer Amoral

  • Shermanology got the audio visualiser treatment

Future Vision

The ADE version of Everything Is Music is the second intonation of the project after an edition in Bristol & Bath in 2021. We hope to bring Everything is Music to other cities throughout the coming years, uncovering the people, places, sounds and social histories that connect us through music.

Image Credit: L J Jones