Dresden’s club culture is diverse, innovative and shines far beyond the city limits. DAVE – the acronym stands for Dresden Audio Visual Experience – exploits new locations and thematical accesses of electronic music in Dresden since 2014. Because DAVE thinks club culture differently.
Electronic sound landscapes are not just created in clubs, but also in more extraordinary places. Museums, theatres or even in churches – DAVE is founding trans-sectoral relationships and breaks apart the daily routine of electronic music in Dresden. DAVE pushes boundaries and brings people together, who normally wouldn’t meet up for cultural exchange. DAVE initiates and accompanies projects and alliances between sub-, socio- and high culture, between the media- and the creative industry.
Within its concept and its personnel structure, DAVE is a network consisting of a vast amount of honorary members with different professional backgrounds. They all have one thing in common – the affinity for club culture. The team understands itself as a platform, as a network and a mediator, as well as a supporter of young artists of the electronic music scene. Since 2016, DAVE e.V. is the organiser and promoter of DAVE Festival and other events. Here you will find more information about the association and how to get involved.
The concept of DAVE is based on three columns, which are tightly connected in the sense of sustainability.
The idea of a platform has the aim to strengthen the local potential of the creative-, media- and the music industry and to increase their regional, national and international perception through the festival. The club itself as a cultural location as well as an international figurehead and local anchor point is opposed by an urban festival of electronic music culture, which takes place in different locations and with changing contents every autumn in Dresden. DAVE unites upcoming and established artists, labels, producers, record sellers, party crews, promoters and bookers, and uses the special resources of locations and all other institutions that are convinced of the initiative, even though they may not primarily belong to the scene.
II Network and Mediation Entity
Between the festivals, DAVE hosts regular public events in the form of discussion panels, workshops, readings, parties and concerts, coming about with DAVEs help as a constant co-operator and contact entity of the whole cultural life in Dresden. This includes that projects and topics which are created through the festival, are further being accompanied and developed into new projects and cooperations, whose results again are part of the next festival.
III Promotion of young talents
Here, the main aim is to give kids and adolescents access to electronic music production and to support their independence. This is achieved by certain formats during the festival and also through cooperations in between the festivals. With the help of cooperations with schools, youth centres, associations or initiatives, we want to familiarise kids and adolescents with the aesthetic-technical site of electronic music by offering DJing and synthesizer workshops, or usage of digital and analogue music production techniques. The results of those projects are then again integrated into the festival.
With DAVE – Festival for Club Culture, we established a ten-day festival in 2014, which shall work as the basis to connect music, media, technology and other art forms in Dresden to one another. The makers explicitly devote themselves to innovation. DAVE should not only work as a platform for parties and concerts – the original event concepts of club culture, but also develop independent and new event concepts.
These events need to be innovative on multiple levels. On the one hand, they take place in locations that are entirely new to the context of club culture. On the other hand, protagonists from different origins are connected with each other, in order to transform their ideas and artistic expertise into new productions. Those again can act as an impulse for connected discourses, which also take place during the festival.
To the festival archives
Detailed information about our artistic repertoire can be found in our programme portfolio. The PDF (German/English) is available for download here:
In addition to the festival, DAVE is hosting two further events every year.
In cooperation with the city of Dresden, DAVE hosts the DUDE open air every summer since 2018. DUDE stands for “Dresden Urban Dance Event” and is free of charge. Locally and internationally popular artists present their music; the genres ranging from Hip Hop to Techno and Drum&Bass.
With the DUDE open air, DAVE has created a format in the open urban area which shows the diversity of electronic music and club culture and is able to connect people with each other, that normally wouldn’t meet up for cultural exchange.
DAVE PIONEERS (formerly known as DAVE Electro Camp) is a free workshop series in cooperation with the “Pop-II-Go” initiative and addresses explicitly to kids and adolescents between ages 12 and 17.
Coaches from the DAVE collective grant insight into their work routine and explain how electronic music is produced. Hereby, multiple facets of music production are covered. DAVE PIONEERS is a one-week course, taking place twice a year during the school holidays.
The idea of DAVE was born in 2012. Our beloved record store “Fat Fenders” fell victim to a fire, causing an unprecedented wave of solidarity. This cumulated in the “Musikfreunde” (i.e. “Music Friends”) party, which eventually lead to the idea to organise a yearly festival.
At this charity event, a number of over 50 DJs and live acts performed waiving their artist fees, in order to help get the record store back on its feet. Also the guests were on board with the idea, thus contributing to a successful event, which was not just musically diverse. The event was filled with a refreshing vibe of unity. Promoters, artists and dancers celebrated their love for music and thus contributed to its continuing existence in Dresden.
The first idea to use this drive for a festival for electronic music in Dresden bloomed. In 2014, the first edition of the DAVE festival premiered.
Filmmaker Thomas Wätzold wanted to get to the bottom of this exact question. For this, he accompanied the team behind the festival for 8 months. He answers this question from an internal perspective, himself being a member of the first minute, being responsible for the festival review movies. It becomes perfectly clear that the festival is not a sure-fire success, but hard honorary work. (In German.)