Category Archives: Music

Duncan Stutterheim on the Business of Dance Music

Duncan Stutterheim, founder of Dutch entertainment enterprise ID&T, gave an intimate talk at the Amsterdam Dance Event in October.

ID&T has been around since the early 90’s, and is one of the largest electronic dance event organizers in the Netherlands, with events such as Sensation, Mysteryland, and Tomorrowland in its portfolio. Stutterheim recently announced that the US entertainment giant SFX acquired the final 25% of his company.

Here is a video we made of the talk, where Stutterheim discusses house music, success and failure in merchandising, changing trends in music, and going global.

On the impact of house music on the scene:

“And then the house music came, and I never experienced a fight ever in my whole life again. Never. And that feeling of being together and laughing and always having fun…and then, everybody was dancing. Then, a guy could just dance by himself and that wasn’t strange. Where a year before if you danced by yourself, it was like ‘what is he doing?’. So I think that was the whole change. To be exploring that new world, and the first new steps, and exploring yourself.”

On changing trends and nearing bankruptcy:

“And then we made a decision–we have to change. Hardcore is going down. Let’s take Mysteryland from a night festival to a day festival. We moved to Amsterdam. But from 40,000 tickets, we dropped to 15,000 tickets. We lost nearly 1 million Euros and nearly went bankrupt. We were lucky to have some funds left from the music business. But we did it, and the second year we found the new beautiful site where we are now, and then we went from 13,000 tickets back up to 40,000 and sold out again. So those were big changes and steps for ID&T.”

When asked about limits:

“I think the limit of electronic music…there is no limit. Because it’s getting easier and easier to make the music. There are some producers in the office already who are 13 or 14, with tracks, and you’re going ‘wow!’. With the electronic distribution of the music, there’s no limit. With the creativity, I also think there is no limit, because if you want to organize an event, if you really want to do it now, next week you can organize an event.”