The Netherlands is the festival country of the world. Every year, millions of people from the Netherlands and abroad visit the most diverse festivals on Dutch soil. As one of the country’s largest event organizations, UDC Events organizes numerous such well-known festivals. Director Brian Bout is naturally very proud of what he has achieved with his company. The UDC director is happy to tell you more about the business empire he has built over the years.
I Love Holland & Jan Smit as inspiration
Dance lover organized with UDC Brian Bolt Dance Valley, Ground Zero and Latin Village, dance festivals that are still extremely popular with many festival visitors to this day. “When I started in the 1990s, I could hardly believe that with UDC Events we would create so many successful festivals that are still successful every year.” While the UDC director mainly focuses on organizing the above dance festivals, the Dutch Valley festival may be the odd one out. “Apart from some smaller events, there was no major mash-up festival where mainly Dutch artists performed,” Bout continues his story.
“We stepped into that gap with Dutch Valley with an un-Dutch large production. At the start, we mainly hooked on to the nostalgic sentiment that programs such as Ik Hou van Holland aroused. Reality programs such as Farmer Searches Woman and the musical TV shows around Frans Bauer and Jan Smit were also an inspiration to us. All these programs attracted a wide audience. When we started in 2011, we aimed to create a widely accessible and profitable festival within three years. We managed to do this in just 2 years”, says a proud Bout.
From largest to coziest party in the Netherlands
Over the years, however, the focus around the successful Dutch Valley has changed considerably. While the first editions of the festival focused mainly on the great diversity of artists from our own soil, this has now changed, according to Bout. “The first edition in 2011 taught us that we might be better off changing the slogan ‘the largest festival on Dutch soil’ to ‘the nicest party in the Netherlands’: rain or shine.”
“Over the years we found out that the public experiences the event as a party as a bull’s eye. With Dutch Valley we are not a succession of loose performances, but a cozy and recognizable event that brings together people from all layers of the Dutch population. With Dutch Valley we celebrate what ‘we’ have in common as Dutch people. You can think of an annual fair of music, or an extra King’s Day. We capture that atmosphere at Dutch Valley”.
Dutch-language image is a thing of the past
Anyone who thinks that you can only go to Dutch Valley for Dutch-speaking singers is wrong. “A few years ago, The Opposites performed on the main stage, right after Frans Bauer finished his performance. From ‘Do you have a moment for me’, the audience effortlessly moved on to songs like ‘Thunder’ and ‘Slapeloos Nachts’. Or from massive sitdowns at the performance of The Partysquad to loud singing along with ‘Viva Hollandia’ by Wolter Kroes. With this we confirmed the effect of the diversity and the party atmosphere.”
Bout now believes that Dutch Valley has stolen the hearts of Dutch festival visitors. “A captive audience looks forward to the event held in Spaarnwoude every year,” says the proud UDC director. The event is sold out every year. The place in the hearts of our fans has been won, we are very well on our way. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of wishes and ambitions, of which growth is an absolute part. We have the ambition to create a multi-day event in which the core values ’Gezellig’, ‘Together’ and ‘Recognisable’ are and remain leading.”
Do you have an event planned? Then it is important to take good care of everything. Safety and volunteers are all you need…