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After 30 Successful Years AWAKENINGS Founder Rocco Veenboer Is Stepping Down



Thirty years after he organized Amsterdam’s first legal “house party”, Rocco Veenboer is stepping down as director of “his” Awakenings. This step marks the end of an era for the founder of the leading techno brand. Veenboer’s step back does not come completely out of nowhere. In 2014, Veenboer sold his company to the American SFX, the conglomerate that also bought ID&T. When it collapsed, Veenboer regained control over some of his shares. Awakenings is currently part of the British Superstruct, a mega company with international ambitions.

“I am now 55 years old and it is time to hand over the baton to the new generation in terms of tasks and responsibilities.” – Rocco Veenboer

During Easter 1997, the name Awakenings was introduced for a techno-only party in the Gashouder in Amsterdam. After Amsterdam, monumental buildings such as the Klokgebouw in Eindhoven and the Graansilo in Rotterdam have also been dedicated to Awakenings. However, Awakenings is best known for its large-scale weekend festivals in Spaarnwoude and Hilvarenbeek, which attract tens of thousands of people every day.

Stef van Oosterhout: 2023-04-08 Awakenings Easter

Big Part of the Dutch dance revolution

These last 30 years, Awakenings has grown into the largest event brand in the Netherlands with no fewer than 300,000 visitors per year: “We organized three parties in 1997, which together attracted around 10,000 visitors. At the time, we were one of the first to go big in the audiovisual field. Looking back now, we have welcomed more than 3.5 million people to Awakenings. It’s been a fantastic few decades. I am grateful that I lived in Amsterdam in 1988 and was then able to be part of the musical house and techno revolution.”

Veenboer does not completely disappear from the party scene. He will continue to work as an advisor to the techno empire until 2027. Also next week, Awakenings will host no fewer than seven events in the Gashouder and another three in the Ziggo Dome during Amsterdam Dance Event.