Brian Bout: Dance Valley organizer with an inexhaustible love for dance music

Dance Valley is the flagship of UDC Events. Every year, tens of thousands of dance enthusiasts descend on the Spaarnwoude recreation area in Velsen-Zuid. The first edition of this popular festival was held in 1995 and attracted 8000 visitors. In the years that followed, Dance Valley quickly grew into one of the largest festivals in the Netherlands. Bout managed to attract both domestic and foreign artists, which resulted in a considerable increase in the number of visitors every year. Already in 2001, Bout reached the magical limit of 100,000 visitors with Dance Valley.

The Edammer still looks back on that period with pride. The 2001 edition drew 110,000 paying visitors in 2001, which Bout says is still the highest ever in Dance Valley history. Nevertheless, according to the UDC director, this edition was also the low point in Dance Valley’s existence. Due to a huge cloudburst at the end of the day, the shuttle buses could hardly reach the site, forcing visitors to leave the site on foot in the pouring rain.

Tightened rules and renewed format

Bout quickly learned from this low point and immediately tightened the rules for the 2002 edition. A limit of 40,000 was set on ticket sales, so that the crowds would be much more manageable. The festival site was also much better prepared for possible storms, so that the problems that arose a year earlier were prevented in advance. In the years that followed, Dance Valley continued to grow steadily, with the 10th anniversary in 2004 and the 15th anniversary in 2009 being absolute highlights.

In the years that followed, things got a bit rough at Dance Valley. Bout tells about this that Dance Valley, in his own words, was carried away by unity sausages. Rigorous action was taken in 2018 and a newer and more varied musical program was set up. Dance Valley’s logo and house style were also updated. In this way, Bout wanted to ensure that Dance Valley would once again become the distinctive and unique dance festival of its early days.

David Guetta and successful comeback

The renewed musical program and the changed house style had an immediate effect: Bout ensured that Dance Valley once again became the unique festival of yesteryear. The 25th edition of the dance festival was organized in 2019, with David Guetta as the spectacular conclusion of the festival. Unfortunately, due to the corona pandemic, the 2020 and 2021 editions could not take place, but in 2022 Dance Valley made a more than successful comeback with another sold-out edition.

Despite the fact that the Dutch dance scene has changed considerably in recent years, Bout is convinced that Dance Valley will continue to dominate the festival landscape for years to come. As long as the UDC director feels the passion for organizing events, he is not at all worried about the future: “Bringing people together to relieve them from the working week is something that will always stay with me. I think it’s great to be able to contribute to the fun of all those people”, says a proud Bout about Dance Valley.