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Awakenings director Rocco Veenboer steps down

Awakenings director Rocco Veenboer is stepping down after almost 30 years at the helm.

He will, however, remain at the Netherlands-based techno empire until 2027 as a consultant.

“I am 55 years old now and it is time to pass the baton to the new generation in terms of duties and responsibilities,” he said.

The festival, promoted by Superstruct’s ID&T, was founded in 1997 as a techno party at the Gashouder in Amsterdam. The event eventually expanded to include venues such as the Klokgebouw in Eindhoven and the Graansilo in Rotterdam.

“These have been fantastic decades”

Awakenings is best known for its large-scale weekend festivals in Spaarnwoude and Hilvarenbeek that attract tens of thousands of people each day.

In recent decades, Awakenings has grown into the largest event brand in the Netherlands with as many as 300,000 visitors per year.

“In 1997 we organised three parties, which together attracted around 10,000 visitors.” says Veenboer. “At the time, we were one of the first to do major audio-visual work. Looking back now, we have welcomed over 3.5 million people to Awakenings. These have been fantastic decades. I’m grateful that I lived in Amsterdam in 1988 and then got to be part of the musical house and techno revolution.”

The third and final day of Awakenings 2023 was called off due to weather warnings, marking “the most heartbreaking day in the past 26 years of organising Awakenings”.


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