Promoter Interview: Quintin Van Der Spek (Outsiders Festival)
Outsiders Festival is now into its second year and with a heavy line up to boast it credentials its easy to see why its one of the most talked about events in Europe.
Quintin Van Der Spek, the director of the brand has had a somewhat eventful career to date, from illegal raves to festivals the late bloomer only went to his first house party 5 years ago. Now an owner and promoter we sit down with Quintin on the ever present Dutch music scene, his ethos for Outsiders Festival and the charismatic line up that will headline the 2015 show.
“Holland has a rich history of clubbing and dance in general, which made it to a very vibrant scene. “
How did Outsiders first begin and what was the reason for its creation?
Outsiders started out as a group of friends, throwing illegal parties in an old abandoned stone masonry as a response to the early closing times and lack of venues in our city Alkmaar. The people visiting our parties were all friends and connected to each other in some way because we chose to work with dedicated memberships, and that made it really special. Right after our first party a lot of people started talking about it. It didn’t take long before bigger and more professional event agencies in Amsterdam started noticing us. We were not thinking about making money or getting a career out of it, but one thing led to another and before I knew our parties got more successful and I even started working freelance for a lot of major organizations like Apenkooi (DGTL, STRAF_WERK, Amsterdam Open Air) and Chateau. Even though we organized quite some parties I must admit that he first parties were the most special ones. I’m very skeptical if those can ever be topped.
What do you think makes The Netherlands so unique when it comes to running events and festivals
There’s a lot of stuff going on here, obviously. Holland has a rich history of clubbing and dance in general, which made it to a very vibrant scene. I believe we have around 900 festivals a year in Holland. It’s a very competitive market. I think this really sets the bar higher for promotors to deliver something unique every single year again and again. So many festivals here: when you come to think about it it’s crazy. The weather situation in The Netherlands is not that solid and predictable really, so in a way it’s like playing Russian Roulette. When it rains all bets are off!
What is your earliest memory of electronic music and clubbing?
I am late with a lot of things in my life and clubbing was no exception. I think it was only just 5 years ago when I went to my first houseparty. I was 24, an age that’s considered as the beginning of the grandpa-years in the clubbing world. An old classmate of mine was dj-ing in Amsterdam under the name of Olivier Weiter and his lifestyle made me curious about the scene. I never knew how to get into it though, as all my friends in Alkmaar did not go out that much. I started going to some parties in Alkmaar and finally got to know some like-minded people. We went out in Amsterdam more and more and from then on my heart was sold. I went to Club Trouw almost every weekend for some years. That place really played a big role in so many ways, from my musical taste and identity to the people I know and the way how I approach things with my own parties. It was such an inspiring place to me.
How did your relationship with Gerrit-Jan Witzel and Joey Muijlwijk come about and how long was it before they became involved with Outsiders?
Gerrit-Jan and Joey are involved since the beginning in 2012 when Outsiders just started. They were the first that gave Outsiders a chance in the big city when they asked us to do a pre-party for their techno concept ‘Chateau’. A lot of heroes like Jeff Mills, Surgeon, Robert Hood, Blawan and many more have played for them. It really opened a lot of doors for us and I’m still very grateful to them for this. The guys are taking care of a big part of the productional side of the festival since the first edition of Outsiders previous year. It’s a great coalition. I’m puristic in a slightly neurotic and idealogical way and Gerrit-Jan and Joey are a little bit more sober and business-minded, something I really need. Combined together it has turned out to be a great formula for creating fun things without going bankrupt – at least, so far, haha.