‘Celebration of the past, present and future of Utrecht night culture’

This article was produced in collaboration with the municipality of Utrecht.

Utrecht 900: The program makers – Part 5

900 minutes. It may not seem that long, especially if you compare it with 900 years of city rights. But suppose you dance and party continuously for 900 minutes… Is it really as short as you think? You can discover it from Saturday October 1 at 3:00 PM to Sunday October 2 at 6 AM! Then ‘900 MINUTES’ will take place, where you can enjoy dance music continuously for 15 hours in BASIS, EKKO and De Helling.

The idea of ​​900 MINUTES was conceived a few months ago by the programmers of EKKO and De Helling. “We had learned that in the entire celebration of Utrecht 900, little attention was paid to dance, club culture and nightlife,” says Lévi Smulders, programmer at De Helling. “At the same time, the cultural value of nightlife has received renewed attention during the corona pandemic. It is a serious art form and has received that recognition during that period. That’s why we thought: let’s celebrate Utrecht’s nightlife and night culture as part of Utrecht 900.” Later it turned out that BASIS had almost the same plan, so the three clubs decided to join forces.


During the weekend of 1 and 2 October, visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy Utrecht dance music for 900 minutes, or 15 hours. If you buy a ticket, you can commute back and forth between BASIS, EKKO and De Helling. “In De Helling, the program will last for the full 15 hours. EKKO also starts at 3:00 PM but ends at 1:00 AM, and BASIS starts at 8:00 PM and continues until 6:00 AM. So BASIS will, as it were, take over from EKKO in the course of the programme, while De Helling will remain open for the full 15 hours”, Smulders looks ahead.

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All kinds of dance acts from Utrecht will perform: from Carista to Colin Benders and from Tinlicker to Black Sun Empire. Smulders: “We call it a celebration of the past, present and future of Utrecht night and club culture. We think it is important that people realize that this is also culture, especially for young people. There will be a lot of different music: house, drum and bass, techno, dubstep, electro… Everything this rich city has to offer.”


If you want to move from one club to another, you can do so by boat. In this way, the organization of 900 MINUTES also wants to reflect on the single that is round again; something that cannot be seen separately from Utrecht 900. “To celebrate that the canal is round again, we are sailing a boat between the three clubs. Anyone who has bought a ticket can sail from one club to another by boat. Music can also be heard on the boat. Who wouldn’t want that?”, says Smulders.

In addition, according to Smulders, the collaboration between the three clubs, normally competitors, also fits nicely into the theme of Utrecht 900: City without walls. “We wanted to break through the walls between BASIS, EKKO and De Helling and start working together. That also had to do with the fact that we had a lot of contact with each other in corona time and had a lot of support from each other. The Utrecht night sector has grown together, a kind of fraternization has really arisen. That’s why we decided to celebrate this party together. That is really special for the city of Utrecht.”

Would you like more information about 900 MINUTES or buy a ticket? Then look at 900minutes.nl. 900 MINUTES is one of the program components of Utrecht 900 years. Look for the full program on utrecht900.nl.

Do you know the stories behind the Utrecht hospitality industry from the 20th century? Arjan den Boer and Ton van den Berg are making a book together about the disappeared catering industry from this period and need your help! Read more here and pre-order a book.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Celebration present future Utrecht night culture

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