UNMUTE was founded by Rutger Doornbos (DJANGO) as a booking agency for talented DJs and producers. As a DJ having experienced difficulties to make progress in a mostly network oriented DJ scene, Rutger had the ambition to help other talented artists to be solely judged on their skills and be able to make it in a highly saturated market. Therefore the name UNMUTE, which encompasses the definition: to allow to be heard.
FIRST EXPERIMENTS AND PARTIES
To celebrate the launch of the Agency UNMUTE hosted a launch party in collaboration with Peak Mystique, another concept founded by one of the DJs in the UNMUTE Roster, Gijs van der Grinten. The party was sold out and all the DJs from the UNMUTE roster played the night.
In May 2018 we also started with our first livestream event. A concept that remained a recurring theme throughout the years. David Oostrom approached Rutger with the idea to do a livestream event, based on the concept of Boiler Room. They found a suitable warehouse and the first of many livestream parties was born. In August 2018 we did another livestream event on a rooftop in Amsterdam. With a beautiful sunny day and a rooftop next to the iconic Amsterdam Vondelpark this was one for the books!
END OF BOOKING AGENCY
SEPTEMBER 2017 - JULY 2018
Sadly enough due to personal circumstances the booking agent of the Agency had to stop working for UNMUTE, which left Rutger with 11 artists but without an agent. Being a DJ himself it was difficult to maintain the agency and after trying for several months since the beginning of 2018, the difficult decision had to be made to end all activities.
BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD
During the following months of 2018 Rutger went back to the drawing board to think of how to re-ignite UNMUTE. Still firmly believing in the concept he wanted to find the right way to make it a success. During these months David let Rutger know that he wanted to join UNMUTE as a co-owner and from there they started a new chapter in the UNMUTE journey.
They decided to take a break to think everything through and wanted to start UNMUTE over again in a new way in the beginning of 2019. To resemble what UNMUTE stands for they developed the following mission statement:
UNMUTE is an event organisation in the electronic music industry.
We strive to amplify creativity. From talented to well established artists, in multiple disciplines.
Currently operating in Amsterdam’s leading underground clubs, we aim to bring creative minds together, amplify their work and help them cut through the cluttered noise of our information overloaded society.
Curating quality over quantity.
We Amplify Creativity.
Following this mission they wanted to become one of Amsterdam’s prominent nightlife organisations operating in Amsterdam’s most well known clubs as soon as possible. All while keeping in mind their talent-based approach.
To support this rebirth of the brand they also decided to make a new logo. Adding in more colors and industrial structures to resemble UNMUTE’s core values: The white on black logo with the industrial structures of the hexagon resembles UNMUTE’s underground nature. While the shades of purple and magenta resemble UNMUTE’s warm, welcoming and accessible vibe and approach.
Start of 2019: fully reloaded and charged with a plan David and Rutger started to use their network to find clubs to host UNMUTE parties. The first one to host an UNMUTE night was the Kopstootbar at Leidseplein in February, making it a good start of the year with a full house.
After the pleasant collaboration between RADION and UNMUTE they decided to let UNMUTE be a partner in the legendary Kingsnight event in RADION in April. This was a big step for UNMUTE, doing a Kingsnight as a partner, in one of Amsterdam’s biggest clubs. The night was a huge success and with 1500 people, DJs like Byron The Aquarius, Jamie 3:26, Beesmunt Soundystem and Deetron this was definitely the biggest event UNMUTE had done until then.
After the sweet taste of a huge event like this David and Rutger decided that they wanted to focus more on a few smaller events to build their community and in the meantime try to secure a recurring clubnight at one of Amsterdam’s underground clubs that just wasn’t as big as the full RADION.
The next party they did was a limited capacity Boat Party in June 2019. Being the hottest day of the year this was another huge success. Totally different from the massive Kingsnight party this event just had 100 people, but the vibe was again amazing and really helped to build a strong UNMUTE community.
Even though this event wasn’t that big, it was very successful and word about UNMUTE started to spread. During these times David and Rutger also decided to expand the team. Having spoken to regular UNMUTE guests and DJs Job Noe (Better Call Job) and Florean Velhuisen (ABAYA), they decided to join the team for the next party to see how it goes.
In August 2019 the moment was finally there. UNMUTE had secured a recurring clubnight in one of Amsterdam’s main underground clubs. Club Claire, formerly known as the legendary Studio 80, was UNMUTE’s new home and plans were made to program nights during the rest of the year. The first one being a banger of a night with UK’s rising star Lauren Lo Sung as a headliner.
Next up in October 2019 was a party during the Amsterdam Dance Event, known as the biggest club festival of the world. Even though UNMUTE gained quite some momentum during this year, we decided to not compete against the big boys but organise a small community event during the daytime. A local Pizza Place named Wilde Westen was the location and the event was planned from 17:00 – 02:00, making it a pre-party place for everyone who went on to the big events later at night. This strategy worked and with a line up of well known UNMUTE locals and Max Haas as an international headliner from Argentina we completely sold out the event, having had double the amount of people than the capacity of the place.
After this amazing event we wanted to end the year in style with another clubnight in Claire during the last two month of the year. However, sadly enough Claire had to shut their doors and UNMUTE was forced to look into new and other options. Back to the drawing board again…
2020 was the year that marks our take-off. After negotiations with several clubs UNMUTE decided to do a clubnight in De Bovenkamer at Radion once every two months, starting in January. This event was sold out and set a precedent for the rest of the year.
Next to the clubnights in Radion we also agreed to do a clubnight every 5th Saturday of the month at Amsterdam’s new club Lovelee. The first one was in February and this again was a sold out event and a big success.
Next up for the year we had a full agenda with Radion again in March, Veronicaschip in April after DGTL Festival, Lovelee in May, Radion again in June and more to be planned after that.
However, then Covid hit and we were forced to cancel all planned club events until further notice.
To keep the fire burning we started doing livestreams from an emergency studio we built just to stay active and present during these times of non activity, whilst in the meantime we were looking into alternative options. Which we eventually found when the measures in the Netherlands started to loosen up.
One of the loopholes we found was the event UNMUTE Het Schip in August 2020. This time we chartered a sailing ship that was one of the last remaining from the second world war. With 250 people on board, the sun on our face and the wind in the sails.
Not being able to do events doesn’t mean we’re sitting still. Currently we’re in the process of setting up our Record Label, clothing line and lifestyle blog and we will launch all this in the beginning of 2021.
Follow us on our journey and stay tuned for more!