Edwin Rutgers: “Waiting for the sound equipment”

Edwin Rutgers at the time around his first gig
Edwin Rutgers talks vividly about his first gig, which meant much more than simply playing. He was on a mission!

This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)

We met at the opening of the Recycle Lounge Gallery Club in Amsterdam, where he was playing in the garden area. Not much later I asked Dutch DJ Edwin Rutgers about his first gig. “Our goals with DrieNulDrie was to organize small-scale, beautiful and intimate events at special locations.”

“The first time I played for an audience, was in 1992 at an illegal rave in Kamerik (NL). Me and a few friends had organized that party in some warehouse in an industrial area. We called it The BOOM Party.”

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“On the day of the event, unfortunately the flu got the better of me and I couldn’t raise a finger. I was hardly capable of playing a set. Still, the party was our baptism of fire and we were fast learners. About our turn-tables for example. We didn’t have Technics SL 1200 MK2’s then. Still, it turned out to be a successful event. The fact that the drinks were free, might have helped.” (laughs) “In the end, it wasn’t particularly a good gig for me. I could do better.”


“I had been buying house music sinds 1988, so by then I had acquired quite a nice selection. But well, you wanted to do more with all that vinyl than just making mixtapes at home and selling them. In those days, I got in touch with an organization called Drie Nul Drie (303 – referring to the Utrecht area code 030, red.) and that’s when the ball started rolling.”

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Special locations

“By then, a few organizations were taking charge in Utrecht. Our goal with DrieNulDrie was to organize small-scale, beautiful and intimate events at special locations. The first location was a barge in Utrecht, close enough to the center of town. This is where the magic would happen, on June 27th 1992. At that point, a group of eight people was already working on deco.”


“On the day itself, we were totally well-organized. All we had to do, is to liven up the ship with our decorations and props. We were merely waiting for the audio gear. The more the day went on, we got more stressed out. In the end, the equipment didn’t arrive until 9.30 PM. Fortunately, we got everything in order in time. The turntables were hung from the ceiling because otherwise the resonating would screw up the sound. By then we did have SL 1200 MK2’s though!” (laughs)

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Presale was the worst

“The presale for this party was the worst. Three days before the event we had barely sold any tickets. On the Saturday of the event, we received a phone call from de verkoper van de kaartjes, Twist & Shout. “Are there any tickets left? We’re out of them!’ Suddenly everyone wanted to be there!”

Tiny space

“We had three live acts on the line-up. Pretty unique in those days. And they all had to fit in this pretty tiny space. In the end we managed! Looking back on it, this was a world-night that still bring back fond memories. Everyone did as they felt like and the atmosphere was amazing. Also, I played a rather agreeable set myself.” (modest laugh) “The tone was set. DrieNulDrie had earned it’s right to exist in Utrecht. This was merely the beginning of many parties to follow.”

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“In those days, I was a barkeeper at club HitPoint. On Fridays the general music was gabber and on Saturdays Entangled’s Peter Aarsman was behind the decks. I was responsible for the decoration and the club’s flyers. But I wanted more!”

New concept

“When HitPoint was shut down after a fight, this opened the doors for a new concept. A few of us put our head together to think of something more beautiful and better. We worked day and night and tore the whole place down. Literally. The result was Club Shiva with which a whole new era in Utrecht was introduced.”

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“Everything fitted. The time was ripe and the club was amazing. The ball started rolling from opening day on. I was able to play the records I wanted. The nights got longer and at a certain moment, we were partying in Utrecht on Monday morning with the complete Amsterdam club iT-staff. Many big artists came by in Shiva: Derrick May, Dimitri, Marcello, you name them. As for me, I was a resident DJ in Shiva until 1995. My motto was: Well Behaved Dance Music Of The 90’s.These nights were a huge success.”


“After full-on partying and playing for a few years, it all became a little too much for me. I decided to take a step back and took a time-out. In 1998 my daughter was born and from that moment playing really ended up on a lower level of interest. I sporadically played at a (private) party here and there. Until, four years ago, a few of my friends, gave me a controller for my birthday. Suddenly it started to itch again. By then, there also was more time in life for music.”

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RLGC44 Lounge

“Two years ago, Jan Fab (RIP 2017, red.) asked me to organize the music during the opening of the RLGC44 Lounge, together with DJ Sophie van Riel a.k.a. So-Riel. This amazing location in Amsterdam was going to be the start of new beginnings. Now, many Lounge-events further, a few intimate Drie Nul Drie events have also taken place again. Small but precious.”

“Besides this, for the past year, I have a steady Tuesday evening radio show, called the Deep Info Techno Vibe on The Source Radio’s house-night. It takes six hours of planning, every week there are three DJs from 7PM-1AM, presenting you with the best deep tech house.”

This interview with Edwin Rutgers is originally published on DJMag.nl in February 2015. 

Credit Edwin Rutgers and Miss So Riel: Roy van der Kraan
Credit Close-up Edwin Rutgers: Luutse Brouwer

Who is Edwin Rutgers?

Radio DJ Edwin Rutgers played at a club in Bergen (NL) on the weekends and bought his music at the Attalos shop in Amsterdam. Inspired, Edwin Rutgers bought his first house record in 1986: “Jack My Body” by Farley “Jackmaster” Funk. With that track the rest was house history.

By then, carrying a large collection of records in his bag, Edwin Rutgers and DJ Jos organized the first “303” party in 1992. It was the prelude to a string of events in the Utrecht area that Edwin rocked with his swinging sound.

At some point Edwin Rutgers was offered a Friday night residence at the newly opened club Shiva in Utrecht. Playing alongside many illustrious big name DJs, he quickly gained a reputation for completely taking the roof off. This success led to him being invited to run the after-club night at Latido in Zaandaam every month.

After the birth of his daughter in 1998, Edwin Rutgers’s turntables fell silent for a while, but when he was given a MIDI controller for his birthday in 2010, the itch to play again returned. Nowadays Edwin plays deep house, house and progressive house.

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