Duncan Stutterheim (1971) is a cultural entrepreneur in Amsterdam. Making his mark as the frontman of ID&T – the organization that fathered world-renowned events like Thunderdome, Mysteryland and Sensation – he sold his company for the highest bid in dance music history. He then invested most of his fortune and energy in cultural landmarks like Elementenstraat, the A’DAM Tower, and most recently Westergas – and has won several awards for his contributions to Dutch art, culture and economy.
Stutterheim found his calling during the early 90’s, in Amsterdam’s budding rave scene. He established ID&T with two friends, and they started organizing raves in expo halls and stadiums. Their chief event Thunderdome would become a sanctuary for gabber, the largest youth culture in Dutch history. In the 00’s, ID&T’s reach became more international, thanks to organizing events like Innercity and Mysteryland, and co-founding Tomorrowland. But Sensation was their most legendary party, touring the world for many years, and attracting over 2 million visitors in 35 countries.
Because of their international achievements, ID&T attracted the attention of US concert promoters SFX, who were keen on a buyout. After years of negotiating, they acquired ID&T for a whopping $130 million in 2015. This proved a turning point for Stutterheim, who then helped transform buildings like Elementenstraat and the A’DAM Tower into some of Amsterdam’s most prominent incubator spaces. But perhaps his boldest move yet has been the purchase of the iconic Westergas, together with his wife Lisca.
Built in 1885 as a gas factory to power the street lanterns, Westergas is now a hotbed of venues, (movie) theaters, stores, breweries and expositions. Stutterheim’s vision for the area is to create a cultural village within the city – a place where people of all ages and walks of life can go to be inspired and to have fun. ‘I like the original idea of a factory providing the city with light,’ he recently said in an interview. ‘With everything we’ve got in store for the Westergas, I hope we can give some light to the city, too.’
An active member of the community, Stutterheim is a board member of Adam 750, the Dutch sports council, the Concertgebouw Orchestra, ADAM Music School, Artis and EarthWisdom. He was awarded the Frans Banning Cocq medal and the IJ-prize for his cultural contributions to Amsterdam, and has also won a prize for business relations between USA and the Netherlands. Moreover, he was voted Amsterdam Entrepreneur of the Year, Honorable Entrepreneur of Haarlemmermeer and Marketeer of the Year.