Nowadays, Vooruit is one of the main venues for Ghent’s nightlife, but in the early 1990s party promotors almost had to fight their way in. Free the Funk was the first to smuggle electronic music into the rock temple.

“House? Techno!?” In the early 1990s, you had to try incredibly hard to convince the management of Vooruit  that electronic music could in fact be taken seriously. At Vooruit, they played “real” music with guitars. And possibly a djembe. But that was as far as they would take it.

That’s until 1993, when Free the Funk did find someone crazy (or stoned) enough to give electronic music a chance. And not just any electronic music ... The highly influential party pulled out all the stops right from the start. Just to give you an idea: the first Free the Funk compilation from 1995 – released by R&S Records – includes tracks by Thomas Bangalter (Daft Punk), Model 500, Nightmares On Wax and Red Snapper.

Resident DJs Mo & Benoelie and Olivier Tjon were able to distil the funk from the increasingly diverse electronic spectrum. Until Free the Funk stopped at its peak at the end of the ‘90s and was replaced by another iconic Ghent party: Pop Life.