Serious Request

Serious Request
The Serious Request-house in 2006

Serious Request is a yearly project by Dutch radio station 3FM in which they collect money for projects of the Red Cross. The project was first held in 2004. During the project, three DJs live in a house of glass for six days (5 days in 2004) without eating anything, instead drinking special juice to stay fit. In the first five years it was located at the Neude in Utrecht. Starting in 2007, the location of the Glass house changed every year. In 2010, it is located in Eindhoven. While the DJs are in the house, they play songs requested by people via the internet or directly at the glass house. While making requests, the listeners donate a certain amount of money to the project. Furthermore numerous Dutch celebrities help the project by donating money and auctioning certain items they have. The project always takes place during the week prior to Christmas.

The project has since been picked up in other countries: Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden and Kenya.


Overview of projects

country name organising station 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
 Netherlands Serious Request 3FM Utrecht Utrecht Utrecht The Hague Breda Groningen Eindhoven Leiden
 Belgium (Flanders) Music For Life Studio Brussel N/A N/A Leuven Leuven Ghent Ghent Antwerp
 Switzerland (French Part) Couleur Terre Couleur 3 N/A N/A N/A Geneva N/A N/A N/A
 Switzerland (German Part) Jeder Rappen zählt DRS 3 & SF zwei N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Bern Bern Luzern
 Sweden Musikhjälpen SR P3 & Din gata 100.6 N/A N/A N/A N/A Malmö Gothenburg Malmö
 Kenya Serious Request Ghetto Radio N/A N/A N/A N/A Nairobi Nairobi Nairobi

Request on Tour 2003

'Request on Tour' was a pre-edition of Serious Request. In the last three days of 2003 a "Request bus" was touring the country to collect money for Villa Pardoes (a holiday resort for children with a life-threatening illness, which is part of the Efteling) by playing requested songs in exchange for money. In total, €16,000 was collected that year.

Serious Request 2004 ('Jouw druppel op een gloeiende plaat')

Star DJs Rob Stenders and Ruud de Wild left 3FM during 2004. They were replaced by Giel Beelen and Wouter van der Goes. To fill in the gap coordinator Florent Luyckx started looking for an alternate programming schedule. Due to this switch he said the radio station was vulnerable, especially in December. When the Beslan school hostage crisis ended, the radio station decided to do something for the casualties and their relatives. However, the humanitarian organization related to the crisis told them they did not need any money. When the station contacted the Red Cross they were told that there is much help needed in subjects that not always get into the news, like the situation in Darfur. This became the first theme for the Serious Request project. Between 20 and 24 December 2004 the first Serious Request took place.[1] Wouter van der Goes, Claudia de Breij and Giel Beelen were the DJs living in the house. They made a radio program for five days, 24 hours a day, without eating anything as a token of solidarity to those in Darfur. In total €916,000 was collected and the show was awarded the Marconi Award 2004-2005 for best radio show of the year. This year's theme song was Galvanize by the Chemical Brothers.

Serious Request 2005 ('Red een kind in Congo')

Between 19 and 24 December 2005 another house of glass was built at the Neude in Utrecht.[2] This time those inside the house were Giel Beelen, Gerard Ekdom and Wouter van der Goes. They were collecting money for children in the Republic of Congo, resulting in a total amount of €2,203,549 with €1,000,000 of this donated by the Dutch government. The show was awarded the "Gouden Radio-Oortje" 2006 for best radio show of the year. The theme song for 2005 was "Multiply" by Jamie Lidell.

Daily scores

day collected
1 19 December € 53,573
2 20 December € 137,877
3 21 December € 251,281
4 22 December € 414,552
6 24 December € 2,203,549

Serious Request 2006 ('30 miljoen landmijnen, daar kun je niet omheen')

Outside of the 2006 house
Inside of the 2006 house
Gerard Ekdom and Sander Lantinga doing their job

In 2006 the project was held for the third consecutive time. Like the other years a house of glass was built at the Neude in Utrecht.[3] This time the project collected money for casualties of land mines in the world. Giel Beelen, Gerard Ekdom and Sander Lantinga were elected by the listeners to live in the house from 19 to 24 December 2006.

Prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende closed the door on 19 December, which started the project. He told the DJs and the listeners that the Dutch government will donate another €1,000,000 to the project, like they did in 2005, but only when the Dutch people collect at least as much money.[4]


Between 4 and 8 December 2006 listeners to 3FM were able to vote for their favorite DJs to enter the house on the 3FM website. They were able to vote for Giel Beelen, Gerard Ekdom, Claudia de Breij, Paul Rabbering, Coen Swijnenberg, Sander Lantinga and Michiel Veenstra. Eventually Giel Beelen, Gerard Ekdom and Sander Lantinga were elected.

Daily scores

day time collected
1 19 December 4:30 pm € 61,481
2 20 December 4:30 pm € 189,935
3 21 December 4:30 pm € 353,405
4 22 December 4:30 pm € 687,151
6 24 December 5:50 pm € 2,648,495
  • Total amount including a € 1,000,000 donation by the Dutch government.

Music for Life (Studio Brussel)

Apart from 3FM the Belgian radio station Studio Brussel also helped in the same project. It was the first time they were participating in the project. The DJs of both radio stations contacted each other every now and then. In Belgium another house of glass was built in the city of Leuven and the DJs that lived in there were Peter Van de Veire, Tomas De Soete and Christophe Lambrecht. Their total after six days was € 2,419,426, with € 200,000 from the Flemish Government and a double up from Federal government, which brought the total for both projects at € 5,067,921

To collect even more money for the project a sponsor walk was organized. DJ Claudia de Breij walked together with her sidekick Hildedepilde (Hilde Brontsema) from the Belgian house to the Dutch house. Otto-Jan Ham of Studio Brussel did the same, but in the opposite direction. During the distance of 211 km listeners could sponsor the walk by donating per kilometre, but could also offer them a place to stay the night or something to eat. Both runners left the houses in the morning of 19 December and arrived at their locations in the afternoon of 24 December. Claudia de Breij collected € 31,511 during her sponsor walk.

Theme song

Chelsea Dagger by the Fratellis was unofficially named the theme song of the project by the DJs. The song became popular in no-time and in the night of Saturday 23 to Sunday 24 December the song was massively requested and played six times within a four hour time span.

Serious Request 2007 ('De wereld schreeuwt om drinkwater')

The 2007 version moved to The Hague. The three DJ's who entered the glass house were Gerard Ekdom, Rob Stenders and Michiel Veenstra. Coen Swijnenberg hitchhiked from The Hague to Leuven to Geneva and back, carrying a bucket containing 15 liters of water. Sander Lantinga and Giel Beelen, last year's occupants of the house, decided not to enter it beforehand and were unavailable to be chosen: instead they did tasks or errands for whoever bids the most money.

The charity for 2007 was safe drinking water for the 1,2 billion people on earth who have no access to good water. The event began on December 19, 2007 and was opened by Prince Willem-Alexander.[5]

Instead of donating €1,000,000 like previous years, the Dutch government announced to double the money collected by the public.[6]

The themesong in 2007 was Let's Dance to Joy Division by The Wombats.

Daily scores

day time collected
1 19 December 4:45 pm € 102,360
2 20 December 4:45 pm € 248,982
3 21 December 4:35 pm € 476,337
4 22 December 4:35 pm € 842,243
6 24 December 7:40 pm € 5,249,466
  • Total amount including doubling by the Dutch government

Music for life (Studio Brussel)

Again the Belgium Radio Station Studio Brussel took part in the action. From the Martelarenplein in Leuven, DJ’s : Peter Van de Veire, Tomas De Soete en Siska Schoeters, collected € 3.649.595,- from the Belgium listeners, that's including € 1,300,000 from the Flemish Government.

Also from Leuven DJ Otto-jan Ham will leave for The Hague and Geneva with a bucket of water. without any money he must finish the trip without spilling any water.

Spontaneous ideas from normal people grow out to big proportions, A Special transport took of from Essen. On board a Pool with 20,000 litre of water. 10 swimmers will take turns and swim during the trip of 24 hours. Collecting €14,000,--

Couleur Terre (Couleur 3)

Apart from 3FM and Studio Brussel also the Swiss Radio Station Couleur 3 from Geneva joined the project. Their Glasshouse was located on the rue de la Rôtisserie in Geneva. In their first year they collected CHF 400,000 (approx. € 151,000) by playing request songs on the radio. DJ’s Yann Zitouni, Émilie Gasc-Milesi and Michel Ndeze hosted 6 days of radio for 24 hours a day.


The Netherlands: "Een vluchteling is nergens zonder jouw hulp"

The Glass House in Breda

For the 2008 edition of Serious Request the Glass House was placed on the Grote Markt in Breda, with DJs Giel Beelen, Coen Swijnenberg and Paul Rabbering entering the Glass House. The collected money was donated to help refugees all over the world.[7] The Dutch Government promised to donate 2,5 million Euros if the Dutch people raised the same amount of money before the end of the project. This year the theme song chosen by the DJs was "Verliefdheid" by Dutch child singer Jordy van Loon.

Daily scores

day time collected
1 19 December 4:55 pm € 140,523
2 20 December 4:40 pm € 327,709
3 21 December 4:35 pm € 595,480
4 22 December 4:40 pm € 847,223
5 23 December 4:45 pm € 1,377,338
6 24 December 8:21 pm € 3,137,961
€ 5,637,961[8]

Music for Life 2008

The Belgian broadcaster VRT also set up a Glass House, this year in Ghent instead of Leuven. DJs Siska Schoeters, Sofie Lemaire and Tomas de Soete of Studio Brussel entered the house on 19 December and stayed there till the 24th. They also had an event called "Bed on the Run" where DJs Linde Merckpoel and Sam de Bruyn hitch-hiked from Malmö to Ghent with an IKEA bed.

Musikhjälpen (Sveriges Radio P3)

Sweden participated with their Glass House placed in the city of Malmö in the south of Sweden - there the project went by the name "Musikhjälpen" ("Music Aid"); because of Swedish Christmas celebrations, the show started one week earlier with their broadcasting.[9] The show aired day and night on radio stations SR P3 and Din gata 100,6 - SVT Play and SVT2 aired the show when no other programs were aired. Notable guests during the six-day marathon included rap artist Timbuktu, Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, and the Swedish national ice hockey team.[10] The fundraiser raised a total of 3.016.247 Kronor (circa €280,000).

Serious Request in Africa - Ghetto Radio, Nairobi

Glass House Nairobi.

With the participation of Ghetto Radio 89.5FM, Nairobi,[11] Serious Request also took place in Kenya, with the strapline "On the run, not outta sight". This was the first time the event had taken place on the continent of Africa. The Nairobi Glass House was located on the grounds of the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, and the three presenters were Angel,[12] Rapcha, aka "the Sayantist"[13] and Muki Garang.[14]

Live streaming footage of the event ran on Ghetto Radio and on Ghetto Radio-Serious Request.[15]


The Netherlands: "Stop Malaria, Play the Music"

The house in Groningen

The 2009 location for Serious Request is Groningen. DJs Giel Beelen, Gerard Ekdom and Annemieke Schollaardt populate the house. The theme of the 2009 edition is malaria.

The house was closed by Princess Máxima on 18 December. The keyboard of VanVelzen and signed shirts of AFC Ajax and FC Groningen were on auction to support Serious Request. Every night there was a guest staying one night in the Glass House.

day time collected guest
1 19 December 4:53 pm € 244,668 Thomas Acda
2 20 December 4:52 pm € 428,629 Do
3 21 December 4:52 pm € 706,174 Youp van 't Hek
4 22 December 4:53 pm € 1,058,594 Roel van Velzen
5 23 December 4:53 pm € 1,740,302 Angela Groothuizen
6 24 December 8:20 pm € 7,113,447[16] Waylon[17]

Studio Brussel

Radio station Studio Brussel has located their Glass House in Ghent. DJ's this year are Siska Schoeters, Sam Debruyn and Sofie Lemaire. The result was € 3,649,595 (1,300,000 from the federal & Flemish governments, 2,349,595 from the listeners).


In 2009, the action Jeder Rappen zählt ("every Rappen counts") was held for the first time. It took place in Bern, mainly for German-speaking Switzerland. Previously, in 2007, French-speaking Switzerland organised an action in Gevena. In total CHF 9.2 million was collected to fight malaria.

Musikhjälpen (Sveriges Radio P3)

Musikhjälpen 2009[18] took place between the 14th and the 20th of December in the city of Gothenburg. The theme this year was the fight against Malaria. The show was once again broadcast 24/7 on the Internet at SVT Play and on the radio at SR P3 as well as television at SVT2 when no other programs were aired. Hosts were Ametist Azordegan, Christer Lundberg and Jason Diakité (Timbuktu). The 144 hour show raised a total of 5,748,442 SEK (approx. €530,000).


The Glass House in Nairobi was hit by a tropical rain storm on 23 December so the broadcast on Ghetto Radio had to be stopped.[19][20]


The Netherlands: "AIDS took away their parents, Give back their future"

The 2010 location for Serious Request was Eindhoven. DJs Giel Beelen, Gerard Ekdom and Coen Swijnenberg populated the house. The theme of the 2010 edition was AIDS Orphans. For the first time the Dutch government didn't donate an extra amount of money because of a stricter national budget policy. However, a lot of companies and Netherlanders took this as a sign to be even more generous this year. They beat the old record by a few thousand euro. The official Serious Request 2010 Anthem was Blof - Wijd Open (Open Wide). The most requested song by far this year was Martin Solveig with Hello.

Studio Brussel

As in the past years, Studio Brussel organised their Music For Life action, this time placing the glass house on the Groenplaats in Antwerp. DJs this year were Sofie Lemaire, Sam Debruyn and Tomas De Soete. Given that this year is about AIDS orphans, Studio Brussel decided to release most of the details regarding the action on the 1st of December, World AIDS Day. As an extra, they invited different bands every evening to play on their roof, the most known of which were the Editors.


The action in German-speaking Switzerland is called Jeder Rappen zählt ("every Rappen counts"), this year to help children in war zones. The result was €5,251,835.92. Radio station DRS 3 has located their Glass House for the second time in Bern. DJs this year were Nik Hartmann, Anic Lautenschlager and Tom Gisler.

Samih Sawiris added 20% of the final amount from the Sawiris Foundation.


Glass House Kenya 2010

The 2010 Kenyan edition by Ghetto Radio is located opposite the Hilton Nairobi. Instead of raising money, they try to get as many people tested for HIV in their country.


Musikhjälpen 2010[21] took place between the 13th and the 19th of December in the city of Malmö. The theme this year was the fight against Trafficking of children. The show was once again broadcast 24/7 on the Internet at SVT Play and on the radio at SR P3 as well as television at SVT2 when no other programs were aired. Hosts were Martina Thun, Jason Diakité (Timbuktu), Nour El-Refai. Already in the morning of the 18th of December last years record of 5,748,442 SEK (approx. €530,000) was surpassed.

Overview of the results

country motto result remarks
 Belgium Music For Life € 5.020.747 2010-12-18 - 2010-12-24
 Netherlands Serious Request € 7.135.707 2010-12-18 - 2010-12-24
 Sweden Musikhjälpen 12 236 417 SEK (€ 1.358.032) 2010-12-13 - 2010-12-19
 Switzerland Jeder Rappen zählt 8.996.326 CHF (€ 6.998.532) Was held one week prior
 Kenya Serious Request 2141 people tested for HIV
Total € 20.513.018 -


  1. ^ ^"Actiesite Serious Request 2004". 
  2. ^ "Actiesite Serious Request 2005". 
  3. ^ "Actiesite Serious Request 2006". 
  4. ^ "NOS-bericht: Balkenende geeft aftrap Glazen Huis". [dead link]
  5. ^ "Opening 2007 by the Prince". 
  6. ^ "Kabinet verdubbelt opbrengst 3FM-actie". December 21, 2007. Retrieved October 1, 2011. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Total amount including a € 2,500,000 donation by the Dutch government.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Serious Request levert ruim 7 miljoen euro op". 24 December 2009. 
  17. ^ "Waylon blijft slapen". 22 December 2009. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Tropische bui verwoest Glazen Huis in Nairobi". 23 December 2009. 
  20. ^ "Glazen Huis Kenia weggewaaid". 23 December 2009. 
  21. ^

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