De School, Amsterdam's Leading Cultural Venue

De School's statue | © De School, Amsterdam
De School's statue | © De School, Amsterdam
Photo of Tom Coggins
1 September 2016

This month De School returns to regular programming. Throughout the summer the club has kept its lineup undisclosed, organizing events without announcing headliners beforehand. This strategy has successfully renewed De School’s enigmatic presence within Amsterdam’s club scene and ensured that press coverage was at a minimum.

Frankly put, De School doesn’t need publicity. Its reputation as the leading club in the Netherlands was cemented long before it even opened its doors. The people behind De School were also responsible for Trouw — an internationally renowned club that went almost unrivaled during its six-year tenure. Unsurprisingly, when De School launched in early 2016 its box office immediately sold out, making it impossible to buy pre-sale tickets for well over a month. Eventually, this hype died down and was replaced with the growing realization that De School is much more than a night club.

© De School, Amsterdam

De School’s main stage is contained within the underground bike storage facilities of a renovated technical college. The rest of this site is dedicated to multiple cultural projects united by their exceptional quality. Upstairs is a restaurant housed inside a former workshop — the space elegantly combining industrial aesthetics with fine dining, coupled with a changing menu crafted by De School’s expert team of chefs. Next door, a café serves simple, healthy meals that can be enjoyed throughout the day. This open planned area leads onto a beautiful courtyard that is centered around De School’s iconic statue.

De School's café | © De School, Amsterdam

In late June De School added the final touches to its exhibition space and opened Kunstlokaal. Currently, the gallery is showcasing work by local artists The Children of Light — a collective that creates highly abstract installations that animate objects through a dynamic interplay of shadows. Kunstlokaal will continue to host installations by international and Dutch artists over the coming years, and is open well into the early morning during De School’s club nights. Several other organizations call De School home, including alternative music and arts magazine, Subbacultcha, and Amsterdam’s leading roasters, White Label Coffee. Subbacultcha has its own concert hall set beside its office and holds weekly gigs that cover a diverse range of genres.

© De School, Amsterdam

De School has created a 24-hour experience orientated around its main musical draw. While night life is undoubtedly at its core, the club effortlessly avoids pretension, keeping to a formula that is simultaneously inclusive, and yet, highly refined.

Recently, De School broke its silence and began to announce its lineup. Lucy, Hunee, Virginia and Steffi will be heading the bill over September, playing consecutive weekends during the month. These names confirm De School’s position in the club scene, demonstrating that it is devoted to the highest standard of electronic music and has serious ties with the international community.

Nevertheless, the club will keep to its withdrawn stance towards to publicity, relying on its firmly established name to attract a culturally committed clientele.

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