On 9th September 2022, Amsterdam’s temporary cultural concept De School, will open the doors of their nightclub for a 16 month-long final sprint, ending in January 2024. After a long phase of reflecting, reconciling, restructuring and renovating, the club is ready to welcome dancers and artists again for more than a year filled with music, art, and education.

Music, Art, Education and Food

The last phase of the temporary lease will see the former school building become a multi-dimensional platform for both the neighbourhood and the city, focused on music, art, education and food.

A new creative team will direct the musical programming of the club, as well as the art and education curation with the vision of connecting nightlife, arts and culture. A team of creative heads and music programmers from Amsterdam and beyond will collaborate on pushing the envelope musically and artistically in the coming year and a half.

Het Kunstlokaal, the art curation programme, will be showcasing art during and outside of club hours, making De School an art destination in the city once again.

Honouring the initial purpose of the former school building, its various spaces will be used more effectively for daytime events, workshops and educational projects. The education agenda will centre on music, creativity and culture and will be launched after the summer.

Restaurant DS and Cafe DS never closed their doors and will be heavily integrated in all that is to come. “More synergy between our different divisions can be expected. We can’t wait to open the entire building again and let the energy between all departments flow freely” says Director of Operations Erdal Kiran.

Time of Listening, Learning and Restructuring

The nightclub closed its doors in March of 2020. The pandemic, lockdowns, and the resulting financial hardships were not the only reason the team decided to keep the doors shut for the time being. The organisation received a wave of justified criticism from its community and artists after they mishandled their communication during the BLM protests. Unstructured and misplaced communication efforts, incidents at the door, the mismanagement of staff, and a failed podcast were symptoms of a lack of structure, diversity, (cultural) sensitivity, ownership and responsibility within and from leadership.

The management therefore decided to keep the doors of the club shut until the problems were fully identified and understood, the necessary conversations with (former) staff, artists, and community members were had, and a full restructuring had taken place.

With the hiring of the new director Erdal Kiran in July 2021, owner Jochem Wertheimer took on a diminished role. Kiran gave shape to the process of listening, rebuilding and healing. “There was a huge need to dig deep to uncover problems, to create structure, for having painful but healing conversations and for creating an environment of trust for our employees, visitors, artists and everyone else that is part of this place. We have spent the past year having those conversations, listening to many of the people involved and affected, focusing on our responsibility towards our community, and creating new and much-needed structures. The team we have in place now represents the heart, soul and roots of nightlife and we can’t wait to see how they express themselves. From now on we will have to show what we have learned.”

Renewed Vision and Energy

With new energy and a clear vision, De School is ready to welcome locals and clubbers from around the world through its doors once again. The new team is excited to translate their multidisciplinary backgrounds and styles to the dancefloor, reconnecting music and art and infusing Amsterdam’s nightlife with exciting programming in the cultural space.

Visitors can expect a new team by the door and the presence of an awareness team during club nights. Furthermore the building itself has also undergone a series of renovations and structural changes, opening up the clubbing space, improving crowd flow and access within the familiar setting.

More information on the team, the house rules, the code of conduct and a timeline of past events will be available on De School’s website next week. The first public event will be held 9th September. Tickets will then be available at the door and through the website.