Amsterdam Club De School to Reopen for 16-Month Finale

John Cameron

2 min read

Amsterdam Club De School to Reopen for 16-Month Finale

When COVID-19 restrictions forced clubs across the globe to shut their doors, De School in Amsterdam was also becoming mired in allegations of racial profiling and exploitation. In July 2020 the multi-space venue officially discontinued operations after remaining closed since March — but it has now shared plans to reopen on September 9.

It will only be a limited run. According to a press release, the “16-month finale” will close out the nightlife institution’s temporary lease by offering a “multi-dimensional platform for both the neighborhood and the city, focused on music, art, education, and food.”

Importantly, De School also claims to have made key changes to its team and company culture in response to its 2020 controversies.

This is the venue’s first public acknowledgment of said issues. In June 2020, queer collective X3 pulled out of a live stream at the establishment due to a perceived lack of diversity. The following month, allegations of sexual harassment by security staff were mentioned in a podcast with co-owner Jochem Wertheimer (whose surname was Doornbusch prior to his recent marriage). The club only cited “debts piling up” as its reason for shutting down.

The new announcement reveals that Wertheimer has taken on a lesser role following the July 2021 hiring of Erol Kiran, who now serves as director. Under Kiran’s leadership, De School underwent a “time of listening, learning and restructuring” in which over 500 hours of conversations were conducted with over 100 members of the community, per Resident Advisor.

“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,” Kiran said. “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.”

De School promises new door staff and building renovations as well as an updated code of conduct which it will share next week. An art curation program and education agenda look to utilize the numerous spaces in the onetime school building more effectively.

If all goes to plan, De School will end its 16-month run in January 2024. More information will be made available on their official website.

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