Three clubs closed in Eindhoven: ‘Blow for nightlife variety’

DJ Albert van Abbe

“A big loss for Eindhoven”, mentions Mark van Bergen (check article in Dutch and other info about nightlife in the region on “The city is going to lose three important temporary clubs and cultural breeding grounds in a few months’ time. The Sociale Dienst has recently been closed, on 1 September it’s being followed by De Bank and Wall Street. The continuation of Temporary Art Centre (TAC) is also under threat.” Night mayor Siem Nozza is very concerned about the lack of vision and appreciation for creative initiatives in the city.

September usually marks the start of the clubbing season again after months of festival fury. But there is not much to start this year in Eindhoven, it seems.

The Bank and Wall Street, next to each other on Stadhuisplein, were told by the project developer to stop. Including the art spaces of Wall Space.

Albert van Abbe
Also, in the case of the Sociale Dienst, their studios will disappear. There are about a 100 of them. Techno-producer Albert van Abbe (picture above) has his studio here and he has been organising many club nights in the Sociale Dienst. Besides him, numerous food concepts, design studios and artists are also housed there.

“There has to be a safety net in some way,” says Night Mayor of Eindhoven Siem Nozza. “Especially now the more commercial party VPS has taken over the vacancy manager Stichting Ruimte. Where ‘Ruimte’ was looking for a connection with the creative sector and pursued a studio policy, until now, VPS hasn’t shown this same ambition.”

Lab1 at the Keizersgracht

Except for Lab-1, Eindhoven still doesn’t have a real club. Albert van Abbe: “And that is sometimes difficult to explain when I organise my own events or talk to promoters of clubs abroad. Working with temporary pop-up locations is cool, but it’s very difficult to really build up a night culture that way. I sometimes hesitate to organise something in Eindhoven.”

Lowie van Rooij from Dynamo and the successful 575-clubnights also sound the alarm. “It’s such a pity that there’s only very limited space in Eindhoven. I also notice this at Dynamo, where almost all Fridays and Saturdays are now fully booked. And now I have to say ‘no’ more and more to young creators because there is simply no room. The cry for space is getting louder and louder. In addition, locations such as Wall Street and the Sociale Dienst are disappearing for our events with the 575-collective.”

Nozza is very worried. Although it was clear from the moment they moved in that these initiatives would be temporary, he notes that there is a lack of perspective and vision in the city.

“There is no safety net at all and the timing during the holiday period is extremely unfortunate now the summer recess at the city council has already started. These developments will be at the expense of the diversity that is currently being built up, this will jeopardise the quality of life and the business climate of Eindhoven. For the true Eindhovener as well as for example (international) students and expats.”

Siem Nozza, night mayor of Eindhoven

Stichting “Ruimte” worked from a partly artistic vision, they valued the ‘empty’ buildings more, according to Nozza (photo above). “Now the municipality is disposing of all vacant spaces to commercial developers. The Bank and Wall Street have already been sold in this way.”

And all this while, after the well-attended ‘Debate of the Eindhoven Night’, in the coalition agreement, for the first time in the history of the city, the municipality put the ‘night culture’ in writing.

According to many, De Bank, De Sociale Dienst and Wall Street have long since proved their value. Some quotes from the Eindhoven coalition agreement 2014 – 2018:

“We stimulate a lively and vibrant city centre with shopping and entertainment, with open and attractive nooks and space for initiatives. Students play an important role in this. Eindhoven stands for innovation, creativity and development: this also means that there is room for dynamism at special locations and in special combinations. And all this in a balance between action and tranquility.”

“We apply the standards for noise and safety and take into account the nuisance for local residents. However, the policy is not determined by one complainant or one initiator. This balance is worked out in cooperation with a broad group of residents and cultural entrepreneurs”.

Night-time diversity and creativity will suffer enormously as a result.”

 Siem Nozza: “The nightly diversity and creativity are going to suffer enormously from closures like this. Exactly these kinds of spots are important for the economic and cultural development of a large city with such ambitions. I now miss the way forward, the vision and the clarity for new initiatives. The clock is ticking.”

An additional challenge, according to him: there are simply hardly any options for new cultural enterprises. “There are almost no vacant spaces in Eindhoven. So you really need to look at things differently if you want to cherish these initiatives and make Eindhoven’s international ambitions come true.

According to the Night Mayor, a location such as Campina, which has been empty for years, would still be a possible alternative. This also applies to the Schellens factory, for example. For some 10 years now, hundreds, if not thousands, of square metres has been vacant there, in the middle of the city centre.

Lucas Maassen, initiator of Wall Street, Wall Space and designer of stature: “We can’t find anything either, but we are looking together with the developer of the buildings on Stadhuisplein. “

De Bank at the corner of the Wal

The important Onomatopee exhibition space is already gone. In the words of Onomatopee-initiator Freek Lomme: “Maybe we should all move to Tilburg. A more progressive wind seems to be blowing there”. Gianni Jorissen (Director of De Bank, photo above) has also built up a good relationship with the project developer. “We see opportunities. Where we were supposed to get 3 months, we got 11 months, so that’s great. But it’s true that there will be a gap.” He continues: “There has to be the right commitment, and they need to look beyond just municipality’s buildings. The municipality has nothing left.”

Lab-1: ‘There’s plenty of room here’.
Twan Hofman, next to Gwen Schenkel, the current operator of Wall Street, announces that he invites project developers to find a solution together. “In places like Wall Street, people come together who will soon have no place to go. This is not about money, but about time and space.”

There is just enough space in Lab-1, according to Chris de Zeeuw. He wants to turn need into a virtue, by inviting all the affected parties to take part in a programme in his club annex cinema on Keizersgracht.

“Hall 2 has been specially set up for this purpose, in a raw, experimental atmosphere. Our agenda is open in October, November and December. We already have to work hard to fill that room every week. Eindhoven doesn’t have a large fan base for, for example, weekly techno or house events.”

The Eindhoven Nachtcollectief (a consultative body for the nightlife) has already met to discuss the urgent situation, according to Nozza. It is considering making ‘a big fist’ in September. We need to get together quickly with politicians, initiators and project developers, that much is certain.”

Translated from Mark van Bergens article for by Remco van der Weel for EindhovenNews, picture of Albert van Abbe, Lab1 and Siem Nozza at the courtesy of thisisourhouse

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