De School – Het Weekend Party Review

Het Weekend Dance Party

The following review was written by our Peter our party review contributor for the 1 – 3 February 2019 edition of De School Het Weekend. Peter attended on 3 February at 06:00.

De School has quite a reputation in Amsterdam as the place to go if you’re serious about your love for techno. Although not predominantly gay it’s very open-minded. Bimonthly they organize a 48-hour party called “Het Weekend” and this event has evolved into one with an 80% gay attendance.

Boyfriend and me arrived around five in the night after first attending Bear Necessity. After weathering the looks and questions of the gatekeeper we were were deemed worthy and allowed in (that would really have been the saddest ticket swap ever if we hadn’t). I had the feeling it was a close call, but apparently that’s the normal experience. I guess getting into clubs just gives me the same jitters as auditioning or going for a job interview. Once inside we found ourselves in… well a school.

De School is in a former technical school building with some lovely brutal concrete features. There’s all kinds of activities there, including but not limited to a restaurant, art exhibitions and of course a club. The art installations are still there during club nights. The night section for which we had our tickets was held in the basement which was very dark and was filled with the most relentlessly brutal techno I’d ever danced to. People were really going for it on the dance floor and the mood was catching.

The audience were quite young and seemed to be a bit on the alternatives side. We were definitely oldies there, but never had the feeling we should be somewhere else. Apparently on most nights the older people tend to cluster, we of course had no clue where.

For people who need a break from dancing there was plenty of space to move around in. There was a large lounge area in a former auditorium where food was available. The room had art in the form of suspended gigantic headwear-like structures which were quite psychedelic in my state. (Which involved the number two, a large body of water and a honey-producing insect and I had a bit too much for my liking.).There were also rooms with video projections. I heard the auditorium in previous editions used to have carpets where people could lie on the floor. Sounds like a lovely idea, I hope they do it when we visit again. Apparently in summer there’s also an outside area.

When the basement closed, the daytime party had already started in an upstairs room with lots of windows. After the brutality of the music in the basement we failed to get into the mood for the more gentle music upstairs and decided to leave that for some other time. While dragging ourselves to the metro stop we met lots of people who were arriving early in the morning for a daytime dancing session. From a health point of view they definitely had the better idea. Since the room for the daytime party gets plenty of daylight this sounds like a lovely idea for next time. The place is really nice and I feel we only scratched the surface of the full experience so I’m sure we’ll be back for more.

Venue and Party Information

Party type Underground techno
Type of audience Age range mostly between 21 (age limit) and 32 Audience: Het Weekend draws a demographic of 80% gay men (estimate), quite some women and otherwise-identifying individuals. Although always gay-friendly, De School at regular evenings is not this predominantly gay. Attitude: friendly, approachable
Outfits Regular tending towards alternative, some shirts disappear
Music Techno, at the time we were there really rough and fast
Sex There’s a darkroom near the toilets but it was closed when we were visiting. Rumor has it the club plans to appoint a dominatrix to keep watch that those who go in do so willingly.
Venue Former school building with different types of spaces. We were mostly in the basement which was one of those concrete monstrosities which lends itself so well for techno.
Security There’s someone at the door who decides whether you get to go in. Things are really not as difficult as in places like Berghain, but people do get refused for reasons which can usually be traced back to De School’s house rules. Read them before going and make sure you can name one of the DJ’s who is playing.   When you have been weighed and approved there’s a security check of persons and possessions at the entrance. I did not see much security inside.
Facilities Cloakroom (cash) Payment drinks with PIN or cash Drinks prices 3 euros, fairly normal There’s a lounge area (and art exhibitions) Toilets: plenty, unisex Smoking lounge: yes, a big one

For more information about the venue and to see upcoming parties, check out De School venue page below.

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