The following review was based on the Spellbound January 2019 party and was written by Peter who lives in Amsterdam.
After living a five-minute bike ride from Spellbound for two years it was time to pay this party a long-due visit. The social media presence of Spellbound always struck me as tastefully cheerful and attitude-free and that turned out to be a pretty accurate impression.
We arrived before midnight at the party and getting in was quick and painless. People arriving later in the night were less lucky and had to queue up outside. Upon entry a friendly vibe immediately presented itself. The venue, OCCII, has a pleasant feel with some creative decorations and remembrances of the squatting movement. The volunteers running the place were super friendly. The crowd felt slightly alternative, but not the rub-in-in-your-face type of alternative but more the I’m-me-and-you’re-you-and-that’s-totally-fine sort of alternative. There were people there of various ages, but most were in their twenties.
The music was really nice; I think the main genre was techno, with some surprises mixed in here and there (we got hit by some italodisco at some point). The atmosphere was further enhanced by vibrant visuals using beamers, a laser thingy, a rotating suspended projection screen (I got a bit obsessed figuring out where the images came from) and pretty colored lights. Later in the night we were entertained by a solo dance performance which involved one man’s personal battle with styrofoam (I think we can all relate).
Spellbound is quite a small party with a main dance floor downstairs and a tiny one (annex cloak room annex smoking lounge) upstairs, I forgot to check what the music was like there. The crowd felt pretty social without being super flirty or cruisy and I met some interesting people. The party attracts a faithful group of regulars, some of which have been going since forever, but also incidental visitors. Spellbound feels a bit like a hidden gem and I’m glad I finally got to check it out.
Venue & Facilities
|Type||Queer underground dance party|
|Audience||Age range 18-50, majority between 20-35 Type audience: everybody, quite some women too. The crowd felt friendly and approachable|
|Outfits||Everything, mostly normal clothes, some people in glitter-outfits, some shirts disappeared later on|
|Music||Techno (with some italodisco touches at some point)|
|Venue||OCCII, volunteer-run cultural centre with a lovely warm atmosphere|
|Security||There was security at the entrance but no extensive checking of persons or possessions|
|Facilities||There was a coat rack upstairs which could hold coats for about half the audience. The rest you pile up underneath. I’ve been told by regulars that coats can occasionally disappear so don’t bring anything fancy. Payment methods: cash only Drinks prices: 2 euro Sitting: There was little room to sit Toilers: Enough Smoking area: Yes|
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