Amsterdam nightclub De School is closing

De School
De School © De School

De School is reportedly closing for good.

Amsterdam nightclub De School is permanently closing, according to Dutch newspaper Het Parool. The club, which has been shut for the last few months due to the coronavirus pandemic, has cited financial struggles as the reason for its closure. Het Parrol reports that while the nightclub will close, the venue’s café and restaurant will remain open.

As well as economic pressure, De School has been facing criticism for instances of sexual assault and racism that are alleged to have taken place at the venue. In a livestreamed Q&A in response to the criticism, senior staff at the nightclub addressed allegations of racist door policies, the club’s lack of diversity when booking DJs and an incident where security staff solicited sex from queer clubbers found with drugs at the door in exchange for not being reported to the police. Staff on the panel also laid out plans to hire two women of colour as part of the management team, which was otherwise all-white.

Those who raised these criticisms highlighted that De School billed itself as a safe space but failed to live up to those standards in practice. Last week, De School co-owner Jochem Doornbusch told Pitchfork that the club would stop working with their current security company in light of the allegations.

Update (16:45 BST): De School co-owner Jochem Doornbusch has shared a statement regarding the club’s closure. Read that in full below.

“We, the owners of De School are sad to announce that the club is going to close. These last few weeks we had been working on forming a new team and creating new plans, but now we’ve been overtaken by the financial reality of the situation.

At the end of last week we received the latest monthly reports which were the first that represented the new situation since we were forced to shut the club in March. Unfortunately it is a lot worse than we expected. The bottom line is that the debts are piling up. Not only because of the uncovered staff cost, but also the other ongoing costs. Acting now and making this very difficult decision may prevent the total bankruptcy of our company Post CS (11, TROUW).

Since the club’s closure in March we did everything in our power to keep all the staff employed and paid. We were still ambitious and hopeful about the future. However, the increase of the current COVID-19 numbers and the lack of prospects have forced us to end all the club and office contracts meaning the club will stop existing. The bar, terrace and restaurant will remain open.

With pain in our hearts we had to make this decision and we would like to thank everyone who made this club into what it became.

De School