News about the LGBT scene in Amsterdam is the last few years dominated by news about bars and clubs closing down. Sometimes new ones open up, but only a few very well run places seem to be able to hang on. Often internet is given the blame of the demise of the old school LGBT-scene: Grindr and other apps or sites are pulling customers away and offering easier ways to meet people for a date. Meanwhile a whole new gay and lesbian scene has blossomed in Amsterdam, a scene where people meet face to face, a scene where people share a drink. It is the gay scene in the Facebook age.
Organizing events is almost as old as the club scene. Big party organizers like Rapido events are a well known feature of the gay scene. Apart from these big commercial party organizers, locally people started to put together their own events. New internet tools helped to give them the platform to reach out to the party-goers from their own scene: first their friends, than friends of friends and before you know it, they had their own community. Where they used regular websites in the beginning, now Facebook plays an important part creating these communities. But how to find these communities, when you are visiting Amsterdam? We gathered a few of the events and put their Facebook pages here, so that you can see if the party is going on when you are in town.
Organized in the middle of Amsterdams most famous city park the Rosario Party takes place in the quirky 1930’s teahouse. Always trying to give the party a tropical theme, it attracts a twenty something crowd. Slightly nerdy (think beards and glasses) and more men than women.
Danserette filled a gap in the club scene about 10 years ago: dancing the night away on gay classics of the past five decades. Think Sylvester, Sister Sledge, Madonna, Janet Jackson, The Communards, but also local favorites like Anita Meijer and Maywood. Some are an acquired taste. Sometimes the DJ’s threw in a record by Avicii or David Guetta and that did’t mix too wel. That’s why they started Club Danserette for the EDM lovers. Danserette parties ar organized in Akhenaton and Club Danserette in Hotel Arena.
While the other events mentioned here have grown up into full fledge party organizers, three year old “Rumour Has It” has still the ‘friends toghether throwing a party’ feel. They maybe young, but they’ve won already the Golden Gnome (Amsterdam Dance Scene Award). The organization is more women dominated and so is the party atmosphere. Their concept is simple: every time they throw a party, they invite a special artist to join the fun.
Sometimes it is a group of creative people who perform at festivals and organise their own parties. Cirkus Klauterwerck is just that or as they describe themselves: “Cirkus Klauterwerck is not an ordinary circus! It’s a “circus” for queers and friends and home of good music!” They have links with the just out of town artist colony of Ruigoord and they perform also at the Milkshake Festival and organise their own party Queerklub.
Spellbound is a queer, underground dance party at the OCCII just south of the Vondelpark. This party organizer is well established and has links with the international queer scene. It regularly features DJ’s and performance artists from Berlin and other creative hot spots.
Garbo is a classy act in the party scene exclusively for women, with parties every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month. They have grown into more than just a party organization. Garbo wants to connect bisexual and lesbian women, connect young and old women and give women a voice in the local LGBT organizations. Their newest venture is a week long sailing trip on a women only boat.