We said good bye to summer festival season in September and now that it’s time to move back indoors, everyone has been eagerly awaiting the opening of the newest nightclub in Amsterdam, Shelter.
Situated on the southernmost tip of Amsterdam-Noord, which is easily accessible by a quick ferry ride from Central Station, you will find Shelter beside two of the city’s most recognizable buildings, The Eye and the A’DAM tower.
This past weekend Shelter opened its doors for two test runs before the grand opening on Oct 20th during the Amsterdam Dance Event. I attended the first test run on Friday night because I just couldn’t wait to experience what I’m sure will be many clubbers new favourite dance floor.
We got on the ferry from Central station, getting wet along the way from the typical Amsterdam rain and excitedly ran to find Shelter (pardon the pun). The entrance is found outside at the back of the A’DAM tower and we quickly saw the queue to the hatch door opening which leads underground. It instantly reminded me of the bunker style club BO18 in Beirut, which is the only other club in the world I’ve seen with this kind of entrance. The queue moved quickly and the door man was very friendly, which set the tone for a good night. Once inside you can take your coat to the lockers, which you will need a two euro coin for. Beside the lockers you’ll find the bathrooms, which are unisex. I love that, it speeds things up and when you are in a club environment no one cares, or should care, which sex is using the toilet, I’d like to see more places do this.
It’s always so thrilling to step onto a new dance floor for the first time, and so when we did, big smiles stretched across our faces. We walked in at 12:30am and it was already packed with people dancing to the tunes of Tsepo, who has quickly become a local favourite. The DJ booth faces towards to the crowd from the centre of the back wall and is only a small step up from the dance floor. It’s a nice size space for the DJ to comfortably move in with a booth that can accommodate any DJ set up and their records if they have them. I always prefer the DJ to be on the same level as the people dancing because the connection between the music being delivered grows when you can see the person playing it, I believe DJs feel the same way about being able to view their crowd in the same way. So I was happy that you could see the DJ from almost any angle on the dance floor, as long as you don’t have a tall Dutch guy dancing in front of you!
The club is equipped with a brand new Funktion One sound system that delivers crisp sound quality from anywhere on the dance floor. The lighting is minimal yet classy, with red and blue lights peeking out of the unevenly shaped pieces which jut out from the ceiling, which add an artistic value to the club. Just like sound, lighting can make or break the atmosphere, so I think they got it right on both of these key elements.
At this point it was time to get a beer at the bar which is to the right of the dance floor and a very good size to accommodate a lot of thirsty people. Service was quick and given with a smile, which is sometimes hard to find in a busy club environment. I walked off happily to enjoy my beer and listen the local legend San Proper who played a full vinyl set of his favourite house selections. The crowd was in full dance mode and didn’t stop until the club closed at 5am. However Shelter is one of only two clubs in the Amsterdam to have a 24 hour license, so in the future you’ll be able to dance until the sun rises and sets again!
Shelter has a very exciting future ahead and will aim to provide Amsterdam with the best house and techno from the city’s favourite local DJ’s and carefully selected international acts.
The official grand opening night this Thursday October 20th is sure to be a special night with Jackmaster and Numbers who present the Mastermix, with an amazing roster of both local and international guest including : Moodymann, Tom Trago ,De Sluwe Vos, William Djoko and Jasper James. This party goes until 8am so get your dancing shoes on and join the fun at the city’s newest clubbing hot spot, Shelter!