‘Nothing good lasts forever’
On the January 3rd, 2015, Trouw closed it’s doors for the last time as the sun slowly rose over the city of Amsterdam. It was fitting, therefore, for the founder of the organisation and self-confessed nightlife fanatic Olaf Boswijk to play the closing the set – using the emotionally charged Patrice Baumel edit of ‘This Must Be The Place’ to end a short-lived, but vibrant existence, of one of Amsterdam’s most influential venues.
Gaining it’s name from the Dutch newspaper printing press it was housed in, Trouw opened in 2009 as a temporary arts space, promoting music from underground producers and DJs, providing culinary expertise through it’s in-house restaurant and promoting local artists work in its events space. Being the first venue to gain a 24 hour license, Trouw resulted in having more of an impact than even Boswijk could have imagined – and boosting Amsterdam’s nightlife culture with many clubs opening up due to it’s resounding influence.
The predecessor to Trouw came in the form of Club 11, many of whom moved over to lay the foundations and create Trouw – and both knew how to go out with a bang and make the last moments the most memorable. The series of ‘Until The Music Stops’ parties that led up to the end of Trouw’s existence did just this – creating a buzz with excellent marketing campaigns and receiving only rave reviews from the satisfied punters it entertained inside.
It demonstrated to the council that even the most derelict and deprived locations could be converted into something beautiful – Wibautstraat is a world away from the winding canals, stereotypical windmills and cobbled streets that make up the picturesque city of Amsterdam – but the location added to the aesthetic that Trouw aimed to create. They focused on the system and the vibe instead of the glitz and glamour, the diamond in the rough, pushed to the outskirts of perfect architecture that other venues in the city found themselves surrounded by.
Although some view Trouw’s legacy as being overshadowed by it’s constant need to live up to the darkness of Berghain in neighbouring Germany, the comparisons were unfair (yet always inevitable) with a strict no-photo policy and temporary halting of pre-sale tickets. But that wasn’t the point – the exclusiveness of Berghain did transcend into Trouw’s way of working – but it never overshadowed the experience for the fans or the artists. The loyalty of the DJs involved was required in order to keep the clubs focus alive. For example, if you were booked on certain big nights, i.e Kings Day or New Years, exclusivity was a deal breaker – Trouw’s way or no way. This is a policy that has soon become commonplace for agents in brokering deals – but yet again Trouw led this way of working for the substantial amount of dutch promoters to follow.
Ask any Dutch DJ or promoter and they will tell you the same story – Trouw has made it’s mark on Holland’s music scene, and although the body has gone, the soul still remains. No matter what side of the musical spectrum you find your preferences on, it’s un-measurable the impact and influence that Boswijk’s creation has had to boost Amsterdam’s nightlife culture. Now, it’s commonplace for 24 hour club licenses to be handed out in the dutch capital (Shelter and Elementenstraat to name a few) and while Trouw is no longer in it’s previous home – the owners expertise and passion has channelled itself into a new form – De School. It’s important to remember the deceased, not with sadness, but with hope and joy for the future – and that’s exactly the parting gift that Trouw has graced Amsterdam with.
The Trouw commerative box-set, that comprehensively explains the history of the club, is available here: http://www.trouwamsterdam.nl/en/shop/