Party peak without Dutch DJs

Dutch club DJs are trying to adapt to the new opening hours by putting on softer music, according to Olivier Meijs, professional DJ and founder of the DJ school in Amsterdam.

Meijs believes that the new opening hours of clubs change the work for the majority of DJs in the Netherlands: “It’s more of a bar setting DJ and you have to get used to that that you won’t play peak time music at ten o’clock,” he says.

According to Meijs, with the reopening of the clubs until midnight, the challenge for the DJs is now to play different kind of music as they were used to do. “I think the majority of DJs is adjusting now, including me, playing lower energy music and accepting the fact that the real party won’t happen,” tells Meijs.

While club nights before the corona pandemic usually get started around midnight, from Saturday, September 25, this time will mark the end of the club night. Meijs believes young people will continue partying in homes and in illegal places afterwards anyway.

He has been a professional DJ since the late 90’s. Meijs played an estimated 1.500 gigs so far, most of them in Amsterdam’s club scene.  The DJ knows that that the new opening hours require one essential skill in particular from DJs: “Adjusting to the energy of the audience is one of the most important things a DJ has to do,” he says.

Meijs established the DJ school Amsterdam in 2008. As a teacher of his DJ school, he had a fixed income during the past months. The DJ says that many of his colleagues had to find different jobs of making money in the last one and a half years: “Some of them started to repair broken iPhones, some are bringing around meals they cooked themselves, others are full time daddies because their partners make the money.”

For Meijs, the reopening of the clubs is a first step in the right direction: “We are really happy to earn some money again. Bookings are coming and we can work until twelve o’clock which is more than nothing.”

From Saturday, September 25, the Netherlands will lift most of the corona restrictions. Due to the reopening of clubs until midnight, many of them offer clubbing starting at six in the evening. Only vaccinated, recovered and negative tested persons are allowed to enter clubs.

Olivier and his colleagues don’t understand why clubs have to close at midnight though: “We are still making lots of jokes about the virus which is not active after twelve.”  Their desire: “We are hoping that nightlife will get back to normal as soon as possible.”