Amsterdam is getting a new nightclub.
Called Claire, it's taking over the space once home to Studio 80, the much-loved club that closed after being sold in November last year. New co-owner Juri Miralles, who will run Claire with Marlon Arfman and a group of other friends, said at the time: "For us this is a wonderful opportunity, it all went very quickly. On programming, I can not yet say much."
Miralles and Arfman, who also have a hand in venues such as Bloemenbar and Disco Dolly, have now gone public with their plans for Claire, which is scheduled to open in October. Local house, techno and disco acts will help make up the weekly schedule, which will run across Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. International artists such as Chez Damier, Gilles Peterson and Matthew Herbert are among the international acts confirmed for the coming months. Lineups will be announced this week.
We caught up with Miralles and Arfman for a chat about their plans for Claire.
Tell us about your relationship with Studio 80
The two of that will be the face of both the bars and the program, Juri and Julien, fell in love with electronic music at Studio 80. We both became DJs later on, and spent hours, days (maybe weeks) in Studio 80. Others visited many times and we knew a lot of the old staff very well. Amsterdam is like a little village—the people involved in the same business know each other very well, especially in nightlife.
What kind of changes have been made to the club's interior?
The most important and relatively easy thing to change was the infrastructure. People who enter the venue sometimes could use some time to warm-up, and need a couple of beers before going on the dance floor. The original route was through dancing people, so people in different states of mind were clashing. We've also used all the space the building has to offer and was not open to the public before. This means there will be a couple of rooms that most of the people who visited before never knew existed. The dance floors are now both made of wood, which benefits the sound. These are the main changes but, of course, we have got a few more surprises we would love people to find out themselves. The black box is no more!
Is anyone from the former Studio 80 team involved in the new project?
Rijn, the former sound guy and so-called "sound guru", is still involved. We're also using Studio 80's Tom Danley soundsystem, which we wanted to improve and bring to the club's other areas. Rijn knows everything about this system, so is our man! His other specialty is acoustics, so we're very happy to work with him. The whole process took us more than six months, which meant all the old Studio 80 staff found new opportunities elsewhere. They are more than welcome to visit our opening night and experience the changes we made.
What kind of DJs can we expect to see booked there?
Claire will mainly focus on house music in the broadest sense. Warm and forward-thinking, with international and local artists DJing or playing live. The DJs will also have longer slots. We think longer sets are more interesting because you challenge the artist to tell their story and do unexpected things. The programming mostly consists of our own nights, where we work together with local artists and invite their favourite acts. In the opening months you can expect locals like Detroit Swindle, San Proper, Boris Werner, Ferro, Beesmunt Soundsystem, FS Green, Mr. Mendel and Philou Louzolo. And international artists such as Chez Damier, Gilles Peterson, Matthew Herbert, Beautiful Swimmers and Mall Grab.
Amsterdam Dance Event is also at the doorstep of our opening month. We are very happy with our programme for the week because it perfectly presents what Claire's sound is about. It will be announced on Thursday.
How do you feel you can add to Amsterdam's nightlife?
We are a big group of friends who started working in hospitality—at places like Disco Dolly, Hannekes Boom, Bloemenbar and Cannibale Royale—because we had the feeling we could add something to Amsterdam. Doing a big club like this truly is a dream come true. For us, nightlife is all about interaction, letting lose and having a good time with friends or people you've just met. Without saying too much more, we will try to do things differently from what people are used to lately.