Yesterday, the train tracks leading to Antwerp’s Central Station, included the announcement of a new creative event space in the heart of the city, Ampere. With sustainability, culture, and mutual respect as the pillars of its philosophy, the multi format space will purvey responsible and educational entertainment to the city, region, and continent with welcome. Opening in mid-May with (13 May), a student and youth event, where organizations are invited to learn about Ampere and on 15 May with French techno legend Laurent Garnier.
“Our examples are trendy clubs like Trouw in Amsterdam or the Panorama Bar Berghain in Berlin. We do not just offer the wide spectrum of electronic music, but also live performances. Fast money does not interest us, with us you will discover the most progressive international acts of tomorrow and we offer local DJ talent a springboard,” explains Joachim Marijnen, creative head of the space. But, as mentioned, Ampere is more than just a nightclub. Rather, it is a cultural and creative event space holding a specific focus on the cities youth culture (30% of the cities population is 26 or younger). It is more a concept than physical space, standing for commitment, solidarity and sustainability, as well as providing an educational platform for young people.
Ampere will operate around the clock, both day and night on weekdays and, on weekends, allows for an array of organized events, such as readings, record fairs, workshops, after school care, sports and more. Additionally Ampere houses a restaurant and bar, a record label and rooms for flexible working.
Ampere aims to be the “most sustainable club in Belgium,” proving how entertainment, culture and sustainability can coexist. Reduced environmental pollution, energy conservation, use of recycled paper, waste minimization, corporate responsibility policy are all aspects of the Ampere philosophy. To obtain this label , Ampere focuses on four areas: water, energy, waste and materials. For example, working with a heating system that recovers heat during the event and recycles it for the future. After an event with 1000 visitors an entire week can be heated. Ampere also holds a reactive dance floor designed by Dutch company Energy Floors, which will generate energy through the movement of its guests giving patrons an active role in the space’s ultimate sustainability. “If you want to sell ecology to young people, you have to come up with something cool. Here you can by doing something active, namely dance, giving the environment a helping hand,” says Michel Smits of Energy Floors. “Each tile is an electro-mechanical system similar to a bicycle dynamo. The energy is converted into electricity and stored in a battery. With 100 people dancing you can generate as 3,000 watts….The more people dance, the more electricity generates the dance floor,” he continued.
With renowned DJ Nastia as the venues first resident and its touch of the Berlin underground in Belgium, this socially conscious venue definitely seems like one to watch as its focus, programming, and location (Simonsstraat 21, Antwerp, Belgium) seem poised for electronic music cultural prominence.