The night awaits you.
Purchase your ticket here to embark on your adventure!

Go on a journey through the legendary club scene from the 1980s to the present day. Experience the power of music, art, and creativity. Lose yourself in art, personal stories, and the nocturnal energy that transforms the city. This is your chance to embrace the night, feel the freedom, and discover Amsterdam’s unique club culture. Come and be inspired!

Admission Prices

Adults: €10,-

Free admission for children aged 0-18, students, Museumkaart holders, Stadspas holders, I Amsterdam City Card holders, Friends of Stadsarchief, and Vereniging Rembrandt members.

Opening Hours

Tuesday till Friday from 10.00-17.00 h
Saturday & Sunday from 12.00-17.00 h

How to Get There

The Amsterdam City Archives, Vijzelstraat 32, Amsterdam

Metro 52 stop Vijzelgracht or Rokin, Tram 24 stop Muntplein.

Parking in the center of Amsterdam is challenging and expensive. For more information about parking in Amsterdam, visit Parking and Traffic

The Amsterdam City Archives is a five-minute walk from Rembrandtplein, ten minutes from Leidseplein, and fifteen minutes from Dam Square. See here for directions. See here for directions.

The main entrance of The Amsterdam City Archives is accessible only via stairs. The building has two other entrances: through the Stadsboekwinkel and Café-Restaurant De Bazel. here are elevators in these entrances that can be operated by users of wheelchairs up to 225 kg. Users of wheelchairs or mobility scooters that are heavier can use the service entrance at Herengracht 482. A small part of the exhibition, on an intermediate floor in the building, is not wheelchair or mobility scooter accessible.

About the Exhibition

To Dance Is To Be Free

To Dance is to be Free explores the core of club culture in Amsterdam from 1980 to the present day with breathtaking photos, personal stories, historical flyers, immersive videos, exceptional visual art, valuable documents, and unique objects. Relive memories of iconic clubs like RoXY, iT, Mazzo, Club11, and Trouw, and discover the stories behind contemporary organizations such as Spielraum, 3X, and Garage Noord.


Get inspired by club flyers from the 1980s. They were often handcrafted by drawing, painting, cutting, and pasting. Then, they were copied in large quantities and distributed. With limited resources, artistic and experimental designs were created. RoXY is known for its vast legacy of freaky flyers.

Trial and Error

Using meeting minutes and sketches, we peek behind the scenes of clubs. The night may not have a preconceived or well-defined plan, but there are things that need to be prepared. Archive materials show how clubs such as RoXY or TrouwAmsterdam approached this.

We explore the club as a platforms for political expression and solidarity. The LGBTIQIAP+ community and club culture are closely intertwined. Clubs can be safe havens where queerness is celebrated, and people can explore their identity without judgment or discrimination. Moreover, club culture plays a crucial role in building and sustaining these communities. Clubs and parties are places where people can connect, find support, and form relationships with like-minded individuals who share their experiences.

An exciting club becomes its own universe

A place where you lose all sense of time and place and fully immerse yourself in the here and now. Artworks by Heleen Blanken, Gerald van der Kaap, Bogomir Doringer, Children of the Light, and Juha van ’t Zelfde connect the club experience with sensory wonderment.

Personal Stories

Step into the world of inspiring night owls! In our exhibition, you’ll meet people for whom the night is an indispensable part of their lives. Listen to their stories and understand why the night has been so important to them. A unique opportunity to see how the night transforms and shapes lives.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

If you’ve ever danced the night away in Amsterdam, this exhibition will be a nostalgic celebration of those unforgettable moments. Relive the beats, relish the memories, and let the music take you back.

For All Explorers

Whether you’re a seasoned Amsterdam night owl or new to the scene, this exhibition promises a captivating journey of discovery. Immerse yourself in the history, stories, and
soul of a city that knows how to celebrate life.

Meetings at night

Personal Stories

Also interesting

Public Programme

Keep a close eye on this website and our social media channels for more info on more upcoming events. Keep a close eye on this website and our social media channels for more info on more upcoming events.

ADE | “How to Archive and Exhibit/Curate Club Culture?”

Thursday October 19th 17.00 h – 20.00 h


Saturday November 4th 19.00 h – 02.00 h

About us

Amsterdam City Archives

The Amsterdam City Archives has a rich history, and The Amsterdam City Archives is like a time machine. Explore photos, drawings, centuries-old maps, documents, and objects, and be captivated by the stories that have shaped our city.

From the first document mentioning the city ‘Amestelledamme’ to the rebellious art scene of the 1980s, discover the fascinating stories behind Amsterdam’s most significant moments. Whether you’re a student, a curious mind, or a future history expert, Stadsarchief is at your service.

Conduct research, learn, and expand your knowledge with original or digitized sources. We organize events, exhibitions, and workshops that take you on an engaging journey through time. It’s history in the making!

And if you have a personal story, photos, or objects that deserve a place in Amsterdam’s history? We welcome your contributions to enrich our archive.

So, what are you waiting for? Come to The Amsterdam City Archives, where history comes to life, and where you become a part of the story.

The night has the future

In 2021, Amsterdam was the first city in the Netherlands to present its Night Vision, a recognition and definition of the value of the city’s night life. This vision has been converted into policy with the recently published Night Culture Implementation strategy 2023-2026. The municipality of Amsterdam is committed to this cause because night culture is part of the city and the night is an outlet and charging point for many people, scenes and subcultures. Every last Thursday of the month The municipality of Amsterdam offer the Night Culture consultation hour, where you can share creative nighttime ideas, or ask questions about subsidy schemes, permit processes and available spaces.

The Night Vision, Night Culture implementation strategy and the registration form for the consultation hours can be found at:

I Dance Alone

Doringer’s I Dance Alone project can be experienced in the exhibition and can also be seen in the small museum until January 12, 2024.

The work in the small museum shows us an intimate close-up of different individuals on the dance floor. As Paradiso visitors wait in line before entering the nightlife, Doringer’s work, visible on the Paradiso façade, asks the viewer to reflect on the nature of our own dancing: What moves us in times of socio-political change? More information?

Stay informed?

Stay up to date with everything about the exhibition and fringe programming? Regularly check this website, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and/or subscribe to the newsletter.

Donderdag 19 oktober 17.00 uur – 20.00 uur

ADE | "How to Archive and Exhibit/Curate Club Culture?"

Hoe archiveer je de nalatenschap van clubcultuur voor komende generaties? En hoe deel je deze met publiek in de vorm van tentoonstellingen? Tijdens ADE organiseert het Stadsarchief Amsterdam een event rondom het archiveren en tentoonstellen van clubcultuur in het licht van de tentoonstelling Wie danst is vrij: clubcultuur in Amsterdam van 1980 tot nu.

Tegenwoordig wordt er amper nog gefotografeerd in clubs, telefooncamera’s worden afgeplakt bij de ingang. Hoe kunnen we de nacht anno nu over 20 jaar tentoonstellen als er geen fotografisch beeldmateriaal is? Wat moet er van de huidige tijd bewaard worden om een goed beeld te geven van clubcultuur in 2023? Veel clubs en organisaties communiceren via social media, promotiemateriaal zoals flyers zijn volledig digitaal geworden. Hoe bewaar je online wereld van

Met inleiding door gastconservator en samensteller van de tentoonstelling Manique Hendricks over het belang van het archiveren en tentoonstellen van clubcultuur. Gevolgd door een panelgesprek met experts uit archieven, de culturele sector en clubscene. Inclusief tips en tricks voor archiveren.

Het event is gratis toegankelijk voor iedereen, ook zonder ADE pass. Voor de tentoonstelling moet een kaartje gekocht worden, ADE pass houders kunnen een gratis ticket voor de tentoonstelling bij de balie van het Stadsarchief Amsterdam ophalen.

17.00 uur – Inloop
17.30 uur – Inleiding door gastconservator Manique Hendricks
17.45 uur – Panelgesprek over het tentoonstellen en archiveren van clubcultuur
18.30 uur – Q&A
19.00 uur – eind, mogelijkheid om de tentoonstelling Wie danst is vrij te bezoeken
20.00 uur – Sluit


Manique Hendricks – conservator tentoonstelling Wie danst is vrij

Nav Haq – geassocieerd directeur van het M HKA

Kim Tuin – Directeur van het HEM  en voormalig algemeen directeur TrouwAmsterdam

Guido Jansen – Coördinator deskundigheid bevordering bij  

Miles Niemeijer – Adviseur muziek bij

Mirjam Schaap – Adviseur verwerving en ontsluiting digitale particuliere archieven bij het Stadsarchief Amsterdam

Moderator: Souhayla Ou-Oumar, journalist

Zaterdag 4 november 19.00 uur – 02.00 uur


Ontdek en leer meer over de Amsterdamse clubcultuur van 1980 tot nu in het Stadsarchief van Amsterdam in de tentoonstelling Wie danst is vrij!

Tijdens het museumnacht programma laten we ons inspireren door verhalen, workshops, performances, muziek en dans om samen te bouwen aan de toekomst van de Amsterdamse clubcultuur. Hoe ziet jouw ideale clubnacht eruit? Wat is er al en wat ontbreekt er? Van welke verhalen en ervaringen kunnen we leren?

De nacht is de ideale plek om te experimenteren. Een club kan een vrije ruimte zijn waar je bestaande machtsstructuren kan loslaten en nieuwe manieren van ‘zijn’ en samenleven kan uitproberen.

Naast de tentoonstelling en archiefobjecten leeft de nacht door in ons lichaam. Het lichaam als levendig archief. Via het hele lichaam delen we kennis en ervaringen van de nacht. Met beweging, dans en muziek maken we ons vrij van het binaire denken en herontdekken we onze lichamen, identiteiten, genderexpressies en seksualiteiten.

De nacht is van iedereen, toch voelen niet alle lichamen zich welkom. Is een club een veilige thuishaven? Hoe kunnen we elkaar de ruimte geven om werkelijk vrij te zijn? Samen leren we van onze blinde vlekken en gaan we nieuwe toekomstige (nacht)werelden verbeelden, beleven en initiëren!

Programma gecureerd door David Smeulders.


20:15 – 20:30 workshop: Bag-arobics
20:30 – 22:00 DJ: Lola Edo
22:00 – 22:30 workshop: Femmenergy
22:30 – 22:40 Lipsync performance: Lady Bag
22:40 – 00:00 DJ: Hababy Maroc
00:00 – 02:00 DJ: Moody Mehran

20:30 – 23:30 Berat Bebek
21:00 – 00:30 Lady Bag

Ga in de indrukwekkende Schatkamer in gesprek over de
toegankelijkheid van de nacht en de toekomst van clubcultuur.
19:30 – 20:15 Nachtverhalen 1: clubcultuur zonder bodyshaming
20:45 – 21:30 Nachtverhalen 2: veiligere/vrije ruimtes
21:30 – 22:00 Performance: SasaHara
22:45 – 23:30 Nachtverhalen 3: fysieke en sociale drempels

19:00 – 02:00 kom tot rust in de sensory-friendly filmzaal.

Speedtour rondleidingen (30 minuten)
Wist je dat de Bazel vroeger een bankgebouw was? Ben je benieuwd hoe de directeurskamer eruitziet? En ken je het verhaal van de kogel in de klok? Dit en meer kom je te weten tijdens de speedtour door het pand. Deuren die normaal gesproken gesloten zijn gaan tijdens de Museumnacht voor je open.

Tijden: 19:15, 20:00, 20:45, 21:30, 22:15, 23:00.

Thursday October 19th 17.00 h – 20.00 h

ADE | "How to Archive and Exhibit/Curate Club Culture?"

How do you archive the legacy of club culture for the generations to come? And how can this be shared with an audience in the form of exhibitions? During ADE, the Amsterdam City Archives organizes an event about archiving and exhibiting club culture in the light of the exhibition To Dance is to be Free: Club culture in Amsterdam from 1980 until now.

Nowadays, there is hardly any photography in clubs allowed; phone cameras are covered up at the entrance. How can we exhibit the night in 20 years’ time if there is no photographic materials? What should be preserved from today to give a good impression of club culture in 2023? Many clubs and organizations communicate via social media. Promotional materials such as flyers have become completely digital. How do you preserve the online world of club culture?

Introduction by guest curator and curator of the exhibition Manique Hendricks about the importance of archiving and exhibiting club culture. Followed by a panel discussion with experts from archives, the cultural sector and club scene. Including tips and tricks for archiving.

The event is free of charge, also without an ADE pass. A ticket must be purchased for the exhibition separately, ADE pass holders can pick up a free ticket for the exhibition at the City Archives Amsterdam counter.

17.00 h – Walk-in
17.30 h – Introduction by guest curator Manique Hendricks
17.45 h – Panel discussion on exhibiting and archiving club culture moderated by Souhayla Ou-Oumar
18.30 h  – Q&A
19.00 h – end, possibility to visit the exhibition To Dance is to be Free
20.00 h – Close


Manique Hendricks –  conservator exhibition To Dance is to be Free

Nav Haq – Associate Director of M HKA

Kim Tuin – Director of HEM, and former General Director of TrouwAmsterdam

Guido Jansen – Education Coordinator at 

Miles Niemeijer – Music advisor at

Mirjam Schaap –   Advisor for Acquisition and Access to Digital Private Archives at the Amsterdam City Archives

Moderator: Souhayla Ou-Oumar, journalist

Saturday November 4th 19.00 h – 02.00 h


On Museum Night, be inspired by stories, workshops, performances, music and dance – because together we can build the future of Amsterdam club culture. What would your ideal club night look like? What’s already there and what’s not yet there? What stories and experiences can we learn from?

The night is the ideal place to experiment. A club can be a space of freedom, where you can shake off existing power structures and try out new ways of ‘being’ and living together.

Besides the exhibition and archival objects, the night lives on in our bodies. The body as a living archive. Through our bodies, we share knowledge and experiences with the night. Through movement, dance and music, we free ourselves from binary thinking and rediscover our body, identity, gender and sexuality.

The night belongs to everyone, yet not everyone feels welcome. Is a club a safe haven? How can we give each other the space to be truly free? Together, we can learn from our blind spots and start imagining, creating and experiencing new future (night) worlds!