In almost every town you will find a youth club, but the most famous youth club of Flanders is without doubt Nijdrop in Opwijk.
That young people (and older people too, because Nijdrop exists almost 50 years) know this youth club is no surprise. Besides the traditional youth club activities Nijdrop also has a strong reputation as a music club. Tunify spoke with Ben Moens, who is responsible for communication and ticketing at Nijdrop.
Nijdrop has a youth club and a music club under the same roof, says Ben: “The two activities complement each other perfectly, there’s a good interaction between them. Our main objective is to bring some nice activities every week to the widest possible audience. Not every single activity will appeal to you personally, but everyone should find something to his liking. In the same way, we have a concert calendar that appeals to our local audience, but certainly also attracts people on a national level. So for example, even young people in Limburg regularly say ‘OK, cool, let’s go to Nijdrop!’."
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This summer however, just like many other cultural institutions, Nijdrop got to handle bad news: subsidies for their concert activity were completed cancelled. “No one is guaranteed to receive subsidies. Although our project received a positive review and we were told that we are still relevant, we are now left empty-handed. The money is short and the government has to make choices. You may still be the best music club in the country and deliver a perfect plan, that’s no guarantee,” says Ben. It’s not the first time that Nijdrop is going through hard times, so again they’re trying their best to maintain the concert activities. “We fear we might have to take a step back in the number of concerts, but not in quality. We hope we succeed, otherwise not only Nijdrop gets screwed, but also the young and upcoming bands that won’t get a chance to grow. The small but nice club circuit will disappear and they’ll have no place left to play.”
Ben is very clear about the importance of music for Nijdrop: ”Music is super important, if not the most important thing for a youth club. It’s like in a pub: if you don’t like the music, you’re not going to stay for a long time. It’s also our music agenda that attracts people to come here. You can drink beer at home also, if you want to. At least 95% of all our activities has to do with music. Even if we do a workshop, the topic is usually is related to music: building guitars, visuals for music, etc."
"Tunify seems to be tailor made to our needs."
Ben Moens, Nijdrop
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The music that is played at Nijdrop is very diverse. “Each bartender has its own personal Tunify playlist. So you could hear Drake, Tame Impala or Will Tura, everything is possible. This weekend, we’re having a drum & bass party, the day after there’s roller disco, we have concerts by a Balkan band and a blues band from Mali… The variety is huge. We also discover new things this way. Often, the younger guys are the first to bring in new music. They always look surprised when someone at the bar who’s a bit older starts playing the music he likes. Then the younger people start asking questions like ‘Hey, what’s playing? Sounds good…’ It’s nice to see how music brings people together."
“For us, Tunify is a super easy application, because it’s really dummy-proof. I can put a new bartender behind the bar and in 2 minutes time he knows how to use it. You can build your own playlists, all new music is immediately available… Tunify seems to be tailor made to our needs,” concludes Ben.
Are you in for a concert once in a while? Why don’t you have a look at the Nijdrop website, you are sure to find a few concerts that will interest you.