This evening is the second off a three-part series on Music, Clubbing & Identity. On Wednesday, March 22, we will dive into Rotterdam Rave? Hardcore! and on Tuesday, April 4, The Ritual of Raving.

Rotterdam, (The) Nighttown

Cities are places of both perpetual change and stubborn social divisions. Musical nightlife in Rotterdam is no exception to this. In this edition of Music, Clubbing and Identity we will journey back in time, exploring how Rotterdam has changed and what has been left behind. The landscape we see today is haunted by the ghosts of a musical past, each with a story to tell. Combining geographical mapping and stories of musical intrigue, Thomas Calkins kicks off the night with a first of its kind account of how Rotterdam’s musical landscape has shifted over the past 50 years. A screening of the film Nighttown follows, which documents Rotterdam’s landmark club of the same name. From 1988 until 2006 Nighttown was a cultural nexus on West-Kruiskade, both pop venue and dance club, hosting legendary acts (Nirvana, Ice Cube, Underworld, Amy Winehouse among many others) and nurturing new sounds across EDM, hip-hop, rock, and beyond. After the screening Timo Koren will host a Q&A with the film’s director Marcel Haug and the director of music Mike Redman.

Thomas Calkins and Timo Koren are lecturers in the Department of Arts and Culture Studies. Both study the connections between music consumption/production, social inequality, and the city. Marcel Haug is a music and comedy programmer, booker, producer and filmmaker based in Rotterdam. Mike Redman is an artist, producer, documentary filmmaker, label owner and multidisciplinary artist based out of Rotterdam.

About the series Music, Clubbing & Identity

What would day life be without nightlife? To many, clubbing is almost as indispensable as food, drink and sleep for the body and mind. What else can wash the week away like a great night out clubbing with friends? During the Covid-19 lockdowns, people got a proper glimpse of life without pounding beats, sweaty dance floors and moments of collective ecstasy. And we missed it, dearly. Now that it’s back in full swing, we wonder: what is it about clubbing and raving that makes it so important for people? In this trilogy, Studium Generale and the Rotterdam Popular Music Studies research group (ESHCC) explore this question and more, with documentary screenings, brief academic talks and professionals from the field. Learn everything about collective ecstasy, pounding gabber beats and the rich nightlife history of Rotterdam.

More information:

  • Date: Wednesday 29 March
  • Time: 19.00-21.00 (Doors open: 18.30)
  • Location: Theater, Erasmus Paviljoen on campus Woudestein
  • Entrance: Free, but reservations recommended


Organised by Studium Generale, Rotterdam Popular Music Studies (ESHCC) and Music Talks