Liberal attitudes and a strong electronic music culture make Amsterdam the perfect host for a dance conference, but how does its club scene compare to might of London?


After spending the weekend at ADE, Ministry of Sound were able to sample the city’s pick of after dark options. From clubs in old churches to Warehouse Project style structures in the middle of nowhere, we fought off variety.

Now that hours of lost sleep have been (partially) regained, the debrief begins and the comparisons start rolling out. Namely, we’re debating who does clubbing better: Amsterdam or London?


Team Amsterdam

If you want to plan a weekend around overwhelming choice of parties, get a ticket for ADE. With up to 50 shows going on a night, the choice of label showcase, album launch or local party is overwhelming, especially seeing as the city is small enough to make going to all of them a possibility.

Amsterdam’s size works in its favour: going from bar to club to home again is a totally viable option, seeing as you can walk from venue to venue with ease. Once inside, you’re met by bouncers who actually seem to want to welcome you, as well as fellow clubbers who actually want to dance with you.

Surrounded by friendly and up for it crowds, there were never instances of blatant chin stroking or snootiness. I even caught a couple making out during a Squarepusher set, which for those uncertain sounds like this:


Team London

Aside from the obvious differences in size and club capacities, what stuck out was the difference in gender bias in clubs. Clubbing in general is a male dominated past time, though in London, the split is much more subtle to often almost non-existent.

Where Amsterdam can be praised for its tolerant drug policies, the knock on effect of being allowed to smoke inside is that you have to smoke inside, kettled into small, smoky corridors that make the process of going for a cigarette as much of a chore as it is a well deserved break from the dancefloor. Times like these truly make you appreciate the UK’s smoking ban.

Want a night out where the music is consistent, the taxis infrequent and the clientele decidedly leaning toward the XY chromosome scale of things? Amsterdam wins wholeheartedly. Its nightlife is just like its people: light hearted, friendly and all encompassing.

If you’re more about falling out with your mates over which night to spend your money on because you genuinely have absolutely no idea what’s in store for you, then stick to our soggy capital. We’re decidedly more serious than the Dutch, but at least we don't smoke inside like people from the 70s.


Photo credit: Delicia Celik