A scene is nothing without the people that inhabit it, the bold ones that power it forward day in day out. Likewise for a city’s nightscape. And, unbeknown to most, a dedicated tribe of instigators – from promoters and producers to DJs, radio hosts and label heads – take to studios, basements, dance floors, fields and tents to ensure that no stone is left unturned and no night is left untouched in the pursuit of unfiltered and unfettered fun. Here, in a new collaboration with favoured gin imprint Bulldog, we meet six of the country’s nightlife movers and shakers – Horst’s Jochem Daelman, Deep in House’s Tom Raoul, Hush Hush’s Hush Hefner, Crevette Records’ Pim Thomas and Studio Brussel’s Charlotte de Witte – who each in their own right extoll the benefits of the country’s unique electronic music diversity in a six-part series of videos. For part two, Hush Hefner – resident DJ and promoter for the iconic Hush Hush and KleinHouse parties – discusses Antwerp’s ephemeral nightlife.
I do believe that the government could do more to support nightlife and elevate it to a real area of political interest.
Belgium has a strong rave culture, putting it, pretty much since the 90s, at the vanguard of worldwide clubbing culture. And I’d argue that, at the moment, Antwerp has the upper hand – there’s just so much going on at the moment it’s insane. Every weekend, party-goers have a stack of options to choose from, from big club nights with international headliners to smaller, but just as relevant, parties in slightly more unepxected locations that truly set them apart. And all this keeps the city’s scene surprisingly fresh, with no one concept actively competing with the others. On the other hand, I do believe that the government could do more to support nightlife and elevate it to a real area of political interest given the economic, cultural and social potential it possesses. Look at Amsterdam and its night mayor, for instance, whose sole mission it is to represent nighttime constituents and act as a link between the city administration and the various different players of its nightlife. It’s a crucial function, one which I believe is urgently needed in Belgium’s cities in order to truly integrate the culture and creativity emerging from the night into every layer of the discussion.