Vrankrijk is the historical center of the Dutch squatters’ scene – yes, Dutch, because its fame has exceeded the city of Amsterdam by far. Founded in the late ’80s, it’s a place for political activism, live music, dance parties, discussions, a political home for people who are looking for orientation away from the mainstream.
When I first came to Amsterdam Vrankrijk felt like a home, and I would spend literally every weekend there. Now, after having been closed for several years, the Vrankrijk is still full of activism, for a new generation. The style hasn’t changed a bit – only the music has gotten better. I’ve seen quite a few bands since the re-opening.
Anyhow, if you’re interested in the squatters scene, and its history, the Vrankrijk is the place to check it out. It’s the closest squatted spot to the center (a mere 200m from de Dam, and the ‘Paleis’), in an environment that tends to get ever more commercial, ever more expensive. And it’s still here, after 25 years.
On Wednesdays the cafe is open for queers of all kinds (anybody else too, of course), the other nights it’s alternative, activist, punk: punk’s not dead, Vrankrijk is the proof. Check the website for more, there is a small stage, and sometimes you’ll find surprising acts – if you like punk, dark electro, wave etc.