There’s two comments that I can make about the Mezrab which get a strong reaction from people these days. One is, we’re packing up and leaving our place in a few weeks. The other is, I don’t have a clear idea what we will do next.
Invariably these are the reactions: Why do you destroy the place we love? No one will come to a new location.
It’s true, to move our space is a big risk, especially without a clear cut idea of what we want to do. But there’s a few thing we know for sure: we’re going to keep on experimenting, creating events that we feel there’s a lack of in Amsterdam. They might be a continuation of what we’ve done before, but they might also be radically different. Is this a proper way of running a cultural initiative? Probably not. Or at least, it’s not the way other people have done it so far.
Let me take you to a moment in time three years ago. In 2009 we were known as one of the best places for musical meet ups. Every Saturday an eclectic collection of musicians gathered in the old Mezrab and would jam until the neighbours banged on the walls. When it was announced the Mezrab would move to a new location in the East many visitors thought no-one would come. They were both right and wrong. Many visitors didn’t come and the music nights were never continued like in the old location. We did lose something in the transition. But the amount of people that used to visit the old Mezrab were a fraction of what we catered for in the new place. The move allowed us to reinvent ourselves and focus on ideas that had been left unpacked. And sure, we do get nostalgic about what we had. Have a look at the trailer of a video made in the old place: