OCCIIversary: 30 years of screaming at a wall

Originated from a squat, as part of de Binnenpret, the oldest sanctuary in Amsterdam-Zuid. Where the impossible is made possible. Onafhankelijk Cultureel Centrum In It (OCCII, Independent Cultural Centre) celebrates their 30-year anniversary. OCCII has legally been operating as a pop venue for experimental and underground music since 1992. Throughout the years, acts such as the Thurston Moore Group, SMIB, Ari Up (the Slits), Suuns, Marshall Allen (Sun Ra Arkestra), Mdou Moctar, Komono Nr 1. and Kim Gordon have been hosted on stage. Many bands that now play venues such as Paradiso and Melkweg took their first steps at OCCII; take up and coming post punk formation Tramhaus, for example.

However, OCCII is much more than a music venue. At the former horse tram stable at the Amstelveenseweg, a community has emerged, created by and through a lifestyle that revolves around a Do It Yourself and Do It Together mindset: after all, everybody at OCCII has a responsibility to keep OCCII alive. At OCCII, everybody is a volunteer, from programmer to sound engineer and from the cook to the bar staff. The renovations of the beautiful facade have all been done by OCCII itself, recently even, naturally taking architect Abraham Salm’s design into account – who was part of a family that coincidentally designed the buildings of Paradiso and Melkweg as well.

Rather than putting up a central program, OCCII collaborates with several groups and collectives such as Pretty//Ugly and Geregeld Ontregeld to create a flourishing, diverse underground scene. An often-heard saying goes: “OCCII is a kind of year-round Le Guess Who? Festival”. OCCII is especially ideal to put a programme up yourself. This is not necessarily exclusively music based; former events included politically engaged evenings, poetry acts and cinematic viewings. Moreover, children can enjoy and explore the several forms of art through the Kinderpret programme. This way, many different audiences find their way towards OCCII.

There’s plenty of reasons to celebrate 30 years of screaming at a wall. Therefore, the month of OCCIITOBER is going to kick off with a weekend filled with amazing acts. From September 29th to October 1st, visitors can enjoy a disciplinary programme, in collaboration with the Willem de Zwijgerkerk, filled with (international) music, poetry, installations, a poster exposition and… a spectacular tram ride! 

Besides visiting the cultural programme, on October 1st you can take  three half-hour tram rides from 2PM, starting at the roundabout near the Trammuseum next to Haarlemmermeerstation, to the Vondelpark and Museum Square and back again. The complete line-up and prices will be announced soon.

Of course, an anniversary calls for a toast! That’s why OCCII teamed up with brewery Butcher’s Tears to create a sunny beer: the Slaccii, a ginger IPA with a subtle, sharp yet refreshing taste, perfect for a hot Summer day.

And there is more. The Thurston Moore Group, along with Jayan Bertrand, will return next year, with a three day residency in Spring. Tickets are already on sale and available here.

OCCII would love to welcome as many people as possible to celebrate 30 years of self sufficient party planning and community creation! For more information and the upcoming programme, check occii.org.

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