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The Spijker Bar, Serving the Gay Community Since 1978

by Oebele Kooistra in Scene , 22 July 2018

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

It is summer, and many are away on holiday. In the background, however, many a team, company or organization is working on the many parties, festivals and other events of Pride Amsterdam 2018, as well as the spectacular boat parade on the Prinsengracht. We went to have a chat with the Spijker Bar team, the Spijker Bar being the only gay bar with a boat during Pride.

This year, the Spijker Bar is celebrating its fortieth anniversary, a fact that will certainly have played a part in the decision of the Pride Amsterdam balloting committee to give the Spijker Bar a place in this annual parade across the water. The meeting is held at the home of owner Paul Tarrant, directly above the bar itself.

There is a fashion show in progress, as the T-shirts with print must be comfortable, of course. Although it is suggested that the ladies will probably turn it into a V-neck to show what they’ve got, and the men will probably tear off the sleeves. Still... The drawings of the design of the boat are scattered here and there and look good. Grant Slingo is responsible for the design, and of course, nails take centre stage. A catwalk will also be included. Their plans are grand, with even a toilet seat at the back. They have taken everything into account, as it is a four-hour trip...

Ever since the draw, a team consisting of six people has been getting together every three weeks, with other appointments in between. Jupiler will act as the main sponsor of the boat, and DJs Alex Kaseta and Doornroosje have been booked for this special occasion. Jerry Dunk has designed the costumes, as the theme “Heroes” will be uniquely interpreted. He enthusiastically informs us which gay icons will be on display, how the costumes will look, who will wear those costumes, and what music will be played. All to celebrate the Spijker Bar’s fortieth anniversary. Resident drag queens Didi Licious and Dora Royale, bar celebrities, will play a prominent part in all this.

The enthusiasm of the group is contagious, but it truly is a lot of work! We then realize that there will be many others working just as hard to come up with and implement an event or boat, all working within the theme of Pride 2018. Because this summer in August, our heroes take centre stage, the heroes who have gone before us to fight for our rights, to promote visibility, as well as being an example for younger generations. The visitors will certainly enjoy the spectacle, honoring our heroes.

The emancipation of GLBT people has started in bars and discotheques, the places we could meet. Although the current generation in this digital era has many more opportunities to meet, which is perhaps partly the reason why there are fewer bars, we must never forget what entrepreneurs such as Paul Tarrant have done for the GLBT community. We will be celebrating that at Pride Amsterdam 2018, and at every other Pride for that matter.

 Spijkerbar, Kerkstraat 4 Amsterdam
open daily from 16hrs- 01hrs (/Fri/Sat -03)


Apr 2017       

Feb 2020       


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