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The main entrance of the Melkweg
Melkweg is located in Amsterdam
Location in Amsterdam
General information
Address Lijnbaansgracht 234a
Opening 1970
Ani DiFranco during her 2007 concert

The Melkweg (English translation: "Milky Way") is a popular music venue and cultural center in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is located on the Lijnbaansgracht, near the Leidseplein, a prime nightlife center of Amsterdam. It is housed in a former dairy and is divided into a number of spaces of varying sizes. Besides a large hall for varying genres of music concerts, there are also spaces for dance/theater, cinema, photography and media-art. The Melkweg is run by a non-profit organisation that has existed since 1970.


It is referenced in the Cracker song "Euro-Trash Girl", the Lagwagon song "Infectious" and in title of the Half Man Half Biscuit song "Prag Vec at the Melkweg". The title of The Church's song "Under the Milky Way" is also a reference to the Melkweg. Heather Nova's 1995 EP "Live from the Milky Way" was recorded here as was Spacemen 3's album Performance. Frank Black And The Catholics recorded there live on March 24, 2001 on "Live From Melkweg".

The venue has 5 halls :

  • The Max, which is the largest concert hall of the venue. It hosted internationally-known acts like Prince or Arctic Monkeys, but is also used for parties, meetings and film projections. It has a capacity of 1500 people (650 standing and 350 sitting) and opened in late 1995. It was completely renovated in 2007.
  • The Old Hall (Oude Zaal), the oldest concert hall of the venue, also the only one until the opening of "The Max" in 1995. It hosts concerts of lesser-known acts, and bands such as U2 or Nirvana played their first Dutch concerts here. It has a capacity of 700 people (300 standing and 250 sitting).
  • The Rabo Hall (Rabozaal), which is in a separated building, and mostly hosts film projections or theater plays. It has a capacity of 1400 people (1100 sitting and 1000 standing).
  • The Theater Hall (Theaterzaal), a small hall mostly for theater plays. It has a capacity of between 90 and 130 people.
  • The Cinema, a private film projection hall with a capacity of 90 people.

Other venues in Amsterdam[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°21′53″N 4°52′53″E / 52.36472°N 4.88139°E / 52.36472; 4.88139