Gashouder is almost as iconic of a venue as the Awakenings series themselves. It’s an old industrial gasworks located in the Westergasfabriek cultural area of Amsterdam (right next door to Trasnsformatorhuis, another popular ADE venue) The sheer shape and size of it is really a sight to behold. There is one arena-sized room for music, with a dome-shaped roof and no pillars to block anyone’s view.
Awakenings do not hold back when it comes to the wow factor of their shows. You’ll experience some of the most impressive lights and lasers around, and maybe even some indoor fireworks! In terms of sound, I found the bass to be a bit muffled at the sides, but near the back/centre, it was much crisper.
Awakenings have a great locker system in place, and you will probably not have to wait too long for a free toilet. They also provide free drinking water near the restroom area. They have a separate area with some food options, and a space to get a massage too! You will also find merchandise booths and stalls selling ice pops, lollies, fans etc.
The bar works on a token system, where you prepay for a set amount of tokens and then pay for your drinks using them. Despite the large number of people in the space, the bartenders are quite efficient. They have machines constantly pouring beers, and you won’t have to wait too long to have a drink in your hand.
The crowd will differ depending on the night and party you attend, but for the most part, it’s quite good. We’ve never had any problems in terms of shoving, rudeness, or harassment. Mostly everyone is there to experience all that Awakenings has to offer.
The only two downsides I can think of would be the temperature inside and the smoking. Both times I’ve gone to Gashouder I have been covered in sweat. The ventilation really isn’t too good, especially if you move further into the crowd. Luckily with the lockers, you can wear layers and take them off as you need to. Also, even though smoking is banned at all indoor events in Amsterdam, many people in the crowds don’t follow these rules. You will need a good shower after an Awakenings event at Gashouder!