Its a Vinyl Prison – and I want to be Locked Up There.

Blokhuispoort Prison
Blokhuispoort Prison

The Blokhuispoort prison in  Leeuwarden The Netherlands.  It  dates back to 1580, but is more famously known as a WWII  prison where German occupation forces held prisoners of war.  An interesting Canadian connection – the city was liberated from the Germans in 1945 by the Royal Canadian Dragoons.  More recently Blokhuispoort has become a tourist destination and hosts many cultural and artistic events.  For the vinyl lovers, the prison will house a new vinyl pressing plant starting in August of this year.

Deepgrooves is an indie-focused pressing facility that was founded by Pascal Thulin  and Chris Roorda.   Roorda also runs Deeptrax Records which will be using the Deepgrooves plant at Blokhuispoort for future releases.  Because this is a smaller facility, visitors will be able to actually watch vinyl being pressed.  Deepgrooves hopes to be able to address some of the pressing backlogs that are occurring at the large pressing facilities be offering small limited edition pressings as well as a variety of colour options.

 

Not only will Deepgrooves be pressing vinyl,  the old Blokhuispoort prison will also be and has been the venue for numerous live music events.  But the prison also hosts non-music events.  In September of 2015 it hosted a “hack-a-thon” of health care and tech innovators.  Their task was to spend thirty hours brainstorming innovative ways to improve mental health service with the best three ideas being implemented.  Given that the prison was at times a psychiatric facility, this seems event seems like a innovation in itself.

 

If you’re thinking of visiting, check out the accommodations at the Alibi hostel which is located in one of the cell blocks of the Blokhuispoort.

Here’s a bit more info on the prison.