The Melkweg is a large pop music venue located near the Leidseplein in Amsterdam-Centrum. The Melkweg is one of the most popular pop music stages in Amsterdam. Currently the Melkweg draws around 400.000 visitors per year and has diverse programming both in live concerts and DJ and club nights.
The Melkweg has two main concert halls. The larger concert hall has a capacity of about 1500 visitors, and the smaller is suitable for up to 700 guests.
Upstairs there is a smaller theatre with a capacity of 200 people, and a cinema for a maximum of 90 film viewers. The complex also houses a café with adjacent exhibition space.
Apart from concerts and club evenings the Melkweg also features festivals, dance and theatre performances, regular film showings and photographic exhibitions.
The Melkweg building on the Lijnbaansgracht was originally built in the 19th century as a sugar refinery. In the 1920's the location became a milk processing factory, which function it retained till the late 1960's. The latter also explains the current name of the venue ("milky way").
It wasn't until 1973 that the Melkweg location would after some years of vacancy be permanently transformed into a cultural centre. In the early seventies the Melkweg pop podium quickly developed into one of the best know pop- and live music venues in the Netherlands, which it still is today.