Boterdiep 69, 9712 LK


Vibrant Hub

For over the past 40 years, Simplon has been a vibrant hub for youth and youth culture in Groningen, situated at the heart of the student city along the Boterdiep canal.


How it all started as a factory

Originating from a 'disused canned goods' and later 'jacket' - factory, dating back to the early 20th century, Simplon embarked on its journey. In the early 1970s, the building was occupied by hippies and artists who transformed it into a stage for sessions and concerts, later expanding into the adjacent building, 69.


The Pit

The hallmark of the Simplon hall was 'the pit', where the sunken floor created an intimate atmosphere. Not enough accommodations in Groningen. 

Back in that time there was a lack of places to sleep in the city of Groningen for these hippies and musicians. So that was the start of what later became the Simplon Hostel 


De Boegies

As the punk culture surged in the 1980s, Simplon hosted legendary punk performances, including those by the renowned Dutch band, de Boegies, who performed there for the first time at the 5th of January 1980. Read more about De Boegies here.


A backbone of volunteers

Volunteers were integral from the outset, but in the 1980s, the number of staff providing supportive services like sound and lighting technicians, photographers, and designers grew.
The 1990s saw Simplon thrive with over 150 volunteers and a diverse range of activities, from underground concerts to house parties, supported by more than 15 departments. Despite financial challenges and political pressure to shift focus, Simplon persisted through protests and municipal support, leading to renovations for soundproofing.



In 2000, Simplon underwent a comprehensive renovation, expanding with additional halls and a renewed policy. Volunteers made way for paid staff, and the focus shifted towards culture, particularly music. Despite financial fluctuations, Simplon adapted, and in 2006, it was rebranded as Poppodium Simplon.


With a new direction, independent programming, and a renewed focus on genres like dance and hip-hop, Simplon flourished once again. Local talents were given ample opportunities, and volunteers infused a positive atmosphere into the music venue, resulting in growing visitor numbers.


The best Poppodium of the Netherlands

In 2010, Simplon was first nominated for the title of 'Best Poppodium of the Netherlands' by the VNPF, acknowledging the resilience and vitality it had demonstrated throughout its history.



The pop venue of Simplon remains a vital platform for budding musicians to showcase their talents. Witness artists in an intimate setting, often before they hit the big time. Over time, Simplon has evolved into the premier music destination in Northern Netherlands, especially championing urban and hip-hop culture. Additionally, they're at the forefront of the dance and electronic music scene.


Simplon Jongerenhostel

Looking to conveniently crash into bed after a night of dancing? 

Look no further than Simplon Hostel, just around the corner!

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