Canada has its fair share of decent clubs. Montreal has Stereo and New City Gas. Toronto is home to Footwork and Guvernment. Waterloo, however, one of Ontario's smaller cities, isn't one you automatically assume is a haven for club culture. Still, that hasn't stopped Beta Waterloo, a relatively diminutive blackbox venue (under 650 capacity) from repeat offending in this poll.
Why? Well, aside from explosive light shows and mind-blowing sound, bookings to rival the world's highest spenders — Markus Schulz, Arty, Cosmic Gate — keep Beta Waterloo's loyal, high octane collective coming back for more.
Laying solid groundwork is a key component to the success of any new endeavour. Seattle's art deco club Foundation is acutely aware of this rule. Within two years it has been fitted with a new booth/stage, followed by a lighting system redesign last summer and new permanent features added during renovation: 4 Lasers, LED Column Raps, 12 VIP Sections.
The word 'perfectionism' comes to mind, hence its repeat appearance in this poll. Conceived to lead the EDM drive of Washington State, Foundation — fitted with undulating LED wall and KV2 Audio System — has been bringing a touch of warehouse chic to Seattle since September 2012.
But those expecting the grunge/DIY ethos synonymous with this North American city, look away now. Kaskade, Bingo Players and Marshmello have all played recently, with more exclusive and intimate future bookings such as Excision and Ephwurd also thrown in to the mix.
Last year Hakkasan Las Vegas catapulted its way into the Top 100 Clubs chart at number 10, making an extraordinary highest new entry debut. This year the five-level culinary and nightlife mecca tells nightclubs across the globe to put their music (and money) where their mouth is as they slide into third. Touted by millennials as “the most buzzed-about music venue” on social media, Hakkasan attracts both celeb and EDM glitterati, playing venue of choice for Tiësto, Calvin Harris, Afrojack and Hardwell, who held his celebratory event at the extravagant haunt after being crowned No. 1 DJ, twice.
“Combining our nightlife and entertainment expertise with such a reputable name in the culinary world has produced a venue that will provide an unforgettable experience for all who visit Hakkasan Las Vegas,” said Neil Moffitt, CEO of Hakkasan Group when it first opened in April of 2013.
Turns out he was correct. Comprised by myriad atmospheres, including the restaurant, private dining room and various club levels, its progressive design is the next iteration of the brand’s distinctive aesthetic: a contemporary vision inspired by classic Chinoiserie, re-imagined for Las Vegas. The space is specifically designed for evenings that progress as the ambience gradually transforms, energized by a vibrancy that builds and inspires guests to move almost by force upstairs, where new nightlife elements are revealed.
Starting things off on the third floor with the 10,000-square-foot Ling Ling Lounge for attendees who fancy a more intimate and relaxed experience, it’s the fourth floor where shit kicks into high-octane mega club madness. VIP booths often filled with the likes of Pharrell, Jennifer Lopez, Jay-Z, Pink and bottle-popping bigwigs surround the dancefloor and custom DJ booth, all enveloped by floor to ceiling LED screens.
Operating as an extension of the main nightclub or individually depending on the night, the Garden Bar — an Oriental themed pavilion — is equipped with its own DJ booth. The amphitheatre-style setting boasts a two-storey water feature and lush, life-like foliage. It doesn’t end there. Finally, we come to a mezzanine on the fifth level elevated above the main nightclub, providing an area for guests who desire a more private, VIP environment while still having access to the energy of the dancefloor.
Hakkasan is strictly high-end so don’t forget your black card for the club going for gold. The only question is, will they slide into home next year at Number 1?
Space Ibiza may have been knocked off the top spot by Green Valley in the poll this year, but it still remains No.1 in the hearts of many. Celebrating its 25th anniversary last year, which DJ Mag commemorated with a great little documentary film (even though we say so ourselves!), Space has never let the grass grow under its feet — always innovating, always improving and updating, always pulling in the top DJs and the coolest party-goers.
In 1989, established Ibiza nightclub owner Pepe Rosello took over a venue in the Playa d'en Bossa area that used to be a conference hall with a discotheque. Re-naming it Space, it initially benefited from the dance music boom of the late '80s that saw various European DJs visit the island and return home to their countries to kick off a scene.
During the 1990s, Space increased in popularity. Away from the hustle and bustle of San Antonio, its cool, airy environs were enhanced in the late '90s when loud 'n' proud British DJs Brandon Block and Alex P created The Terrace — where clubbers would marvel at low-flying aircraft soaring just overhead, due to Space's proximity to the airport. Now covered, it's just one of several world class rooms decked out with on-point, custom-built Funktion One soundsystems.
When the We Love crew rocked up to Space in 1999 and said they wanted to do a 22-hour party, Space was only too happy to oblige (licensing dictates that venues must close for at least two hours per day). The world's finest DJs flocked there as Space consolidated itself as one of the best clubs on earth in the noughties, consistently being voted the No.1 club in the world by DJ Mag readers. No visit to Ibiza now is complete without a visit to Space.
Carl Cox has run his (Music Is) Revolution parties at Space for the past 15 years, and returns again this summer with another top set of line-ups. We Love is back again too, and Richie Hawtin's ENTER. will once more be bringing the cool minimalist vibes to Space's gorgeous surrounds from June onwards. Underground in-house night Kehakuma are also back with the dressy-up Elrow in tow, and Full On Ibiza, hosted by Ferry Corsten and Clandestin, will be bringing harder-edged trancey sounds to the club every week.
A glimpse at some of the jocks who have played Space in the past 12 months reads like a who's who of quality electronic music. Loco Dice, Agoria, Deep Dish, 2ManyDJs, Disclosure, Nina Kraviz, Adam Beyer, Nicolas Jaar, Tale of Us, Mano Le Tough, Sasha, Josh Wink, Dixon, Nicole Moudaber, the Martinez Brothers, Groove Armada, Daniel Avery, Sven Väth, Joseph Capriati, Danny Tenaglia, Julio Bashmore, Maceo Plex, Claude VonStroke, Carl Craig, Tiga, Fatboy Slim, Eats Everything, DJ Koze, Seth Troxler, Green Velvet, Yousef, Joris Voorn, Steve Bug, Marcel Dettmann and Luciano are just some of the DJs to have rocked up in the past year or so — and there'll be plenty more like that this summer.
Fancy an all-nighter in a 16th century fortress with a 360-degree view of Dubrovnik's Old Town and the gently lapping Adriatic coastline? Well, Revelin Croatia has got you covered. The historic-landmark-cum-nightclub has hosted everyone from DJ tech wizard, James Zabiela to American DJ and producer, MK as well as the odd Croatian pop star thrown in for good measure.
Commercial house fans can also look forward to crowd-pleasing sets from the likes of Freemasons, Martin Solveig and UK legend, Fatboy Slim. Couple that with 3D projection mapping, holographic screens, mind-bending light shows and a ton of tanned tourists, and you've got yourself a state-of-the-art rave up with a quirky, historic twist!
At Miami's E11EVEN nightclub, the party don't stop. Literally. The city's most famous 24/7 venue, E11EVEN Miami has made a name for itself thanks to a combination of big budget live shows, primetime DJ slots and opulent, after-hours shindigs.
Things go loco at E11EVEN during Miami Music Week in particular, where the biggest names in EDM — think Benny Benassi, Chuckie and Australian golden girls, Nervo — jostle to spin in the club’s massive main room booth.
Funk and disco fans can get a serve on Friday nights, plus there's live Latin music and the occasional Motown and soul gig thrown into the mix, making the club's music policy as lively and diverse as the city it inhabits.
Open since 2011, the Chicago club has been putting the house back into its birth city… as well as some trance, hip-hop, dubstep and techno courtesy of promoters React Presents. Located in the West Loop next to the neighbourhood fish market, it can be considered tiny in comparison to some of the other clubs on this list. But sometimes, good things come in small packages.
With Chi-Town beefing up on the festival circuit thanks to recent electronic-friendly additions like Spring Awakening and North Coast joining the Windy City’s Pitchfork Music Festival and Lollapalooza, The Mid has become both unofficial and official host to many after-parties. Moon Boots, Skrillex, Booka Shade, Oliver Heldens, Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest and James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem have entertained here. Kaskade, Diplo and Eric Prydz are already slated to perform following this year’s Spring Awakening. Green Velvet is turning up at The Mid for his birthday in April along with Hannah Wants, while Duke Dumont and the Black Butter Records crew are returning this spring and summer.