Location: London, UK
Entering the Top 100 Clubs list for the first time last year, this 19th century warehouse located in Wapping Lane has been a worthy addition to the London’s club land. What once was a vast storage unit for imported goods, Tobacco Dock is now home to a plethora of parties.
One of their staple events is Drumcode, last year hosting a mammoth Halloween bash with Adam Beyer and LWE (the venue's exclusive promoters) inviting Matador, Levon Vincent, Maya Jane Coles and many more to join them across the three Gallery rooms.
The main room — known as the Great Gallery — is a sensory experience with exposed iron roof modelled on the building’s 1811 original design, and expertly mastered laser system. Notable events include Sidexside, putting a headline DJ in each room to b2b on rotation all night long; Jamie Jones, Guy Gerber and Leon Vynehall were amongst those who took the challenge.
This year, Hot Since 82 will be bringing his Labyrinth party to the Dock, from Ibiza to the Big Smoke for a special one-off show. With a powerhouse like LWE to program the space we have no doubt Tobacco Dock will continue to bring the heat long after the summer ends.
Location: Madrid, Sapin
Fabrik is Madrid’s leading super-club. Hidden slightly out of town on an industrial estate, it is a truly huge hangar-like structure that welcomes thousands each weekend. The last year has seen the place do what they do best, with few changes. Parties like Supermartxe and Goa are long-running affairs that bring people from all over Europe to worship at the raised DJ booth inside; while nights such as CODE, elRow, La Resistencia and 150 mix up everything from trance to techno to old school to hard style on rotation. Residents Raul Ortiz, Cesar Almena and Nuke are also much-loved crowd favourites.
Oversized CO2 cannons, immersive lights and lasers and confetti explosions add to the intensity of the experience, as do the big name bookings. Richie Hawtin, Loco Dice, Sven Väth, Marco Carola, Carl Cox and Jeff Mills are just some of those who have played the three different rooms and terrace in the last year. The soundsystem is the last generation of Tecnare and there’s a huge LED screen behind the DJ booth, which changes up according to the musical mood of each event.
Location: Mykonos, Greece
The most famous club in Greece by some distance, Cavo Paradiso has been operating for 25 years. Back in 1993, enterprising owner Nikos Daktylides built the club on a site once occupied by a farmer’s single room hut. Initially an after-hours venue, its pedigree was strong from the start, with bookings including house music originals Frankie Knuckles, Satoshi Tomiie and David Morales (the Def Mix crew) and Louie Vega. Now, the bookings are diverse — in 2017, techno DJs Hito, Ricardo Villalobos, Richie Hawtin, Nicole Moudaber, Joseph Capriati, Dubfire and Chris Liebing played, plus trap wizard DJ Snake, EDM types Deadmau5, Steve Aoki, Benny Benassi and Nervo, and house selectors Duke Dumont, Roger Sanchez and Jamie Jones.
Perched on a 150-foot high cliff-top overlooking the Aegean Sea, the views are spectacular from this partly open-air venue, which takes full advantage of its idyllic island climate. Inside, the venue is built from natural wood and stone, while outside, revelers dance around a pool to a state-of-the-art Funktion One soundsystem. The parties last all night till the sunrise — a spectacular sight, and one of the reasons Cavo is known all over the world.
Location: Bogotá, Colombia
Over the past few years, Baum Club has steadily become Colombia’s main hub for underground electronic music. It has also built an international reputation thanks to the strength of its bookings. Underscoring its commitment to supporting cutting-edge house and techno, the Bogota club’s recent fifth birthday celebrations played out in March over two nights, with Modeselektor and Jan Blomqvist from the Berlin label Stil Vor Talent guesting. Other international guests at the club so far this year have included Richy Ahmed, Dystopian’s Alex.Do, Dolan Bergin from Electric Minds and the fast-rising French techno producer François X.
Last year saw Baum branch out into the world of festivals, and in 2018, the second edition of the event, simply titled Baum Festival, looks even more impressive. Taking place across four stages, Baum resident Hernan Cayetano and local acts like David Norena from the Port 81 label will be joined by Berghain’s Marcel Dettmann, Miss Kittin and Desolat’s Loco Dice. While these names are sure to draw crowds to the event, what’s more impressive is Baum’s foresight in also booking underground doyens like Mike Parker from Geophone, industrial techno act Monoloc and upcoming Belgian artist Charlotte de Witte. The future of techno in Colombia is safe in Baum Club’s hands.
Location: Dubrovnik, Croatia
It's been a record-breaking year for Dubrovnik's Culture Club Revelin, the venue which is, rather uniquely, housed inside a 500-year-old fortress (they've still managed to get a state-of-the-art Martin Audio system in there, mind you, inside the club's three-metre thick walls).
“We broke the all-time record number of people coming to the club in a single season,” says promoter Filip Sulic with pride. “The predictions for the summer season 2018 are even higher.” A few hot ticket events over the past year have doubtless helped. Afrojack turned up with rapper Eve and Jillionaire in tow. “They made a huge show and hands down it was a spectacular night,” adds Sulic. “Our evening with Claptone was something special too, man behind the mask always provides more than we expect.”
There's been trance overlord Paul van Dyk swinging by too, Toolroom Records boss Mark Knight and Dutch don R3HAB, while looking forward to the rest of 2018, Revelin will play to to Black Coffee and infamous Manchester shirt-wearers Solardo, who will take on the club's underground mid-week party DANCElectric. If it's lasted 500 years thus far, 2018 should be a breeze.
Location: Shanghai, China
Moving You, Stunning Trip: MYST isn’t just a cool name for one of Shanghai’s most important clubs, it’s a promise. Dedicated to hosting parties with eclectic, precision-balanced line-ups of international superstars and local talent, its reputation for moving crowds on consistently stunning trips is fully intact.
Vibrant atmospheres and crystal clear soundsystems are also guaranteed across its two main rooms; downstairs for deep, ground floor for the big guns; name a high profile DJ and there’s a strong chance they’ve caused mischief at MYST. From Skrillex to Fatboy Slim, Dada Life to Zedd, Sam Feldt to KSHMR, Ferry Corsten to R3hab, the striking venue’s remit and curation is broad, exciting and full of surprises… and the same can be said for its local residents DJ L, TANK and Pink too.
As with all of China’s thriving new clubs, the production and sound throughout the venue is at the cutting-edge. And there are more than enough private areas for those who prefer their party experiences on the VIP side. This year is looking just as exciting for the Shanghai hotspot as Bassjackers, Vinai, Armin van Buuren, Fedde Le Grand, Sick Individuals and Jay Hardway have all moved crowds and supplied stunning trips already in 2018.
Location: Ibiza, Spain
It might be the world’s biggest club (according to the Guinness Book Of Records), but that’s not the only reason why Privilege is a world renowned venue. Its cavernous main room — decked out with all the accoutrements you’d expect of a super-club of this magnitude — invites only the biggest hitters in dance music to deliver the goods: Carl Cox, Above & Beyond, Sasha and Nicole Moudaber played in 2017.
More surprising is Privilege’s glass-walled second room Vista, essentially another club in itself. There’s a more underground focus here, and last year exciting bookings such as Maceo Plex, Tale Of Us, Daniel Avery and Mathew Jonson played.
Privilege’s previous incarnation was as Ku, named after a Hawaiian god. One of the original venues to kick-start the dance scene in Ibiza, it was originally a gay club, and Queen’s Freddie Mercury filmed the video for his song ‘Barcelona’ with Montserrat Caballe there. It became known for its open-air vibe and electric atmosphere, and hosted the first Manumission parties before its change of name in 1995. Though perhaps not quite as legendary as its forebear, Privilege remains one of Ibiza’s biggest draws today.
Location: Montreal, Canada
Montreal natives know how to party, and how to appreciate the fleeting months of warmth they experience every calendar year by taking advantage of their lakefront beaches. That’s where Beachclub comes in, a sprawling 5,000 person outdoor venue that knows what les habitants want and need — and provides it, from May to September. Situated on the sandy shores of Pointe-Calumet, it possesses a distinctly Balearic vibe with its cabanas and casual, bikini clad attendees. Fittingly, Beachclub’s Ibiza festival is a popular attraction.
The club’s 2018 season is jam-packed with names that are sure to satisfy even the most discerning Quebecois. Set to hit the sand this summer: Axwell /\ Ingrosso, Carl Cox, DVLM, Kaskade, Martin Garrix, Migos, Nicky Jam, Sean Paul and more." Along with a slew of talented local resident DJs, Beachclub has locked down two dates with Dutch big room master Tiësto. It seems there’s something for most ears at Beachclub; and if even if your favorite DJ isn’t on the line-up, who can say no to a bottle of champagne on a sparkling Canadian beach, eh?
Location: Montañita, Ecuador
Richy Ahmed says it’s his favourite club in the world. Bushwacka!, aka Just Be, loves it so much that he wrote a tune especially dedicated to it. And wAFF is so enamoured with the place that he recently played there for over 12 hours a day, three days in a row! The reputation of Lost Beach has spread far and wide through the underground house and techno communities, so that now international touring DJs are queuing up to play there.
Situated on the west coast of Ecuador in the midst of what owner Kami calls “a small hippy surf beach town”, Lost Beach just keeps growing — both physically, and in reputation. In the past 12 months they’ve installed a new Function One system on the main floor, fitted by the guy who maintained Space Ibiza’s F1 system for years, at the cost of a cool quarter-of-a-million dollars. Covered by a huge bamboo structure and surrounded by psychedelic murals, it’s a great place to experience some of the best DJs around.
When the main floor action finishes at 4am, party-hard punters move inside to The Cave, where the sounds continue well into the morning. It’s an amazingly friendly place to club and to play — a real labour of love — and has totally helped to revitalise the Montanita beach area.
Location: Nescastle, UK
“Eight-hundred-and-seventy-four tonnes of solid concrete box enclosing four rooms of perfect Funktion One sound, two live stages, and an epic main clubroom,” says Aaron Mellor, Founder & MD of a genuine British treasure.
Thirteen years young in 2018, if Newcastle’s DIGITAL is known for anything it’s breaking new ground. When the first parties were thrown here, circa 2005, DJ Mag was quick to apply the label ‘Fabric of the North’, and those who have been are unlikely to argue with us. At the time it was home to one of just three Funktion One system installs in the world, and this desire to create a club without compromise continues today.
While live stages add a different dimension to what’s possible once through the door, DJs still rule the roost. Hence Sven Väth, Fatboy Slim, Skream, Ben Klock, TQD and Leftfield, all making booth-side appearances in the last year alone, while residents Jacky, Cristoph, and Patrick Topping hold it down. Crews such as the legendary Shindig, Motion and Defected look to this address for their parties, and that famously full-throttle North East English party spirit. A jewel in the UK’s clubbing crown, we can’t imagine this poll without it.