Location: Rome, Italy
Converted from an old mechanic’s workshop into a 700-capacity, future-focused cultural hub — hosting everything from art installations to theatrical performances and, of course, DJ sets from the likes of Ricardo Villalobos, Moodymann, DJ Stingray, Cassy and Nina Kraviz — Rome’s Goa Club has been transformed this season into a ”true botanical garden”, as owner Giancarlino puts it. The inside has been redesigned by artist Capo Bianco in an effort to explore “how the physical space and the people who cross it influence each other”; which, paired with the handmade Audio Factory soundsystem and lack of backstage area, means everyone from DJ to raver is out on the dancefloor enjoying the vibe.
Location: Miami, United States
Miami’s Club Space has undergone a number of changes since it came under new ownership in 2017. Although it’d gained a reputation as a spot solely for the EDM-inclined, the club — now guided by local promoters Link Miami Rebels and members of the team behind III Points music festival — has now become a de facto hub for forward-thinking music in Miami. With four rooms and two clubs within the venue (Floyd and the Ground), Space plays host to everyone from techno titans such as Ben Klock, house heavyweights including Honey Dijon and The Black Madonna, and even the likes of goth godfather Peter Murphy. With the help of resident DJs Danyelino, Ms Mada, Hardline, Bakke, and Thunderpony, Space has truly become a place where anything can happen — where else can you catch Wu-Tang’s RZA MCing over a Call Super set?
Picture the scene. You’re 200-metres high above Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands sky park, above one of Asia’s most impressive cityscapes, surrounded by A-listers and sophisticated party people, all here to experience an incredibly-positioned dancefloor. Doesn’t sound bad, does it?
With that in mind it’s understandable Cé La Vi has been a Top 100 Clubs poll fixture since 2016, a year after it changed identity from Ku De Ta, picking up a reputation for more than those panoramic views alone — as anyone who caught recent sets from Crazy P, Bob Sinclar, Amine Edge & Dance and Kenny Dope understands.
Location: Santiago, Chile
Any club that helped give the world Ricardo Villalobos and Luciano can do no wrong in our eyes. A Chilean mainstay for 20 years, La Feria in Santiago continues to lead the way in the country, with the club pulling in big-hitters like Sasha, Maceo Plex and Carl Cox — all the more impressive when you consider its 300-person capacity — and the new breed of DJs like Amelie Lens and Josh Butler. The club is powered by Funktion-One, and the main floor is wrapped in a surrounding LED screen. The sleek club also has a hidden second bar if you’re lucky enough to find it.
Location: London, UK
Top South London spot Phonox has slipped rather drastically down the poll since claiming the Highest Climber trophy back in 2017 (all the way up at no. 32). To assume that represents a dip in quality would be a colossal error, however. The venue claimed Best Small Club in our Best Of British awards in December 2018, with new Saturday resident Esa and extended-set Sundays from the likes of Dax J and Objekt all impressing. This year brings new short-term Friday residencies — Jayda G and Midland claiming the first two series — so if you’re in town, make sure to head on down.
Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA
Since opening in 2016, House Of Yes (HOY) has become the venue of choice for clubbers looking for an alternative to hoary nightlife. HOY revolutionises the nightclub concept: more than loud dancefloors and bright lights, the venue operates like an artistic safe space for patrons and performers alike. HOY truly comes to life via its immersive and inclusive spectacles and experience-based design, which include interactive theatrics, aerial circus displays, costumed performers and more. While the venue has hosted noteworthy acts like Jonas Rathsman, Dimitri From Paris and Marshall Jefferson in the past year, its can’t-miss programming encompasses everything from roller discos and variety shows to burlesque nights and drag competitions.
Location: Montreal, Canada
Stereo is a beacon of nightlife in North America. The definition of diehard, the 20-plus-year-old club has survived not one, but two fires. Its second rebuild, in 2009, upped the venue’s game by constructing a room within a room in the space, with sound absorbing material in between the two structures. This allows for a higher quality aural experience for clubbers who start lining up to enter the hallowed halls long before Stereo’s start time of 2am. Going all the way into the daylight hours, even no alcohol being served at any point does not tamper with Stereo’s good vibes.
Location: Dublin, Ireland
After its sad closure in early 2019, you get the feeling the story doesn’t end here for District 8. Rarely a weekend would pass without a world-class DJ taking to Twitter, professing their excitement at their upcoming D8 show and for good reason. Blending top-of-the-range sound with a knowledgeable and passionate crowd, D8 quietly grew a reputation as one of Europe’s finest party spots, with line-ups including Charlotte de Witte, Jeff Mills, Todd Terje and DJ EZ in 2018 alone. The crew behind the venue vowed to party on, so we’ll be waiting impatiently to find out what the D8 team have in store for 2019.
Location: Berlin, Germany
Nestled in a former residential building in Friedrichshain, Salon zur wilden Renate has become synonymous with its laidback house party vibe. Boasting three dancefloors and a spacious outdoor courtyard, the venue is home to nights like Floppy Drive, Liquid, Pretty Ugly and Marlon Hoffstadt’s Savour the Moment party. Aside from good club-nights, Renate is also famous for its mammoth birthday parties, with the latest edition lasting for over 72 hours.
With an eclectic music policy ranging from disco to house and techno, the club’s recent bookings include underground stalwarts like Move D, Axel Boman, Perel, Jasper James and Sammy D.
Location: Tokyo, Japan
It’s been a pretty scorching 2018 for the huge, sprawling AgeHa — the biggest nightclub in Japan, which brings in over half-a-million clubbers every year to experience its four dancefloors, outdoor pool, park area and food court. The venue has welcomed a host of impressive international jocks, spanning soulful sounds with New York dons Masters at Work hooking up with the veteran Tokyo DJ Muro, through a rare appearance outside of NYC from the legendary Sound Factory resident Junior Vasquez, and heavyweight vibes from the Kyoto Jazz Massive. Long may it reign.