Location: Cologne, Germany
Having knocked Berghain off the highest German club spot in last year’s poll, Cologne’s Bootshaus takes the crown again in 2020 and moves up another two places to land just outside the top five. Situated in a former boat house — part of the industrial legacy of the River Rhine — the space was home to an underground techno venue that called Sven Väth resident before becoming Bootshaus over 15 years ago.
Since then the music on offer has diversified, and the venue has been fitted out with signature features that have made it a true destination club. The main room (known as Mainfloor) brings an indoor festival feel, with ceiling-mounted flamethrowers, CO2 and a Funktion-One impressing the 1,200 ravers who fill it on the regular. Room two (BLCKBX) is recognisable for the backlit fans which spin above its 400-capacity, Martin Audio-powered dancefloor. Dreherei presents itself as a 200-cap industrial sweatbox packing more Funktion-One sound. And Bootshaus also boasts a substantial outdoor space for partying under the sun and stars.
Of course, a club is nothing without DJs to play the tunes, and Bootshaus has those by the bucketload. Steve Aoki, Charlotte de Witte, DJ Snake, Oliver Heldens, Hardwell, Don Diablo and FISHER were just some of the 500-plus acts booked throughout 2019, while a team of 11 dedicated residents held it down week in week out.
The biggest achievement for the Bootshaus team last year, though, was the launch of two festivals. Nibirii Festival brought Goa trance, drum & bass, techno and 20,000 revellers to Dürener Badesee — a swimming lake just outside of Cologne — while the 7,500-cap Blacklist Festival focused on trap, dubstep and bass house up north at the Turbinenhalle in Oberhausen.