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Location: Cologne, Germany

Capacity: 1,600

2019 is going to go down as a landmark year for Cologne’s favourite club, Bootshaus. Not only is the venue celebrating 15 years since it was converted from an old boat house (the direct translation of its name), into a party haven, but this year the club has finally broken into the top 10. Since first slamming into the poll at number 48 back in 2013, Bootshaus has consistently climbed, and the past few years in particular have seen it fighting to overtake Berlin institution Berghain to become the highest charting German club, which it finally has this year.

“Our community is growing and growing. We sell out nearly every show,” a spokesperson for the club tells DJ Mag. “Compared to three/four years ago, there is a much bigger diversity of styles and genres, which we really like!”

This means the roster of acts over the past year sees hardstyle heads like Angerfirst alongside the rolling techno of Amelie Lens; trap don Carnage popping up next to psytrance legends Infected Mushroom; oodles of trance, EDM and dance-pop crossovers from Armin van Buuren, Lost Frequencies, W&W and Tiësto; and a long list of residents covering everything from dubstep to tech-house.

Bootshaus’ three rooms have already become legendary in their own right: the main floor is built for big hitters, coming complete with a ceiling mounted flamethrower; room two, otherwise known as BLCKBX features 32 backlit ceiling fans; and the third space is a raw, industrial sweatbox, smaller than the others but still Funktion-One’d up to the teeth.

With plans in place to host two festivals (Blacklist in Essen and Nibirii in Düren) later this year, Bootshaus has thrusters fully engaged. “2019 will be really important for us,” we’re told. They’re not wrong.