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Poll Clubs 2016: BARBARELLAS

Barbarellas Discotheque, situated in Tisno, Croatia, is the sister venue of The Garden Resort, home to a number of intimate dance music festivals including Electric Elephant, Love International and Soundwave. The 2500-capacity club is set in an idyllic spot on coast which, according to its owners, was surrounded by farmland when they first discovered the location back in 2011.

A big part of Barbarellas’ appeal is its open-air dancefloor — only the DJ booth and bars are covered — which transforms the atmosphere of the club as daylight gradually breaks from 5am.

Last year, the owners installed a Funktion One soundsystem and a new chill area is planned for the 2016 season, complete with hammocks and beds, inspired by Amnesia’s '80s layout. Barbarellas has drawn a diverse list of guests over the years, including Bonobo, DJ Harvey, Seth Troxler, Eats Everything, LTJ Bukem, Dimitri From Paris, Louie Vega, Derrick Carter and Andrew Weatherall.

For much of the summer, the club’s programming is handled by the various festivals which take place just stone’s throw from it, serving as the final destination for revellers after acts wind down at the Garden Resort. This year will also see a handful of new promoters take the venue over, including Defected, Dekmantel and Movement.

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Poll Clubs 2016: CLUB SPACE MIAMI

Once a dilapidated yet sprawling one-story warehouse just off of Biscayne Boulevard, the original Club Space has come a long way since its 2003 inception. Emphasizing an egalitarian, no-nonsense approach towards the customers, as well as the then-unheard of 24-hour operating permit, Club Space promised an exciting, over-the-top club experience for the discerning dance-music enthusiast.

Space of March 2016 bears only a passing semblance today yet holds the same ethos. Having undergone several changes in theme. Mother Nature inspires a bamboo-decorated DJ booth situated like a lion's throne on the terrace.

Spacious VIP tables line the perimeter of this house jungle, while go-go dancers show off their most titillating moves and still, unlike South Beach's pretentious and pricey mega clubs, Space is for foot-shuffling patrons who are there simply and purely for the music. The 25,000-square-foot downtown dance oasis is a must-visit, especially during after-hours.

While the lower room caters more to the EDM crowd, the real club magic happens upstairs in the iconic Space terrace and loft. We could start rattling off the names of the DJs who spin here, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a decent DJ who hasn’t. From Miami locals to electro A-listers, rap heavyweights to techno titans and everything in between, this Space is where you want your night to end and your morning to begin.

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Poll Clubs 2016: MATAHARI

Matahari

Poll Address: 
Indaial, Brazil
Capacity: 
5000
Address: 
R. Bertolina Mai Kechele,
950 - Encano do Norte, Indaial - SC,
89130-000
Brazil
Address Source: 
google
Synonym: 
matahari (indaial)
Closed: 
No

Think you know the pre-requisites for a nightclub? Think again. Forget dark subterranean spaces in old centres of industry, multi-storey super venues, or even four walls and a permanent roof. In Brazil, they like to do things differently.

Or at least that’s the case with Matahari, a dancing destination that looks more like a festival than anything else. Set amongst lush jungle vegetation, on a site that was once a farm, whilst many Top 100 entries claim to be unique, this sprawling, South American complex can actually back the claim up.

Melding indoor — or at least under-canopy — with outdoor, the Mainstage is quite literally surrounded by soundystems and ten individual ‘cabins’, whereas the Lakeroom has just undergone a transformation to include a new LED ceiling panel, adding yet more spectacle on top of the confetti and CO2 bursts that come with many a set here. Resident DJ Daniel Grah holds court, whilst line-ups refreshingly give homegrown talent on the up and up shared honours with international names (Sharam Jey and LouLou Players were here not so long ago). Themed sessions are a regular fixture, like annual calendar finale, The White Party, along with sunset-focused events.

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Poll Clubs 2016: ELROW

These days, a lot of clubs feel the weight of financial pressures, meaning they open at every opportunity and consequently their line-ups suffer. Not Elrow. The Barcelona venue is the definition of putting all of your eggs in one basket, only opening once a month for a bombastic daytime blowout.

Now hold on a second, it's not as crazy as it sounds (as Elrow's presence in our Top 100 Clubs list for the second year running is evidence of). The system allows the club to offer a truly unique experience every time the doors open. Each party has a different theme and Elrow go all-out on decoration and accessories; combine that with a massive open air main-room, a beach terrace (complete with sand and palm trees), a 'local talent' bar and eight (yes eight!) resident DJs, and you've got a recipe for success.

Of course the big names on the flyers are always going to draw in punters too — Eats Everything, Seth Troxler, Claptone, The Martinez Brothers, the list goes on. However the club's real pulling power comes from its outrageous personality, and we find it pretty hard to argue with that.

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Poll Clubs 2016: MARQUEE

Las Vegas has quite obviously shifted from the center of gambling to the center of nightlife, and Marquee Las Vegas continues to be one of the names leading the charge for the city’s nightlife. Opened in 2011 within The Cosmopolitan hotel, Marquee is a multi-level space (and multi-setting with both indoor and outdoor/pool areas) equipped with state-of-the-art everything. Systems designed by Senovva and V Squared Labs sport not only the best in sound, but multi-media capabilities including projection walls and LED screens.

Speaking of those screens, the massive space has recently upgraded all their LED lighting and expanded the DJ booth (we’re assuming to make space for all those A-list artists that unexpectedly pop by for a little b2b2b).

Those A-list names include everyone from Benny Benassi to Firebeatz to Porter Robinson and Cash Cash, all playing alongside residents like DJ Vice and Papi Gordo himself, Carnage. If you want to go, weekends are obviously popping, but also check Marquee’s Monday industry night, which also turns into a silent disco on the first Monday of every month. Here you can listen to one of three different rooms (the Library’s DJ, the main room and another channel from a secret location), all from one spot.

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Poll Clubs 2016: Arma 17

Despite an ever healthier local music scene, Arma is still pretty much the only club we hear about outside Russia (even though it burned down in 2009, and was then forced to close for property developers in 2014, before settling again in its current location last year).

Based in Moscow, it is a truly underground space that its trends both locally and internationally. Not bound by genre, but with a focus on the more discerning end of the spectrum, the large, rugged brick building with high ceilings and church-like windows down each side makes for a religious experience. 

Cult acts and electronic experimenters like the Hessle Audio crew and DJs such as Rhadoo, Maayan Nidam, DJ Qu and Morphosis have all played there since reopening and Abdulla Rashim, Samuel Kerridge, Zip, Binh and more are already lined up for the coming months.

Staying strong in the face of diversity and not bowing to global EDM trends, Arma 17 also boasts a killer label with artists like Vakula, dOP and Bruno Pronto so is a true force for good that will offer you a warm welcome no matter how chilly it is outdoors.

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Poll Clubs 2016: Exchange LA

Exchange sits in the historic core of downtown Los Angeles, in what was formerly the Los Angeles Stock Exchange building. The history of the building is maintained throughout, with the lobby sporting four sculpted figures representing Speed (Mercury), Accuracy (the archer), Permanence (a figure contemplating the universe) and Equality (a figure with scales). The old trading floor is now a dancefloor and ancient Near East and Native Indian influences run throughout the architecture details.

Old meets new, now, as these classic influences meet an LED screen with over one million bulbs, a Funktion One Res. III soundsystem, six full-service bars and naturally, all the smart lighting and confetti one could dream of. Add to that additional spaces like the more chill Rockefeller Room or the private Sky Loft, and there is a space tailored for every mood and pocket. This is, essentially, The Wolf of Wall Street’s playing ground in real life. Packing it in, they feature Insomniac’s Awakening Fridays, Inception Saturdays and are also the home to Bassrush DTLA, meaning you’ll find a variety of sounds, from Andy C to Justin Martin.

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Poll Clubs 2016: OMNIA

Omnia is over the top, even by Las Vegas standards. Three levels, it spans 75,000 square feet with two interior spaces (the main club and the Heart of the Omnia) and also includes an outdoor terrace inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

While DJs and celeb appearance are obvious perks to this venue, it’s really the awe-inspiring architecture inside that sets it apart from the pack. A high-tech chandelier is the focal point, comprised of eight oval rings, which hangs over the dancefloor like a UFO ready to beam up revellers. Did we mention it moves? At a rate of four feet per second, no less, which is all the more impressive when you consider it weighs a whopping 22,000 pounds.

The interior of Omnia is decked out with granite and stone imported from exotic locales around the globe and it took nearly a quarter of a million man-hours to complete the luxury destination. The only club in Vegas with L-Acoustics sound technology, everything sounds crystal-clear, so it’s no wonder they only attract only the biggest acts, including Afrojack, Steve Angello, Calvin Harris and Chuckie. 

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Poll Clubs 2016: DIGITAL NEWCASTLE

Digital Newcastle has set the bar for clubbing in the North East of England since day one. Originally built as part of the city's Millenium developments, the space was taken over by Tokyo Industries CEO Aaron Mellor in 2006, who made it instantly clear he intended to rival the UK's most renowned locations by importing the club's prototype Quadrophoic dancestack system from Miami. Digital has racked up multiple awards in the years since, including Best Large Club at DJ Mag's 2010 Best of British ceremony.

Residents include Hot Creations and Relief Records favourite Patrick Topping (who hosts his own Motion nights at the venue), whilst visiting talent comes in the form of techno and house giants such as Ben Klock, Kerri Chandler, Skream and Hannah Wants.

Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, Digital Newcastle is looking to lead the way for the next decade too, with (a rather appropriate) 10 developments in the works. The expansion includes a new bar named the NEST (an outdoor terrace), a revamped Room 2 focusing on up-and-coming talent and a dedicated live stage, the latter of which is a particularly enticing addition given the wealth of electrifying live shows on offer at the moment.

 

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Poll Clubs 2016: AIR AMSTERDAM

AIR Amsterdam

Poll Address: 
Amsterdam, Holland
Capacity: 
1200
Address: 
Amstelstraat 24
1017 DA Amsterdam
Netherlands
Address Source: 
google

Albeit a cliched phrase, AIR is the phoenix that rose from the ashes of Amsterdam’s legendary club iT, which ran from 1989 to 2002. Occupying an address in the centre of the Dutch capital, April 2016 will mark six years in the game for the venue, which places the emphasis on sound quality and spectacle, attracting the great and good of both underground and more commercial artists.

Although the list could go on, and on, the past year has seen the likes of Damian Lazarus, The Martinez Brothers, Ben Pearce, Jazzy Jeff, Gabriel Ananda, DJ EZ, Pete Tong’s ADE session, Jackmaster, Tiesto, Kolsch, Sidney Charles, DJ T, PBR Streetgang and Hannah Wants touchdown here. Not to mention a Skrillex, Martin Garrix, Carnage and Oliver Heldens back-to-back bonanza as part of a Kingsland afterparty; and AIR’s own fifth birthday, which, fittingly, lasted for five days.

Divided into three distinct areas, the biggest sees clubbers given free reign over a sizable split-level room, whilst the second two offer more intimate environs to get down and dirty in. Powered by ever-impressive VOID systems, you can also expect state-of-the-art lighting and a mind-boggling LED wall.

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