Location: Ibiza, Spain
Now entering its 44th season of hosting some of Ibiza’s most memorable parties, Amnesia’s reputation and influence on global club culture since its earliest chapters remains unparalleled. What first was known as The Workshop Of Forgetfulness in the ‘70s — a haven for people to escape their daily troubles — is now a worldwide chain with 16 bars and over 200 employees during peak season.
But no matter how big the operations and ambitions are, Amnesia has never forgotten how to put on an outrageously good party. Both in its cavernous main room and its infamous all-night terrace, its range of events and guests ensure its status across the full music spectrum: Whether that’s the bass-loaded free-for-all Together parties, its legendary Elrow sessions or Marco Carola’s epic Music On techno adventures, Amnesia offers the full spread of on-point, forward-thinking electronic music with the likes of Carl Cox, Chase & Status, Hannah Wants, Luciano, Richie Hawtin, Nina Kravitz, Chris Liebing and many more top level artists laying the law down and rocking the 18th century San Antonio building’s foundations.
2018 looks just as exciting as the club launch a brand new weekly event, Pyramid. Launching every Monday this summer, and inspired by the club’s iconic monolithic pyramid structure, no line-up has been announced yet but we have a feeling it’s going to be unforgettable.
Location: Zrce Beach, Croatia
The influx of festivals to Croatia has meant that local clubs have had to keep innovating to win the attention of visiting rave tourists. As such, Noa Beach Club has once again switched up its interior design in the last 12 months. The whole place is made out of wood, so the team also have a job maintaining it, and often have to replace any old or weak components. Ahead of the summer season, a whole new stage is also planned.
Big names from the EDM and trance world like Steve Aoki and Robin Schulz, plus more underground techno artist Fritz Kalkbrenner and mysterious house man Claptone have all played here in the last 12 months. There aren’t regular nights here, but throughout summer DJs are booked nearly every day, with key residents Aldo Morro, Robert MKC, DJ Miss Kay Dee, Marco Cole and Clay Clemens all providing able support.
Add in a D&B Audiotechnik system, nature-oriented decor with a lot of wood, palm trees, water elements, and a circular club design with views of the Adriatic, and it’s not hard to see why this beautiful space is so well loved.
Location: London, UK
London mega-venue Printworks really is one of those ‘see it to believe it’ venues, but once you have, it’s not difficult to work out how — despite only opening in February 2017 — it’s smashed right into the top 20 of our Top 100 Clubs list on its very first try. A colossal space that was once the biggest printing press in Western Europe, Printworks boasts two huge rooms: the seemingly infinite Press Halls, and intimate sweatbox known as the Charge Bay. Raw and industrial, and still housing much of the old machinery, it’s the ultimate warehouse venue — yet don’t be fooled into thinking anything about this place isn’t top-of-the-range.
Following two highly successful seasons last year, which saw everyone from Nina Kraviz to Andy C, The Chemical Brothers and Ben Klock tear it up, Printworks has just had a makeover courtesy of honchos Broadwick Live. Brand new d&b audiotechnik J and V-Series systems now give the space unparalleled sound, while the number of Kinesys moving lighting rigs — a feature which has come to define the venue for many — has been increased, and all new LED panels have been added in the main room. Having opened with Kerri Chandler, and with Klockworks, DJ Harvey’s Discotheque and another huge party from The Hydra lined up for the coming months alone, we’d be very surprised if Printworks didn’t continue to rise next year.
Location: Ibiza, Spain
Of all the Ibiza clubs in the Top 100 list, DC-10 retains the original Balearic spirit more than most. Nineteen years young, the club occupies a former farmhouse and aircraft hangar located near the island’s airport (it’s named after a DC-10 aeroplane). It has maintained an underground dance agenda since its inception.
Through its flagship Circoloco promotion, DC-10 made the minimal techno sound explode in the mid-to-late 2000s, via residents such as Tania Vulcano and guests including Ricardo Villalobos and Luciano. Coupled with a reputation for wild hedonistic abandon from the crowd, it became the hippest club on the island, a status it retains today thanks to the addition of newer nights Paradise (helmed by Jamie Jones, his label mates and guests) and Wild Life (Disclosure’s limited event series). Broadening its musical focus to encompass less minimal fare in recent years, in 2017 Masters At Work, Kim Ann Foxman, Maceo Plex and Horsemeat Disco delivered a more diverse sound to the venue.
With three dancefloors, including a large outdoor sun terrace, the soundsystem at the club, engineered by audio experts Andy Kayll and Rich Walsh, is a thing of wonder. DC-10 is a roadblock every time, and even as the White Isle becomes more commercial, it remains a beacon of subterranean sounds and uninhibited partying.
Location: Bristol, UK
Capacity: 3,500 (full site)
Twelve years deep and Motion continues to claim the title of Bristol’s club crown jewel. Responsible for the most diverse line-ups and epic indoor/outdoor raves in the city, the venue is renowned for its maze-like quality, its intensity and the fact it always changes shape and layout every time you visit. In the last year, the ex-skatepark has done this on an even larger scale with the opening of a brand new warehouse, the Marble Factory. Adding to Motion’s three indoor/three outdoor spaces, the Marble Factory comes complete with an impressive staggered 360 mezzanine and its grand opening was heralded by none other than the mighty Chemical Brothers.
The Chems were not alone. An impressive spread of legends have torn the industrial riverside venue down in the last year at parties held by the likes of promoters The Blast, Just Jack, Hospitality, Elrow, RAM, Defected, RUN and more: Ben Klock to Metronomy, Chase & Status to Dixon, Theo Parrish to Noisia, Dixon to Gilles Peterson and countless more in between… Including Bristol’s own rich spread of talent such as residents Jaydrop, Tom Rio, K Stylz, KGW, Jake Hodgkinson, Koast, D*Minds and Jakes. Rooted by the city’s strong musical heritage but driven by innovation and development and offering something new, Motion continues to live up to its name and reputation.
Location: Limassol, Cyprus
Guaba continues to dominate the club scene in Cyprus, from its humble origins as a small beachside kiosk on the Mediterranean. And according to co-founder Yiannis Antoniades, things are just getting better and better. “Guaba is like a non-stop festival for five months,” he says, its opening fiesta kicking off this year's season in May. “Last year was another great season. It was an unforgettable summer. Our fans are the best crowd in the world. We've tried all different genres of music and it all seems to work out, from trance to techno, house to psy. Our goal is for people to have an amazing experience.”
The right programming helps, of course. Dutch pairing W&W have pitched up, along with the likes of Fedde Le Grand. Israeli psychedelic trance duo helped their Summer Carnival go with a bang, and the beach arena saw sets from the S-Man himself, Roger Sanchez, and Mark Knight, as well as Gabriel & Dresden. Yiannis is also proud of the club's IV parties, or Immature Veterans, tailored for an older crowd. “They can party harder than any teenager,” he says. We don't doubt it.
Location: Itajaí, Brazil
Few clubs allow you to party as immersed in nature as Warung, which turned 15 at the end of 2017. The famous beach club has architecture inspired by Indonesian open-air temples and music plays until the sun rises. When it does, it first appears through the cracks in the wood at one end, until it eventually floods the club with light and makes for one of dance music’s most special moments.
With views of the beach, and hidden deep in the Atlantic forests, it is only accessible by a winding path which adds to the allure of visiting. Boasting two dancefloors, the club — which also hosts events at places like BPM, ADE and Watergate Berlin — has welcomed a real who’s who of DJ royalty again in the last year, from Solomun to Lee Burridge. Next to them, key residents Aninha, Albuquerque, Ale Reis, Boghosian and many more back up the headliners and give the locals and visitors what they want — enchanting, deep and organic soundtracks of emotive house and techno. The club’s own in-house label deals in much the same and helps make this a real party paradise.
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Re-opening in 2015 after moving from its old home and spending jaw-dropping sums of money (around RM38 million) on a new, purpose-built property, Malaysia’s Zouk is as much a complex as it is a club.
Eleven individually designed rooms pack unique personalities, from cavernous dark dancefloors lined with warehouse lights, to polished, sophisticated spaces in the upper floors. Sounds vary between big room EDM and slick house, unapologetic party anthems and heads down grooves depending on where you find yourself, and so it’s hardly surprising the average week sees Zouk welcome 17,000 people.
The place is so huge, in fact, that it hosted its own indoor festival, Zouk-In, with plans for another two similar events currently being hatched. Asia’s biggest dancing space, foreigners can drop their jaws at the sheer scale of the place for nothing thanks to the Tourist Lane system; present a non-Malaysian passport and you’re in for free.
It’s far from fun and games when it comes to spec, mind. The sonics are best described as serious, visuals nothing short of tech benchmarks, creating the perfect setting for visiting dignitaries, which in 2017 included W&W, Above & Beyond, Yellow Claw, Kolsch, and Luciano.
Location: Dubai, UAE
Located in the once-upon-a-time desert lands of the UAE, resides the rooftop empire of White Dubai. As part of Meydan’s horse racing grandstand rooftop, it comes with stunning views of the city skyline. The recently refurbished outdoor space tailors all its bespoke production and visuals to transform the space for each and every party, and right now the club is running a host of in-house club concepts. Bizaaar on Thursdays is where you can find a mix of genres played by residents, and head down to the club on a Friday night for music from international house and tech-house stars like Claptone and Dubfire. Hip-hop event URBN on Saturdays has won awards, with beats being juggled by regulars DJ Masterminds, Danny Neville & Devon Kosoko. Also expect to see global superstars like Jason Derulo, Rita Ora, Sean Paul, Tinie Tempah and Wiz Khalifa as common affair, performing on a stage that is transformed especially for each show. You can even walk away with your very own official merchandise if you so desire. We hear on the grapevine that there are plans to expand; so look out for the White experience coming to a city near you soon.
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The parties that take place once a month at Elrow are famous for their anarchic atmosphere, spirit of fun and carnivalesque quirks. These events, and the club itself, are an affront to po-faced techno posers.
Opened as Row14 in 2008, the venue has been through several manifestations. Initially a nightclub, it gradually metamorphosed into a daytime throw down, after a legal agreement was reached with the local authorities. “With time it became Elrow, with the morning parties and everything crazy you know it for,” says Victor De la Serna, music director at the venue.
Now a Sunday event running from nine in the morning ‘til 10 at night, Elrow summons a riotous world of colour and confetti, with party themes that encourage clubbers to dress up. The club invites the best DJs to play here too, and in the last year Elrow has had Jackmaster, Seth Troxler, Carl Cox, Richie Hawtin and Jamie Jones’ Paradise crew in the booth, alongside their 12 residents, who include De La Swing, Toni Varga and Bastian Bux.
Elrow’s largest annual event is coming up this month. “Our biggest show by far is Feria de Abril in April,” De la Serna says, “a Spanish celebration where we have live flamenco, free food and drinks. It’s very special.”