Open for only a little over a year, Space Plus has immediately staked its claim to the title of China’s most vital club. Helping it to make an immediate impact have been bookings like Tiësto, Infected Mushroom and other big room players, who reflect the sounds locals are most familiar with, though tech, house and techno have started to creep into the programming with bookings like Jon Rundell more recently.
The club has made a huge investment in light and sound, which includes a Funktion One sound system designed and tuned by the revered Tony Andrews, plus over 500 square meters of LED screens, rotating lights and lasers. On top of the club is an air lounge bar complete with swimming pool that offers views of the city, and inside is a giant spaceship structure.
Explosive production is a regular feature of each night, and the club often hosts themed parties that take in hip-hop and more retro sounds, while Audi and Adidas have also held their own events there. Aiming to be a symbol of a new era of clubbing in China, Space Plus is already said to have inspired plenty of copycat clubs around the country.
Location: London, UK
One glance at the Phonox booking policy tells you that they don’t just have their finger on the pulse, but they are London’s dance music pulse — DJ Stingray, Helena Hauff, Goldie and Jayda G all rocked the two-level Brixton club last year.
But that only tells half the story as fast-rising resident HAAI has taken charge of Saturday nights, with her Rinse FM-approved soundtrack of disco, world grooves, lo-fi house and anything that will flood the dancefloor in funky leftfield sonics getting an airing.
That high-profile residency has been reflected on Friday nights as well with the launch of Parallel, with ALFOS guv’nor Andrew Weatherall taking control of four consecutive weekends, dropping everything from wigged out slo-mo house to Mariana trench deep reggae vibes.
The fun doesn’t just stop at 4am on Sunday morning, however. The club’s semi-regular Sundays at Phonox parties run from the early afternoon and feature a big cast of DJs and artists who are encouraged to dig deep. And when Daniel Avery played, he didn’t just dig deep but carried on for a marathon 10-hour set, putting the four-point Funktion One through its paces.
Previously known as Ku De Ta, Cé La Vi came into existence in 2015 following a re-brand and an investment from a company associated with LVMH, the owner of luxury goods maker Luis Vuitton. Cé La Vi also has clubs in Hong Kong, Bangkok and St Tropez and has plans to open venues in Kuala Lumpur, Dubai and Colombo.
Over the past year, Cé La Vi in Singapore has put a lot of effort into daytime parties. In particular, its Noon to Moon events have seen acts like Alle Farben and Fred Everything performing at the 57th floor venue, surrounded by stunning views of Singapore as the sun goes down.
In addition to this daytime debauchery, the venue has also ramped up its big name booking policy and in the past 12 months alone, Armin Van Buuren, Roger Sanchez, Jazzy Jeff and A-Trak have all performed at the venue, testing out its cutting-edge D&B Audiotechnik soundsystem. The club also hosts popular disco, world music and hip-hop nights during the week.
Firmly established as the destination to party in Asia, clubbers at Cé La Vi Singapore are likely to rub shoulders with international A-list guests, with David Beckham, Ed Sheeran, Leonardo DiCaprio and Coldplay all spotted at the venue.
Location: Santa Cesarea Terme, Italy
Capacity: 3000 (club), 5000 (arena)
Located on the southeast heel of Italy, in the small town of Santa Cesarea Terme (population: 3,100) lies one of the jewels in the crown of Italian clubbing. World clubbing, in fact. Since opening back in 1997, Guendalina has continued to stun with its truly world class line-ups, last year proving more pivotal for the club than most.
Now alongside its famous terrace, its club, bar and pool area, it has opened its newest arena, the massive Pyrex Stage. It now has the capacity for even more ambitious outdoor events. Ibiza stalwart Circoloco was among the first to take it on, bringing in Seth Troxler, The Martinez Brothers, The Black Madonna and Loco Dice. Jamie Jones, Chris Liebing, and Green Velvet have had a crack too. Nina Kraviz, Amelie Lens and Marcel Dettmann impressed, with Luciano, Solomun and Adam Beyer all in the diary for later this year.
But while such top flight guests might bring in clubbers from all around the world, there's one constant which keeps thing centred. “My resident DJ is the one and only Gianni Sabato,” says Guendalina's Danyel De Paola. “He is a musical genius and his sets are unique.” Every club needs one of those.
Location: Ibiza, Spain
On an island full of fiercely competing club nights and venues, Sankeys Ibiza has managed to carve out a loyal following. This is partly down to the long-running Sankeys institution in Manchester, but the Ibiza club’s combination of featuring big room house on the weekend as well as instituting a risky, across-the-board booking policy during the week has also played a significant role in its ongoing popularity on the island.
Last season, Sankeys Ibiza embraced UK garage and bass on Mondays and saw Darius Syrossian welcome everyone from Swiss techno star Deetron to big room conqueror Alan Fitzpatrick for his Do Not Sleep events. The club went completely out on a limb with its Unusual Suspects night, which saw underground tech/minimal hero and Mosaic boss Steve O’Sullivan performing alongside Tobi Neumann and the fast-rising deep house star Dana Ruh. Of course, Sankeys Ibiza will be forever associated with big room house, and Steve Lawler’s appearances at the club, as well as the Tribal Sessions night on Saturdays, means that Sankeys Ibiza is one of the White Island’s most successful franchises. Unfortunately, last year, Sankeys Manchester closed permanently, raising questions about the future of the Ibiza club too.
Location: Kuta, Bali, Indonesia
Five different clubbing experiences under one roof (and on the roof itself), Bali’s Sky Garden is a breath-taking complex that keeps growing and developing every year since it opened as a rooftop juice bar in 2005. In the last year alone, all five rooms have been upgraded with new lights, screens and Funktion One systems and even the $10 all-you-can-eat buffet has been remixed with new international chefs. The DJs have been cooking up a storm, too. Since entering the Top 100 last year, Sky Garden — which is open 364 days a year — has welcomed the likes of Dash Berlin, Steve Aoki, Lucas & Steve, Afrojack, Yellow Claw, Mike Williams, Bassjackers and many more to play. How will it develop next year? The sky’s the limit!
Location: Lausanne, Switzerland
Head to the trendiest area of Lausanne, the Flon and here you’ll find one of the city’s longest running nightlife attractions: MAD Club. Opening its doors back in 1985 the club has certainly had enough experience in how to throw a party. With four constantly evolving floors there’s likely to be something for everyone. Whether you’re drawn in by big EDM stars (MAD was the first to book David Guetta outside of France FYI), techno titans like Marco Carola, or perhaps the venue’s dazzling big gay party, Bordello. The ultimate goal is for everyone to “have a great evening and forget the worries of everyday life”. Amen to that!
Location: Manila, Philipines
The Palace is a luxury hotel complex which entails flagship nightclub Valkyrie. This year it will be undergoing a major renovation and will reopen in the last part of 2018 with a brand new and upgraded interior. In the last year, though, The Palace Pool Club has been re-conceptualised and relaunched as The Island, a tropical collective of parties along with food and beverage outlets. It's the first of its kind in the country, which is still in the infancy of its love of dance music.
That is reflected in the bookings, which lean towards big room, EDM and hip-hop names such as G-Eazy, Marshmello, Flume, Sam Feldt and Iggy Azalea. Next to the music, body popping robots and Vegas style CO2 explosions add to the impact of each party.
Location: Beijing, China
Opened in 2016, Space One in Beijing is once again riding high in the DJ Mag Top 100 Clubs poll after making its debut last year. A snug, 600-capacity club with a super-charged light and AV setup, including LED walls, an Adamson soundsystem and three of Beijing’s biggest screens, Space One is an audio-visual treat that comes alive every weekend. Names like Dubvision, Ricky Stone and Rave Radio have all dropped hi-energy sets in the past year, while it doubles up as a more chilled out lounge bar during the week.
Location: Ibiza, Spain
Founded in 1999 in the heart of San Antonio bay and refurbished in 2013, Eden has built its reputation as an Ibizan institution. Hosting the likes of Disclosure, Sasha, Pete Tong, Nick Warren, MK and even Lady Gaga on the San An strip, even dance music powerhouse Defected moved its island residency to the venue in 2017, cementing its reputation as one of Ibiza’s top clubbing destinations.
With VOID’s sophisticated Incubus Gold soundsystem installed, it’s re-shaping San Antonio’s reputation as the more raucous side of Ibiza with a more underground offering.