Location: Guangzhou, China
While much of the world had just gone into lockdown in May of last year, Space Plus Guangzhou was just opening its doors in the newly built Tiande Square, part of the Chinese city’s Financial District.
With over 5,000 square metres of space and 14-metre-high ceilings, Space Plus employs cutting-edge technology for an immersive experience. There’s Funktion-One sound, but it’s the club’s wider aesthetic — futuristic tech versus steampunk — that leads you into a world of stunning visuals, moving machinery and shifting scenery.
The Chinese government's track-and-trace efforts meant the club, which is otherwise open 365 days a year, was only out of action for one month — dancers just needing to show a '’green pass'’ for entry. The lack of international travel has shone a spotlight on local talent, including Pink Panda and Carta, and the club’s own residents, Felipe Zona, Dekova, Unicorn, Tea, 杨熙金 (Yang Xijin), Eco and Ada, plus MC Lee, their main MC. But clubbers have also been treated to virtual sets from Timmy Trumpet and Vini Vici.
If Space Plus is impressive enough, it's just part of a larger complex, Spaceland, which has continued construction throughout the last year. Promising to ultimately incorporate eight different dancefloors, as well as other businesses, it’s set to ultimately become the biggest club complex in Asia.
Location: Shanghai, China
How do you stand out as a club in one of the busiest cities in the world, with a population closing in on 25 million people? One way is to give them all the options they could need for a night out — and Space Plus Shanghai, which offers an amazing range of club spaces, rooms, terraces and rave caves to explore, certainly does that.
There’s the jaw-dropping roof terrace where you can take in the views across Shanghai’s glittering financial district, cocktail in hand. Or maybe start your night out in the 600-capacity main room that’s nestled alongside the Huangpu River and features huge — HUGE — names like Afrojack and Martin Garrix on a regular basis.
Want something a little more underground, a little more dark and devious? Then head to SubSpace, a 150-capacity house and techno sweatbox designed for bass and beats. Hip-hop fans, meanwhile, need to check out the Stage, where the best local DJs and MCs hold it down from start to finish. And there’s plenty for the ballers too, with eight Instagram-worthy VIP rooms.
With amazing attention to detail, Funktion-One sound throughout and a wide variety of club spaces offering something for everyone, Space Plus brilliantly lives up to its name.
Space Plus is a club that offers way more than just music. Its main feature — aside from a Funktion-One system designed and tuned by Tony Andrews himself — is a mechanised spaceship that “embodies the spirit of exploration”. That is one of the reasons this place is the most revered in China; a venue that sets an example that many others follow, but also one that has branched out in 2019 with many new venues under the same umbrella, all around the county from Chongqing to Kunming and Changsha city.
The concept finds trance and EDM-inclined DJs like ATB, Thomas Gold and Tchami play in a club that boasts more than 700 square-metres of LED screens alongside countless rotating lights and lasers. Open 365 days a year, Space Plus hosts theme nights like Retro Party and Hip Hop Night, as well as more contemporary dance events.
“Space Plus musically still focuses on high energy main stage acts, while slowly introducing new musical genres in its programme,” a spokesperson for the club tells DJ Mag. This year, the club introduced a new nightlife concept brand Chaos, which focuses on house music and high-level live performances, including dance groups and live music acts. Add in the rooftop lounge bar — complete with swimming pool — and it’s easy to see why Space Plus is so popular.
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.