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5 Of Europe’s Best Cities for EDM Lovers

5 Of Europe’s Best Cities for EDM Lovers

The American EDM (electronic dance music) scene has continued to thrive for the last few years. But we should never forget that at the end of the day, EDM was popularized in dance clubs and raves throughout Europe. And Europe continues to be where the very best EDM clubs, festivals, and DJs live, further showcased through festivals like Tomorrowland and the Electric Love Festival.

So where are the best spots in Europe for a good night of dancing? Here are five cities which represent the epitome of EDM culture, and where an enthusiast can have the best time. We look at cities with a rich history of EDM music, a thriving culture with great clubs and DJs, and are generally attractive tourist spots.

Berlin

Berlin is an obvious choice, but it still must be mentioned. EDM has been part of Berlin culture all the way back to the days of the Berlin Wall, when Loveparade began in 1989 and ran for 14 years. There is no city in Europe which has as many EDM clubs as Berlin, whether it is Tresor, Golden Gate, or Berghain. DJs flock to Berlin in order to ply their trade just as classical musicians came there in the 18th and 19th centuries. Some of the top DJs include Paul van Dyk, PanPot, and AndHim.

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If that was not good enough, there are a great deal of music festivals outside of Berlin that are only a short car or bus ride away. This year, the annual Fusion Festival will last from June 29th to July 3rd, with the Melt Festival occurring a few weeks later.

Prague

Even if you ignore music altogether, Prague is one of the most underrated tourist cities in Europe. It may not have the reputation of Paris or London, but it is cheap and has a fantastic nightlife full of bars, clubs, and anything else you might want.

And there are at least half a dozen clubs I know of which open all night and play great beats. Karlovy Lázně is one of the best-known clubs in Europe, featuring any kind of music that you might want. But if you’re interested in a true EDM experience without running into a lot of silly tourists, I would recommend Club Roxy. It’s a bit expensive by Czech standards, but compensates with a great dance floor and light show.

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Amsterdam

I could begin and end this section by noting that this is the home of the Amsterdam Dance Event every October, and that alone should be enough to attract any EDM lover.

But there is so much more to Amsterdam’s EDM scene than just that fact. Amsterdam has a rich electronic and techno history since the 1980s, and this influence continues to be felt with clubs like Paradiso and Melkweg. Amsterdam’s clubs are also unique in that many of them were abandoned buildings before being picked up for music, giving them a unique flair.

And if you want to visit Amsterdam sooner than October, there are a myriad of electronic festivals to pick from. There is the VOLTT Koningsdag in about two weeks, which will include Undercatt, Young Marco, and Adam Beyer. There is the outdoor Awakenings Festival featuring Pan-Pot, Dave Clarke, and Maceo Plex.

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But no matter when you go, there will always be an event for any EDM fan to go to and have a great time.

Copenhagen

This may seem to be an odd choice, but Copenhagen belongs on this list. Danish people are some of the friendliest in Europe, and the city is small enough that it is easy to find your way around. But best of all, electronic dominates the music scene there. If you’re lucky, you may be able to hear the Pegboard Nerds or the Blue Foundation, some of the best electronic DJs in Denmark.

Copenhagen’s clubs are primarily in the Meatpacking District, and the crowds don’t show up until around midnight. But once they do, then head to the Culture Box, a club which has every kind of electronic music you could be interested in hearing.

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Ibiza

Copenhagen and Prague may be underrated, and Berlin and Amsterdam may be well known; but none are as famous just for their EDM scene as Ibiza. Ibiza is known for some of the top EDM events in the world like the International Music Summit and the Ultra Music Festival. You can always count on the best of the best DJs to come here to some of the best clubs in the world like Space Nightclub. And on top of it, when you’re not partying at night, you can enjoy the great weather and beaches during the day.

It should be noted that Ibiza is not for those with light wallets, though you can save money through hostels and buying tickets in advance. But if you can afford it, this is a terrific destination both for music and to party in general.

Featured photo credit: MIXTRIBE via flickr.com

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide)

Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide)

Most of the skills I use to make a living are skills I’ve learned on my own: Web design, desktop publishing, marketing, personal productivity skills, even teaching! And most of what I know about science, politics, computers, art, guitar-playing, world history, writing, and a dozen other topics, I’ve picked up outside of any formal education.

This is not to toot my own horn at all; if you stop to think about it, much of what you know how to do you’ve picked up on your own. But we rarely think about the process of becoming self-taught. This is too bad, because often, we shy away from things we don’t know how to do without stopping to think about how we might learn it — in many cases, fairly easily.

The way you approach the world around you dictates to a great degree whether you will find learning something new easy or hard. Learning comes easily to people who have developed:

Curiosity

Being curious means you look forward to learning new things and are troubled by gaps in your understanding of the world. New words and ideas are received as challenges and the work of understanding them is embraced.

People who lack curiosity see learning new things as a chore — or worse, as beyond their capacities.

Patience

Depending on the complexity of a topic, learning something new can take a long time. And it’s bound to be frustrating as you grapple with new terminologies, new models, and apparently irrelevant information.

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When you are learning something by yourself, there is nobody to control the flow of information, to make sure you move from basic knowledge to intermediate and finally advanced concepts.

Patience with your topic, and more importantly with yourself is crucial — there’s no field of knowledge that someone in the world hasn’t managed to learn, starting from exactly where you are.

A Feeling for Connectedness

This is the hardest talent to cultivate, and is where most people flounder when approaching a new topic.

A new body of knowledge is always easiest to learn if you can figure out the way it connects to what you already know. For years, I struggled with calculus in college until one day, my chemistry professor demonstrated how to do half-life calculations using integrals. From then on, calculus came much easier, because I had made a connection between a concept I understood well (the chemistry of half-lifes) and a field I had always struggled in (higher maths).

The more you look for and pay attention to the connections between different fields, the more readily your mind will be able to latch onto new concepts.

With a learning attitude in place, working your way into a new topic is simply a matter of research, practice, networking, and scheduling:

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1. Research

Of course, the most important step in learning something new is actually finding out stuff about it. I tend to go through three distinct phases when I’m teaching myself a new topic:

Learning the Basics

Start as all things start today: Google it! Somehow people managed to learn before Google ( I learned HTML when Altavista was the best we got!) but nowadays a well-formed search on Google will get you a wealth of information on any topic in seconds.

Surfing Wikipedia articles is a great way to get a basic grounding in a new field, too — and usually the Wikipedia entry for your search term will be on the first page of your Google search.

What I look for is basic information and then the work of experts — blogs by researchers in a field, forums about a topic, organizational websites, magazines. I subscribe to a bunch of RSS feeds to keep up with new material as it’s posted, I print out articles to read in-depth later, and I look for the names of top authors or top books in the field.

Hitting the Books

Once I have a good outline of a field of knowledge, I hit the library. I look up the key names and titles I came across online, and then scan the shelves around those titles for other books that look interesting.

Then, I go to the children’s section of the library and look up the same call numbers — a good overview for teens is probably going to be clearer, more concise, and more geared towards learning than many adult books.

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Long-Term Reference

While I’m reading my stack of books from the library, I start keeping my eyes out for books I will want to give a permanent place on my shelves. I check online and brick-and-mortar bookstores, but also search thrift stores, used bookstores, library book sales, garage sales, wherever I happen to find myself in the presence of books.

My goal is a collection of reference manuals and top books that I will come back to either to answer thorny questions or to refresh my knowledge as I put new skills into practice. And to do this cheaply and quickly.

2. Practice

Putting new knowledges into practice helps us develop better understandings now and remember more later. Although a lot of books offer exercises and self-tests, I prefer to jump right in and build something: a website, an essay, a desk, whatever.

A great way to put any new body of knowledge into action is to start a blog on it — put it out there for the world to see and comment on.

Just don’t lock your learning up in your head where nobody ever sees how much you know about something, and you never see how much you still don’t know.

3. Network

One of the most powerful sources of knowledge and understanding in my life have been the social networks I have become embedded in over the years — the websites I write on, the LISTSERV I belong to, the people I talk with and present alongside at conferences, my colleagues in the department where I studied and the department where I now teach, and so on.

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These networks are crucial to extending my knowledge in areas I am already involved, and for referring me to contacts in areas where I have no prior experience. Joining an email list, emailing someone working in the field, asking colleagues for recommendations, all are useful ways of getting a foothold in a new field.

Networking also allows you to test your newly-acquired knowledge against others’ understandings, giving you a chance to grow and further develop.

4. Schedule

For anything more complex than a simple overview, it pays to schedule time to commit to learning. Having the books on the shelf, the top websites bookmarked, and a string of contacts does no good if you don’t give yourself time to focus on reading, digesting, and implementing your knowledge.

Give yourself a deadline, even if there is no externally imposed time limit, and work out a schedule to reach that deadline.

Final Thoughts

In a sense, even formal education is a form of self-guided learning — in the end, a teacher can only suggest and encourage a path to learning, at best cutting out some of the work of finding reliable sources to learn from.

If you’re already working, or have a range of interests beside the purely academic, formal instruction may be too inconvenient or too expensive to undertake. That doesn’t mean you have to set aside the possibility of learning, though; history is full of self-taught successes.

At its best, even a formal education is meant to prepare you for a life of self-guided learning; with the power of the Internet and the mass media at our disposal, there’s really no reason not to follow your muse wherever it may lead.

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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