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