(Editor’s note: This reformatted post replaces our original Dispatches list of the 2019’s best EDM events, which contained corrupted code.)
If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the years since establishing Dispatches in the Netherlands, it’s that disco never died in Europe; it just morphed into EDM.
From the Italo Disco of Italy to the New Beat of Belgium, Europeans have never taken off their dancing shoes since disco’s heyday of the mid-to-late 1970s. Nor have they blown up a tonne of vinyl dance albums on a football pitch to mask their misogyny, racism and homophobia.
Today’s Euro dance scene is filled with the sonic bass cannons, dropped beats, and wubs of electronic dance music. Thus, Dispatches has create an ever-updating list of Europe’s best EDM parties, most of which are on an axis connecting London, Amsterdam and Berlin.
That’s not to say all of Europe doesn’t groove; after all, dance music never stopped being on-trend in the continent and surrounding islands. Thus, we’ll include parties from London to Copenhagen, Lisbon to Bucharest, Ibiza to Vienna, and of course, Paris to Berlin.
Culture Box, Copenhagen – Copenhagen doesn’t have the same caché as a Berlin or even an Amsterdam even though it has Distortion, one of the biggest festivals in Europe, five days of dance music. But it still has some must-experience clubs, and Culture Box seems to get the most pub. And it’s the place all our pro Dutch partiers head, so it must be good.
Culture Box doesn’t book Wiz Khalifa, but there are some significant acts via What Happens founder/producer Tim Andresen, and Ben Klock, Sven Väth, DJ Koze, Richie Hawtin, Laurent Garnier other big names come on a regular basis.
Come on … tell us where there’s a better place to be young and beautiful than Copenhagen?
Soho Beach Dubai – Soho Beach at Soho Gardens is having a NYEve Double Party with Dixon plus international party brand Elrow (who will be bringing Solardo for the occasion. )
Elrow, a production company based in Barcelona, is renowned for its epic fiesta-style festivals with thousands of inflatables, costumes and craziness. Dixon has the Resident Advisor “Top 100’” list three years in a row and regularly draws the crowds to some of the world’s biggest clubs and festivals.
Arrive at the venue from 9 p.m. and GET unlimited drinks for 799 AED with early bird ticket entry from 8 p.m.
With a 6,000-person limit for both parties, one entry ticket gets you access to both parties for the night.
This is waaay more than just another club. Soho Garden Dubai has 4,000 meters2 (about 43,000 square feet, or one acre), of clubs, restaurants, pools and a 10,000-capacity concert venue.
The complex includes the renowned Las Vegas nightclub Drai’s, Bohemian chic beach party location Soho Beach, high-end London based club, Toyroom, minimalist underground nightclub CODE DXB, European brasserie & bar Glasshouse by Soho and Japanese eatery Tokyo Vibes.
White Dubai – White Dubai has been steadily working its way up the DJ Top 100 Clubs list, jumping four sports recently to No. 16. There’s a reason for that … this is the Middle East stop for top acts.
The next big party is “Fly Me to New York,” the club’s Times Square-themed party for New Years eve.
Jason Derulo was here last month and Nelly was here earlier in the year. Remember, Dubai’s season starts when Ibiza, Croatia, Greece and Malta are throwing their closing parties. So this can be your winter-go to.
Funkhaus, Berlin – HYTE Festival Berlin: When should you start making New Year’s Eve plans? Right now, if you want to party in Berlin.
We just got an email from the HYTE network of global parties stating the flagship HYTE festival in Berlin will return to Shedhalle at Funkhaus, a warehouse venue like no other. The marathon 24-hour party of NYE/New Year’s Day events “featuring a cast of the underground elite alongside its hyped newcomers.”
This is a huge Communist-era complex that’s been turned into the party people’s industrial milieu of choice.
The lineup isn’t public, but for five years, this has been a marquee event with Carl Cox, Nina Kraviz and all the usual suspects.
Tickets start at about 77 euros plus a 5-euro trash deposit. You can get them here.
• THE NETHERLANDS
Rotterdam – RTM opens: You would think clubs would have it easy in the Netherlands what with the “party-and-let-party” ethos. But nope. Clubs are closing left and right in Rotterdam for a number of reasons ranging from authorities’ concerns about X and other party drugs to shifting music tastes to cost overruns.
So, when something new is happening, it’s news. RTM is a new limited run, 450-capacity basement club that will host about 13 parties for 12 weeks through New Year’s Eve.
You can see all the events here on the RTM website.
Tickets generally start at 10 euros and you can get yours here.
Amsterdam – Shelter: An ever-evolving DJ collective, with DJ Bone at the helm, debuted at Shelter last month.
Shelter will celebrates its fourth New Year’s Eve with Jackmaster, William Djoko. Carlos Valdes and Alinka.
Tickets are 32 euros and you can get yours here.
Shelter regularly hosts “names” such as Hot Since ’82 and Boris Brejcha. You can see the full lineup here.
• UNITED KINGDOM
Bristol – In:Motion/The Marble Factory: We were in Bristol about this time last year and it’s a vibrant university city and we met lots and lots of expats including a surprising number of Americans. It’s club scene … well, not the best with one exception – the Marble Factory. This is one of the top-ranked clubs in the world, with big names in a big space that used to be a warehouse, then a skate club.
(There are also live rock/alternative bands under the Motion flag, so check the sked.)
London – Printworks London announces 2019 weekly schedule: The biggest names in EDM and Hiphop, DJs including Annie Mac and live acts. Next-gen audio-visual production with cutting-edge, d&b audiotechnik & Funktion-One sound system. Two technologically spectacular spaces in an old print factory reimagined as a mega entertainment space. (The well-thought-out Printworks transformation has gotten a lot of positive pub. See the vid above.)
We’re talking about the mew Printworks London, which just announced its sked for 2019 – 12 shows, and 70 artists.
The next huge event is:
The Christmas Party on 7 December is the next big night that’s not sold out. Tickets are 22.50 pounds.
Southampton – Switch Southampton – We finally got to the fall/winter sked for underground destination Switch, which has hosted Snoop Dogg, Annie Mac and many more.
The news release we got states that Switch has recently undergone a full-club 200k refurb which includes:
- New entrance for quicker customer entry
- Brand new festival-style staging
- Brand new dancefloor bar
- Brand new sound system
- Brand new lighting system
- Increased capacity of balcony & better views
Switch has more than just EDM including soul and hip hop.
Fresh from Amsterdam Dance Week is DJ Michael Bibi coming to Switch on 14 December. Tickets start at 12.50 pounds and you can get them here.
Manchester – The Warehouse Project at Depot: More than 200,000 partiers have made the Warehouse Project’s 30 shows this year, according to the media release Dispatches received.
The new 10,000-capacity Depot – a huge former warehouse – has already hosted Skrillex and Four Tet, a curated live show from Aphex Twin, a live performance from Hacienda Classical plus a huge drum & bass takeover featuring Chase & Status. Boiler Room, Slowthai, Skepta presents and elrow are amongst the slew of events still to come.
SATURDAY 21 DECEMBER – FATBOY SLIM
LINE UP: Fatboy Slim, Eats Everything, Josh Butler, Route 94, Melé, Eli & Fur, Prospa, Cousn
SATURDAY 28 DECEMBER – KALUKI 14th BIRTHDAY
LINE UP: Marco Carola B2B Joseph Capriati [A-Z] Archie Hamilton, Ben Sterling, Calvin Clarke, Dennis Ferrer, Enzo Siragusa, Joey Daniel, Luke Welsh B2B Mike Morrisey, Luigi Madonna, Marco Faraone, Matt Tolfrey, Pete Zorba, Pirate Copy, Richy Ahmed, Sho, Tini Gessler
TUESDAY 31 DECEMBER – NEW YEARS EVE AT THE WAREHOUSE PROJECT
LINE UP: Annie Mac, Rudimental [DJ], Groove Armada [DJ], Hannah Wants, Artwork, Krystal Klear, Melé, Shadow Child, Waze & Odyssey, TSHA, Prospa, O’Flynn, Dance System, Del30, Krysko, Greg Lord, Rich Reason, Joe Motion, Olli Ryder, Luke Welsh, Nghtwrk
COMING UP FOR 2020
• Rampage is back in Antwerp on 13 & 14 March 2020.
This mega-sound-and-light show promises the 2020 show will be updated with “the very latest technology, animations, lights, visuals, and lasers. “
From the release:
The five acts who are bringing custom audio-visual shows have the very best possible platform on which to blow your minds and drench you in multi-sensory delights.
The 30 or so drum n’ bass/dubstep acts include Pendulum Trinity from Australia via the UK, Noisia as part of their farewell tour, DJ Marky and Black Sun Empire.
Tickets start at 57 euros and you can get yours here.
• Kala Festival in Albania
“Party in Albania” … we never thought we’d utter those words, but Albania is on the Adriatic and it is beautiful, despite its issues.
Kala Festival returns to the unspoilt coastline of the Albanian Riviera next summer for its third edition. Taking place from 10 June to 17 June in Dhërmi, the week-long festival combines an array of DJs and live acts, food and wellness activities (we’re guessing yogo on the beach.)
Promoters call Kala Festival “that sweet spot between music festival and summer getaway.”
Moodymann (5-hour set), 808 State (live), Jayda G, Optimo, Marcellus Pittman, Pender Street Steppers, Bufiman (live) and Skee Mask are locked in.
A rotating roster of selectors including Jamie Tiller, John Gómez, Lauren Hansom and Nick The Record will take over Gjipe, a secluded beach in the mouth of a red-stone canyon that can only be accessed by boat.
London record store Phonica Records and online music publication Stamp The Wax will also be hosting stages at the week-long event.
This is mostly sold out, with the last tier of tickets for 2020 to be released in January. If you want to attend, you can join the waiting list on www.kala.al