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Poll Clubs 2016: DIGITAL NEWCASTLE

Digital Newcastle has set the bar for clubbing in the North East of England since day one. Originally built as part of the city's Millenium developments, the space was taken over by Tokyo Industries CEO Aaron Mellor in 2006, who made it instantly clear he intended to rival the UK's most renowned locations by importing the club's prototype Quadrophoic dancestack system from Miami. Digital has racked up multiple awards in the years since, including Best Large Club at DJ Mag's 2010 Best of British ceremony.

Residents include Hot Creations and Relief Records favourite Patrick Topping (who hosts his own Motion nights at the venue), whilst visiting talent comes in the form of techno and house giants such as Ben Klock, Kerri Chandler, Skream and Hannah Wants.

Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, Digital Newcastle is looking to lead the way for the next decade too, with (a rather appropriate) 10 developments in the works. The expansion includes a new bar named the NEST (an outdoor terrace), a revamped Room 2 focusing on up-and-coming talent and a dedicated live stage, the latter of which is a particularly enticing addition given the wealth of electrifying live shows on offer at the moment.

 

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Poll Clubs 2016: AIR AMSTERDAM

AIR Amsterdam

Poll Address: 
Amsterdam, Holland
Capacity: 
1200
Address: 
Amstelstraat 24
1017 DA Amsterdam
Netherlands
Address Source: 
google

Albeit a cliched phrase, AIR is the phoenix that rose from the ashes of Amsterdam’s legendary club iT, which ran from 1989 to 2002. Occupying an address in the centre of the Dutch capital, April 2016 will mark six years in the game for the venue, which places the emphasis on sound quality and spectacle, attracting the great and good of both underground and more commercial artists.

Although the list could go on, and on, the past year has seen the likes of Damian Lazarus, The Martinez Brothers, Ben Pearce, Jazzy Jeff, Gabriel Ananda, DJ EZ, Pete Tong’s ADE session, Jackmaster, Tiesto, Kolsch, Sidney Charles, DJ T, PBR Streetgang and Hannah Wants touchdown here. Not to mention a Skrillex, Martin Garrix, Carnage and Oliver Heldens back-to-back bonanza as part of a Kingsland afterparty; and AIR’s own fifth birthday, which, fittingly, lasted for five days.

Divided into three distinct areas, the biggest sees clubbers given free reign over a sizable split-level room, whilst the second two offer more intimate environs to get down and dirty in. Powered by ever-impressive VOID systems, you can also expect state-of-the-art lighting and a mind-boggling LED wall.

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Poll Clubs 2016: BAUM

BAUM Club

Poll Address: 
Bogota, Colombia
Capacity: 
800
Address: 
Cl. 33 #624
Bogotá SAN
Colombia
Address Source: 
google

Situated in the heart of Bogota, Baum has established itself as one of biggest and most popular nightclubs in the Colombian capital. A new entry in last year’s poll, the club has since jumped from 46th to 29th. Over the past year, Baum has had a its fair share of big-name international guests pass through its doors with sets from Ellen Alien, Carl Craig, Sasha as well as renowned techno selectors like Ben UFO, Marcel Dettmann and Chris Liebing.

In 2015, the club branched out into larger-scale events, hosting its own one-day festival at Multiparque Bima, an amusement park on the outskirts of the city. This year’s edition, taking place in May, will feature Kevin Sanderson, Oliver Huntemann, Nicole Moudaber and Noir.

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Poll Clubs 2016: THE WAREHOUSE PROJECT

Gargantuan line-ups have defined the semi-nomadic TWP since inception in 2006, which is why the seasonal session lures punters from across the UK and further afield between September and New Year’s Day, inspiring imitators in the process.

Again returning to the belly of Piccadilly Station for 2015, after relocating from here to an old factory for a stint and starting life in an abandoned brewery, the venue, Store Street, was an air-raid shelter, is usually a car park when this rave is inactive, and is aesthetically impressive. A cavernous main room comes with brick arches and incredible production, whilst the second area is a quality, intimate space ideal for heads down mayhem.

Residents Greg Lord and Krysko are homegrown favourites, whilst takeovers during the weeks it ran for last year came via the likes of Feel My Bicep, Hot Since 82’s Knee Deep In Sound, Annie Mac Presents, Circus, Ram Jam, Life and Death, Dekmantel and 50 Weapons, with Modeselektor choosing this space for one of their label’s final parties. Meanwhile, live shows grew in significance, with New Order and Jungle headlining dates. 2016’s venue is yet to be confirmed, but we’re expecting similar activities.

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Poll Clubs 2016: SANKEYS IBIZA

Clubbing destinations don't come much bigger than Ibiza, and Sankeys has been bringing a slice of historic UK club culture to the White Isle since it launched way back in 2011. "Think of it as The Hacienda meets the Amnesia terrace," owner Dave Vincent said to DJ Mag when the venue first launched, and the club has been doing its legendary Manc sister proud ever since.

It's current Ibiza home has always been a nightclub, though the Sankeys team have put their own touches on the venue over the last five years — they've drafted in a bunch of world renowned street artists to decorate its walls including Belin from Madrid and Med and Ces from The Bronx, plus dropped in a mega new soundsystem they’re touting as “the best on the island”.

In 2016, established nights Tribal Sessions and Viva Warriors are back for yet another round at Sankeys Ibiza, plus promoters The Redlight and Abode are set to step up on Mondays and Fridays respectively. Then there's a brand-new party celebrating acid house and beyond, titled Dance 88/89, also launching this summer that's tipped to bring some of dance music's original UK pioneers back to the island.

There's also a slew of top-tier residents set to perform too, cue Steve Lawler, Sonny Fodera, Sam Divine, Miguell Campbell, Josh Butler and many more. Sankeys have also cooked up a new mission statement for this season and beyond — they're activity taking on and breaking more talented female DJs than ever before on the island. Go get 'em girls!

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Poll Clubs 2016: ZOUK KL

Since closing the old venue and moving into a new purpose built address at the centre of a planned ‘entertainment district’ last summer, one word best describes Zouk KL — massive. In fact, it’s currently the biggest super-club in Asia.

Split across multiple floors, the overall party space carries all the magic of its Singaporean mother, comprising 11 individual venues, with everything from EDM to heads-down house, commercial anthems to R&B and hip-hop heard throughout the monolithic building, via multiple event brands that are spread over the week.

Graced by the likes of Martin Garrix, Paul Van Dyk, Laidback Luke, John Digweed, and Dannic in the last few months alone, bookings equal the scale of this place, whilst residents come in the form of HypeEmBeats, Goldfish & Blink, Ken Master & Reeve, Mizz Kiya, Radzi & DJ Luge, Nazkimo & Ash, Ken Fung & Clifford, ensuring there’s a strong local contingency on-hand to support international guests. Music aside, it’s worth noting the complex boasts stunning views of downtown KL, with a balcony deck and VIP ‘glass box’ adding yet more bling to the offering. Oh, and did we mention tourists have free entry in 2016 thanks to a deal with the Malaysian tourist board? Probably worth a visit then.

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Poll Clubs 2016: COCORICO

Cocorico

Poll Address: 
Rimini, Italy
Capacity: 
2000
Address Source: 
google
Synonym: 
cocorico (riccione)
Closed: 
No
Email: 
info@cocorico.it

Before you have even heard a beat, Rimini club Cocorico is something to behold: much like those outside the Louvre in Paris, this long-running club is actually a vast pyramid made from hundreds of triangular glass panels. Lasers shoot down from the top of it to the clubbers who gather en-masse below, and the whole thing has a beam-me-up feel that adds a sense of futurism and intergalactic magic to each event. In the last year, the club was forcibly closed for four months whilst authorities investigated a sad drug related death, but it reopened in January and very much carried on from where it left off.

In the past the city has been an Italo haven, but nowadays shiny EDM and main-room techno acts are the order of the day. In the past year the likes of Luciano, Loco Dice and Ilario Alicante have all passed through the doors, and being there when the sun begins to beam through the roof is a magical experience. Plenty of hanging LED screens, CO2 cannons and Egyptian-style decorations all add to the atmosphere, and with a wealth of talented locals supporting the big-name acts, it’s easy to see why you love Cocorico.

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Poll Clubs 2016: GUABA BEACH CLUB

Guaba Beach Bar

Guaba Beach Bar’s location in a holiday destination on the beautiful Mediterranean coast gives the venue a sense of unreality, as though a visit to Guaba is a chance to step outside of real life for an evening. It’s a 2,500-capacity venue so it’s superclub-sized, but with its open-air dance space and jungle-themed decor, it possesses a laid-back charm all of its own. Guaba actually began life as a beachside kiosk in 2006, but it has since grown into a substantial club venue with a growing international reputation and now features five bars and a VIP area in addition to the main dancefloor. The club is open seven nights a week during the summer season and the Guaba team tend to use the winter to annually revamp, constantly improving the venue to keep things fresh. In terms of programming, in 2019 Guaba Beach Bar booked DJs like Paul van Dyk, Boris Brejcha, Sasha and John Digweed, Hot Since 82 and Salvatore Ganacci to come and play on their belting K-LA210 Pro-Series soundsystem under the moonlight.
Poll Address: 
Limassol, Cyprus
Capacity: 
2,500
Address: 
Amathountos
Mouttagiaka
4531 Limassol
Cyprus
Club Type: 
Beach bar
Address Source: 
google
Synonym: 
guaba beach bar (limassol)
Closed: 
No
Email: 
info@guababeachbar.com

Originally just a small seaside beach hut, Guaba has long since outgrown its humble origins, now accommodating some 2500 clubbers. By 2008, the Cyprus club had become a victim of its own success and was forced to move by local authorities to spot along the Limassol Sea Road.

You’d be hard pressed to miss it: its entrance is marked by a marquee in the shape of massive mouth, complete with pair of gleaming white gnashers. The club itself is set over several levels — with a large main dancefloor and balconies — that backs out onto the Mediterranean.

The recently revamped DJ booth is armed with CO2 bazookas and hair-raising pyrotechnics as well as a finely-tuned custom soundsystem. For those worn out by heavy partying, Guaba even offers free Yoga and Zumba classes in the mornings – if you’ve still got the energy left for them.

Last year saw the club celebrate its tenth anniversary with a line-up that included Martin Garrix, W&W, Fedde Le Grand, DVBBS and Carnage. 2016 proves to be an equally big season for Guaba with names like Paul Oakenfold and Paul van Dyk already confirmed.

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Poll Clubs 2016: MINISTRY OF SOUND

Ministry is a global clubbing institution, pivoted around its celebrated premises in Elephant & Castle in south-east London — an inner city area that it’s been instrumental in regenerating over the past two-and-a-half decades. For indeed, like DJ Mag, Ministry is celebrating its 25th birthday this year.

Modelled on the Paradise Garage, Ministry was invaluable to the growth of house music in the UK in the ‘90s. One of the first ‘super-clubs’, it conquered the world thanks to some cannily-signed hit singles and authoritatively-sourced compilations. Always though, without fail, there were the club-nights every weekend. Although it had a few moaning detractors in the noughties, it remains a great club — pukka soundsystem, great layout etc — and has upped its game again, bringing in brands like Rinse, Defected, Doorly & Friends and Bedrock with John Digweed recently to cement its rep as a crucial clubbing space. Who wouldn’t want to play on Ministry’s celebrated soundsystem?

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Poll Clubs 2016: Cavo Paradiso

Cavo Paradiso

Poll Address: 
Mykonos, Greece
Capacity: 
3000
Address: 
Cavo Paradiso
Paradise beach
846 00 Mykonos
Greece
Address Source: 
google
Synonym: 
cavo paradiso (mykonos)
Closed: 
No
Email: 
:info@cavoparadiso.gr

Cavo Paradiso, as its name suggests, is built into a cliff-face overlooking the Aegean sea on the Greek island of Mykonos. It’s not just its location, however, that’s cavernous but also its size: holding 3000 clubbers over multiple levels. Despite its idyllic setting, the club is anything but peaceful when at full-swing with a JBL Dance 5 soundsystem on its main dancefloor and enough pyrotechnics to rival some festivals.

Since opening in 1993, Paradiso has become one of the island clubbing hotspots, drawing a variety of international DJs. Owner Nikos Daktylides’ bookings have encompassed everything from crowd-pleasing EDM, deep house and heads-down techno.

In the past year, Ilario Alicante, Martin Solveig, Ricardo Villalobos, Magda, Fatboy Slim, David Morales and Nervo have all made appearances. It’s a tricky act to pull off: reeling in enough revellers to fill a venue of its considerable size — almost twice as large as Ministry of Sound — while also bringing in revered selectors to appeal to dance music aficionados. But then a club that’s practically hanging off a cliff-edge is probably used to balancing acts.

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