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The 18 Best Cities for Dance Music

Start packing.

by THUMP Staff
Aug 18 2014, 9:40pm

We love a festival, but there's more to dance music than huge spaces with many stages. There are also legendary clubs in international cities with killer lineups of resident DJs. The best part about dance music is how global and universal it is. It's time to think outside your local hang to club scenes around the world. It's endless, but here's a list of the best places to be at midnight. The only continent missing here is Antarctica, for obvious reasons. But if you do find a way to get down with the icebergs before they all melt away, let us know. 

18. New Orleans, United States


Kicking off our list is a city so powerful that it survived the biggest hurricane to hit America and still party harder than most places on Earth. New Orleans boasts Mardi Gras, a jazz festival, Buku Festival and the only open container law in America while still coming out with the funkies tunes in the country. In the home of bounce, there is always DJ music here and the party literally never stops. 
Where you should go: Republic New Orleans

17. Melbourne, Australia


For a scene more unpretentious and grassroots than Sydney, Melbourne is the way to go for dance music fans. In 1991, Australia's first techno residency went off in Melbourne and nothing's been the same since. Many of the dance parties are DIY and pop-up, but the real heads have made Melbourne a city worth travelling to for dance parties. Plus, Australians are notoriously professional partiers.   
Where you should go: Hardware Corp

16. Los Angeles, United States


Where there is a music industry, there are great dance parties. Things haven't slowed down since its unlikely dance music renaissance in the 10s, and now LA is home to nearly all your favorite labels. In a world where DJs are the biggest celebrities, it only makes sense that the celebrity city is a dance music haven. From warehouse parties and megaclubs to beach gatherings and cruising down Sunset with a killer soundsystem. Just don't drink and drive. 

Where you should go: Sound

15. Tel Aviv, Israel


Although it may have its troubles, Tel Aviv is in fact one of the most party-friendly, progressive cities in the middle east. Israel is home to huge dance music acts like Infected Mushroom, Borgore and Guy Gerber, so it's obviously a breeding ground for club music, and just this January the city announced a three-day, four-night dance music conference. A party city on the rise.   
Where you should go:
The Block

14. Amsterdam, Netherlands 


In the country of gabber and the happiest of hardcore, sits a little city on a canal that really likes to party. It has exported the likes of techno legends Tiësto and Armin van Buuren, and throughout it's very own winding streets are clubs that don't open until midnight or close until 6am. If that's still to early for your hard partying soul, there's always the after-hours spots that go until at least noon. You can't even really find that in the "city that never sleeps."
Where you should go: Trouw

13. Bali, Indonesia


We are always down for a beach party. It's really the ideal spot for any rave, so don't sleep on Southeast Asia. The love-seeking peaceful paradise of Bali knows exaclty what is up. There's Kuta Beach, Seminyak and Gili Trawangan—it's three biggest partying areas booking a constant stream of worls famous DJs. Don't miss it.     
Where you should go: Double Six

12. São Paulo, Brazil


The less beachy cousin to Brazillian hotspot Rio, São Paulo is the cultural capital of Brazil with a diverse, intense scene, nightly. Go during Carnivale, get your samba on and never look back. Plus, with a recent influx of tourists for the World Cup and their upcoming hosting gig for the 2016 Summer Olympics, Brazilians are ready to prove their worth to all tourists on the dance floor. 
Where you should go: O do Borogodó

11. Seoul, South Korea


Seoul is to be the less-obvious, cheaper and busier alternative for nightlife in East Asia. Of course, this is the capital of the world's favorite genre, K-Pop, but Seoul still leaves a space for a vibrant club scene. Superclubs have been popping up all over the city showcasing EDM and the superstar DJs that run it. The dance music rave scene started in the 90s, but only now is it really starting to thrive.  
Where you should go: Octagon, but things move quickly over there so this might just change before you make it overseas. 

10. Montréal, Canada


We reccommend Montréal anytime, even the winter. Home to a somewhat surprisingly vibrant electronic music scene, Montreal has people like Kaytranada and Lunice keeping the fresh beats on lock. There's also a ton of music festivals for those who just can't get enough of big outdoor spaces. If you can't handle the cold weather during the annual outdoor event series Igloofest, there are plenty of indoor after parties to help you work up a sweat. 
Where you should go: Stereo

9. Bangkok, Thailand


Bangkok is known for its extra-friendly locals and vibrant after-dark scene. Thanks to a fortuitous convergance of party promoters and international DJs, there are breakbeat clubs like 808 Bangkok, supperclubs like Bed, which acts as a restaurant, art gallery and music venue all in one. Once night falls people stream out into the streets for the clubs, bars and nighttime food stalls. What else do you need?  
Where you should go: Bed or 808 Bangkok

7. Buenos Aires, Argentina


In these southern parts, they don't even start eating dinner until midnight, so partying is always an all night affair. It's also a lifestyle that starts at a young age. According to online travel mag Matador In Argentina, "Parties are de la familia, meaning if there's a big celebration, kids are part of it, and bedtimes are out the window. Thus kids grow up with a partying stamina that you're liable to hurt yourself if you try to keep up. Ease into it." Start at Recoleta and make your way up to Palermo Hollywood. Take your time.  
Where you should go: Autodromo de Buenos Aires 

6Barcelona, Spain


Another beach getaway with gorgeous locals that never seem to sleep and an endless stream of the biggest DJs in the world. Plus, the city itself is incredibly beautiful with much of it designed by the famous architect Gaudí, so you never have to stop shouting about how much you love everything. Some hot spots are Apolo and Razzmatazz that get started around 1am. The afterhours bars open up the minute the sun comes up so you'll never have to feel alone again.  
Where you should go: Razzmatazz

5. London, United Kingdom


Everything is cooler in the UK, and the London nightlife scene is where it all comes together. Basically everything dance music-related happens here first (after it gets imported from the US). There's the glitterati in West London, the grittier Camden and it's the birthplace of grime. Basically, London comes up with new forms of dance music faster and more often than us Americans can buy a ticket to the next music festival.
Where you should go: Plastic People or Fabric

4. Brooklyn, United States


The pride and joy of all American cities is also a haven for dance music. Let's just remember your career doesn't really mean anything unless you've played here—no matter who you are or where you're from. Just see Charanjit Singh and DJ EZ's recent performances. Their careers just wouldn't have been complete without  a trip to the big city. We know saying Brooklyn might be a bit controversion to the die-hard Manhattan lovers, but the trend is undeniable. Anyone who really cares about dance music is crossing over to Brooklyn. The trip is woth it. 
Where you should go: Output or Verboten

3. Berlin, Germany


The European haven that has been inspiring artists and techno lovers to move across the world for years. We've got one word for you: Berghain. Go there and the rest of your dance music loving life will never be the same. The legend lives on. Other clubs like Watergate offer more intimate experiences that are still top-notch, but they're best for trips where you have more than one night (or day). The best clubbing in Berlin starts at 9am on a Sunday morning.
Where you should go: Berghain

2. Las Vegas, United States


We're going to have to go ahead and say Las Vegas has only become a better place becuase of all the DJs who have moved in on the Sin. Just thinking of all those residencies is making our mouths water. If you'd like to forget about the world and live in adult dance music Disney World—Las Vegas is the only possible place.  
Where you should go: XS at Encore

1. Ibiza, Spain


Ibiza should really just be renamed the eternal land of the party. It's been going strong as the capital of all dance music since the 90s and house heads, trance families and DJ royalty have been flocking there ever since. Non-music types get down there too. This summer, Givenchy designer Ricardo Tisci assembled the ranks for his 40th birthday party and supermodel Cara Delevigne just celebrated her 22nd there. The place is timeless. So are it's clubs. Party like a celeb and never look back.
Where you should go: Sankey's

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