14 of the weirdest places you can go clubbing
It’s hard to beat a dark club with a big soundsystem for a hedonistic night out: but sometimes, you want to try something a little out of the usual. A one-of-a-kind venue goes a long way to making a night stand out, so with that in mind, we decided to trawl through our international clubbing memories and pull together a list of the weirdest, wildest, most unusual venues in the world where you can cut a rug.
From a rave inside an Icelandic glacier, to a party on an island that only exists for three hours each day, and a club that’s literally underwater, here are the 14 weirdest clubbing experiences you can have.
#14 A temporary club inside an Icelandic Glacier
WHY: This may well be the weirdest clubbing experience in the entire world: Iceland’s Secret Solstice festival this year featured a party inside an Icelandic glacial cave system. Punters were transported by former-NASA vehicles to the glacier, where they got to explore around the tunnels, before heading to a special “Ice-rave” cave, where TEED and Artwork were DJing. We heard it was peak chill.
WHERE: Secret Solstice Festival pop-up party, Iceland
#13 A club inside an abandoned Japanese Metro station
WHY: Japan is the land of unusual bars, but our pick is Club Metro, a dingy basement club in the arty university city of Kyoto: the venue itself is a sectioned-off tunnel inside a still-functioning Metro station (convenient, when you need to catch the last train home).
The club hosts everything from avant garde parties to live music and raging club nights with guests like DJ Harvey; the night inthemix visited it was the closing party of an art exhibition, featuring tunes by a didgeridoo-playing psytrance drummer, a glitch DJ, and a noise experimentalist who made menacing whale song sounds using a CDJ and a guitar pedal.
WHERE: Club Metro, Kyoto
#12 On the roof of an abandoned factory in Beirut
WHY: Beirut used to be home to the “number one bar in the world”, SkyBar, a ritzy rooftop club where commercial music and fireworks-in-champagne were the main attractions. Unfortunately a fire earlier this year has put SkyBar temporarily out of business, but if you’re in the market for rooftop clubbing in the Paris of the Middle East, you’re in luck: The Grand Factory offers a much cooler rooftop club experience, without the bottle service crowd.
Started by DJ Jade, the founder of Beirut’s first underground dance club The Basement, The Grand Factory is an al fresco club on the rooftop of a mattress factory in a Beirut industrial zone, with a low-key crowd and an underground music policy.
WHERE: The Grand Factory, Beirut
#11 An historical Chateau near Paris
Dixon and Ame’s label Innervisions always finds the best places for its Lost in a Moment parties. In the past year they’ve hosted outdoor parties everywhere from a 12th Century castle near Berlin to the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro (in fact, their venue aspirations are so lofty that two recent events had to be cancelled after the authorities refused to grant the necessary permits). But their upcoming Paris party might be the most ambitious yet: it’s scheduled to take place in September at a spectacularly well-preserved royal French castle that’s older than the Louvre.
WHERE: Lost in a Moment at Chateau de Vincennes, France
#10 In an actual tree house in Kenya
WHY: The last time Diplo and Walshy Fire from Major Lazer played in Kenya, they very nearly – literally – brought the house down. Speaking with inthemix earlier this year, Walshy Fire told us how he and Diplo were playing Nairobi’s Tree House Club, a 1000-capacity venue in an actual tree house, when they got the place so rammed and the crowd so lit that the place started to fall apart and sway menacingly. “That was one of the wildest moments,” Walshy said, “being up there and realising ‘yo, this whole thing is about to fall’.” We’re confident the owners will have reinforced the joint since that particular party. [Photo by Shane McCauley]
WHERE: Tree House Club, Nairobi