The Most Important Clubs in Dance Music History

important clubs li The Most Important Clubs in Dance Music History
Image via Ministry of Sound on Facebook

As dance music grows comfortable in its latest mainstream cultural iteration, it's important to remember where the culture of dance is best celebrated: the nightclub. As important to the growth of each generation of dance music's growth as the songs themselves, the clubs where these songs are best enjoyed reflect something of the emotional, social, and economic desires of the people who enjoy the music. So, in travelling everywhere from German basements to Ibiza's pristine isle and through two eras of U.S. decadence, a list of the top ten clubs of the past fifty years that inspire where dance-as-"EDM" is now is more than likely in order. Enjoy!

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  • Huntz

    You forgot the Starck Club.

  • John Disgraceland Stanhope

    I know it’s hard to do a top ten… but no DC-10? Big omission IMO as the Circo Loco night held at DC 10 pretty much re-invented techo, gave us the new Deep house and revived the careers of Sneak, Kerri Chandler and others.

    What about Space? Amnesia? Cream??

    • Jobby

      It’s due to the fact that this list has been curated by a yank who has probably never set foot out of the USofA.

      They listen EDM (shudder) for 5 minutes and think they love dance music.


      • mac

        yeah this list is pathetic. berghain below hakkasan?!?!? good god this author is CLUELESS

  • Marcus K. Dowling

    @johndisgracelandstanhope:disqus – is huge, but in using “dance-as-EDM” as a modifier, certain spaces that excelled in deeper vibes definitely were considered, then overlooked in favor of spaces that eventually pushed music towards the exact space where the mainstream is at this exact moment. Ask me to do the same list in a year when vibes head in a different direction and I’d absolutely include DC-10 and a lot more of the Ibiza influence.

    @e037f7d27c9aa2ece02cd3e40c528133:disqus – LOL. Disgraceland will certainly let you know that I’m not your “run-of-the-mill” Yank. However, there is certainly a lean in the scope of the list to where “dance-as-EDM” is right now, so, yeah. The slant is definitely away from the spots with the deeper vibes.

    Maybe another list will come of this and I’ll talk about spaces that cultivated scenes. I definitely think that it would certainly change things up a bit. As well, a note about us over here in America overall. As an American with a huge sensitivity to all of this, the whole idea of lists like these is to slowly open up an entire globe and history of dance music to an entire nation of people who have literally next-to-zero idea of the depth and scope of dance’s global progression. Hence, including spots like Wigan, MoS and especially Berghain on the list. Definitely thinking that if techno or deep house *REALLY* catches hold on the pop side of things that doing an influential techno/deep house club list would be rather incredible.

    Thanks for reading!

    - Marcus

  • Atrav Eldiva

    WHAT!!! No Palladium NYC smh…..

  • Robin Belle

    Yessss the Garage …..the first club I went to on my 21 first birthday … boy George was there , Grace Jones .forever best time

  • Chirpy

    Jumping and pumping your fist while watching someone possibly not even mix discs is NOT dance music. Some of those clubs are doing it wrong.

    • Chirpy

      Go to a rock concert with that $%it.

  • smokey

    Prime example of America drifting further away from the rest of the world. How is more than half of this list in the USA, while most of you fuckers needed pitbull, lmfao and David guetta to even recognize dance music’s existence? Don’t act as if you still run shit, you’re losing the battle in every way possible.

    • khal

      I’d give you David Guetta bringing dance music to America’s mainstream, but not sure if Pitbull and LMFAO helped mainstream Americans “recognize dance music’s existence.” And how does making a list about important clubs in dance music history make us “act as if we still run shit?” Who is even putting that out there?

      And when was this even a battle?

  • bort

    erm …. Hacienda? Manchester? come on folks

  • madebyremedy

    A bit tilted towards the US? No Amnesia? No Heaven? Also proud to say we have visited 4 on the list. Fabric & Berghain are clearly the best clubs on the planet

  • e

    Loft nyc, most influential club. The place where dj, disco, grafity and break dance were invented. David mancuso, was the first, the rest followed.

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  • Lana

    Uhh. If we’re going basically American, why is Starck Club not here?