Back in the day, it might have been all about a basement, a red light, and a feeling – but today’s DJs and promoters are working a bit harder to make sure that you’re dancing in a space that’s as out there as any of the music being played.
Please find the list with the most amazing DJ sets from famous DJ’s in the most breathtaking locations.
- Nina Kraviz at the Great Wall of China: Nina Kraviz is no stranger to playing a sunrise set during festival season, but surely this one takes some beating? Picture this: it’s the early hours of the morning and you’re dancing in a stone tower built by no less than the Ming Dynasty of imperial China. The wall that tower is part of stretches 5,500 miles. And Nina’s throwing down unreleased bangers from her Trip label, alongside tracks by Shackleton and Addison Groove. It’s probably fair to say that even as one of techno’s most prominent names, Kraviz will never quite hit these imperial heights again.
- Paul Oakenfold and Carl Cox at Stonehenge: These two go right back to the UK acid house’s beginnings. Oakenfold was part of a fabled group of holidaymakers – including Danny Rampling – that wanted to recreate Alfredo Fiorito’s 80s Ibiza vibe in the UK. Coxy played at the first Shoom, Rampling’s club that defined the era. But this invite-only gig at Stonehenge proves that they’re not done yet when it comes to pushing the boundaries of DJ culture.
- Paul Oakenfold at Mount Everest Base Camp: Now forgive us for repeating ourselves, but for Paul Oakenfold at what he calls “the highest party on earth”, we’ll make an exception. To commemorate the 30 years since that fateful Ibiza trip that ended up kicking off London’s love of Balearic culture, Oakey performed at Mount Everest’s base camp alongside Nepal’s DJ Ranzen, as both raised funds to help the local community after the 2015’s terrible earthquake. It’s not a truly spectacular gig unless you have to train for the altitude for four weeks beforehand, you know.
- Peggy Gou and Artwork play an underwater rave: Now pool parties are one thing, but we’ve never heard of a rave that actually went down under the surface before. Deep House (of course) was an Elrow production, with the masters of clubland spectacle inviting their guests to don a helmet and sink into the drink at Y-40 in Venice aka “the world’s deepest swimming pool”, which goes down to 140ft (that’s deep enough for a 14 storey block of flats). Here, lucky guests got to hear Artwork and then Peggy Gou plays bumping tech-house alongside the usual Elrow cast of actors and huge production values. Just make sure the helmet stays on or you’ll have more than a sore head to worry about.
- Mathew Jonson and Isis live at Teufelsberg: Back in the Cold War even the mention of filming here would probably have got you shot, but thankfully things are different now in West Berlin. That’s because Teufelsberg, which is based on a man-made hill built of rubble, was once the site of a US listening post known as Field Station Berlin. But nowadays the area is able to host listening events of a very different nature, like this hypnotic live set from the masterful Mathew Johson. Better times all round, we’re sure you agree.
- Fatboy Slim at the Houses of Parliament: Back in the 1990s, electronic dance music was viewed by the British political class as a social ill – in particular, the 1994 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act legislated against “repetitive beats” played in public spaces, an attempt to crack down on the spate of outdoor raves popping up across the British countryside.But come 2013, electronic dance music was established enough that the establishment was comfortable with it. In March 2013, Fatboy Slim became the first DJ to play the House Of Commons at the invitation of MP Mike Weatherley as part of House To House, a parliamentary initiative encouraging 16-25-year-olds to become more involved in their communities through local music and dance projects.
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