I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: Ibiza is changing – and if anyone tells you otherwise they have either not seen it with their own eyes or are simply lying to you.
In recent months we have seen local officials closing down beach parties, imposing 6:30am club curfews and admitting that the island cannot take in much more tourism due to depleted natural and local resources. And let’s not forget the imminent end of the legendary Space Ibiza (with ENTER and Carl Cox’s Music Is Revolution both leaving the island), the rise of VIP-centered Ushuaïa as well as the increasing prevalence of commercial dance music throughout the Balearic island. On top of that, a recent criminal investigation by local authorities has resulted in raids at Amnesia, Space and Privilege, with four men arrested, including the owner of Amnesia and his son.
Things are changing, and Ibiza is no longer the same Ibiza of 5, 10 or 15 years ago, and while progress is natural, a large portion of dance music fans are now looking for less-regulated new destinations to freely enjoy the underground sounds of their favorite artists. Below are our top picks for the “next Ibiza” – destinations that have been and continue to be more and more popular for those seeking to party while on vacation.
It is no secret that Croatia has rapidly become a party destination for millions who seek an alternative to the Ibiza during summer. Lax regulations, 24-hour licenses, beautiful beaches and seafront locations as well as the cheap Croatian Kuna has transformed the Eastern European country into the home of a myriad of festivals the likes of Love System, Hideout Festival, Outlook Festival, Dimensions Festival, Barrakud Festival, Defected Croatia, Dekmantel Selectors, Lighthouse Festival, Ultra Europe, Echo Festival, For, The Garden, Electric Elephant, Soundwave, Unknown, Suncebeat, Stop Making Sense, and Sonus. The lineups are diverse yet deep in talent beyond the usual headliners that visit Ibiza, with plenty of weekend festival experiences going the extra mile by providing boat, day and night parties for 24-hour non-stop fun. It is no coincidence that two of the aforementioned festivals made our list of the world’s most unique festival destinations – we could have picked more but had to equally feature the rest of the world!
Ok, this one may seem obvious. But is it? The German city is undoubtedly the world’s most revered techno destination thanks to venerated venues such as Berghain, Tresor and Watergate. And while the latter features plenty of the international touring circle’s greatest house names, let’s not forget the role of Panorama Bar is arguably just as big in the city’s scene as that of its techno equivalent in the same building. Moving on down the list, Berlin plays host to an even deeper selection of top-notch venues that put emphasis on local emerging talent as well as guest acts: ://about blank, Club der Visionaere, Ritter Butzke, Salon Zur Wilden Renate and plenty plenty more. There’s a reason so many artists from around Europe and beyond are migrating to the German capital and cultural center to live, thriving in a city that now boasts what many would describe, without hesitation, as the best underground techno and house scene in the world. It may not have Ibiza’s beaches, but it makes up for it with top-tier music, stunning architecture and that breezy, relatively cheap ease of living that is hard to find anywhere else.
Chances are that if you’re planning a trip to Europe from the States, Amsterdam is up there on your must-visit list. The increase in popularity of Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE), as well as other festivals such as Dekmantel, Loveland, Mysteryland, DGTL and Awakenings have all soldered the city as a true music destination for those who love and seek dance music. The city itself houses some of the continent’s best music venues such as Gashounder, De School, Chicago Social Club and Melkweg, all of whom, when coupled with the city’s art, architectural beauty, canals and tolerance for soft drugs make Amsterdam a hub for dance music aficionados the world over.
If there is one island in the world with the power and already established scene to truly be the next Ibiza, it’s no doubt Mykonos. The Greek island has long been a party destination, in large part thanks to acclaimed clubs such as Cavo Paradiso, Pinky Beach, and Nammos, as well as its gay-friendly atmosphere and more-than-affordable prices that are a fraction of what visitors in Ibiza pay on any given night out. Mykonos’ beaches are no joke either, making it the one destination that provides the closest full experience that its Balearic counterpart has become famous for.
Yes, we know Tulum officials were reportedly making moves to shut down parties on the remote Mayan destination, but recent rumors from residents and industry professionals alike seem to tell a different story. It appears that the party is still going and shows no sign of stopping. The small town began to benefit from BPM‘s growth in nearby Playa del Carmen, playing host to Damian Lazarus’ intricate Day Zero party and a flurry of other events that have since began to pop up throughout the area. Partying surrounded by Mayan ruins or next to a cenote? Tulum provides all of that in the idyllic jungle and pristine beach surrounding of Mexico’s Quintana Roo region.