This post ran originally on THUMP UK.
It used to be enough to hire out a decent club, put some speakers in, wire-up a pair of decks, ask the bloke down the road with the big headphones to play a few records, charge a fiver on the door, and let the clubbing commence. We liked the dark spaces and loud music, the anonymity and inclusivity. We liked the simple act of listening to a DJ playing tunes in an environment built for playing them.
Hey, grandad—get with the times! Clubs are either closed or passé, so now it's all about creating bespoke listening environments for cash-rich clubbers with an appetite for Instagram-able events. DJs play in zero gravity and on open-topped busses. They commandeer hot air balloons and hilltop villas and refreshingly they look just as bored banging out Hot Creations releases from the Palace of Versailles as they do the Pickle Factory.
Somewhere down the line a DJ playing in a club became, for reasons that'll never be that clear to us, boring. Creative party-planning is now as much of an art as the music itself. But it's not easy, you've got to pick the right site or you could have some very disinterested punters on your hands. "Last weekend we were inside a volcano!" They'll cry as they survey the shitty arctic canyon you've led them to. With that in mind, we've put together a list of eight winning location ideas, sure to make your festival an unforgettable, five stars on Trip Advisor-worthy experience.
Photo via Flickr
I don't know about you but I absolutely love the whole experience of proper big room clubbing. I love the half a mile walk from the door to the stage, I love the feeling of being pressed against thousands and thousands of damp, musty bodies, I love hearing the kick-drum bouncing off the wall into an eternally unlistenable echo. Queuing for an hour for a piss? Love it. Watching the wrinkles and liver spots emerge on my hands as I patiently wait for my eight quid can of room temperature lager? Love that too, mate. Nothing makes me feel more alive than squinting through the strobes at the ant-sized selector who's a few thousand feet away. With that in mind, I can't think of a more suitable venue to bleed my overdraft dry in than the biggest room of them all—the Boeing Everett Factory in Washington! They say, don't they, the bigger the better, and in this case you literally cannot get bigger because this is the largest building in the world. There are about 100 acres to play with at the site, and once you've cleared out all the planes that are lying around inside, there'll be enough room for a port-o-potty for everyone in attendance. A queue-less treat—and they said clubbing was dying! Plus, if they feel like it, maybe a DJ could commandeer one of the planes—that'd be one for Snapchat! All aboard! Get ready for takeoff...into the bantersphere! Geronimo!
Photo via Flickr
Hey, bro, have you been watching SNL recently? That shit is more important than ever, bro. The resistance is here, bro, and we're not gonna be quiet. I can assure you that much, bro. Did you see their take on Trump, bro? Super important, bro. We can't stand by and watch him fuck the world forever, bro, no sir. We gotta take back control with laughter, bro. Have you ever seen Patch Adams, bro? Kinda interesting to watch it in the post-resistance age, bro. But in all seriousness, bro, SNL's vicious lampooning of the president and his cronies is gonna make things happen, bro, just watch. Bannon, Spicer, Conway, bro, those bozos don't stand a chance, bro. It'd be totally cool to have a DJ on, bro, because I believe DJs have a lot of power in the current climate, bro. Have you heard of Moby, bro? Super political, super necessary, bro. That'd be awesome, bro. Imagine how the normies back at home in their boomer palaces would react, bro. It'd be priceless. Hey, have you ever listened to Chapo Trap House, bro?
Photo via Wikipedia
Hot air balloons are alright, and rickshaws are okay too, but if we want the world to start taking this "DJing" thing seriously, we need to put it at the forefront of a radical scientific breakthrough. Which is why the boffins at Swizzels Matlow have spent several years and billions and billions of pounds on a super-secret project they'll be unveiling with the help of a superstar DJ towards the end of 2017. They have begun the slow process of drilling directly into the earth's molten core, creating a kind of slide which transports one lucky competition winner from from the company's HQ near Stockport right into the middle of the planet. Once at the bottom the competition winner will find the DJ—whose identity we cannot disclose at this moment in time—who made the trip down a few months back, armed with nothing but a USB stick and a few months worth of tinned sardines for sustenance. Swizzles claim no responsibility for the potentially charred and mutilated body the competition winner will find, noting that anyone who enters said competition should be "fully aware of the heat" down in the core. The competition will culminate in the world's first Facebook Live video of two rapidly-decomposing bodies burning to the sounds of "Let's Go Dancing," by Tiga.
Photo via the BBC
Photo via Wikipedia
Picture the scene. The long fluorescent lights, the pallid beige floors with streaks of chewing gum worn black by the constant tread of squeaky trainers. You, nestled in somewhere between a metal rail of blue hoodies and a metal rail of green hoodies. The air-conditioning whirring away, pumping stale air into the already energy sapping atmosphere. The rattle of coat-hangers, the distant beep of tills, and there, on a podium shrouded in bootcut jeans and discount jackets with poppers and straps on the shoulders is the big man, Adam Beyer. That's right, Adam fucking Beyer, in one of Cardiff's five branches of Peacocks. Send your nan off to look at hosiery. This one's for the heads.
For the uninitiated Crinkley Bottom—the mythical home of Noel Edmonds and his pustulated and phallic pal Mr Blobby—was a failed theme park in the civil parish of Cricket St. Thomas, Somerset. Attractions at the park included a thatched train taking visitors to and from Crinkley Bottom station, Throttled Cock farm, the Narnia tunnel and the gunge mines. Mr Blobby's home at the park was called Dunblobbin' where he had a wife and a child. However when Noel's House Party was axed by the BBC, Crinkley Bottom followed suit soon after and folded. Rumours have abounded since that the derelict site of the the former pleasure park has played host to numerous illegal raves, and it's not difficult to see why. You'd do well to find a more appropriate location to for acid flashbacks than among the rotting ephemera of the 1990s.
Photo by Pixabay
DJ on the back of a moving horse. That's one for the neigh-sayers! Get it!
Photo via Wikipedia
If none of those ideas suit, why not go really retro and see if you can break into the site of a former British nightclub. These institutions were popular all through the late 20th century and just into the millennium, but fell out of favor with the advent of Orange is the New Black. Most old nightclubs—or "clubs" as they were quaintly called—are apartment blocks now, but call in a couple of favors from some property developer friends and see if they've got one they haven't got round to converting yet. Then arm yourself with a crowbar and a torchlight, and get to work on a truly unique party location.