When it comes to raving there are a number of factors that play a vital role in making the event a party to remember. The music, the crowd, ticket prices, production, the list goes on and on. However, there is one key ingredient that each rave needs and can be the defining characteristic of the event; the venue.
We all have personal favourite spots to party locked in our memory; the first gritty warehouse rave, the sunrise beach party, and everything in-between. The possibilities stretch far and wide, so we posed the question to you, the reader, to find out what type of venue you love the most. The answers did not disappoint.
Repurposed buildings and warehouses
Kicking things off is one of our favourite venue types and by far the most popular answer: Repurposed buildings. There is something truly unique about seeing an otherwise normal or commercial space transformed into a rave. Something the building’s architect never dreamed of happening, adding to that rebellious, illegal rave aesthetic.
Printworks, London – capacity 5,000
Previously a newspaper printing factory until 2012, the colossal Canada Water venue now showcases some of the world’s finest acts accompanied by epic light displays.
Gashouder, Amsterdam – capacity 3,500
The uniquely structured circular building formerly operated as a gas factory that supplied much of Amsterdam’s utilities. Today, it’s the spiritual home for techno institution; Awakenings.
Tobacco Dock, London – capacity 2,000
One of London’s raving hotspots since becoming the central hub of LWE’s events. The site was originally built in the late 1700s for the imports/exports of rice, wine, brandy and of course tobacco.
Berghain, Berlin – capacity 1,500
The legendary German club is housed in a former railway repair depot. Now it hosts marathon parties that last up to 60 hours.
Motion, Bristol – capacity 4,000
Now a matrix of warehouses, Motion began its journey as a skatepark. The multi-purpose venue has since cemented its status as an iconic UK rave venue.
Whether it’s a one day spectacle in the middle of the city, or a two week marathon out in the sticks, all open-air festivals are defined by their outdoor stages. Big stacks of speakers, crazy light shows and plenty of space for people to cut some shapes.
Tomorrowland, Boom – 400,000 attendees
The world’s biggest dance festival boasts a total of 18 vibrant stages. individually designed for the festival that runs over two separate long weekends.
Awakenings, Amsterdam – 80,000 attendees
One of techno’s leading brands who alongside hosting shows at the Gashouder, also celebrate their own annual festival. Their immense stage designs come fully equipped with first class sound systems and jaw-dropping pyrotechnic shows.
Boomtown, Hampshire – 80,000 attendees
The alternative UK festival which has garnered a cult following over the years combines a gripping storyline with underground music performed on several psychedelic stages.
Parc Del Forum, Barcelona – 25,000 capacity
One of the venues for the infamous OffWeek; the alternate festival to Sonar, this public park transforms into a rave space right next to the sea. Afterlife, Innervisions, Diynamic, Solid Grooves, and more have all held parties here.
Putting the term underground to a literal sense, many of these smaller, low-ceiling venues have earned a special place in ravers’ hearts. There is something about being tightly packed into a sweaty dark room with bass running through your body that just can’t be compared.
Fabric, London – 1,600 capacity
The capital’s infamous party hotspot situated below the ground in Farringdon offers a rare chance to rave within touching distance of international headline acts. Their renowned Room 1 booth which is level with the dance-floor offers an unparalleled intimate experience. Anyone who has been will know the struggles of climbing those stairs back to the surface at 7am.
Tresor, Berlin – 800 capacity
The widely known Berlin club has operated for over 25 years and is formed of underground tunnels, equipped with thick metal bars for that raw stripped-back aesthetic.
The Vault – 50 capacity
The secret location for our very own RMR live series where we hosted techno sensation Saytek, performing his brand new album on Carl Cox’s label Awesome Soundwave.
Alongside the staggering open-air stages, what would a festival be without its big top tents or pop-up indoor structures. These stages add a whole new dynamic at large scale events and offer a dark spot even on the brightest of days, perfect for those big light shows.
Creamfields Steel Yard, Daresbury -15,000 capacity
This hangar style stage gives an industrial feel to the festival and comes packed with hypnotic production and a thumping sound system.
The Reactor, Arcadia Festival London – 5,000 capacity
The high-octane spectacles of Arcadia have made a name for themselves over the years, thanks to other-worldly stage designs that offer an immense visual show with 360 degree view.
Big Top Tents – varied capacity
This long-standing festival staple has made appearances around the globe. The circus style tent has been hosting raves legally and illegally for decades, instantly recognised by ravers from all backgrounds.
Purpose built venue
Whilst we all love partying in an old factory or basement, these types of venues often have their limitations due to the fact they were never originally intended for raving. However, this is where purpose built venues can shine. Created with the sole purpose of hosting parties, many of the world’s elite superclubs were built from scratch and have since become a utopia for dance music.
Magazine, London – capacity 7,000
Under the same banner as Printworks London, Broadwick’s newest venue opened up in 2019 and at 9,700 sq feet, claims the title of London’s largest indoor events space.
Amnesia, Ibiza – capacity 5,000
The White Isle is notorious for its multitude of super clubs, but Amnesia is a name known in all corners of the world and has offered daily events throughout the island’s party season since the late 80’s.
NOA Beach Club, Zrce Beach – capacity 5000
One of Zrce beach’s five open air venues, NOA comes kitted with swimming pools, a terrace and it’s built on the sea with direct access to the ocean from either side of the venue.
Alongside these more common venue types, below are some other interesting rave spaces which definitely deserve a mention.
Words: Omar Thorne