The enchanting Mediterranean city, famous for its world-class gastronomy, modern culture and unique architecture, is also home to some of Europe’s best venues in terms of electronic music. The melting pot that the Catalan capital has turned into has enabled the perfect atmosphere for the development of the scene. In the past few years, Barcelona has become a central part of Europe’s techno scene, with a handful of artists and labels moving to the city, such as Maceo Plex, Martin Buttrich, ANNA, Jonny White (part of what used to be Art Department), Dubfire, Guti, tINI and many more. Attracted by the good weather and a generally well-educated crowd in terms of music, these artists have started to call Barcelona their home. If you’re an avid clubber looking for the finest tech-house, techno, electro, disco and house music, this is your list. The following clubs are a must visit if you’re in Barcelona, which is now a city that can be compared to heavyweights like London, Paris and even Ibiza.
It’s the techno temple in Barcelona. Literally, the first place that appears in your head when you think of techno in Barcelona. INPUT focuses solely and exclusively on music and sound as its basic pillars. Powered by a perfectly distributed stack of Funktion-One speakers, it is the gateway to an unparalleled sound experience in Barcelona.
Located in one of the most significant locations in the city (the Poble Espanyol) and with an aesthetic marked by a highly loaded led illumination, this venue brings every Friday and Saturday the best talent from the techno and tech-house spectrum. Ben Klock, Dubfire, Nicole Moudaber, Pan-Pot and even Amelie Lens have played there. The atmosphere you can breathe there is 100% clubber, and the crowd is probably the best in the city since everybody is there for the music. It’s the perfect place to let yourself go and forget about reality.
If on top of that you add an amazing light show that will absorb you from the first moment you walk in, INPUT is every techno, tech-house and groove lover’s dream.
If we at Nitsa Club must highlight one factor above the rest, this is its artistic programme. But there is much more. Nitsa Club is the name, the flag, the icon, the party that happens at Sala Apolo and La  de Apolo, the 2 spaces of the mythical Barcelona club located in the middle of the Av. Paral·lel, on Friday and Saturday nights. It is then that the legendary Nitsa brand, a pioneering party and one of the most historic and emblematic of Barcelona, turns Apolo into one of the great epicentres of the European clubbing scene.
As we said, Nitsa is especially remarkable for its programming. Always at the forefront, its booking team bets on the most futuristic and sophisticated sounds of techno, house, nu-disco, IDM, breakbeat, EBM and electro. Nitsa has gone from Helena Hauff, Surgeon or Regis to Dixon, Bicep, Ben UFO, Detroit Swindle or The Black Madonna. The local idol John Talabot uses to visit the venue, by the way.
Nitsa Club consists of Nitsa (main room on the upper floor) and Astin (complimentary room on the lower floor; it is the first one you will find when you enter the club). Both have recently been remodelled and their infrastructure, as well as their sound and lighting systems, have been readapted to meet the expectations of one of the most demanding audiences in the city. If you are looking for new sounds and away from the big media spotlights, Nitsa Club is your best option.
Pacha. Its name is probably enough. The world-famous cherry brand has been incorporating house and techno nights in their weekly schedule for a while now. Electronic music at Pacha Barcelona means SIGHT, one of the best underground parties of the week in town.
Do not be fooled by the whitish tonality of the club. The loudest, darkest sounds are perfectly suited to the club. Above it hover small ambient shades of reddish tone that break under the effects of rotating lights and flashes. An underground atmosphere has been created in a dancefloor that would be unrecognizable for the rest of the week. That is, without a doubt, part of its magic. Sven Väth, Matador, Davide Squillace, Charlotte de Witte or Stephan Bodzin testify to the power of the club, which allows you to breathe microdoses of Ibizan spirit in the heart of Barcelona’s Port Olímpic.
No less remarkable is the power of their sound system. It is impossible that the basses of each theme don’t suppose strong blows in the sternum of the listener, guaranteeing the quality of the “Pacha experience”. A very relaxed atmosphere is breathed and practically all types of clothing are allowed, going from people wearing t-shirts and sneakers to the glamorous attendees that frequent the VIP tables. This is a must visit while in Barcelona! Queues tend to get long, so we highly recommend getting your tickets in advance and avoid all the hassle!
We present to you the only open-air nightclub in Barcelona. It’s located inside the beautiful walled replica village of Poble Espanyol (near INPUT, by the way), and it’s the perfect venue to cool down Barcelona’s summer heat while going out. It only opens from May to September.
Electronica. Disco. House. Techno. Oh, and a Balearic taste. These are the main genres one can expect at this peculiar club. Among the many famous names that have played in the Ibiza-flavoured terrace, the ones worthy of mention include Richie Hawtin and Ricardo Villalobos. Others like Fur Coat, Kittin, Denis Horvat or Fort Romeau are more commonly seen at La Terrrazza.
Even though it’s a terrace (as its name says), a little clothing is advised. Don’t dress like you’re going to the beach. Swimsuit and flip-flops will leave you stranded at the door.
Razzmatazz is probably one of the most famous nightclubs in Europe. Actually, we’re talking about a five-room macro-club, each of the rooms focused on a specific music genre. That’s why in the title we highlighted The Loft. It is located on the top floor and in the area furthest away from the main entrance. That’s where, every Friday and Saturday, some of the rawest and most industrial techno sound proposals come together.
As we said, Razzmatazz is quite famous in Barcelona. It usually gets crowded on weekends and in summer, despite most of the people stay in the main room dancing to trap, reggaeton and big commercial hits. If you want to go upstairs to dance to techno music at The Loft, we recommend buying your ticket, ask for the room at the entrance… and discover this big paradise in the heart of Poblenou.
This Side UP is one of the most interesting new generation clubs in Barcelona’s underground scene. It is located at Av. Paral-lel, just a few metres from Sala Apolo. All you must do is walk a little more towards the sea. There, almost hidden between petrol stations and storage rooms, you will find a little black door. Inside, a peculiar dancefloor, surrounded by two imposing staircases and a balcony overlooking the DJ booth and the audience. A unique club that is worth visiting if you are looking for small spaces, non-massive audiences and selective environments musically speaking.
The bookers of This Side UP bet on classic electronica, more typical of the 90s or early 2000s. Organic music, live band sounds, not very high bpm’s and combinations of nu-disco, Italo-house, indie dance, dark house and downtempo make this club one of the most interesting in the most experimental field of clubbing. Great names like Jennifer Cardini, Damon Jee, Simple Symmetry or Zombies in Miami have passed through the stage of This Side UP. Easy to say…
This Side UP also has the peculiarity that many of its events are free of charge, so it’s not difficult to get much more people than expected. What do we recommend? Easy: book your free ticket as soon as possible to avoid scary moments at the door.
Ladies and gentlemen, with all of you, one of the most charismatic clubs (if not the most) in Barcelona. This venue fits literally 81 people inside of it. That’s why some of the artists who had gigs there say Macarena is like playing in your living room, for your family or friends. It’s commonly thought that this was the first venue in Barcelona to install Funktion-One equipment. And it’s still there, so, as you can imagine, the sound is absolutely class and unique.
Its audience is divided between locals and foreigners, but it’s difficult to find tourists. The foreigners who dance in Macarena live in Barcelona, they’re clubbers who already know the ins and outs of the city and know what’s going on in Macarena. The atmosphere is very good. All that matters there is music. And people go to music. John Talabot or the German duo Schwefelgelb have played great nights there. The Copyleft party on Tuesdays and the Cercle on Sundays are undoubtedly options to consider.
The Bass Valley is one of the most important electronic music production academies in Spain. This is where great artists of our scene such as Paco Osuna, Marc Marzenit or Uner usually teach. With the aim of further expanding this culture, The Bass Valley landed in Barcelona to offer one of the best facilities for the production, mastering and mixing of electronic music. On the street floor, however, they found an empty industrial warehouse. Why not make a club? That’s how The Garage of The Bass Valley was born.
We are talking about a small club, with a capacity of just over 300 people, and a sound-system (almost) unique in the world. Pioneer Pro Audio XY-3B and XY-218HS is a true pioneer in Spain and only the London club Fuse in all of Europe can say it got it too.
In such conditions, many have been attracted by this new club, officially launched in February 2019 and away from the busiest areas of Barcelona. The Garage of The Bass Valley is mostly techno, experimental and futuristic music and proposals always close to rave genres. Architectural, Psyk, James Shinra or Boston 168, among others, have already performed there.
As we said, the capacity is barely over 300 people, so we recommend always getting an early entrance to avoid bad experiences at the door.
“Moog your body” is the slogan of this emblematic Barcelona club, another cosy room with a reduced space in which barely 100 people can fit. However, it is always full (its central location helps) and has an enviable appearance. It is not usual to see big names there. Rather, it’s emerging talents, both local and international, that occupy its line-ups.
You rarely hear music in Moog that isn’t techno or genres close to techno. For more than 20 years (opening absolutely every night of the year), Moog has educated his audience with blunt, generally dark, industrially charged music. Moog is in Barcelona, but he could perfectly well be anywhere in Berlin.
We repeat: the capacity is super limited. The best idea? Buy your pre-sale ticket and be safe at the door.
It’s impossible not to know Barcelona’s Plaza Catalunya, isn’t it? CityHall is just a few metres away. It is the most centric club in Barcelona. Previously, it was a theatre, something easily recognisable by its red curtains, present throughout the whole venue.
You will enter, walk down a long corridor, hallucinate a bit with the club structure… and, in the end, you will go down the stairs and enter the main room of CityHall, being totally absorbed by the lights and sound and starting to dance to the beat.
CityHall has been visited by many top DJs, with big-room techno and tech on the order of the day. CityHall is, in fact, one of the classic bets on Thursday and Saturday nights. Ben Sims, Pan-Pot, tINI, Paco Osuna or national artists like Andrés Campo, Lexlay or Agatha Pher usually perform there.
(Cover Image: © Xceed)