In the stoneage of Bali’s nightlife, the most venerated god was called Jakarta. The atmosphere, club managers, djs, celebrities, and even the tunes were all imported from Indonesia’s capital city. Batavia’s cheap commercial house music was the must. The superstars were called Riri Mestica or dj Romy and wealthy local Jack Daniel lovers used to tip the dj in order to get “you’re so sexy” or other terrible hits played in Deja Vu or Doublesix.
After years of tough work by a handful of western or westernized pioneers, mentalities finally changed. The emergence of clubs like Maria Magdalena or Mint rose the level of exigence in terms of electronic music. Quality deep house or techno invaded the island and underground sounds became a trend. As the dancefloors showed more mixity between Indonesia and the rest of the world, Bali became a main party destination in Asia.
Today, venues like Jenja, Koh, Woo-bar, Mirror, Opivm, Potato Head, Kudeta, La Hacienda, Finns Beach Club, Da Maria or even Skygarden for the EDM lovers, attract the biggest international artists. A blessing for such a small island! Huge planetary stars played recently or will perform in the next weeks in our favorite places: Carl Craig, Sa- sha, Yousef, Mathias Meyer, Dominik Eulberg, Smash TV, Amine K , Guy Gerber, Mark Knight, Kollektiv Turmstrasse, Jay Lumen, Diplo, La Fleur, Hernan Cattaneo, Fur Coat, Darren Emerson, Steve Aoki, Tiga, Tiefschwarz, Felix Da Housecat, Mathias Tanzmann, Monkey Sa- fari, Darius Syrossian, Riva Starr, Doorly, Hot Since 82, &ME, Eli & Fur, Claptone, Marc Rom- boy or Betoko. An incredible list!
Progressive- ly, our dancefloors are becoming a tropical extention of Berlin, Chicago or Detroit, the holy places of techno and house music. The island is hosting as well famous dance festivals with impressive line-ups, where thousands are attending from around the world: Ultra, Dreamfields or Sunny Side Up. Unlike other hot nightlife spots in Asia as Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong or even Jakarta, where the demand is more commercial and easy-listening oriented, Bali developped its own identity. Many visitors are amazed to discover these edgy nightclubs, as they expected only cheesy tourist traps from a resort island.
Influencend by all these great artists booked everywhere, even the local resident djs start to sound european. Some of them could easily play in any venue in Paris, London or Amsterdam. Groovy music and funky party animals: more than ever, Bali deserves to be called the Ibiza of Southeast Asia!■