Where Is the Next Ibiza? 5 Contenders -- From Croatia to Tulum
The one thing that seemingly everyone can agree on about Ibiza is that it's changing. Whether the new regulations, rise of Ushuaia and influx of more commercial sounds on the White Isle delight or dismay you, things are evolving for the Balearic gem. For purists looking for greener, less-regulated pastures, Billboard Dance has rounded up the top 5 contenders to help fill the space that Ibiza has held in clubbers' hearts for decades.
This front-runner has a rather laissez-faire regulatory system with plenty of 24-hour licenses and low costs of operation. That makes it an easy choice for festivals looking for a home base, and Croatia calls itself the proud location of Ultra Europe, Hideout Festival, Outlook Festival, Dimensions Festival, Barrakud Festival, Lighthouse Festival, Love System, Echo Festival, For, The Garden, Electric Elephant, Soundwave, Suncebeat, Stop Making Sense, Sonus, and Unknown. Four of those fests made Billboard's list of Top 25 European Dance Festivals, period. Also, it's unbelievably gorgeous.
A long established party scene and gay-friendly culture have helped this historically sensational Greek island become an emergent dance music hotspot. At clubs like Cavo Paradiso, Pinky Beach, and Nammos, fans get the same entertainment at a fraction of the cost. “[In Ibiza] they are too focused on the VIP,” Afrojack told the BBC in 2014. “A ticket (in Ibiza) is €75. I go to Mykonos, play exactly the same thing, and you buy a €10 ticket.”
When the Ibizan summer season ends and a chill creeps into the Northern Hemisphere, DJs and partygoers begin making their way south of the equator. Brazil is party central come autumn and winter months, especially in the southern regions of Sao Paulo and Florianopolis. EDC and ID&T festivals are choosing to make these regions home, alongside megaclubs like Pacha, beach clubs a la Parador 12, and surf bars like Barraco Da Mole. Brazil's open-air nightclub Green Valley in Balneário Camboriú (located in the southern state of Santa Catarina) in has been named the best club in the world by DJ Mag polls for the two years in a row and sits at No. 2 today. Not too shabby.
BPM is one of the fastest growing dance music industry events today, and the festival's sister city of Tulum is benefiting from it. New York magazine dubbed the city “the Williamsburg of Mexico,” citing a serious influx of hipster tourists looking to get away from urban hustle and bustle. Bars and clubs are popping up along the beachside city and there have even been reports of raves in Mayan ruins, such as Damian Lazarus' ambitious Day Zero party.
Who's Hungary for a good time? Bad puns aside, the nation's capital is quickly becoming a must-visit destination for all dance enthusiasts. The unique “ruin pub” scene turns WWII devastation into something worth celebrating. Each club is full of charming, funky décor and surprisingly spacious, often with numerous themed rooms and tons of thumping bass. Or, maybe one weekend you'll attend a rave in a converted, ancient Roman bath. Budapest is also home to Sziget Festival and Balaton Sound, because every next Ibiza needs a major music festival.