— All Bristol's electronic & dance music listings.
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Bristol’s best club nights
Dance music dominates Bristol’s musical landscape with the city’s electronic music producers and DJs considered some of Bristol’s finest exports. Outsiders and bloggers frequently fail to understand Bristol’s dance music, using resorting to sweeping statements about dubstep, disco or house music or cringe-inducing references to the ‘Bristol Sound’. The truth is that Bristol’s musical integrity is a direct result of sheer variety and the passion of individuals working in the music scene today.
Like Manchester’s Warehouse Project, Motion is the first nightclub many visitors to Bristol will be introduced to. While Headfirst is generally focused around the city’s smaller nights and event, the value Motion adds to Bristol’s musical culture in undeniable. The ability to book DJ’s like Ricardo Villalobos and Laurent Garnier or live acts like Moderat, inspires the next generation of promoters that will bring their own talent to venues like Blue Mountain and Lakota.
Since 2016 clubbers have been able to buy tickets for events at venues like Coroner’s Court, Lakota and The Small Horse here on Headfirst. We work directly with the club promoters providing an ethical and independent place to buy your club tickets. Headfirst provides barcode-based club night tickets which are scanned by staff outside nightclubs and venues in Bristol on a nightly basis.
DJ Culture & Nightlife
Stokes Croft’s Idle Hands record shop has earned international recognition from both international and Bristol DJs and is frequently listed alongside Rush Hour Records and Public Possession as one of Europe’s best sources of electronic music. The rise of house music (and with it disco) has seen the club focus begin to shift from headline producers to experienced djs and record collectors. Where true DJ bookings were once the domain of small niche nightclubs like Cosies and Take 5 Cafe, recently promoters like Odo and Boogie Nights have brought international dance music purveyors to larger venues like Bristol’s Old Crown Courts and The Island’s prison cells. Clubbers rush to buy Dropout Disco tickets before the full line-up is announced while Dirty Talk and Alfresco Disco’s innovative approach to the typical ‘nightclub venue’ sells out on the promoter’s reputation alone.
Purveyors of gloriously decadent parties and a vital platform (and haven) for underrepresented voices - Thorny makes a hugely welcome return with their summer party. The night before Bristol Pride, Thorny hosts a majestic array of performers at Trinity Centre which sees swamp-pop enigma E B U, dramatic dancefloor selector Ifeoluwa, and dreamy post-punks Oh, The Guilt return to play.
Electro-pop royalty Tami T makes her Bristol debut, alongside performance artist and activist Katy Jalili aka Cool Dad, multidisciplinary sound artist Rebekah Ubuntu - Artist and many more. Prepare for a meticulously curated, dazzling spectacle of a night in true Thorny fashion.
🎫 Tickets: hdfst.uk/E52910
MI CASA SU CASA W/ VERA
15 hours of Mi Casa Su Casa in the daytime sun of the Dare to Club roof terrace with Berlin-based Ricardo Villalobos collaborator and Perlon associate Vera. When the sun has set MCSC favourite Roberto - Fossil Archive will be gifting us his brand new live set in the intimate depths of Dare To Club.
Saturday 8th June is the closest we've come to a full-blown Mi Casa festival, grab your 2nd release tickets now:
🎫 Tickets: hdfst.uk/E53579
Seizing the floor at The Loco Klub for a Room 237 Bristol bank-holiday Sunday of Drexciyan proportions, DJ Stingray melds the bone-rattling snares of dystopian Detroit techno with the bump n’ grind funk of West Coast electro. While Stingray's fast-cutting approach to mixing severs ties from the long-blends of contemporary dance music, Afrodeutsche's rising UK interpolations of classic 313 cybotron electro make her the perfect support.
🎫 Tickets: hdfst.uk/E53050
Over the past few years Dialogue has nurtured an inclusive community of like-minded techno fans, collaborating with the likes of Siren London, Universe of Tang, and now, for their 3rd birthday, Berlin-based queer collective Room 4 Resistance.
Returning to the intimacy of Dare to Club on Friday for their last night before a planned (and hopefully brief) hiatus, Dialogue once again hosts a unique and diverse line-up. Nazira - dj brings her emotive, mesmeric sound all the way from Kazakhstan (before playing Berghain on Saturday), LOFT returns to close the dungeon with her brilliantly unpredictable dancefloor prowess, and The Palace International Film Festival will also be screening films throughout the night.
🎫 Tickets: hdfst.uk/E53035
TakeOff back with their first show of 2019 with Bass music connoisseurs Swamp 81 and Bristol based taste makers No Future.
Electronic music In Bristol
Experimental dance music and boundary-pushing techno will always be found in Bristol’s smaller club venues. The Island’s cells space for example, continues to provide opportunities for new promoters that have vision beyond simply booking a DJ and running a publicity campaign. With no permanent sound system or DJ equipment, the old prison cells is blank canvas club - at it’s very best when an innovative event organiser puts in the time to transform the whole dancefloor space.
The interstellar lovechild of Andrew Weatherall and Hardway Bro's Sean Johnston, A Love From Outer Space lends a punky aesthetic to an often clean-cut scene, breathing new life into long-lost balearic, krautrock and komische.
Warping their exquisite collection beyond recognition, ALFOS' chuggy celestial soundscapes belie a slow maturity at odds with the hectic relentlessness of contemporary techno. The iconic pair play the long game with a 5-hour set at Easton’s Boxing Club on Saturday hosted by Club Blanco.
🎫 Tickets: hdfst.uk/E52974
Strictly Yes’s razor-sharp, industrial vision brings exceptional sound and setting to Bristol nightlife - Benjamin Damage and Stephanie Sykes are now followed by recent Discwoman signing, VTSS. Leading Warsaw’s experimentalist shift, the Brutaż affiliate’s productions span from slower, Tzusing-esque stompers on her Intrepid Skin debut, to the distorted, speedy weirdness of 2019’s Self Will EP.
Her recent Boiler Room debut showcased the boundless nature of her sets too, blending pummelling percussion with rave-inspired breaks, glittering discordance and the raw vocals of hard-drum and dancehall - she plays all night on May 4th.
🎫 Tickets: hdfst.uk/E52121
VENUE ANNOUNCEMENT: NICOLAS LUTZ
Musu x Colours return to Band Studios - the 500 capacity BS4 industrial estate film studio with club-grade soundproofing and enviable audio (anyone in the crowd at their June collab with DJ Fett Burger / LNS will swear by that).
For 8 hours this rarely used space will host My Own Jupiter's Nicolas Lutz, a true leader and survivor of Berlin's old guard whose revered mixes posses a truly cosmic vision within the house/techno continuum. NTS juggernaut and pioneer of "frozen balearic gay biker house" Ivan Smagghe supports alongside Rough Draft's rising resident Ellie Stokes.
🎫 Tickets: hdfst.uk/E52387
📺 3D Venue Tour: goo.gl/maps/X1FmNGdEE1z
THIS FRIDAY: MUSU X COLOURS
Musu x Colours return to Band Studios for 8 hours with My Own Jupiter's Nicolas Lutz - a true leader and survivor of Berlin's old guard whose revered mixes posses a truly cosmic vision within the house/techno continuum. NTS Radio juggernaut and pioneer of "frozen balearic gay biker house" Ivan Smagghe supports alongside Rough Draft's rising resident Ellie Stokes.
🎫 Tickets: hdfst.uk/E52387
Redacted returns to Take 5, showcasing a myriad of talent. Join us as we combine the dirtiest rhythms with flawless productions.
Alternative Spaces and New Club Venues
One of the main strengths to Bristol's club scene is it's relentless dynamism, every year enthusiastic new promoters bring new experiences to the table. Unlike raves of the previous decades, new events shirk the crusty, rebellious connotations of free party culture in favour of organised, party-centric events in interesting locations.