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 events, 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 dare2, Lost Horizon 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.
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 Simple Things and PTS have brought international dance music purveyors to larger venues like Propyard 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.
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.
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.