Short summary: In terms of electronic dance music clubbing, Barcelona is good for techno, commercial house, and alternative EDM. Razzmatazz, Apolo, and Opium Mar are great clubs to check out. Barcelona clubbing scene is generally a lot more happening in the summer than in the winter.
As an ultra touristic city, there’s no such thing as an off-night in the Barcelona clubbing world. Many of the clubs are open every single night. And like most European cities, electronic dance music (EDM) is very popular. To be honest, the electronic music scene in Barcelona pales to that of Berlin, London, or Amsterdam.
The diversity of the dance music events is not high. Music usually is of the techno genre, commercial dance music, or alternative/experimental dance music. Music events of genres like trance, drum and bass, etc are very rare. The big name DJs that tend to come here are from techno. Big names in commercial house do not grace the city often. To me, this has been very surprising, given Barcelona’s reputation as a party city. However, parties are still good and fun, given that the people are friendly and the drinks are strong and cheap.
Parties in Barcelona tend to be seasonal – once the summer season heats up more exciting parties take place.
These are my top picks for electronic dance music clubs in Barcelona.
Razzmatazz. (Poble Nou) Razzmatazz is one of the two staple Barcelona EDM clubs. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been to Razzmatazz ever since I got to Barcelona – maybe like 6 times in 3 months? Out of all the electronic music clubs I’ve been to, it my favorite. I went to shows of What So Not, Chemical Brothers, some DubStep DJ, and more. It has 4 dance floors, though only two of them are of a big size and host international DJs (a main floor and a terrace floor). There’s a nice outdoor terrace for people to chill at.
I like that drinks are relatively cheap – I think 6-7 euros for a red bull vodka, and they really fill up your cup with the liquor! Normal door entry is 15 euros (with a drink). You can also always find fliers on their Facebook page or Razzmatazz mobile app for reduced admission (usually around 10 euros before 2pm, 13 euros after).
Apolo. (Poble Sec) The other one of the two staple Barcelona EDM clubs. It’s a theater converted into a club, and like Razzmatazz it also has two big dance floors. However, the downstairs dance floor usually plays indie music. Like Razzmatazz, drinks are cheap and generous. Apolo tends to host big name techno DJs. Normal entry at the door is 18 euros with drink, but you can get tickets online for a cheaper price (15 euros with drink). I am not a big techno fan, which is one of the reasons I don’t like Apolo as much as Razzmatazz, but I also think that in terms of layout and size, Razzmatazz is more exciting.
Moog. Moog is one of the first techno clubs in Barcelona ever, and spearheaded the Barcelona techno movement. It’s an important institution in the Barcelona nightlife scene. It now tends to play more experimental electronic music. Moog has two floor and two different rooms with music, but the problem is that Moog is TINY. The time I went, it was so crowded that I couldn’t enjoy anything.
Upload. (Montjuic) This one is interesting and unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to go yet. It’s a club located in Poble Espanyol. They host parties every week or two, and usually of different genres – I’ve seen psy trance, jungle house, hardcore, techno, etc. Check Facebook for the latest updates.
Club4. Thursdays at the club City Hall – they bring in the best talent in techno. Check Facebook for latest updates.
Opium Mar, Pacha, Shoko, CDLC, Danzoria (The Beach Clubs) – these clubs are adjacent at the beach front by Port Olimpic. They’re generally open every night of the week. They are upscale clubs that tend to be touristy and play commercial EDM. Gin and tonic at EUR 12. If you enjoy Vegas-style clubbing, with bottle service and dressing up, these are good clubs to visit. You can usually go in for free before 2am with guestlist. Check “Lista Isaac” foro the guestlists. The nice thing about visiting these clubs is that you can chill out on the beach right outside and watch the sunrise!
Sutton & Ker. These clubs also err on the side of “upscale”, and play commercial EDM. Sometimes have well known DJs on the roster. Check Facebook for the latest updates.
Elrow. A famous club well known for its carnival-esque dance music events that start during the day. It is not in Barcelona, but close to the airport in El Prat. Unfortunately, they do not do weekly events anymore – their fame has led to the promoting group’s residency in Space Ibiza, and they hold “RowShow” tours all over Spain and Europe. I went to a Bronx-themed Elrow party in the summer of 2015. It was extremely well produced and they brought in top international talent of the underground theme. Highly recommended!
Festivals & open air events in Barcelona
Sonar. 3 day day and night festival in June that is 100% electronic music, focused on alternative and techno styles. There are Sonar events throughout the week in Barcelona.
Primavera Sound. 3 day festival with 1 or 2 electronic music stages (the rest are indie, rock, etc). In May.
Picnic Electronic. Daytime techno party every Sunday between June to August.
Brunch Elektronik. Daytime techno party every other Sunday between March to May.