They say the London scene is falling apart, that Berlin remains the reference for all things techno, and that Paris is quickly gaining ground on its rivals. But is it really true? Are we more likely to catch our favourite artists in Berlin, Amsterdam, London, Paris or Barcelona? In search of an objective answer to the question, we calculated which of these cities racked up the most performances from Resident Advisor’s Top 100 DJs over 2015.
Of course, the method has its limits. The Top 100 is naturally problematic: too rigid, perhaps too anglo-centric, with live acts like KiNK and Recondite ranked separately, but it is the only available reference to carry out such a survey. It is read as the authority in the field, the definitive guide to good DJs. Another caveat: to calculate the number of dates, we based our figures only on events published on Resident Advisor. As a result, there may be a few dates missing, secret performances for example. As the study was made neither by a robot nor by an intern, it may contain counting errors.
Infographic made by Gautier Gevrey
London is not dead, far from it. England’s capital remains by far the best city to see big DJs… if you have the money. The London nightlife comes at a cost, but this is what allows it to bring in the best DJs. The most impressive part: every single one of RA’s Top 100 DJs played in London at least once in 2015.
Amsterdam and Barcelona, the festival effect. Amsterdam comes in second in our ranking, way ahead of Berlin. The surprising result is explained by the number and quality of the festivals in the Dutch city, Dekmantel, Awakenings and the Amsterdam Dance Event to name but a few, all in addition to fine club lineups all year round. Barcelona comes ahead of Paris for the same reason. While the club scene is not oustanding, the Sonar festival, Piknic Electronik and DGTL guarantee the Catalans a summer of madness.
Berlin, poor but sexy. Berlin’s spot in third place might come as a surprise to some. Perhaps it’s the confirmation of the old adage of the city’s former mayor: “Berlin is poor but sexy”. With entry at 10 euros to see a number of DJs, most clubs can’t afford a star-studded lineup and concentrate on more edgy and local DJs. Only Berghain and Watergate can really compete on an international level.
Paris is making progress but remains far behind. There can be no doubt about it: the Parisian club scene has exploded these last few years. Not a weekend goes by without at least one big night. But the city still has a way to go. The dynamic is there but the French capital still lacks a Berghain or a Fabric for itself, a place with enough of a draw each weekend to bring the very biggest world names.