Tel Aviv has had a vibrant nightlife since the 1930s that’s more than just nightlife; it’s an essential aspect of the city. As the second largest city in the Holy Land, just an hour away from the historical city of Jerusalem, an outsider would think that Tel Aviv is a spiritual haven of rabbis, tradition and early nights.
This presumption couldn’t be more wrong. Tel Aviv offers a vibrant nightlife with quality electronic music and a scene that might be a refreshing one to indulge in, so when we received an invitation to come over to Tel Aviv to check it out we didn’t think twice.
The electronic music scene in Tel Aviv started in the 1990s. Allenby 58 played a key role in turning the city’s nightlife scene around. The former cinema was turned into a club of enormous proportions due to its size and height. Allenby 58 opened on New Year’s eve of 1994 and proved to be a major success, ending up as one of the best twenty clubs in the world as listed by Ministry Of Sound Magazine.
Allenby 58 attracted lots of well-known international DJs that provided a spark to the electronic music scene. In addition to its function as a landmark of the local dance scene, Allenby 58 was a nodal point in a global, transnational scene and in its capacity instantly enhanced Tel Aviv’s global reputation. Allenby 58’s contribution to Tel Aviv’s nightlife was in transforming Tel Aviv into one of the bigger nightlife cities of the world.
Influences and lifestyle
The city had become a haven for people who love clubbing and the scene in Tel Aviv evolved into a mature electronic community, which unwillingly was and still is influenced by politics, warfare and the unavoidable military service.
Tel Aviv is a hedonistic city as it is very important for the Tel Avivian public to go out and to have fun. It is less preoccupied with the hardships of everyday life and is obviously more open-minded. Israeli people seize the day which translates into an amazing energetic vibe in the clubs. People try to forget political problems and tense conflicts during nighttime. In Tel Aviv, every night is a busy one and every possible opportunity to celebrate, enjoy or to escape is taken without thought.
Tel Aviv Volume
From the 14th until the 17th of January the Tel Aviv Volume event took place in Tel Aviv. TAV is a four-day event that is part conference and part festival organized by Adam Yehiel. The festival spreads across several venues in Tel Aviv and can be compared with Sonar in Barcelona or ADE in Amsterdam, although the festival is still a new kid on the block, being organized for the second time.
By day, the conference offers panels focused on trending topics in the industry such as royalties in the digital era. By the night, the bustling nightlife of Tel Aviv presents itself with a host of parties and club nights with more than a hundred local and international DJs.
On the first day, we were invited to join a panel to talk about crate digging. As we dig through hundreds of releases every week we found it an interesting topic to talk about and we discussed it with several other panel members. After a meet up with the organization and other local people we headed out to the first club that night which was named Deli.
Deli is a small club, hidden away behind a small food stall. After entering the club we were pleasantly surprised about the amazing sound system. Biri (from Deep’a & Biri) and Yotam Avni played that night. Although the club wasn’t exactly packed the vibe was positive and we enjoyed some nice beats and tracks.
Later on, we arrived at Radio E.P.G.B. This club is located at Shadal street. The place has an amazing energetic vibe and both due to the vibe and interior it reminded us a bit of some of the better bars in Berlin. Although it was a Wednesday night, the dance floor was jammed and we highly recommend checking out Radio E.P.G.B. when you visit Tel Aviv.
On day two we met up with House Cult contributor Yotam Avni, who’s also a well-known DJ and promoter in the Tel Aviv scene. After an amazing Israeli dinner at the Port Said restaurant, we headed out to The Block later that night.
Port Said is a wonderful restaurant with outstanding food. The place also has a really laidback vibe and an extensive record collection that spreads over one entire wall in the restaurant.
The Block is one of the bigger clubs in Tel Aviv presenting international heroes on a regular base. Just check the program and you’ll be amazed by the line-up. The club is located nearby the central station and has an industrial, raw and gloomy feel to it. Three areas with different sizes were open that night. The vibe, again, was amazing and the crowd incredibly energetic. In the smallest area, a group of around 8 artists set up an immense amount of analog gear to create some amazing music, which was really impressive.
On day 3 we checked out an artist that we listened to a lot during the last year; Moomin. This kindly guy produces and plays amazing house. Pure, honest, intimate, amazing-sounding house. He played for a couple hours and we really enjoyed ourselves. This time the club was crowded and the combination of the pleasant tunes from Moomin and the incredible sound system resulted in an amazing night.
On the 4th day, we went to the Duplex Club to attend the festival afterparty. Besides some talented local DJs Carlos Valdes from Amsterdam was playing. Later on, we had, again, some amazing food and drinks and talked with locals about the scene. We ended our night with some laidback hip-hop beats in Radio E.P.G.B. before taking some well-needed rest.
Tel Aviv is definitely a must-visit-city with an incredible nightlife scene located at lots of both small and bigger locations. In Tel Aviv it doesn’t really matter whether it’s a Monday or a Saturday; there’s always something going on.
With an open hours policy, the party doesn’t stop until the last person walks out the door. The scene is still raw and definitely energetic. We were pleasantly surprised by the city and its nightlife and we’ll definitely come back in the near future.
If you are into electronic music visit the Tel Aviv Volume event next year in January. The city offers great electronic music during the whole year, but during those four days everyone gathers and it’s the best opportunity to take a sneak preview of the Tel Avivian scene.
As said before, an amazing restaurant with incredible food and a laid back vibe. The restaurants interior looks amazing due to a wall that’s entirely filled with records.
A really inspiring place where we attended a small exhibition consisting of artwork created during the last ten years for the well-known Barzilay club. Really cool location where cool artistic and musical initiatives take place.
Photos: Eli Goren