15 Excellent Parties, From Belgrade to Beirut

A Beirut Groove Collective party in Lebanon. Photo: Courtesy of Beirut Groove Collective

Kingston, Jamaica: Mojito Mondays.

“It’s in a parking lot in the back of Susie’s Bakery on South Avenue, and everyone in the dancehall scene goes. You’ll see people like Popcaan and Beenie Man with their crews standing around on the periphery, and as you go toward the center, people start dancing. Every few months, there are new popular dancehall moves, so you can watch crews of like five guys performing the latest synchronized dances.”

Dre Skull, DJ

Beirut, Lebanon: Beirut Groove Collective parties.

“Beirut Groove Collective, a group of DJs and musicians, throws these parties every few weeks at different locations throughout the country — in vacant old houses, beaches, clubs. One party I went to on the beach involved lots of grilled meats and skinny-dipping in the moonlight and dancing in bathing suits on beach loungers.”

Shirine Saad, writer

Miami, Florida: Peachfuzz parties.

“This hip-hop party is not very scene-y, so you’ll see every kind of Miami person there, from older women having a girls’ night out to young Latino goth kids. The vibe is really positive, the resident DJ is always on point, and everyone’s cute. They’re currently looking for a new permanent space, so the location is roving.”

Jubilee, DJ

Belgrade, Serbia: Mystic Stylez parties.

“It’s on a boat that just gets packed to the maximum, and they play mostly hip-hop and grime. It gets so crazy that the boat will actually start rocking. I’ve never see anyone here on their cell phones.”

DJ Earl

Seoul, Korea: Friday nights at Cakeshop.

“A tiny basement in Itaewon where underground experimental DJs from around the world play that reminds me of a London club in the middle of Asia, but the people get really ravey. The best drunk people I’ve ever witnessed party here.”

Ikonika, DJ

Berghain in Berlin, Germany. Photo: suzieselman/Instagram

Mexico City, Mexico: NAAFI parties.

“NAAFI is a group of DJs and producers in Mexico City who throw parties about once a month. They’re sort of comparable to Ghe20G0th1k, in the sense that it’s very cutting-edge club music. The people are all fashion-forward and avant-garde, but not too Zoolander. It’s welcoming and fun.”

A-Trak, DJ

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Woody’s Bar, Friday nights.

“The long-running gay bar is just so unjaded and friendly, especially to a visiting big fish like me, and the place offers various ambiences for dancing or just hanging.”

Michael Musto, writer

Paris, France: Yard parties.

“They put on the raddest parties that take place year-­round at venues like Wanderlust and Silencio; I’ve DJ’d here with everyone from Virgil Abloh to Supa, and the crowd is always an eclectic mix of all ethnicities and styles.”

Vashtie Kola, DJ

Los Angeles, California: Big Fat Dick at Fubar, Thursday nights.

“It’s the only party in LA worth going to, in a small, seedy, East Village–esque bar, and they have a back room where you can take a dick selfie. At the end of the night, they project all the dick pics onto a big screen, and the crowd votes for their favorite.”

—Tom Jackson and Abi Benitez, Gayletter editors

Berlin, Germany: Berghain, Saturday nights.

“You walk in there, and it changes you. From the handpicked crowd to the unseen staff to the atmosphere and the space itself, the music, the lighting, the ever-changing little surprises like a tiny ice-cream bar and the sex rooms — everything just adds up to you forgetting what time it is and walking out of there to a reality outside that has nothing to do with what you just saw.”

—Seva Granik, promoter

Punk Wears Prada in Milan, Italy. Photo: Alessio Constantino

Detroit, Michigan: Haute to Death, every third Saturday at Temple Bar.

“This was one of the first parties to pop up in Detroit once the new wave of younger artists started moving here, and it has become the no-frills standby with good house, disco, and funk music. Rarely will more than 100 people show up to any given party in Detroit, but you always know this is going to be a bigger turnout.”

Joey 2lanes, DJ

Zurich, Switzerland: Wifey parties.

“It’s usually in a bar called Longstreet, and people from all over Switzerland will take the train in for it. It’s not just fist-pumping and drinking beer — the last time I DJed, there was karaoke. It’s really fun to end the night singing ‘The Boy Is Mine’ at the top of your lungs.”

Ma Nguzu, DJ

Milan, Italy: Punks Wear Prada at Santa Tecla Club, Friday nights.

“This is a weekly party started and run by a woman named Natasha Slater, and it’s always three steps ahead of the rest of the music and fashion scene.”

Mia Moretti, DJ

Toronto, Canada: Bevstmode parties.

“It’s a regular roving party; the vibe is very dark, leather, and there’s always a mosh pit when they start playing the heavy trap. Kanye was swinging off the pipes at their last party at the Hoxton.”

Jay Strut, DJ

Derry, Northern Ireland: Jika Jika! at the Bunker, Saturday nights.

“The Bunker is this indoor parking garage, and people are dancing all the way down a huge ramp, and then the DJ is playing at the bottom. Everyone is just super-happy and well-behaved, not obnoxiously drunk or out of control.”

Danny Tenaglia, DJ


15 Excellent Parties, From Belgrade to Beirut