When you just have to be aurally surrounded by the upbeat anthems of Cash Cash, French DJ, Madeon or Something Something, get to these Chicago EDM clubs and bars for a seamless sound cloud of sensory overload. Nimble DJs, adult beverages, human eye candy and endless beats add up to one fun night.
1444 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
The beauty of Beauty Bar is that it’s affordable and relatively unpretentious, albeit with a precious theme. The girly manicure/martini option, old school hair dryers and the photo booth, indeed, attracts females and fun-loving types. Don’t miss the regularly occurring Panic! Dance Party. The staff works hard to get drinks out quickly to quench dancers’ heated pipes.
Like babies, camping and deep-dish pizza, people either love or hate The Mid for a variety of reasons. However, you can’t deny the allure of unbridled house and electronic sounds courtesy of emerging and celebrated DJs and throngs of dancers bouncing in unison. Some belly ache about the dress code (no hats, gym shoes or tee-shirts) and others visiting the Fulton Market-area club dislike the lines. But the three bars, dancing space, huge potties, booths and tables and second-floor balcony keep The Mid near the top of the EDM club list.
3730 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60613
Regulars rave about the sound system at Smart Bar, but then there are all of the superlatives and hyperbole about the creative DJs, casually dressed clientele, reasonably priced adult bevs and ultra friendly staff. Negatives include terrible parking options (not a surprise in Chicago) and its location in Wrigleyville which attracts an entirely different animal. Smart Bar has, however, been on the scene for decades and its current incarnation as the house for house music insures its existence for another decade of dancing.
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954 W. Belmont Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
If you don’t want to see, dance with, meet or watch people exactly like you, get to Berlin, a club that has been attracting the wonderfully odd element way before EDM was a thing. The “Neighborhood Dance Bar of the Future” boasts a dance floor that Astaire or Usher would love, incredible drink specials (well cocktails and PBRs for a buck) and regular nights of Acid House, Tech House and Deep House tunes. When you’re not spinning and winning on the dance floor, people watching is equally electric.
Castle Nightclub Chicago
632 N. Dearborn St.
Chicago, IL 60654
The 8,000-square-foot dance atrium blaring state-of-the-art sound and flashing visuals, plus floor-to-ceiling LED installations, is reason enough to check out Castle. You’ll want to bypass the other bars in this colossal space and head to the dance floor on level two – just follow the bouncing EDM beat. The decibels are for dancing so forget trying to hold a conversation. Expect tourists and a more Vegas-like ambiance than other clubs listed.
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Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.