San Diego has quickly and unexpectedly risen to the top of Southern California's EDM ladder within a few short years. With big-time promoters such as LED and Eventvibe supporting massive events, rounding up the most coveted DJ acts for top-notch clubs, and housing year-round pool parties, it's no surprise that the EDM culture has blown up and slapped San Diego on the ass as to say, "Well Done, we made it." But too often there is another type of EDM Culture that thrives in San Diego- one less commercialized, one for the lovers of EDM that haven't succumbed to the Avicii or Krewella radio play-- a culture that dare I say, lives for the underground.
While it has become taboo in this fine city to call any EDM event "Underground," the culture, vibe and people are still very much alive, spinning some of the greatest music of our time in venues frequently overlooked. The underground EDM movement is a staple in San Diego dance music culture, and while most of these venues and events are still best kept secrets we dare not share-- there are five venues that any true fan of EDM should step into for a night of real, raw, record-spinning dirty fucking dance music.
Somewhere Loud is a fairly new venue to the San Diego EDM scene- but their reputation for huge sound, spectacular laser shows, and the rejuvenation of San Diego's rave community has been hard to ignore. Somewhere Loud is built and ran by San Diego's EDM family with the diehard belief that the difference between a good EDM experience and a great EDM experience is peace, love, unity, respect and responsibility.
Stage Bar in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter may look like a hole in the wall compared to its famous neighbor Voyeur, but the bass protruding from the front door is impossible to walk by without doing a double take. Stage Bar is notorious for producing some of the most banginí local sets in downtown San Diego. Step off Fifth Ave and into Stage for an intoxicatingly unique EDM experience.
What do we love about San Diego's Spin Nightclub? Everything, plain and simple. What's not to love about a tri-level, 10,000 sq.ft electric playground? Spin boasts two separate dance floors, an open air roof deck with city views, and a full food-and-drink bar until 6:00 am. Spin has gained a well-known reputation in San Diego for accommodating the most diverse genres of EDM, and maintaining a coveted respect for attendees from all walks of life, something not generally found in the glitter-and-gold venues of The Gaslamp. At this place, you drop your ego at the door and dance- just as we were meant to.
Unless you live in San Diego, stepping into El Dorado is highly unlikely- partly due to the run-down curb appeal, and the fact that it lives on the dark side of downtown San Diego. Nonetheless, El Dorado is one of San Diego's best venues for Deep House, Jungle, Drum & Bass, Dubstep, and Nu-Indie tunes. The local DJ's and the not-so-local DJ's come together behind the decks and spin from the soul- these are the tracks that act as the pillars of today's EDM culture.
SD Union is a monthly multi-EDM genre event, housed at The Merrow on San Diego's block less traveled, University Avenue. While generally known for the abundant neon-lit bar fronts, cheap jello shots, and Baja Betty's Drag Queens, this once-a-month local EDM secret is far from the legendary Hillcrest vibe. SD Union has created a space for EDM enthusiasts looking for raw dance music- whether it be Drum & Bass, Jungle, Dubstep, Breaks, or House music; the sounds of SD Union are guaranteed to fill the speakers all night long with profound energy, and provide a unique dance sector occupied by those who truly come for the beats.