Denver, Colorado has been a very special place for EDM and there’s multiple reasons for that. Many cities across the US are devoted to the arts, but what makes Denver so special are the characteristics of the people who work with the city’s magic and history.
What immediately meets the eye is that Denver has plenty of infrastructure that is ready to be used and loved. However, what doesn’t immediately meet the eye is that there is love and sincerity for music in this city. Venues will go out of their way to install brand new speaker technologies and be inclusive for artists throughout the area. On top of that, Denver’s crowd is one of the best to be a part of. So many people are genuine, kind, and willing to make new friends.
While there are numerous ground-breaking venues and concepts in this city, the nine listed below are some of the best venues and clubs in Denver; they have made our list for their devotion to the arts and community, as well as the atmosphere and quality of production and sound.
Welcome to the Bass Capital of the USA: Denver’s Best EDM Venues & Clubs
The Black Box
Capacity: 300 & 150 Occupants
Image via The Black Box
Never Shy to Show Denver So Much Love
A smaller and more intimate venue located in Capitol Hill, The Black Box has earned our love for its dedication to EDM culture. When Covid-19 shut down venues across the country, The Black Box was one of the first to reorganize, adapt, and reopen.
The Black Box is a comfortable place to see large name artists, up-and-coming local talents, and to simply hang out. Their layout includes a 300 occupant main room, a 150 occupant side room, an open area for billiards, and a well decorated and furnished outdoor section. An experience here is likely to be comfortable from the moment you enter.
The Black Box hosts a wide range of EDM genres, allowing guests and new artists to enjoy a true EDM experience on advanced sound systems. Both rooms are set up with Basscouch Sound, which consists of a Tannoy, Funktion-One, and Othorn combination. It’s worth reading more about their impressive sound system because such powerful equipment makes The Black Box a hub for Denver’s EDM scene.
To go as a fan is to experience EDM in its purest sincerity; to play as an artist is to understand where the quality of your music stands.
Live Painters and Vendors
There is also no shortage of spots for live painters and vendors to set up. The Black Box is accommodating and accessible to artists that want to craft around the music. To refer to The Black Box as a dance club or night club is an understatement. Their dedication to color and sound puts them on a whole new level, making it a must-have experience when traveling to Denver for music.
Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom
Capacity: 900 & 500 Occupants
Image via River Beats Dance
Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom is the old Casino Cabaret whose history dates back to the 1930s. Back then, jazz greats took the stage when they toured through Denver. Over the years, Cervantes’ has continued the musical legacy of the neighborhood ever since their grand reopening in January 2003. Cervantes’ plays host to hundreds of live shows each year with intimate experiences for some of the largest acts, such as Supertask and KR3TURE.
The Other Side
Not one to leave the locals out, Cervantes’ has two rooms that offer live music simultaneously – The Other Side. Both rooms operate independently of the other, but they are connected which gives you the ability to go back and forth. The dual-venue feature makes Cervantes’ stand out as a more intimate and community-involved venue. During warmer parts of the year, Cervantes’ holds outdoor silent discos. They are the only venue in the area that can regularly offer five artists playing at once.
Their balcony wraps around the entire room creating an intimate experience. Cervantes’ sound system includes a Meyer MICALine Array with four boxes per side and six Meyer 650P subs. Their arrangement creates a surround sound that’s consistent throughout the venue. Such love is given to The Other Side as well, which holds 500 people.
From the Patron’s Perspective
Cervantes’ is a comfortable venue which one could spend hours in and enjoy themselves. There is always a place to view the artist and a way to experience the lights. Even at its most crowded, anyone can have a memorable experience at Cervantes’. They never slack on booking vendors and live artists as well. Every show has oddities for sale and painters to watch.
For artists, it is the most prime place to connect and get your name out there. For fans, it is always an upbeat and comfortable experience of sincere musical and production talent.
Capacity: 1,000 Occupants
Image via CoClubs
A Unique Setting with History
Ever wanted to party in a church? Welcome to Church Nightclub. Located in Denver’s Golden Triangle neighborhood, Church has operated since 1996. This Episcopal church was built in 1889 and is now home to dance, bass, and speaker worshippers every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. Church is filled with high beamed Gothic architecture and stained glass windows, accompanied by new art lighting designs and the Void Acoustics Incubus Sound system.
A Good Time on Multiple Levels
This is one of Denver’s best dance club experiences, booking international DJs and local talent every week. There are three rooms for performances, all of which are soundproof to the next one. The main room is on the first floor and consists of the largest stage. It’s also the room built with the original flooring and the bass makes it shake and resonate very well beneath your feet. It’s astounding to feel how this old floor resonates with electronic music because you can picture the way it used to with organs and choirs. Moreover, the room is open and flowing with a number of booths to relax in around and even behind the stage.
Their lower level consists of two more stages separated by a brick wall and regularly hosts the local Bassment events on Thursdays. Bassment has been a huge success as Church is one of the best places for local artists to receive a constantly growing crowd. With such a flow, Church is able to play three artists at once.
Past the Music
Other than stages, there is a second level that has a relaxing and quiet bar for patrons to escape the music for a moment. It’s very pleasant to have a place to lie down and order a drink without yelling at the bartender. Additionally, if you need fresh air with a view, they have a patio at the very top level that offers a very romantic setting. Church is a pleasant labyrinth that offers exploration, a rare feature in any venue. They are similar in that way to Milk, which is also a venue run by CoClubs.
Antero Music Hall
Capacity: 1,500 Occupants
Image via Antero Hall
A Modern Western Saloon
Originally founded in 1981 as a hub for grunge, Antero Hall does not seem like much to the naked eye. However, between their dedication to good vibes, great sound, yummy food, and local love, they’ve made it on this list. This venue, located on the west side, is one of the closest to Red Rocks and has a rich history of interaction with the country’s finest amphitheater.
An Easy Experience
Easy parking, easy movement around the venue, the ease of finding good viewership, quality food and drink at reasonable prices – all of these factors make for a great experience at Antero Hall. From the mellow Portvl Tuesdays to large acts such as Stanton Warriors, you’re likely to have a good, easy experience every time you go. Antero Hall constantly has vendors and live painters because they encourage local talent with every event that they have. It is not unusual to see art installations and live dancers there as well.
Premier Sound System
Their sound system is custom built by Struggle Bus Industries, Denver’s premier mobile speaker company. Antero Hall also has a custom built particular Hexagonal LED display and an advanced sub floor. Their equipment was brought up to Copper Mountain for Daily Shred. The Struggle Bus and Antero Hall equipment easily made the Copper Mountain stage the best setup they’ve ever had. While it’s not in the center of the action, Antero Hall is a peaceful place where one can have a stressless experience.
Rich History & Good Food
Being a 40-year-old venue, Antero Hall has plenty of stories to solidify its reputation. Black Tiger Sex Machine once played a free four hour show after their Red Rocks set just for the hell of it. Roadies of Poison once took over the stage in the early 90s and filled the venue to full capacity.
Production manager Tim Wykcoff and owner Ken Morris run this place with an FDA laser certification, using half of the regular power of lasers at Red Rocks. With so much light power in a thousand occupant venue, you can imagine that the intimate light shows are consistently baffling. I cannot stress how good the food here is, too; head chef Allan Huls has complete creative control over the kitchen and delivers tasty dishes up to the standards of a successful restaurant.
Capacity: 2,500 Occupants
Image via Out Front Magazine
Independent and Loving It
Located in the RiNo art district, Reelworks is Denver’s largest independent nightclub. Formerly known as EXDO, Reelworks is a rebranding of EXDO’s change in management and renovations. This nightclub is attached to Tracks and the two often interact, opening the doors to move between both.
Reelworks has a reputation for booking internationally recognized house artists and regularly works with Subverted Entertainment to fill their venue with the power of high-quality Funktion Ones. While Reelworks houses the musical entertainment, their neighbor Tracks hosts all sorts of unique events such as KINK – Denver’s Annual Fetish Festival. During the festival, Reelworks held kink performances on their stage and hosted a number of installations such as shibari and hot wax tables.
Capacity: 3,950 Occupants
Image via Brown Note Productions
Located in the north end of the RiNo district, Mission Ballroom is a brand new venue already forging a reputable name. With doors first opening in the summer of 2019, the 60,000 square-foot ballroom offers easy sight lines from tiered rows, brand new sound and lights, and a large dance floor. Moreover, their bars are in convenient locations making for an easy beverage experience.
Built to Perfection
Mission Ballroom has architecture that uses modern techniques to perfect the acoustics and reverberation. This venue is known as one of the easiest to tune because of the structural advantage. Outside, it is located near quick and easy road systems with large infrastructure to back up a massive audience. Mission Ballroom is operated by AEG Presents, one of the largest music event companies in the world.
Location, Location, Location
Between commuting ease, indoor traveling ease, and viewership ease, it is overall just a comfortable venue that has space inside and outside. With these serious advantages, people come from all over the state; therefore, Mission regularly hosts some of the largest EDM events in the city.
Capacity: 1,000 Occupants
Image via Westword
A VIP Experience for All
For artists by artists, Temple Nightclub is a nightlife experience that’s unique and pleasant. Temple features immersive lighting and visuals, as well as a custom sound system. Upon entering, you’re teleported into a new dimension. The three-story main room cathedral sparks a sense of awe and grandeur.
All theatrical lighting and production elements were designed for the architecture to act as a single pulse to the rhythm of the DJ’s beat. The main dance floor lies in the sub-level where guests will find 50,000 floor-to-ceiling LED bulbs and the legendary Funktion One sound system.
This Denver EDM venue is located in the Golden Triangle Creative District.
One can also enter the Mirus Gallery, which is essentially a built-in art gallery and sculpture museum. Mirus Gallery is an exhibition space established by Paul Hemming. The gallery features a program of contemporary artwork by emerging and mid-career artists in both solo and thematically organized group shows.
Capacity: 1,600 Occupants
Image via Event Up
A Local Treasure
Located on East Colfax Avenue, the Ogden Theater is one of Denver’s most easily accessible venues. Having begun as a movie theater, their long standing reputation allows them to book large name artists. Their central location also allows them stay relevant towards what Denver crowds demand. One such artist is Mersiv, a beloved local producer who packs a house with every performance.
Saved from Destruction
Built in 1916, the theater underwent a remodel in 1970. Ownership of the theater changed hands numerous times, and it eventually closed in 1990. Almost demolished in 1992, it was purchased by Doug Kauffman, a representative of “Nobody In Particular Presents.” Their vision was to turn the Ogden into a premier Denver music venue. Since 2006, it’s been leased by AEG and has served as a hub for EDM. With only the biggest names coming through, a consistently up-to-date sound and light system, and a favorable location, Ogden is easily one of AEG’s most prized venues.
Your Mom’s House
Capacity: 300 Occupants
Local Hotspot Constantly Showing Love
Although Your Mom’s House is at the end of our list, it does not mean it is ranked any lower than previous mentions. Your Mom’s House cannot be left out of the conversation because they are a hotspot for Denver’s local talent. This venue is a short walk down the road from The Black Box and they show true sincerity to the EDM genre.
Offering performers constant opportunities to play, they also provide a well-tuned Funktion One experience. With open decks every Wednesday, YMH is a must-play for any upcoming artist. Whether a member of the crowd eager to witness new sounds or a producer looking to test their music on high-end equipment, Your Mom’s House is a regular go-to for Denver residents.
The experience isn’t only limited to local talent; Your Mom’s House is reliable for regularly booking large name artists on weekends, giving local talent a chance to network as opening acts. Run by YMH Studios, they are well involved in multiple forms of media and interacting with their audience. YMH Studios hosts six different podcasts with well-known speakers, conducts high-quality livestreams, and allows their audience to reach out through a personal text line. Should a fan decide to explore this option of communication, they will find YMH Studios sending them opportunities to attend events for free.
An Integral Part of Denver’s Culture
Your Mom’s House is also not shy to host vendors, live painters, and other odd talents that make an event feel like a home. Maybe that’s the idea behind the name; it’s such a comfortable venue that it feels like you’re at Your Mom’s House. Being in the center of the action and providing equipment to accommodate such a position, YMH Studios embodies the open and free bass culture that Denver is known for. Truly, they have proved to be a significant part of this city, playing a notable role in the culture that has been formed in Denver.