written by
Isabelle Wang

Travel Around the World With These 5 DJ Live Sets in Breathtaking Locations

Features 4 min read

Who says you need over-the-top staging or lasers to throw a rave?

Thanks to projects run by DJ Mag, Cercle, Mixmag and so on, we’re able to travel across the globe to hear the music we love—without ever having to leave the house. From the Japanese Alps to Stonehenge in the UK, here’s a list of 5 live sets in beautiful places to help get you through the day.

Zhu's Cercle live set at Hakuba Iwatake, Japan
Image Source: Cercle

ZHU|Hakuba Iwatake, Japan

First on our list is American DJ ZHU with his 2-hour tech house set at Japan's Hakuba Iwatake Ski Resort, in March (2020). Hosted by Cercle, ZHU's set saw him take over the Hakuba Mountain Harbor: an elevated terrace offering unobstructed, sweeping alpine vistas from any standing point.

The set gives us the rare opportunity to see ZHU's performance stripped down to the bare essentials. No lasers, no pyrotechnics— he relies on nothing but the dramatic backdrop, hypnotic beats and infectious, deep house rhythms to build an atmosphere.

Since he jumped onto the scene in 2014, ZHU has worked with the likes of Skrillex, Tame Impala, A-Trak and TOKiMONSTA, he’s played at Ultra Music Festival and even has a Grammy nomination under his belt. As a DJ of Chinese descent releasing music in the US, ZHU recognised early on that racial prejudices would affect the way his work was received. This led to him sheltering his identity from the public in the hope that the focus would remain solely on his music.

Above & Beyond|Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong

The stunning 4K definition of this set will transport you right into Victoria Harbour. Watch the sun melt away into the horizon as the sailboat gently bobs up and down in the water. In the distance, the bright lights of Hong Kong are visible, but the bustling city looks peaceful before the glowing sky.

Before broadcasting the 300th episode of their ABGT radio show, British trio Above & Beyond trekked across the globe and played an hour-long warm-up set in front of the darkening cityscape. Their 2-hour radio show takes place every week, showcasing the best in trance and progressive house. For every 50 shows reached, Above & Beyond will record a special high-definition live set, with previous editions filmed at impressive venues like the Gorge Amphitheatre, Ziggo Dome and Madison Square Gardens.

Solomun|Théâtre Antique d'Orange, France

We all know that Cercle never disappoints when choosing the location for a live set, but they’ve really outdone themselves with this one. One of the best-preserved Roman theatres in the world (built in 1st century AD), it’s no surprise that France’s Théâtre Antique d'Orange is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

For this set, Circle invited none other than Bosnian-German house legend Solomun to breathe life into the walls of the ancient ruins. With a jam-packed tour schedule and a world-renowned Ibiza residency, the 44-year-old has earned his reputation as one of the most diligent DJs on the planet. From the video alone, you can feel the energy of the crowd as his signature house tunes permeate through the entire theatre, sending a ripple through the crowd as a sea of people pump their fists in approval. Later on, the sun sinks behind the theatre and is replaced by dramatic lighting that exaggerates the surrounding landscape— check it out and see for yourself...

Paul Oakenfold b2b Carl Cox|Stonehenge, UK

Back in 2018, prehistoric monument Stonehenge saw history being made again, as Paul Oakenfold became the first DJ to ever play at the iconic site. To an audience of just 50 people, Oakenfold was joined by Britain’s Carl Cox for a b2b session under the stars, turning the cluster of 5000-year old structures into an intimate rave setting.

Describing the event, Oakenfold said: "Despite having performed at incredible events and locations all across the globe, sunset at Stonehenge is by far the most magical moment to have the privilege to experience.”

Seeing the two DJs in their element, the trippy visuals projected onto the stones and the suspense-building music makes this live set truly one of a kind.

Deborah de Luca|Château de Chambord, France

Finally, for our 5th live set we had to include Deborah de Luca’s set at the enchanting Château de Chambord in Loir-et-Cher, France. The château is archetypical of the renaissance era, and to mark its 500th anniversary, de Luca took part in the first ever electronic concert to be held on the building’s picturesque grounds.

Throughout the day, those lucky enough to get their hands on tickets were able to witness 14 hours of music from multiple genres, but de Luca’s hour-long set received some of the highest praise of the day. A master of minimal and techno, to this date the Italian DJ’s performance has garnered over 21 million views on Youtube, and it’s clear to see why...

Writer: Isabelle Wang, Translator: Will | April 10th, 2020

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Live Sets ZHU Deborah de Luca Solomun Paul Oakenfold Carl Cox Above & Beyond
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