(photo credit: Courtesy Photo)
In recent years, the focus of Israeli nightlife has shifted. The small clubs and discos that once lined downtown streets have been replaced, for the most part, by pubs and bars so that the country's dance scene is now largely confined to "the five big ones": Haoman 17 in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv; Forum Beersheba; D&D Kibbutz Revadim; and Terminal in Ramot Menashe.
This month, these clubs pull out all the stops to provide revelers with five spectacular nights to remember. The parties will be held to determine Israel's representative at the Movida Corona International DJ competition (the location of which is yet to be announced), with resident DJs of each of these venues competing for the honor.
For Forum's Guy Pilo, a keen DJ since entering a national contest at 15, representing his country is a privilege he's hoping to earn for the second time. Pilo participated in the competition in London two years ago, the first time Israel took part.
"It was amazing to be involved in this huge celebration of spinning in one of the DJ capitals of the world," he enthuses. He sees his admission to the semi-final of the 16-country tournament as recognition of the "thriving Israeli DJ scene."
"The mixes played in clubs here are fresh and innovative," he says. "We incorporate new styles before many of our European counterparts."
Pilo and his Israeli rivals will mix their own sounds with three electro-house tracks distributed to all potential participants. Their sets will be recorded and sent to the judges of the home leg, who remain anonymous to avoid attempts at influencing decisions.
"The DJing community is close knit, so we can't be too careful," an organizer explains. The sets account for 70 percent of the contest, with the DJs' live performances at a final party making up the rest.
"It's important to include a live component," the organizer adds. "It gives the judges a chance to see the DJs interact with their audience, to experience their vibe and the atmosphere they create."
The celebrations kick off Thursday at midnight at Tel Aviv's Haoman 17. In-house DJ Shay Cohen will spin clubbers his unique blend of minimal house and Latino rhythms for his shot at the international event. The party will also feature special guest renowned French DJ Dan Ghenassia.
For more information about this and the other contest nights, visit www.corona-extra.co.il.