United States have got 34, Spain has 26 and so far Italy and UK have snagged 15 to Brazil’s 7. Together, these countries are leading the way in nominations for the Golden Moon Awards’ “The World’s Best Club 2017” prize. The 10 October awards gala, the industry’s most ambitious, is something of a milestone. In all, 195 establishments have been nominated from a diverse list of countries like United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Sweden, Belgium, Russia, Malta, Japan and Argentina.
As it gears up to host the talked-about global gathering, Ibiza welcomes 11 of its own clubs—Hï, Ushuaïa, DC10, Blue Marlin, Heart, Km5, Amnesia, Pacha, Ocean Beach, Destino and Sankeys—to the list of nominees. Not that the island’s status as “global nightlife beacon” needed much defending. Las Vegas hosted the banner event in 2016, and this year, with 10 nominees of its own—Omnia, Hakkasan, XS, Foxtail SLS, Marquee, Drai’s, Surrender, TAO, Light Mandalay Bay and Hyde Bellagio—the race is a close one. For each of the contending clubs the goal is the same: when winners are announced 10 October, either crack The World’s 100 Best Clubs list, or top it, taking home the World’s Best Club title.
Winners at the Golden Moon Awards will be determined based on votes cast today to 25 September on the International Nightlife Association’s Facebook page. The popular vote via Facebook represents 30 per cent of the final tally. The remaining percentage will be determined by a panel of experts who will weigh a host of factors including clubs’ 2017 programming, footfall, security measures, VIP services, availability and ease of online booking, off-shoot brands, national or international accolades, on-site acoustics and green commitment.
The jury will include nightlife insiders, beverage industry execs, tourism operatives and INA members. In a statement today, INA chief Joaquim Boadas characterised the contest as a way “to encourage and incentivise nightclubs of the world to crack or even top this list”. To do that, he said, at clubs’ disposal are a multitude of options including “investing in and upgrading facilities, services and security to make them more competitive, appealing and safe”. Boadas said such improvements would mean increased benefits for clubbers and greater prestige for the industry—“our ultimate endgame,” he confided.
At last year’s gala in Las Vegas, the top spot went to Omnia Las Vegas. Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel, 2015’s number-one champs, were runners-up. Third and fourth place went to Brazil’s Green Valley and Pacha Ibiza.
Among the other distinctions, the Golden Moon Awards will announce winners in categories like Most Developed Nightlife Business, Best Outreach and Most Nightlife-friendly Administration. The awards, says Joaquim Boadas, “aim to improve the image of a hugely important—and famously undervalued—sector for economies and tourism”.
The awards gala is just one part of the Fourth International Nightlife Congress, an event that enlists a broad assortment of global industry experts in unpacking five big questions currently facing the industry, including nightlife quality, protocol and success stories like, for example, Ibiza’s. The Congress welcomes speakers like Yolanda Perdomo, member affiliate director of the UN’s World Tourism Organisation, Paul Seres, president of New York City Hospitality Alliance, Jim Peters, president of Responsible Hospitality Institute of North America, Juan Carlos Díaz, president of American Nightlife Association, Maurizio Pasca, president of the Italian and European nightlife associations, Lutz Leichsenring, spokesman of Berlin’s clubs commission and, from the Eivissa Council, Judith Romero and Vicent Torres, heads of equality and tourism, respectively.