What it’s like to spend a weekend partying at Bali’s new superclub
It’s around 7pm on the opening night of OMNIA Bali when I hear a commotion coming from the other side of the club.
I turn around to discover a line of women cutting a path through the packed crowd, carrying signs bearing the geometric OMNIA logo. At the head of a line are two women wearing helmets lined with glowsticks, and one of them is brandishing a bottle of Belvedere vodka roughly the size of my leg.
To top it all off, the Belvedere bottle is capped by a clump of sparklers that are shooting bright spots of light over everyone standing within a three metre radius.
It’s a sight more comfortable in the superclubs of major hubs like Ibiza or Las Vegas — but we’re we’re about as far away from those two cities as you could get. Perched on the very edge of a cliff in Bali’s stunning Uluwatu, OMNIA is the new brainchild of global entertainment behemoth Hakkasan. It’s goal is simple: deliver an Ibiza-style experience to punters in the Southern Hemisphere.
And boy, did they deliver.
This Is Luxury Clubbing At Its Most Extravagant
An infinity pool that looks straight over the ocean? Check. Private cabanas that surround the DJ decks? Check. A pool that laps against the DJ booth? Check. Bottle service, pyrotechnics, C02 cannons, a hatted restaurant serving food, a sound system that will cause your bones to shake? Check. Check. Check. Check. Check.
Basically, if you’re the kind that likes your dance music with a side of opulence — OMNIA Bali is going to be right up your alley.
“An infinity pool that looks straight over the ocean? Check.”
For their grand opening weekend, Hakkasan pulled out the celebrity DJ big guns: Friday night brings the helmeted hitmaker Marshmello, Dutch producer Martin Garrix is locked in for Saturday, while techno legend Richie Hawtin will preside over the decks on Sunday.
A few hours before Marshmello is set to step up, we’re informed that he’s missed his flight from Melbourne and his set will have to be pushed back while he gets to Bali aboard a privately chartered flight (DJ life amirite?) The hiccup doesn’t seem to bother punters at all — and why would it when they can just have another swim and drink that bottle of Mumm champagne that’s magically appeared on their table.
The Music Is Pretty Damn Good Too
The Marshmello mixaround means Garrix kindly steps in for an emergency set early in the evening, and he uses the opportunity to throw in some crowd favourites you wouldn’t normally hear in a Garrix set. Daft Punk’s ‘One More Time’ and A-Trak’s ‘Heads Will Roll’ remix are used liberally throughout the set, but he still finishes off with recent hit ‘In The Name Of Love’ — which is punctuated by an almighty pyrotechnic explosion from a nearby roof.
When Marshmello does arrive at 11pm, it quickly becomes clear he’s been upstaged by Garrix. His set of reheated oldies like ‘Mr Brightside’, ‘Sweet Nothing’, and ‘Feel So Close’ is closer to that of a wedding DJ than a top-billed dance act. Amusingly, his attempts to hype up the crowd with shouts of “HOW YOU FEELING” are almost entirely muffled by his gigantic helmet. That said, he does throw in the classic ‘Better Off Alone’…so all was not lost.
Garrix’s set the following night was his standard (that is, massive) festival fare. Tracks like ‘Scared To Be Lonely’, ‘Animals’, ‘Together’, and Flume’s ‘Never Be Like You’ hit one after the other, with blasts of C02 engulfing the crowd at every drop.
Punters in the pool behind the booth clamber to get closer, and at one stage I’m drenched by a wave following someone bombing in the water. The best moment of the set is also the most emotional, as Garrix plays tribute to Avicii by playing ‘Waiting For Love’ in full.
He’s not the only way to honour the Swedish DJ over the weekend — numerous support DJs will drop in hits like ‘Levels’ and ‘Hey Brother’ — Marshmello also took the time to play through one of Avicii’s last singles, ‘Without You’. Tim Bergling’s death is clearly on the minds of DJs and punters alike.
After the two full nights of pulverising EDM, Richie Hawtin’s Sunday night set of dark and spiky techno is a welcome change of pace. For the first time, the vibe within OMNIA is less festival and more regular club — if a regular club had champagne corks bobbing in infinity pools and Instagram models taking photos in their private cabanas. Hawtin’s set is pummelling — he’s the only DJ to be afforded a two-hour set, and he has the audience by the throats for every minute of that.
Then, with another round of fireworks, it’s all over for the weekend.
This is the place to see and be seen
Whether your optimal clubbing experience is inside a dark, grimy room or a VIP cabana, you’re not going to be unhappy by what OMNIA has to offer.
Sure, as the third bottle of sparkling Belvedere makes it’s way through the crowd led by bikini-clad girls, you might think this is all a little OTT — but since when is OTT not a bloody good time? This is a spectacle, after all.
And with a Hakkasan’s extensive Rolodex of acts at the ready (Calvin Harris, Tiësto, Zedd, and Kaskade are just some of the residents they have booked in their Vegas clubs this year) it’s not going to be long before OMNIA Bali establishes itself as a serious player in the global clubbing scene.
Lead photo credit: Brendan Bannister
Jules LeFevre is Junkee’s Music Writer. She travelled to OMNIA Bali at the expense of the promoter. She is on Twitter.