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SANTO DOMINGO – NIGHTLIFE

 

Like Santiago (the island nation’s second largest city), the capital’s nightlife is divided into the tastes of the popular classes – that is, Merengue, Bachata and Reggaeton (favored among Spanish-speakers of various age groups) versus the international House music movement (English-language intensive, and favored among younger music fans, especially those from the middle and upper classes).

 

The omnipresent Merengue sound means that events involving such artists, like Los Hermanos Rosario, Eddy Herrera, and others could easily take place at an outdoor event, such as the Malecón during Carneval in late February (when that boulevard is shut down for local festivities – complete with partygoers dressed in elaborate colorful costumes & masks).  There, as well as ballrooms such as the one at the Hotel Meliá, and even at the Estadio Quisqueya (if the occasion warrants it).  The same goes for Bachata acts like Aventura (from New York), and Reggaeton artists like Wisin y Yandel, Don Omar, and Daddy Yankee.  For Spanish-speakers, a break from local sounds include events held by international Latin acts like Colombian rock musician Juanes, Colombian pop singer Shakira, and even Italian pop artist Laura Pausini (who sings mainly in Spanish, as well as in other languages, and is more famous in Latin America than in her native Italy).  Such events are usually held at Estadio Quisqueya, or in smaller venues like the Hotel Jaragua.

 

However, since the early 2000s, the sons and daughters of the local elite, who are well-traveled and have experienced nightlife in Miami, New York, Ibiza and elsewhere, have caught the House music “bug”, and have not shaken it since then.  As a result, these individuals have been responsible for establishing a string of trendy Miami and New York-style nightspots, such as Praia (Av. Gustavo Mejía Ricart 74, Naco) – reputed to be the most popular House & Trance music lounge in the capital (complete with a Miami art gallery-like exterior, and a futuristic interior with Italian lounge furniture and pricey drinks).  Another interesting nightspot known for booking House & Trance DJs has been Guacará Taina (Av. de la Salud, Parque Mirador Sur) – the only disco in the capital that’s within a cave.

 

Aside from such nightspots, local event organizers like PAV Entertainment have put together outdoor shows at places such as “The River” (located at a marina in Rio Isabela toward the outskirts of the capital), and “Pelicano Beach” (Hotel Be Live Hamaca, outside the capital) – where Swedish/Italian DJs Alesso and Sebastian Ingrosso (of Swedish House Mafia) appeared earlier this year (along with fellow Electro House DJ Avicii); as well as other concert-like events, such as French DJ Bob Sinclar, and U.S. pop duo LMFAO at the Hotel Jaragua.  Such events are most popular during Easter week (Semana Santa).  International House music fans visiting the capital are advised to check for upcoming events before arriving there.