By Felicity Clarke, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Copacabana welcomes another European-flavored nightlife addition in the form of new underground nightclub ON11. Subtly located at the Copacabana beach end of Rua Francisco Otaviano in front of Copacabana Fort, ON11, spoken as onze or eleven in Portuguese, brings a stylish European discoteque experience to Rio’s clubbing scene.
Speaking about the venture over an espresso, Italian owners Eugenio Passalacqua and Federico Cascioli outlined their mission with the new 1000 capacity club. “We want to bring the European style here”, says Eugenio, a trance DJ in Italy during the 90s rave years.
“The majority of clubs here are small, they’re lounges really”, Federico jumps in. “We’re totally oriented as the type of club you would typically find in London, Paris, or Rome. The illumination, the sound system, the music, it’s all imported from Europe”.
Originally from Rome, both had traveled to Rio many times before deciding to open a club here. “We wanted to do something outside Europe and choose Brazil, we love it” explains Eugenio. “With the World Cup and Olympics, and with tourism too, it’s growing and it has the feeling of a country improving”.
With a partner from the famous DC10 nightclub in Ibiza, which provided inspiration for the name, Eugenio and Federico have created a quite spectacular offering in what is by many world standards, a city of mediocre clubbing options.
The plain, unsigned street entrance leads down to a sleek disco bunker, where it’s all about the dancefloor. A 350 square meter space with an incredible LED light show ceiling and three high definition screens, ON11 creates the euphoric clubbing environment stimulating the visual sense with its innovative rainbow illumination.
The club’s state of the art Martin Audio Sound System pumps out edgy house and electronic beats courtesy of resident DJ Gauthier DM. A resident at Ibiza’s DC10, the French DJ is excited about playing in Rio: ‘It’s a great challenge, because I understand that people here aren’t totally switched on to more underground music,” he says.
Gauthier DM is joined by guest DJs programmed by Andrea Pelino of iconic Ibiza night Circo Loco, already having featured Brazil’s biggest DJ Gui Boratto on the club’s opening weekend earlier this month.
Brimming with enthusiasm for the project, Eugenio and Federico are confident that ON11’s unique offering can strike the balance and attract a varied crowd. “Everyone says how difficult it is to achieve the melting pot of locals and tourists, people from different neighborhoods”, says Federico. “However with our philosophy I believe we can do it”.
ON11’s launch is following the opening of Cafe del Mar on Avenida Atlântica, also in Copacabana, showing signs that the area nightlife is picking up.
ON11, Rua Francisco Otaviano, 20A
Open Friday and Saturday, 11PM to 6AM
Entrance R$60 for men, R$40 for women, although may vary for special events.