August in Ibiza means one thing: clubs, clubs, clubs. It’s the month of blazing sunshine, beautiful people and parties that roll into the wee hours of the morning.
It was also, this summer, the month everyone had been banking on to compensate for a rickety start to the season; the make-or-break weeks for the fortunes of everyone who relies on Ibiza’s brief tourist season
to see them through winter. “The rest of the summer you might make just about enough to pay the bills and have a few nights
out, but August is when you stack it up,” as one worker puts it.
Make no mistake, the Ibicenco economy is close-hitched to the success of its clubs. The Diario de Ibiza recently reported on a survey which showed nine out of 10 British tourists come to Ibiza specifically for the nightlife. So, how are we doing?
At Amnesia their highlight events are going strong. Cocoon’s Monday night party is pulling a huge international crowd, its
usual popularity given an extra boost by the closure of DC10. The price of their “friends & family” concession guest-list tickets has shot up from €20 to €30 so it’s a safe bet anyone involved in this techno powerhouse will be laughing all the way to the bank this autumn.
Thursday night’s ‘Cream’ party is perennially popular with the British market and despite the economic hardships they
are still pulling full houses on the strength of their heavy duty DJs like Paul Van Dyk, Sasha and Ferry Corstan. Also wooing the trance crowd is Armin’s Tuesday night ‘Armada’ with guests like Sharam from Deep Dish and Laidback Luke.
However, another Brit standby, ‘Manumission’ (Fridays) has struggled to cope with heavy competition from Madrileno night ‘SuperMartXe’ which has been filling Privilege to capacity thanks to a canny mix of competitive door-pricing and mind-blowing production.
It seems Privilege has realised that its strength lies in making the most of its vast space as the other big night is Tiesto’s ‘In Search Of Sunrise’ party every Monday. Eager kids (mostly British, Dutch and German) are happily shelling out €60 or more for a peek at Tijs’ staggering, rock’n’roll style audio-visual trance extravaganza.
the roster of big hitters at Privilege are two nights of techno: ‘Meganite’ and ‘Monza’.
The former has found success with a mix of classic tough techno and live acts, while ‘Monza’ is making a strong showing with its Berlin-orientated line-ups (Magda, M.A.N.D.Y. and Guido Schneider among others).
It’s not all smiles though, as local
favourite ‘La Communidad’ – which moved to Saturdays at the World’s Biggest Club after losing its Friday nights at Space – flopped and was quickly replaced by a new night called ‘Soldiers’.
Space, having ruthlessly culled its promoter roster after losing half its opening hours to new laws has still sometimes struggled to fill its six rooms. ‘Carl Cox and Friends’ is having another fantastic season, and long-running gay night ‘La Troya’ (Wednesday) is still packing them in despite squabbles with authorities over their colourful parades and artwork.
Danny Tenaglia’s first Ibiza residency, ‘Be’ on Thursdays has wooed fans of classic house but faces tough competition from its glamorous opposite ‘F*** Me I’m Famous’, fronted by Cathy & David Guetta at Pacha. In any case, Space’s undisputed flagship is still ‘We Love Sundays’, which pulled crowds and column inches with the return of the Chemical Brothers to Ibiza for the first time in 14 years (for a reported six-figure fee).
Other island big spenders include Eden, which has been rewarded for splashing the cash on Pete Tong with his muchtalked-
about ‘Wonderland’ party on Fridays. Along with Brit faves like Groove Armada and Rob Marmot the night has brought the
likes of Tania Vulcano and Deadmau5 to San An for the first time.
Tuesday night’s ‘Koolwaters’ party has kept Eden jumping with a mix of breaks and electro. Night-by-night, Eden is probably the most eclectic club on the island with events for garage (Twice As Nice), hard house (Advanced Vs Tidy), house (Garlands Vs The Hacienda) and electronica (Mondo Loco). Though it is still easy to get free or reduced entry to most nights, a sure sign they’re working to pull in the punters, the club has maintained a good atmosphere and Judgement Sundays is still hugely popular with the San An crowd.
Also flying the flag for San An eclecticism, Es Paradis has a mix of classic and new nights. Its flagship ‘Fiesta del Agua’ has expanded to two nights a week (Thursdays and Saturdays) and is the biggest pull with local youngsters. Their ‘Bassline Vs Garage’ night angles to grab some of the urban crowd away from ‘Twice As Nice’ while ‘Clubland’ woos fans of commercial house and trance.
Possibly the most interesting night is Wednesday’s ‘Rogue DJs’ party which brings DJ sets from bands like Utah
Saints, The Subways and The Mystery Jets.
Meanwhile, the glamorous Ibiza Town clubs are still locked in a fierce rivalry. Louie Vega’s ‘Soul Heaven’ night at El Divino has taken the club back to pure house music with lots of live PAs and support from the likes of Erick Morillo (whose Wednesday night ‘Subliminal’ party at Pacha has been a bit quieter than previous seasons), while its busiest night remains Saturday’s ‘Hed Kandi’ party – a firm favourite of the stylish British crowd.
for their cut of the pie are ‘Fashion TV’ & ‘Miss Moneypenny’s’ on the Friday, Tuesday’s ‘Salvacion’ bash, house heavy hitters ‘Kinky Malinki vs Kidology’ (Thursday) and ‘Mn2S’ (Monday).
Minutes away is Pacha, which has stuck with a tried and tested line-up for summer 2008, beginning with Roger Sanchez’s ‘Release Yourself’ party on Monday (which started at El Divino, some years back). According to insiders the focus on traditional US house has given the club a long-in-the-tooth feel, with staples like ‘Def Mix’ (Saturday) and ‘Defected’ (Tuesday) relying too heavily on older acts.
Undoubtedly the most exciting night of the week is Friday’s ‘Pure Pacha’ which responded to Tong’s move to Eden by booking some of the biggest names in dance: Sander Kleinenberg, the Swedish House Mafia, Basement Jaxx and Faithless. The new acts have energised the night. “The atmosphere is brilliant and our guest-lists are full till September,” reports press manager Jasmine Elias.
Overall, it seems the club scene has stratified. The biggest, longest-running nights are as packed as ever with loyal fans.
However, less established parties are struggling as clubbers economise by making safe choices rather than exploring new
events. Numbers for the season may look roughly similar, across the board, but the true story is of a handful of big successes and a host of strugglers.
Of course, Ibiza has almost lost one of its most renowned clubs entirely – DC10. For the full story on the rise and fall of this underground institution see DC10 – club closure?.
By Cila Warncke