Ibiza 2015 Top Clubs, DJ’s & Parties Part II

Having returned from what was another enjoyable and eyeopening trip to the magical white isle, I am glad to report that the music industry and clubs are in good health again this season. As usual, some parties are performing better than others and there are a handful of newcomers breaking through, which is always reassuring. One thing that is noticeable this year is a shortening of the season for many of the headline DJ names. Not much change to report from last season and its business as usual for the islands top performers which include Marco Carolo at Amnesia and Carl Cox at Space. Jamie Jones is packing them in at DC 10 which is not helping Hyte, and the new party at DC10, Life and Death, is doing quiet well for itself indeed. Other newcomers to note are Do Not Sleep at Vista Club (we don’t like to call it Privilege anymore) and Factory at Heart. In Part I we covered Amnesia, Pacha, Space, Ushuaia and Ibiza Rocks, so now we take a look at how the remaining clubs and venues are doing. Top 3 Parties are Music On, Music is the Revolution, and Paradise.

Sankeys.

Steve Lawler & Viva Warriors@Sankeys 2105

Having been the fastest growing Club last year, Sankey’s seems to have plateaued this summer. Seven parties at the club is a lot for the mainly British crowd to digest and some nights are not performing as well as expected. Sadly, We Love is suffering the same fate as another iconic party, Manumission, that was forced to depart Privilege for Amnesia in 2007 and lasting only 2 seasons at a new home. The decision to relocate We Love to Sankeys, may have been taken in haste and Darren Hughes is rumored to be already looking at a new venue for We Love next season. Can We Love exist outside of Space?….that’s a tough call. For unknown reasons, the feline loving Suara party, did not seem to enjoy the Sankeys British Bulldog attitude, but Friday nights in Ibiza, was always going to be a tough ask for Saura to pull in the crowds. Maybe a similar journey down the Guy Gerber route, could be an option for Suara. Top performing party at Sankeys this summer is Viva Warriors and Steve Lawler. Tribal Sessions is working Ok, but missing the popularity and unpredictable edge of, Darius Syrossian. Bridges were not completely burnt between Syrossian and David Vincent last year, and there is always hope that Syrossian could return to Tribal Sessions next season.

Privilege.
I have a lot of respect for the hard work the team at Privilege are doing to make a go at the club this summer, when many others wrote it off. Mo Chaudry has re-branded the Vista Club and is working with some clued up and hungry promoters, maximizing the effect of the glass walled room and its classic sunrise backdrop. An excellent sound system and some hard working parties, like Hard Times and Do Not Sleep, are rejuvenating the classic club, whose most popular night continues to be the islands flagship Gay party, SupermartXe. Do Not Sleep is one of the island’s trending parties this season, which is helping Privilege retain its credibility as a venue. Its Alex Ferguson years may be behind it, but with the right owner, a fresh business model and money to invest in new facilities and players, Privilege, could be right back up there if the cards fall right. The Vista Room is its most valuable asset right now and keeping the club viable. As long as the right parties are selected to play there, and not castoff’s from other clubs, it should retain its popularity for seasons to come.

DC10

Life and Death @DC10

The majority of the loyal DC10 faithful will tell you that DC10 is not a club…. put your own perspective on it, but don’t call it a club. I would tend to agree, as its prestige as the cutting edge instrument of the islands musical identity, is undeniable. DC10 is a beacon, the holy grail that protects the island from becoming a corporate and clownish, EDM Disney land. The EDM threat is very real, as the money gods at Ushuaia run a slick operation attracting the kids who love that type of music. There is nothing wrong with EDM, in my opinion we should not judge others taste in music, if it makes them happy, so be it. Ibiza was always about youth and having fun – prejudice in music, is the same as any other form of bigotry. Thankfully DC10 will always lead the way musically, and without it, Ibiza would be a poorer place. This year I am happy to report that DC10 is in rude health. Jamie Jones and Paradise is packed every week and Jones is performing some killer sets on a regular basis. Circo Loco is still busy, but the party that has lots of potential is, Life and Death, on Fridays. There is sure to be big offers for the services of Tale Of Us duo, Karm and Matteo Milleri, next season, lets hope they make the wise decision and remain at DC10, for a while yet.

Eden.

Judge Jules Back at Eden

I would hazard a guess that Dutch Owner, Michael van de Kuit, asks himself the same question every day.. why did I ever get involved in a club in San Anotnio. While Eden is working hard to draw in the crowds, the free entry practice is not doing it any favors. Anything “Free” devalues a product. A punter needs to invest, have some skin in the game, to be part of a concept or party. There are just about enough good reports to suggest that all is not lost at Eden. Sadly, Judge Jules and his Judgement party (The flagship of Eden for two decades) is becoming less relevant as a player in the Ibiza market, due to mistakes of the past and a lack of ambition. The party is a shadow of its former self and the Judge needs to re-brand urgently, or else face fading away quietly. Unlike Coxy, Jules has not remained on top of his game, which is a shame, as he has added much to the scene in San Antonio and is a good guy to boot. Eden has the potential to get the mix right, but that special Ibiza formula is always elusive and Zeitgeist is difficult to bottle. Under difficult circumstances, I feel Eden has done enough this year, to warrant its return for next season….all is not lost.

Es Paradis.
A number of promoters have called time on their Ibiza dreams at Es Paradis this summer and the old club is now operating on four nights. Hed Kandi is its flagship party on Saturday and the Fiesta Del Agua Water Parties on Tuesdays and Fridays, are very much a classic Balearic experience. Es Paradis has always been a law onto itself, a very Ibicenco trait, and it will do what it feels like. Its the most beautiful club on the island and a monument to the islands rich musical history. Es Paradis is content to swing in its hammock under the shade of a carob tree, lifting its sombrero every now and again, to check what’s going on around it. In my opinion, Es Paradis has huge potential as a venue, maybe not for electronic music, but for something that can combine a variety of acts similar to live music, cabaret and shows.

Pikes

Sunday@Pikes.

Has been making steady progress up the ranks of Ibiza venues and this quirky and random hotel still retains appeal. Not as fresh as it used to be and refusing entry to a certain age demograph earlier this summer, was not well received. However Pikes continues to innovate and provide a much needed outlet for alternative acts to perform in a cozy venue where people can mingle and talk to each other. Very mixed reports about DJ Harvey this year, and the night I attended, his music was dark and with no let up for over 60 minutes, I left. I always found that Pikes is best when there is energy surrounding the place and the legendary Tony Pike can still be seen wandering its paths. Sunday at Pikes with Mark and Sarah Broadbent along with Andrew Livesey, does have a We Love Sunday feel about it and offers those with children, a rare outlet to experience good music in a relaxed, family environment, while enjoying a Sunday Roast in the restaurant. It’s a lovely concept that hopefully will be around for years to come.

Heart Ibiza
Owned by brothers Ferran and Albert Adria, there are enough good reports emanating from this brand new venue to suggest that it will be around for a long time to come. More artistic than Lio with a dark interior and a rooftop terrace, that serves food from quirky street stalls, Heart Ibiza, is already popular with the locals which is always a positive sign for any new venue. Duran Duran play Heart on September 8 and if on the island, it would be a great time to check out the venue.

Ocean Beach Club.
The success story of San Antonio in recent years, the Linker Group shrewdly spotted the big gap in the market for a daytime party venue on the sunset strip and filled it with poolside beds, mid to high priced bottles of champagne, wannabee VIP’s, toned bodies and stilettos.  A very British crown doing what they do best, “havin’ it large in Ebeffa” and partying like there is no tomorrow. The poolside bar does a roaring trade, with live performances, DJ’s and non stop parties rocking the place right up to midnight. A well deserved clap on the back for all the team at Ocean Beach Ibiza.

Hard Rock Hotel
The Fun Children Of The 80’s Party @ Hard Rock
Happy to report that Hard Rock Hotel seems to be going in the right direction. Readers of the blog will know that I was not a fan of its original concept, as I felt it did not reflect the islands personality. This year it’s trying to fit into the islands relaxed pace and becoming part of its personality, rather than apart from it, with its original fake American rock concept. Lots of smiling faces having fun at the 80’s party on Sunday and this one party alone, has warmed peoples feelings towards Hard Rock, as it offered free entry and didn’t take itself seriously. Hard Rock deserves credit for launching the 80’s party considered a no-no by nearly every other promoter, so a feather in its cap for what looks like being a successful party. Tine Tempe is doing ok and some interesting happenings reported in the pool there. Last years teething problems have been ironed out and the Hotel is running a lot smoother this year. The Prodigy were excellent during the Creamfields Festival and with reduced room rates, Hard Rock now looks a promising addition to Ibiza, as long as it retains its Spanish direction.
Destino. 
Beautiful venue that is very much in line with the classic Pacha style. Luciano and Solomun on alternate Thursdays, have been joined by Flower Power on Saturdays and they reflect the smooth Pacha experience of quality product for a fair price. The venue attracts a mixed crowd of good people and its not overrun by any one group. I like Destino for its relaxed atmosphere, ease of movement and outdoor location. Always an interesting  party going on at Tox, the venues small indoor and sometimes private club.

 

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  1. Interesting review really enjoyed it! Has Privilege changed management recently or has it just run into difficulty filling main room events? Attended the Vista Club for 'Connect' to see American legends Gabriel & Dresden on Sep 1st and found it to be an impeccably organised party, definitely deserves a mention. Vista Club really is a fantastic venue with its stunning views and crystal clear F1 soundsystem. Really hope it has even more parties debuting next season!

  2. Interesting review really enjoyed it! Has Privilege changed management recently or has it just run into difficulty filling main room events? Attended the Vista Club for 'Connect' to see American legends Gabriel & Dresden on Sep 1st and found it to be an impeccably organised party, definitely deserves a mention. Vista Club really is a fantastic venue with its stunning views and crystal clear F1 soundsystem. Really hope it has even more parties debuting next season!

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