Ibiza 2019 has certainly been a strange season. A different clientele is now visiting the island, who are more into VIP and big production values and less into the minimalist dark rooms of underground music. There are very mixed reports emanating from the island this summer, especially on the underground scene, which is feeling the effects of too many parties programmed to a genre that is sadly loosing ground to the EDM factories.  Hi and Ushuaia are killing it this year, with all their big parties performing well, especially Ants, Martin Garrix, Glitterbox and Black Coffee. The big news story of last season, David Guetta’s move from Pacha to Hi, has been a resounding success, with the club packed to the rafters every Friday night. Over at Pacha, the big story there, was Marco Carola’s illegitimate move away from Amnesia, which saw the Italian DJ appear before a local court in a breach of contract dispute – not such a good image for the industry.

Music On is doing better than Sven Vath and Cocoon did in its first and only season at the American owned club, especially in the all important VIP areas of Pacha and Destino.  Its been hard to get an opinion of the party, as guest list to Music On this season is restricted, some say its due to Pacha paying Carola an obscene amount of money, others saying that a skinny guestlist means its busy inside.  However, the atmosphere inside Pacha for Music On, is not the same as it was in Amnesia, but the two clubs offer a much different experience. At Amnesia, Music On was more about the music, at Pacha its moved on to be more about the current VIP/Instagram experience, a trend that is clearly evident on the island this season. Cocoon was unable to adapt to this change, it seems Music On is doing better.  Many seasoned veterans on the Ibiza Club scene are reporting that smartphones and Instagram are taking over the dancefloor, resulting in less people dancing and more standing around observing.

To be fair to Pacha, they have never disguised the fact they are a VIP/money orientated club and thats clearly where its future lies. Solomun is lording it this summer as the new Fresh Prince of Pacha. Both Carola, and to a lesser degree Dixon, are performing well in VIP bookings, so a second season for both parties looks a likely runner at this stage.  On the Underground scene, Zoo Project is flying the flag for the real Ibiza vibe, as is Viva Warriors at Octan – less video phones and more people dancing. Resistance at Privilege is doing the business as is Jamie Jones over at DC10, which has consistently seen big crowds for a number of one off parties. Elrow has been Amnesia’s most popular party, which says a lot about the troubled San Rafael club these days.

In San Antonio, Defected is packing out Eden and has found a good partner on the sunset strip with Cafe Mambo. Other parties doing well in San Antonio include Craig David at Ibiza Rocks and the Float Your Boat party, which offers some quality music programming and a choice of parties at Hi included, all for just €49.  Next week we will be reviewing Afterlife at Hi, which has been receiving mixed reports and we also hope to check out David Guetta and his Jack Back alias. So Top Five Parties for us so far this season, on the underground scene its  Solomun+1, Ants,  Resistance, Paradise and Black Coffee.  Outside of that its F*** Me Im Famous, Defected, Elrow, Glitterbox and Mucho Ibiza.