By night, the status quo of popular parties looks set to continue and for good reason; the Cocoons and We Loves of this world have spent years building and refining their product, the latter in particular has continually striven for more innovative line-ups while remaining popular, no small feat in the cut and thrust of Ibiza. Those two parties have been instrumental, along with Circo Loco, in popularising the underground sound that now becomes anything but the exception in Ibiza; Space have two new in-house promotions built on essentially German house and techno artists and sounds, new events at Privilege and Amnesia both also looked to this influence as starting points and Luciano has even breached the hallowed walls of Pacha.
Quite simply, there has never been so widespread a representation of this music on Ibiza as there is now. Disregarding this is just further peddling of stereotypical urban myths. And, more importantly, you miss the party. To help you sort through the madness of the Ibiza schedule, what follows is a handy guide to what's going on when in Ibiza this summer.
Cocoon at Amnesia
Mondays Calling at Space
Swedish House Mafia at Pacha
Tiesto at Privilege
Nuts Magazine at Eden
Fiesta Del Agua at Es Paradis
Cocoon show no sign of letting up their dominance as the biggest and most hyped party in Ibiza, despite sticking to the formula of recent years in their selections. Who can blame them, though? The additions are few and far between with only the odd date for the likes of Seth Troxler, Sascha Dive and Pantha du Prince freshening up the status quo, although Cassy is taking an ever more prominent role, and Raresh takes Luciano's place for the legendary closing party. Elsewhere it's business as usual with Papa Sven in the Main Room and Ricardo the principal host on the Terrace, though the four dates for Richie Hawtin and five dates for Loco Dice position them as front line support.
On a commercial level, expect the Swedish House Mafia to make a dent in Tiesto's crowd at Privilege. The Swedes battled their way through a potentially tricky first season and will be looking to capitalise on their ever growing brand. Tiesto is just Tiesto.
Day Parties: Well it'd be a brave thing to go up against Circo Loco, so...
Tuesdays Amnesia/Release Yourself at Amnesia
Carl Cox at Space
Pacha Seduction/Flower Power at Pacha
My Clubroom at Privilege
Garlands at Eden
Ibiza Rocks After Party at Es Paradis
Ibiza Rocks at Ibiza Rocks Hotel
Ibiza Rocks continue their trailblazing with loads of bands I'll admit to having never heard of, but in amongst that, there are the mass appeal shows of Calvin Harris, Dizzee Rascal, Ian Brown and The Prodigy, the latter of which appear in Ibiza for the first time in forever. Elsewhere, Pacha play it safe with house music vets like David Morales, Louie Vega and Frankie Knuckles for their party Pacha Seduction, but look out for the sporadic Flower Power parties, when the club timewarps to the swinging '60s. Dressing up like Austin Powers and getting lovey dovey to some classic John Lennon can actually be a lot of fun away from the jungle of 4/4 beats. Finally, there's no doubt that Amnesia's inspirationally named Tuesdays Amnesia will continue to attract the mainstream end of the island's punters with Armin Van Buuren in the Main Room and Roger Sanchez on the Terrace.
Day Parties: There are good and bad aspects of nearly all the beach party action being contained around Playa D'en Bossa, but the fact that Fuse at Ushuaia and Mumu at Sands (after clearly working it out so their parties would not clash) are offering an almost weekly post-DC10 Tuesday afternoon beach session is fantastic. Expect all the usual cutting-edge names, with some unannounced artists, that these well-loved brands have made their reputation on.
La Troya / Espuma at Amnesia
Kehakuma at Space
Subliminal at Pacha
Warung at Privilege
Reclaim the Dancefloor at Eden
Clubland at Es Paradis
Also new and noteworthy: A party from the famous Brazilian beach club, Warung, which takes over from Mauro Picotto's techno stronghold Meganite. Warung will continue the theme of quality label showcases in the Coco Loco with brands such as Mobilee, Get Physical and Supernature. However, the Main Room programming is very different, embracing a plethora of genres in a clear attempt to navigate the artist exclusivity issues in Ibiza that are barely a consideration for Warung on their home turf in Brazil. Live performances come from Dirty Vegas, Inner City, Gui Boratto and Charlie May while the full spectrum of electronic music is represented from DJs like Nick Warren and Danny Howells through to Karotte and Robert Babicz. In short, it looks good on paper, although the reality of putting parties on in Privilege can often be another matter.
Best of the rest are Subliminal, whose guests this year include the ubiquitous M.A.N.D.Y., and Reclaim the Dancefloor at Eden; the Ibiza Rocks spin off again goes ballsy on alternative line-ups featuring Chase & Status, Benga, Aeroplane, Tiga, Skream and Pendulum.
Day Parties: There's a really cool program of label showcases at Ushuaia with 8bit, Supplement Facts, Spectral, Playhouse and a Detroit 25 Year Party with Carl Craig, Kevin Saunderson, Kenny Larkin and Stacey Pullen in September. 4pm till midnight.
Cream at Amnesia
Come Together at Space
F*** Me I'm Famous at Pacha
The Face of Ibiza at Privilege
Twice as Nice at Eden
GLAS at Es Paradis
The demise of Monza's plans leaves a hole for the house and techno heads, as they had earmarked Amnesia-owned Cova Santa as their base for this year before licence problems put an end to that. Nevertheless, there is still the likelihood that they'll head to their winter HQ, the tiny Blu in Figueretas, which is no bad thing.
That leaves a new party at Space called Come Together to battle it out with Cream and FMIF. The party comes from the team behind the Carl Cox events, so there is some crossover of artists, but there is a strong emphasis on live acts including, rather phenomenally, Leftfield and The Friendly Fires. Also on board are Armand Van Helden, Calvin Harris, Felix Da Housecat, Mark Ronson and Grandmaster Flash.
Day Parties: Anyone for a Pukka Up booze cruise?
People from Ibiza / Amnesia Presents at Amnesia
Be at Space
Pure Pacha at Pacha
Supermartxe at Privilege
Wonderland at Eden
Fiesta Del Agua at Es Paradis
Pacha is always busy on Fridays and their Pure Pacha line-up has taken a twist with a rotating line-up that sees the Club 75 posse (Cassius, Justice, Busy P & Mehdi) as monthly residents, as well as four Sasha/Renaissance combinations and Wall of Sound who bring in Royskopp, Aeroplane and Ocelot. Over on the other side of the island in San Antonio, Pete Tong's Wonderland enters its third season and again pulls out a corker of a line-up with big acts like Fatboy Slim, Groove Armada and Calvin Harris alongside big room players like Mark Knight, Gui Boratto and Steve Lawler. Others like Felix da Housecat, Dubfire, Boys Noize, Erol Alkan, 2000 and One and Tim Green seem a little out of place, though you can't blame Tongy for trying, though all judgments are reserved until after an Opening Event that features Bryan Ferry no less. Finally, not wanting to be left out on the hype around "live" events, Amnesia have revamped their People From Ibiza party to include Amnesia Presents showcases that so far have Laurent Garnier, Richie Hawtin, Jeff Mills and Etienne De Crecy lined up to perform.
Day Parties: Located on Es Cavallet beach, El Chringuito is a cracking little place to eat and on Fridays they have an event called Beats on the Beach with a Brazilian live act called Som Da Praia providing the soundtrack.
Matinee at Amnesia
Cafe Ole at Space
Defected at Pacha
Mondo Loco / Retro at Eden
Hed Kandi at Es Paradis
The Zoo Project at Gala Night has secured itself a solid place on the Ibiza agenda now by making full use of its unique location, and the fact the party mainly takes place outdoors and during the day, to create a notorious infusion of fun and good quality music. You'll feel left out if you're not dressed like a tiger and losing it to one of the strongest roster of residents around as well guests in the order of Monika Kruse or Simon Baker.
Honourable mention goes to Underground, the best bar and small club on the island with a solid booking policy that draws from artists on their travels to and from Ibiza. Located in Sant Rafel, there is a no-nonsense party every night with no door tax and anyone from Rhadoo to Mathew Jonson to DJ Sneak likely to be playing. No question, Underground should be a permanent fixture in your options every night.
Day Parties: Check out the Zoo or for something a little more laidback, and with decent food, try S.O.S. at Sands in Playa D'en Bossa with Pacha resident Andy Baxter.
Popstarz at Amnesia
We Love at Space
Cadenza at Pacha
Tribes at Privilege
Judgment Sunday at Eden
After years of being the only kid on the block, this year We Love faces some competition as Luciano, Cadenza and Pacha threw us all a curveball by bringing their Vagabundos party to Sundays at the old finca. The carnage caused by the Swiss in Ibiza needs no further explanation and suffice to say that pretty much every club and promoter has had bids tabled for his services at some stage. While the Pacha link-up may seem paradoxical at first, it doesn't take too much of a leap of faith to see how the party could work, especially given the new fans Luciano has attracted in his global tour schedule in the last year, as well as a quality of guests that include DJ Koze, Henrik Schwarz, Moodymann and Theo Parrish. But (and it's a big but) such is the dynamic of how the island works that not even Luciano in Ibiza is enough to guarantee definite success. Let the Sunday battle commence!
Day Parties: We'd say Ushuaia for the Luciano & Friends bash, but it was just recently canceled. Only time will tell where they might end up. Until that's sorted out, you could do worse than the Blue Marlin: Paco Fernandez's flamenco sessions have become somewhat of a ritual at Blue Marlin.