Welcome to a new weekly Ibiza column on RA, detailing the latest from the island. We'll be offering up news, previews and short interviews with some of those making waves in Ibiza this year throughout the season. In this instalment, though, we'll be looking to put some meat on the bones of the 2011 season preview.
As expected, the opening weekend was enormous, with 20,000 at Space's opening party, which was more than enough to make sure the cobwebs were well and truly dusted away from the winter. Space were granted a special licence to extend to 12 PM, allowing the likes of Jeff Mills and Carl Cox to bosh away in the dark interior as the sun rose outside. The Playa D'en Bossa club has swooped to add Armin van Buuren, Fedde Le Grand and Mark Knight to their weekly program, which is significant because it provides a more diverse agenda than last year. It was not uncommon in 2010 to have four or five consecutive nights at Space with essentially the same underground house and techno sound. Contrastingly, at the DC-10 opening, it was garage—more than anything—that shone through, with Kerri Chandler sleazing it up and residents like System Of Survival equally apt at taking deep house to new profundities.
After the bang of the starting pistol for the opening weekend, we typically enter a two week hangover period before the major parties have their own respective opening events. That period is actually already over now, though, so from this weekend onwards motors commence and continue until late September for parties such as We Love (opening 12th June) and Cocoon (opening 13th June). We Love kick off with the rather unique offering of a "Vinyl Only" night in the Discoteca as part of the Planet E 20 Year celebrations featuring Carl Craig, Derrick May and Paul Woolford. The renowned Funktion One rig here—arguably the brand's signature system along with Berghain—has reportedly spent the winter back in England being rebuilt and refined to ensure the utmost clarity. As for Cocoon, well this year their theme is "Heroes," as in we are all heroes...not just the DJs. The music'll no doubt be easier to decipher, as the "Big Five" (Messrs Vath, Hawtin, Dice, Villalobos and Carola) are back this season, but what's more interesting perhaps is artists like Sascha Dive and Jamie Jones appearing as guests in the Main Room in the first two weeks. These bookings provide a clear indication that Cocoon is going increasingly house in its musical direction.
Amnesia, Cocoon's home for more than a decade, opens on 11th June with Paul Kalkbrenner's Ibiza debut and DC-10 residents Davide Squillace and Matthias Tanzmann making their Amnesia debuts. Kalkbrenner had been scheduled to play at Space Closing in 2010 but didn't make the gig. This performance signals serious signs of intent from Amnesia this year, who introduce two really strong new nights, in the form of Tuesday's tech and dubstep offering called Tonight and the return of MTV to Ibiza for a Friday residency. Bearing in mind they already have three of the busiest parties on the island in Cocoon, Cream and Matinée, it'd be understandable if you decided to believe the hype.