This week our Ibiza column takes a look at the day party scene on the island.
Ibiza law states that clubs can't open until 4:30 PM. As a result, it's become accepted as the unofficial party start time for many of the beach bars around the island providing a plethora of events. The same goes for the clubs. We Love, for example, begins at 4:30 PM each week and focusses its early attention almost exclusively on the Sunset Terrace—a partially open-air terracotta room that harks back to the old Space Terrace. It's a smart move: People still come to the island to have the experience of dancing in the daytime, sun shining and music booming. This year, the Sunset Terrace mixes up the likes of Rob Da Bank, Funkagenda, Jaymo & Andy George and Greg Wilson, the last of which rocked out at the Opening this week.
Speaking of openings, Cocoon has also been and gone, with much of the word on the street centering around the after-party the next day, rather than the main event. Notorious, of course, for being persistent in their throwing of a weekly post-Amnesia, Cocoon have been through a series of bars, villas, fields and beaches in offering the ultimate afterparty down the years. In 2010, this saw them ending up regularly at Ushuaia. (On Tuesday this week, they decamped to a hotel complex in the Es Canar area (you can find out where exactly yourself) where Ricardo truly came into his element.)
This year Ushuaia have—to quote a friend—"moved the goalposts" in terms of what is happening or possible in Ibiza. Moving from their beach hut location of last year, they've transformed the hotel directly opposite Space (to the tune of €20 million allegedly) into an almost purpose-built pool party location. It's now a real Vegas/Miami-style adult playground.
The hotel aspect is clearly aimed at the VIP end of the market with the ubiquitous spa and boutique shop, but the events angle here is something else altogether. A large—huge, in fact—stage overwhelms the rest of the surrounding area. And judging by the Cadenza Opening party—where practically every single available space was being used for dancing by the assembled gliteratti—pool parties during the afternoon and evening are set to become an institution at Ushuaia in 2011.
Cadenza and Luciano will be hosting bi-weekly Thursdays at the venue, alternating with Sasha's Never Say Never event. Other parties already locked in are Defected as a Saturday pre-party for the Pacha event, Spanish promoters Supermartxe on Tuesdays, Dennis Ferrer and The Martinez Brothers for what is promised as a US house night on Sundays, some Swedish characters on Wednesdays and a whole host of one-offs. (dOP has already played live, and there's even a Human League gig on July 11th.) As you might guess, in the move of the aforementioned goalposts, the "free" aspect of these parties from last year has also changed. You can now expect to pay Ibiza club prices to gain entry for those events—€40-50 typically.
The natural law of things dictates that other events, promoters and locations will fill the gap left by the former incarnation of Ushuaia. Those smaller scale, 100-200 people, free beach/pool parties will be at places like Le Plage (who have M.A.N.D.Y. on June 29th), Nassau, Delano, Bora Bora (all Playa D'en Bossa), Es Vive Hotel (who have a Crosstown Rebels bash on June 21st), occasionally at Pk2 (S'Estanyol) or the more plush—but still free!—Blue Marlin (Cala Jondal). Two specific events to take note of are the annual legal and free beach parties, which take place at Portinatx (July) and Cala Gracio (August). Scratch the surface before you get to the island—or when you're here—and you'll find there is a bounty of sunshine dancing to be had.