This year we have already spoken about changes on the island, but we haven't yet touched on one of the most interesting: Sankeys Ibiza's updated look. With ice cannons, beautiful dancers, extravagant light shows and rooms that hold up to 5,000 people often the norm on Ibiza, the Manchester institution has decided to go in the other direction with its White Isle incarnation. They stripped things down, and are bringing both up-and-coming and established artists to a uniquely underground setting.
Though it's not the main room, the Basement is perhaps the key feature of the club. Steve Lawler was so enamored with it when he visited last year that he decided to host his Viva Warriors residency there in 2012. The room is all black, with pulsing neon lights on the low ceiling, giving it a grungy arcade vibe. The only real visual extravagance is a large LED screen that fills the entire wall behind the DJ box. The Void sound system was reportedly tweaked to perfection last year, and will no doubt be able to handle even the lowest, grimiest basslines with ease.
At the opening party last month, Stimming proved it. He hit the system hard, pumping out funky deep house and techno, working the small, packed room perfectly. Wrapping up the night was Diynamic boss Solomun, who kept the dirty vibe rolling along nicely until sunrise.
Located to the side of the Basement, Spektrum is the smallest and most intimate room in the club. It's painted all black too, and fitted with pulsing lights behind and above the floor-level DJ box. For the Fuse event on Wednesday night this past week, Luke Miskelly and Seb Zito expertly pushed out techy, deep house, and many who wandered into the well air-conditioned room suddenly realized they had found their dance floor for the night.
The main room, AKA The Box, is much more cavernous. With high ceilings, a large dance floor, 3-D projector and white walls, it will be the perfect setting for some of the bigger events coming this season. At the opening party, acts like Tobi Neumann punched out hard-hitting techno, keeping the floor bouncing and smiling to his beats.
We spoke with owner David Vincent recently about some of the recent changes to the club, some of the issues it had last year and his hopes for the future of Sankeys Ibiza.
Can you explain the thought process behind the booking policy this year?
This year its about pulling out all the stops, trying to create something different to what's being offered on the island, giving new artists a chance to play for the first time in Ibiza, but at the same time, use a lot of the same people we are aligned with traditionally. Last year I think everything was a bit rushed. We came to the island very last minute, put the lineups together very quickly. With the second season we've had a lot of time to think about what we want to do. It's about trying to be different to what everyone else is doing.
What are some of the changes you've made to the club this year?
Well, we've just doubled our air conditioning all over the whole club. We're going to get some famous graffiti artists from the Bronx to do some nice graffiti art; we've got some new furniture, a new paint job. Also, in some of the rooms we've got some new visual FX. We're doing a 3-D mapping system in one of the rooms. We'll be the first club on the island doing it the way we're doing it. There's definitely been development in a really positive way.
You've said that you made every mistake in the book last year. Can you go into a bit of detail on that?
I think if I went into it we'd be here all day. [laughs] Even from the moment I thought I secured an investor, they pulled out with literally €1 million a month before we opened, so I had to basically leverage all my credit cards to keep the club going. And that was me really trying to rush to get the club open on time. And I mean I did build the club in six weeks, but there were a lot of things that weren't correct for the opening. It's a miracle we got the club open that quickly. We had to because of the cash flow problems, but at the same time there was no management structure from a promotional point of view. It's a miracle we survived that year.
You mentioned that Solomun, who's newer to the island, was the first person that came to your mind when setting up the lineup this year. Why was that?
I saw the way he was exploding as an artist at Sankeys in Manchester. He's a true crossover artist. The guys like him, but the girls love him even more. He's got that soul to him. I think he's redefining house music at the moment. It might sound weird, but people who know their music will know what I'm saying: I think where Subliminal was as a label, say, 12 years ago, is kind of where Diynamic is right now. It was new, it was fresh, it was exciting. Solomun is doing that, and it's cool. I'm not saying it's the same kind of music, but I think there are parallels.
What are your hopes for the club in the future?
The people who know me know what I represent, and know I will not stop until everything is 100 percent perfect. I'm trying to create another new, amazing environment in Ibiza. At the end of the day, having a nightclub in Ibiza is like being involved in the World Cup for football—you have to up your game. And I'm playing with all the best players in the world, but it's a good thing. I enjoy the challenge. So over the next few years, people will see a more and more refined club at Sankeys. And over the next few years I'd like people to say, "You know what? That's my favorite club in Ibiza."
The week in Ibiza
We Love... at Space
Heidi, James Zabiela and The 2 Bears were among those that rocked it last week. Tune in this Sunday to our exclusive live stream as 2020 Vision and Chew The Fat take center stage.
Circoloco at DC-10
Ellen Allien didn't seem ready to give things over to Damian Lazarus at DC-10 this past Monday. Dubfire, Maceo Plex and Tale of Us will be among those stepping up on June 25th.
Fuse at Sankeys Ibiza
Enzo Siragusa's London Sunday clubbing institution took things to Sankeys Ibiza on Wednesday this week for the second time this season. Desolat's tINI was the special guest. Fuse's next announced night is on September 10th.
For more White Isle coverage, head over to our comprehensive Ibiza microsite.