Instead of just one or two parties each night, you can now expect to find at least three and sometimes four events to choose between. Moreover, whilst the full spectrum of dance music is represented, many of these nights target the same people. Take Fridays for example, Pure Pacha has Sander Kleinenberg and Trentemøller, Tong has Timo Maas, Dubfire and Luciano whilst Made In Italy has Satoshi Tomiie and Steve Bug. And that's without even mentioning the near 10,000 who'll be at Privilege for Supermartxé.
What's more, the amount of specialist events on the island has now begun to finally take hold. Guitar rock, drum & bass, R&B and hip-hop now have their own dedicated weekly events and needless to say, every sub-genre imaginable of house and techno is represented by some of the true pioneers and icons of the respective genres. When it comes to house and techno, you'd be hard pressed to find any DJ worth their salt who doesn't make at least one appearance during the season.
It would be impossible to cover everything in a preview, so we've picked out the key events each night, highlighting some of the main protagonists you're likely to encounter along the way. Big, brash and over commercialized, clubbing in Ibiza makes an easy target for the purists, but then that's why Amnesia has the ice cannon, sleazy techno in the Coco Loco at Privilege fits so perfectly and dancing around an old seal pit dressed like Tarzan at The Zoo Project seems like the most normal thing in the world. The parties are there, you just need to know where to find them.
Cocoon at Amnesia
Swedish House Mafia at Pacha
Tiesto at Privilege
Monday's Calling at Space
As One at Gala Night
Inside Out at Eden
Pukka Up at Es Paradis
Desert Island Disco at Boho
Purple Music at El Divino
This year Sven, Villalobos, Luciano and Loco Dice are the regulars and Reboot, Sneak and Nick Curly are just a pick of the more interesting bookings. Over the road at Privilege, dance music's rock star Tiesto serves up the mainstream melodic house that attracts about 8,000 ravers every week, whilst the Swedish House Mafia attempt to prove they're not as cheesy as they seem, with their The Dark Forest themed party (Pacha).
Whilst the San Rafel clubs (Amnesia & Privilege) have a stranglehold on Monday night business, one event sure to do well is As One, which has guests such as Steve Bug, Audiofly and the Secretsundaze crew and uses the same outdoor/daytime concept and location (Gala Night) that the Zoo Project has had so much success with.
Armada / Release Yourself at Amnesia
Flamingo Nights at Pacha
Juicy Ibiza at Privilege
Carl Cox at Space
Reclaim the Dancefloor at Eden
Ibiza Rocks at Ibiza Rocks Hotel
Clubland at Es Paradis
Bitch / Filth at Boho
Salvacion & Kidology present REPUBLIK at El Divino
Meanwhile Ibiza Rocks, who already have acts like Pendulum and Dizzee Rascal for their live hotel gigs, now host an official afterparty at Eden called Reclaim the Dancefloor, which has 2ManyDJs as ressies with Chase & Status, Benga and Aeroplane on support duties.
DJ Mag's No.1 DJ, Armin Van Buuren, continues his Armada trance fest, joined by Roger Sanchez's Release Yourself on the best clubbing space on the island, namely Amnesia's terrace. At Pacha, put your hands up for Fedde Le Grand, whose Flamingo Nights will aim to turn the traditional DJ set after DJ set concept on its head by interspersing live PAs, crazy lights and some instruments (bongos) into proceedings...hardly sounds revolutionary does it?!
La Troya at Amnesia
Subliminal at Pacha
Meganite at Privilege
Channel Zoo at Gala Night
Garlands at Eden
Water Party at Es Paradis
Atomik at Boho
Around for a while itself, Mauro Picotto's Meganite can finally capitalise by serving the techno junkies who'll be needing a fix as a result of Circo Loco's absence and Adam Beyer, Josh Wink, Marco Carola and Paul Ritch, amongst others, sound like the perfect remedy to me.
Yet the Zoo Project influence remains strong, with a spin-off event using the same principles—for those not paying attention that'll be minimal/deep house, outdoors and daytime—which will concentrate on label showcases from the likes of Cadenza (Luciano plays), Freak n' Chic and Moon Harbour. Sure to be one of the coolest parties of the summer.
Cream at Amnesia
F*** Me I'm Famous at Pacha
Monza at Privilege
Be at Space
Twice as Nice at Eden
Electric Vendetta at Es Paradis
Superfreq at Boho
Pirates Party at El Divino
Instead, ubiquitous Ibiza institution Cream provide the best dose of trance anywhere on the globe, with Paul Van Dyk starring; Sasha and Eric Prydz take the terrace masses through the world of dark, trippy and always epic prog and electronica. So far no good?
Perhaps most interestingly then is the return of Superfreq, now located at Boho, a new club in what was formerly Exstasis (San Antonio). A guaranteed workers' favourite, Mr C already has Jamie Jones, Rui Da Silva and Adultnapper signed up for the party he describes as "looking like a model and rocking like a bastard."
Last but not least, earn your racing stripes with Monza who continue Meganite's vibe at Privilege by featuring Luciano, Tobi Neumann and some bloke called Ricardo.
Made in Italy / People from Ibiza at Amnesia
Pure Pacha at Pacha
Supermartxé at Privilege
Wonderland at Eden
Miss Moneypennys at Boho
Fierce Angels at El Divino
Tong's former slot at Pacha continues the dance act theme of 2008 by securing Calvin Harris for a monthly residency. He joins Faithless and Basement Jaxx with Mark Knight and Oakey continuing the British theme. VJ Sander Kleinenberg is the weekly resident. Made In Italy (Amnesia) is worth a look in, not so much for the lesbian erotic show, but for the filthy underground soundtrack composed by such luminaries as Ellen Allien, Martin Buttrich and Steve Bug.
Lastly, if the Made In Italy titillations are a little too subtle for you, then the full on silicone, six pack and gay chic of Supermartxé (Privilege) might appeal. 10,000 clubbers, awesome production and in your face fetish is the order of the day; you have been warned.
Matinée at Amnesia
Defected at Pacha
The Face of Ibiza at Privilege
Hed Kandi at Space
The Zoo Project at Gala Night
Mondo Loco at Eden
Water Party at Es Paradis
Sw.ankys at Boho
Carwash at El Divino
The Zoo Project—the name thanks to the venue being commonly mistaken for an abandoned zoo—is a daytime party, totally outdoors, in the middle of nowhere, for which fancy dress is almost compulsory. Oh, and it all happens around a seal pit. (Seriously.) Of course, there's the music too, with Johnny D, Dinky, Shonky and Nima Gorji early confirmations this season. A unique vibe, the type of which you just don't get in even the best clubbing cities, makes this top three in the "must-do" list. Be there.
Defected cement their strong bond with the Pacha brand by switching to the coveted Saturday spot, but face competition from Hed Kandi in the funky house and glam stakes, who have moved from El Divino to Space via Eden, all in the last two months.
Contact / Foam Party at Amnesia
Pacha Classics / Flower Power at Pacha
We Love at Space
Judgement Sundays at Eden
Prang at Es Paradis
Sintillate at Boho
Ibiza Planet at El Divino
Carl Craig, Jeff Mills and Derrick May represent Detroit, whilst Ryan O'Gorman's Burlington Project makes room for Dixon, Pier Bucci and Jamie Jones in the Red Box Room. Summer headliners are The Chemical Brothers and Hot Chip, along with Grace Jones, who appears on the same date as Aeroplane, no doubt for some Williams' Blood action. Space is like a clubbing Disneyworld with We Love the biggest, scariest and most exhilarating rollercoaster you can ride.
Elsewhere, Fabio & Grooverider share residency for Prang at Es Paradis, original Pacha DJ Piti hosts the legendary Flower Power (totally different but brilliant) and Judge Jules's hard dance bonanza Judgement Sundays (Eden) brings up the tail end.