The ultra-competitive island is increasingly looking past DJs to entice clubgoers this year.
Ibiza Rocks trailblazed this to some extent. This year it's moved away from the "Rocks" and more towards the "Pops," which by definition means a lot more electronic music, such as Magnetic Man, Example, Chase & Status, 2 Many DJs, Fatboy Slim and other more interesting stuff like Azari & III or Metronomy. While some of these acts don't adhere to the "live" concept—Fatboy Slim played a DJ set this week for example—the principle of a whole series of events dedicated to live performances has still been a very much unique idea. I Want My MTV Ibiza (Fridays at Amnesia) and Privilege Live (Sundays at Privilege) will undoubtedly challenge that monopoly in 2011. The former has gone to town on everything from Plastikman to Duran Duran, with Snoop Dogg and Primal Scream bookending the shows. Privilege meanwhile, the club most suited to large scale performances, has drafted in Underworld, Jamiroquai and Digitalism so far.
The fundamental issue though is getting the product right. Is it a gig or is it a club night? Can they co-exist peacefully? How do 4,000 people up for some Snoop action translate into seeing Magda in the other room? Well, you could do worse than take a leaf out of We Love's book, who last week slotted 2020 Soundsystem onto the Space Terrace with no negative impact upon mood or vibe. This week they go one step further by having Caribou go all out with a full band in the Discoteca. Space offers solutions (thanks mainly to its various rooms of various sizes)—albeit not always ideal ones—to accommodating live music; Laurent Garnier's LBS show, for example, is a very different proposition at the Playa D'en Bossa club for We Love than it will be when he does the same for Pete Tong at Pacha. The famous two-cherried club, and others, have typically got around logistical problems of how to stage things live by stripping back and investing in pop star PAs; Usher, Will.i.am and Kylie Minogue have set a trend, which is this year followed by urban-focused nights like Twice as Nice (Thursdays at Eden) and Urban Heroes (Sundays at Es Paradis) who bring in Busta Rhymes, Sean Paul and Tinchy Stryder amongst others.
The list of DJs "going live" is endless and too confusing to even begin to unravel. Is Reboot or Guti playing live comparable to what Mathew Johnson does or even in the same ball-park as A Guy Called Gerald or anywhere near what happens when Francesco Tristano plays classical piano alongside Carl Craig? Gaining competitive advantage and trying to offer something unique have long been two core requirements of successfully promoting a party. On that basis—and given the lengths many are now going to—some knob tweaking and button pushing just ain't gonna fly this year in Ibiza.
Jun 24 Clr: All Together Lost, Amnesia Jun 26 We Love... Space, Space Ibiza Jul 01 I Want My MTV Ibiza Opening Party, Amnesia Jul 21 Twice As Nice, Eden Jul 24 We Love... Resident Advisor, Space Ibiza Jul 28 Twice As Nice, Eden Aug 01 Cocoon Heroes, Amnesia Aug 03 Ibiza Rocks, Ibiza Rocks Hotel Aug 05 I Want My MTV Ibiza, Amnesia Aug 07 Privilege Live, Privilege Aug 10 Ibiza Rocks, Ibiza Rocks Hotel Aug 12 I Want My MTV Ibiza, Amnesia Aug 17 Ibiza Rocks, Ibiza Rocks Hotel Aug 21 Privilege Live, Privilege Aug 28 Privilege Live, Privilege Aug 31 Ibiza Rocks, Ibiza Rocks Hotel Sep 02 I Want My MTV Ibiza Closing Party, Amnesia Sep 04 We Love... Space, Space Ibiza Sep 18 We Love... Space, Space Ibiza Sep 22 Twice As Nice, Eden