This week we uncover some of the best parties on the island you may not have heard of.
Off the beaten path
When most people talk about Ibiza, they likely tend to think of the superclubs, the staples of the island that people from around the world come specifically to visit. Venues that have spawned clothing lines, sister clubs around the world and host the biggest acts in the industry. But there are other places to party on the island. Places that are less expensive, a bit smaller and require a bit of effort to find.
It's not necessarily hard to locate, but Departure at Itaca in San Antonio, has already emerged as one of the best under-the-radar events this season. It's been called a "worker's party" by some—a term used to describe an event that is primarily geared toward the many non-Spanish island dwellers who work in various jobs related to clubs, bars and restaurants. But as Departure promoter Andy Young told me, "I think it's fair to say that we (began as) a workers party, however, I feel we've now moved beyond the point of being only for workers."
I went to see Darius Syrossian last week at Itaca, and I could see his point. The venue has an open-air roof terrace, fantastic views of the sea and sunset, and an intimate vibe with cheap drinks. The sound system in the main room was pretty impressive as well. (They'd brought in a Funktion-One for the occasion.) Once things get going down there, the vibe is all about the music. As Syrossian said about the night, "It was great to see such a good crowd at the gig, everyone was there for the music and reacting to both new and really old tracks."
On the other side of the island, there are plenty of hidden gems as well. The iconic Hotel Es Vive in Ibiza Town has an underground yet upscale club called Experience, located just past the lobby on the ground floor. They've hosted the likes of Jamie Jones and seen back-to-back sets from Annie Mac and Marco Loco, but it's not always so much about the names behind the decks. As many artists stay in the art deco hotel when they play Ibiza at other venues, local and unknown DJs who play Experience might find someone like Groove Armada wandering in for a drink and rocking out till daylight. Though some say it may have lost some of its magic after repeated noise violations forced the owners to soundproof the walls, the chance of a legend like Tony Humphries dropping in for a surprise set still keeps things edgy and out of the ordinary.
If it's an under-the-radar beach party you're after, La Plage De L'Elephant may be for you. Located in front of Space, it opens at 10:00 AM, and has served as a regular after-party spot for the likes of Cocoon—with past performances from Sven Vath and Richie Hawtin—and back-to-back sets from jocks like Jamie Jones and Seth Troxler. The prices are a little higher than somewhere like Itaca, but the posh décor and high-profile artists more than make up for it.
Carl Cox Opening
Earlier this week, we went to Space for the opening of Carl Cox's The Revolution Recruits. The lineup was as jam-packed as the club, making the usual chilled spots as appealing as the big rooms. Up in the Premier Etage, Darren E. Cowley warmed things up with tracks like Disclosure's remix of Jessie Ware's "Running." Later, Mark Joseph kept the relaxed atmosphere going with tracks like Benoit & Sergio's "Walk and Talk."
Meanwhile, down in the Sunset Terrace, Future Disco kept things relaxed as well, with DJ Callum playing disco and soul tracks like LC's DJ edit of Taana Gardner's "Paradise Express." (He even got a sing-along going to "Miss You" by the Rolling Stones.) The main event, though, was clearly Carl Cox, who banged out house in the Discoteca, while the outlandish light-up robot giant Kryoman danced, posed and was eventually suspended several feet above the crowd to shoot sparks over the heads of the ecstatic partygoers below him. A perfect accompaniment to a full-on set. Over in the Covered Terrace, Nic Fanciulli kept things going until close with tunes like the Jooris Voorn edit of his brother's "The Tide."
The week in pictures
Circoloco at DC-10
Dyed Soundorom dropped his remix of Intruder's "Amame" during his back-to-back set with Dan Ghenacia (pictured). Claude VonStroke, who seemed to be enjoying a few days of vacation in Ibiza after his performance at We Love... the night before, definitely approved. Next week's lineup will feature the likes of Maceo Plex, Davide Squillace and Shaun Reeves on July 9th.
We Love… at Space
A tangled mass of wires, cables and equipment powered DJ Hell at We Love... on Sunday. The Gigolo boss "smashed it" according to Claude VonStroke, who provided a well-received set of his own in the Discoteca. DJ Hell will return to Space on September 2nd.
Carl Cox - The Revolution Recruits Opening Party at Space
Sebastien Leger rocked the crowd with Format B's grungy house track "Oversexed," just as the ice cannons blasted the crowd into submission. Next week, The Revolution Recruits will see performances by Heidi, Yousef and John Digweed.