Ibiza. The White Island. Ebeso. Mecca. Evissa. Whatever the name, I wanted to get some thoughts down just post-departure from this place. (For the record, this is the toughest entry I’ve tried to write. Words just aren’t enough. Not mine, at least.)
After some respectable locations during the first part of this trip, we decided to descend on this mystical, magical isla for three nights. Ten years ago when trying to plan a family trip to Europe, I suggested Ibiza. Dad (rightfully) said no. And we ended up at the sister island, Mallorca; which is an amazing destination in its own right.
If you reside in Europe, going to Ibiza is nothing extraordinary. If you like nightlife, you might go at least once a summer. But for us on the other side of the pond, it’s not easy to get to. However, once you queue up for the flight from Barcelona, you immediately see that ~90% of the people fit a particular mold: swim trunks, tank top, cap/sunglasses/slippers, and full bags of duty free liquor. The other 10% are either flight attendants or families. This last group intrigued me. WHY on earth would you ever take your children to
Ibiza??? I would soon find out.
From the first minute in the taxi away from the airport you are bombarded with billboards: David Guetta, Tiesto, Pacha, Ushuaia, Afrojack, Erick Morillo, Amnesia, DC-10, Armin, Privilege….it goes on and on. Then you pull off towards Ibiza Town and everything calms down. In fact, before six PM, you’re unlikely to find two consecutive shops/restaurants open. After checking into a beach front hotel and heading down to the pool, we were indeed surprised to find it so subdued. Chill music, no crazy pool party, no bar waitresses; just quiet. Then we headed into town for dinner and found a traditional Spanish centro, complete with a set of imposing, protective city walls which overlook the marina. Street performers wander open air cafés. The pace of life is relaxed. It’s charming. It’s great for a family. But, I thought we were in Ibiza…..and then, around midnight, everything changed.
· On Monday night we headed over to Pacha which is probably the most upscale club on the island, i.e., it has a dress code. Maybe. Depending. Well, in theory. Despite my boiling anticipation, Tiesto disappointed. His set was basically his last album played in sequence.
No interaction with the crowd. Little excitement. Then R3hab came on and totally redeemed the night. If you get the chance to see this talented Dutchman, GO!! Pacha was still rocking when we left close to 7:00. And I’m still not sure why we left. We weren’t tired. The energy of Ibiza’s clubs is infectious. Daylight is not a relevant signal to the end of the night.
· On Tuesday night we went to Amnesia, which had an interesting setup with house music on the 7,000 person terrace and dubstep/drum and bass inside the main room. Totally different crowds in each location. Afrojack was at his best, and Shermanology was a weird but entertaining act to catch. And Knife Party, as one would expect from the name, draws a frightening crowd. We only caught a couple of songs as we were leaving, from the perimeter and out of morbid curiosity re: the bizarre scene in front of us.
· Finally, on Wednesday we headed over to Ushuaia which hosts a late afternoon/evening pool party, and Swedish House Mafia has a residence there each week. I can’t rave enough (pun intended) about this club. For
this particular day, Axwell from SHM and Dirty South wrapped up the lineup with a 3 hour set together. The Swede and the Slovenian-Aussie put on the most spectacular show I’d ever seen. The lights, confetti, smoke cannons, circus acrobats, overhead airplanes, lasers, music, and showmanship were all top notch. Even the outdoor air felt air-conditioned (Qatar, take notice). When they finally finished at midnight, we both walked out of there stunned; unable to speak about what had just happened. It was that good. We wandered over to a pizza joint to get some fuel and sit down (still not speaking), and then I overheard another table behind us negotiating tickets to go to another mega-club, Space, which happened to be across the street. Somehow we caught a second wind and headed over to catch Michael Woods and Stefano Neferini. I’m pretty sure we limped out of there around 6:00 AM again which means that we danced for 12 hours on day three of Ibiza. Close scene. Please.
Some of you have probably seen the picture of a quote from a DJ that I posted when leaving the island on Thursday, “So that got me thinking – what do
people do here in Ibiza? And you know, before they even arrive on this island, they make a commitment to leave their everyday lives, and as soon as they make that decision, they’re already entering a sort of ‘new world’. So this whole idea of going over a threshold is what this island is all about and what they do when they come to see a DJ or a club. They enter with hopes and desires and anticipation, and hopefully when they leave, they take something with them.” He’s right. On every count. We had an idea of what we were getting into. But whatever your expectations are, your actual experience will be slightly different...like Vegas. Only better.
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