In recent years destinations such as Croatia and Majorca have tried to capitalise on the dance dollar but Ibiza remains the Mecca for electronic music fanatics – and these are 10 of the best reasons why. Will Gilgrass explains.
Hosted by global dance music icon, Pete Tong MBE, the International Music Summit (IMS) on May 21-23 not only marks the beginning of the season, but provides a gluttony of speakers and performers for the aficionado to gorge on. Including technology showcases, debates and presentations about the future of the industry, it’s topped off with the two-night IMS Grand Finale headlined by Steve Angello (Swedish House Mafia) and Jamie Jones at Dalt Vila – a UNESCO world heritage site.
Going to Ibiza and not visiting Privilege is a little bit like going to Venice and not having a ride in a gondola. With a 10,000 capacity it holds a Guinness World Record for being the globe’s biggest club, and in the past two years has been the home of White Isle demi-Gods Tiësto and Armin van Buuren.
3. Disclosure take over We Love… Sundays at Space
Recently taking the crown of Best Club at the International Dance Music Awards, Space is one of the hottest tickets of the season – not least because Disclosure (pictured) have announced they’ll be taking up residency. They’ll host four Sundays at the open-air venue as part of ‘We Love…’ one of Ibiza’s most famous nights with guests ranging from legends like Derrick May and Carl Craig to rising stars such as Dusky and Northern Irish duo Bicep.
Despite the Ushuaia Beach Hotel drawing in some of the world’s biggest names to Ibiza, there’s an argument not to leave your room if you check into the Suite Pioneer. Soundproofed with blackout curtains, rooms are packed with club standard decks, mixers, speakers and even a jacuzzi to throw your own parties if you aren’t feeling the main event, which you can watch from your private balcony overlooking Ushuaia’s main space.
5. Ibiza Rocks
It’s fine to love more than one type of music and Ibiza Rocks has thrown the island open to those who enjoy a broader spectrum of audio ecstasy than just trance and techno. Artists with a guitar heartbeat have graced the venue since 2008 like Biffy Clyro, The Streets and Foals and they’ve lined up Lily Allen, Haim, the 1975 and Bastille for this summer.
6. Ocean Beach
Standing on the San Antonio waterfront, Ocean Beach offers the perfect opportunity to relax and unwind to an Ibizan soundtrack underneath the Spanish sun. Focussing on day time parties, you can book poolside VIP beds, eat at the roof garden restaurant looking over the sea and even arrange for a massage to help you prepare for the night ahead.
7. Café Mambo
The name transcends the Island as a wider brand but if you’re looking for somewhere to warm up for your nocturnal festivities then this beachfront location is still up there with the best. Time spent there dangles the tantalising prospect of beautiful sunsets and surprises as superstar names like Axwell and Fatboy Slim regularly step up to the decks before they head off to their main events.
8. Villa house parties
Often overlooked is the natural beauty of Ibiza, and (if you’ve got the money) there’s no better way to enjoy it than in your own private villa away from the hectic beat-filled strips. With pools and scenery coming as standard, have a dig around as some provide staff who won’t just keep everything clean but will organise everything you need for your very own villa party from DJs to cocktail bar staff.
You may recognise the interior from Kevin and Perry Go Large and the front of pretty much every Ibiza tourist guide. Amnesia is an Ibizan institution with roots going back to the 1970s, and this year will host Together with Chase & Status every Tuesday plus a plethora of bass-hungry pals ready to set off the notorious ice cannons on the dancefloor.
10. Rave in a Cave
Want a night away from the dancers, glitz, glamour and hoards of people – then head to the west coast of the island and slip into a cave to find this sporadic party run on the quiet. Organised by the Vitalik collective, line-ups are unannounced but quality assured as it offers the perfect antidote for those wanting to discover an extra dimension to Ibiza.