Let’s face it, the reason why the island has its reputation is its nightlife. From the end of May to early October the masses decamp to Ibiza for a daily dose of sun, sand, music and parties. With the 2009 season at its midpoint, there is a disorientating amount of things to do and you don’t necessarily have to be a member of the international jet set or a weekend rave monster to lap it up.
Whether you want to be blown away by super DJs, sing along to indie bands playing by a pool or meander through daytime beach bar sessions, there has never been a more exciting time to pack your bags and hit the island.
Every night there are parties at clubs, bars, on beaches, rented villas, boats and zoos (see later). Some of the biggest draws are handily spread out across the week: Tiësto‘s season-long Monday night run is at the biggest club on the island, the 10,000 capacity Privilege.
Sven Vath‘s techno extravaganza Cocoon, on the same night at Amnesia, celebrates its 10th season in some style, with a stunning lineup featuring residencies from minimal overlords Ricardo Villalobos and Loco Dice, not to mention several parties headed up by Luciano and Richie Hawtin.
Carl Cox controls the programme for Space every Tuesday and he’s roped in pals Kevin Saunderson, LTJ Bukem and Green Velvet for guest spots.
These days you’re just as likely to bump into bands as you are tank top wearing DJs at the Ibiza Rocks hotel in San Antonio. Live acts play every Tuesday by the main pool. The bill this year includes Klaxons, returnee Dizzee Rascal and Pendulum. Afterwards the Rocks tie-in Reclaim The Dancefloor takes place at Eden with the likes of 2manyDJs, Boyznoize, Skream and Fake Blood appearing across the season.
Funky house lovers tend to head over to Erik Morillo‘s Subliminal night on Wednesdays at Pacha, whilst Mauro Picotto’s Meganite at Privilege has mid-week techno sewn up with the likes of Adam Beyer and Josh Wink appearing across the season.
David Guetta‘s glamorous freak out F**K Me I’m Famous will have all the celebs, jetsetters and posers under one roof at Pacha on Thursdays, so apart from feeling like you’re worth a million dollars, you can also be wowed by the likes of Laidback Luke, and recent collaborator Kelly Rowland.
Thursday night’s other big event is the trance tinted Cream at Amnesia where Paul van Dyk and Ferry Corsten are season residents.
Pete Tong‘s Wonderland has some of the best variety over the season, where you’re just as likely to catch Deadmau5 to Crookers via Luciano and Lady GaGa and of course the man himself heading up Fridays at Eden.
Tong’s old haunt at Pure Pacha sees the likes of Sander Kleinenberg, Faithless, Basement Jaxx and Calvin Harris appearing across the season. There are some enticing guest spots from Trentemller and Justice as well.
Saturdays are probably best spent recovering, but for those made of steel, heading to an abandoned zoo (yes you read that right) for the Zoo Project‘s daytime session of deep house and techno is just the ticket. Fancy dress is encouraged too; we’re thinking animal costumes might well do the trick.
Seeing out the week in heavy-hitting style is the legendary day / night party that is We Love at Space (see our We Love focus later on) where you’re guaranteed to witness every genre under one roof and leave wanting more.
Whilst the super clubs look the part, they’re far from wallet friendly with entry typically upwards of €40 and drinks around €10. There are plenty of bars and smaller clubs which are free or charge or offering more affordable entry.
San Antonio’s Cafe del Mar is an island favourite for sunset and sunrise the morning after. Underground Carretera, also in San Antonio, is one of the island’s most popular free clubs, where it’s not unknown for a superstar DJ to be caught on the decks. For drinks offers and hip-hop and RnB till 6am head over to Soul City, also in San Antonio.
Fuse, the regular free Sunday session making waves in London’s east end, shacks up at the Delano Beach club on playa d’en bossa for a weekly Fuseday party on Tuesdays. If you’re looking for a kicking dose of house and techno on a beach, pack your towel and head here.
Bora Bora, close by, is a beach bar institution on the island, where you’ll find many grinding down the sand ahead of a big night out. Likewise the Zoo Bar in Ibiza Town is a hotspot for parade watching, discount club tickets and pre club drinking.
Azuli records are popping up with a series of cheapish (around €20) secret beach parties on the island. If you want the unpredictability of a text message giving you directions on the day of the party this is for you.
For more information on some of the parties for 2009 see the below links. You’ll find much more information when you’re actually on the island.
Azuli \ Carl Cox \ Cocoon \ Cream \ Defected \ Flamingo Nights / Retro \ Ibiza Rocks \ Judgement Sunday \ Meganite \ Pure Pacha \ Reclaim The Dancefloor \ Subliminal \ Swedish House Mafia \ Tiësto \ We Love Space \ Wonderland \ Zoo Project