Ibiza is unique. Where else has a holiday destination been so intrinsically linked to major musical and socio-cultural shifts over such a significant length of time? In other, simpler words it rocks. Even now, this season, as global recession walks a smudgy footprint over our sparkling White Isle, there are hugely encouraging signs that the island is fighting back.
Or fighting fit according to Mo Chaudry, Cream Ibiza’s Events Director. “Cream is as strong as ever,” he opens. “Our opening party at Amnesia last month generated the highest numbers I think we’ve ever had. But then we’ve maintained a top quality DJ line-up and extras like free shuttle bus transport without upping ticket prices by ridiculous amounts.”
That opening bash, whose stellar line-up of turntable talent included Eric Prydz (on fine filtering form,) and Ferry Corsten, earned some great reviews; the positive words, and numbers, have continued for more recent Cream nights hosted by Paul Van Dyk and Sasha, both of whom have seasonal residences.
“Things will get bigger in the coming weeks,” Chaudry forecasts. “I think people need to put phrases like Credit Crunch in perspective. I was working in here in the late 80s when things were, financially speaking, a lot tougher. Ibiza will never die; it’s one of a kind….”
Defected Records’ own Ibiza Events Manager ‘Miss’ Sam Divine agrees but has noticed changes in the way holidaying clubbers are moving ‘n’ grooving in 09. “People are heading to two or three big nights on their holiday rather than something every night, which is what used to happen. People are also telling me that they’ll buy booze from supermarkets and drinking it at their accommodation before heading out. It’s cheaper.”
Does Divine think that such activity has in any way tarnished Ibiza’s famous club landscape?: “No, not really. I think it’s just different this year, which is always going to be the case as Ibiza evolves. Recession and redundancy are on everyone’s mind, sure, but people are still managing to forget their cares on the dancefloor.”
Divine adds: “Defected In The House’s launch at Pacha was an amazing party; and this weekend [July 11] Kenny ‘Dope’ Gonzalez totally rocked it; Pacha was rammed and the atmosphere was electric.” There are more Defected parties on the Balearic horizon, featuring similarly huge names like David Morales, Frankie Knuckles and Bob Sinclar - interest, primarily through advance tickets sales, is high.
Meanwhile reports are flying in - literally as we file copy - of other Balearic hotspots off to a cracking summer start. David Guetta’s F*** Me I’m Famous night at Pacha; Cocoon at Amnesia; and Tiesto’s Monday night slot at Privilege have all, thus far, packed em’ in and delivered. Divine’s own night at San Antonio’s Hush bar is proving a huge success and legendary chill hangout Café Mambo has just confirmed record monthly takings for June.
Rumours of Ibiza’s demise have, yet again, been greatly exaggerated – the beat goes on, and don’t we just love it…