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Spotlight's Ibiza 2013 Season Preview

Our full Ibiza season preview comes late this year, but with reason. We're looking ahead at the peak season and telling you all you need to know for your Ibiza holidays. Expect a big year.

Well believe me, I've been brewing this article for a long while now, waiting to complete it and finally throw it at all you Ibiza lovers. The run-up to the Ibiza 2013 season has been a particularly exciting one with a lot of twists and turns. A lot of changes in the clubbing industry on the island as well as new venues popping up resulted in a general delay regarding announcements and confirmations of both club nights and specific line ups. Basically, we started the season over a month ago with our original Party Calendar still having a lot of blanks and "Line Up TBA"s. But all of this also had its good side; in the first few weeks of the season we could already clearly see some trends emerging and developments arising, which makes it even easier for us to give you a realistic prediction of how the Ibiza 2013 summer is going to look like. Here's an alphabetic overview of all the clubs with their nights. Later on, I'll give you some personal comments too.


The San Rafael venue had a fantastic 2012 season and the fact that Amnesia is the only one of the big clubs not changing ANY of their nights for 2013 says it all really - never change a winning horse. Their well-balanced programming covers all bases: the island's longest running night (promoter-based), Cream, caters for both trance and house fans, Cocoon and Music On are a safe haven for underground heads and Together is a great party for the trendy youngsters. Then you have La Troya and Matinée which have been extremely popular for years with both the Spanish crowd as well as the gay sector. Add the famous Espuma Foam Party (a must do for first-timers) and Popstar, very popular with the local youngsters looking for an alternative sound, and you have a formula that will do perfectly well this year too. News is that the Main Room got refurbished with the DJ booth now being as low as over on the Terrace, giving the room a much more intimate feel and enabling the artists to interact way better with the crowd. This year's Amnesia Opening Party was the best one I've experienced yet and I for one cannot wait for the infamous Amnesia Closing Party on the 5th of October. See you on the Terrace, early Sunday morning.

Booom! Ibiza

Surely the most talked about Ibiza project of the year has been ex-Pacha mangers Danny Whittle and Mark Netto teaming up with Giuseppe Cipriani, owner of the Cipriani restaurants brand, to open Booom! Ibiza in the Ibiza town venue formerly known as Heaven and Penelope (and Angel's, Zulu, etc.). It must have been an unnerving few months for the heads behind Booom! Ibiza, but on the 31st of May their license to start building work and open the club again was finally granted. After changing their name twice, first from La Bomba to Bomba in winter, and then in a last-minute change to Booom! Ibiza, the venue will now finally open on Monday 15th of July. After such a lot of media attention (not least through our interview with Danny in spring time), Booom! Ibiza will undoubtedly be the place to be this summer and everyone will want to see the venue (and also how much of it is actually VIP). The Booom! week starts with Eject on Mondays, with Cazzette and guests, then it's Chaos Colores on Tuesdays, with Behrouz headlining. Wednesdays are Sexy by Nature with Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano while Yousef's Circus comes to Booom! on Thursdays. Fridays are still to be announced. Defected are In The House on Saturdays and Luciano's Cadenza Vagabundos finish off the week on Sundays. Tickets available on Spotlight very soon of course.


The DC-10 crew surprised us with a partly refurbished venue at their opening party. The outside garden is now fully wooden-decked and the Terrace soundsystem (which didn't convince everyone last summer) has moved outside too, making room for a much better new soundsystem on the Terrace. Traditional Monday evening fiesta Circo Loco line-ups always only come out a week in advance, but hey, you know they're always very good. Jamie Jones' Paradise night, this year on Wednesdays, has also some crackers in its season line-up. So, no matter if you think DC-10 used to be better back in the day in terms of vibe and such (as I do), it's still one of the best places on the island to enjoy the freshest music around.


The first of the two San An clubs was sold to a Dutch company at the end of the winter and after being refurbished, Eden re-opens on the 5th July (soft opening) with the proper and offical opening party being on Sunday 7th July. Apart from running Booom!, Danny Whittle and Mark Netto are involved in the booking and promoting of this venue too - and it's going to be a very intersting season I think. The weekly program looks good, kicking off the week on Monday with Mark Knight and his Toolroom Knights while Sander Kleinenberg presents Superstars on Tuesdays. Wednesdays is Our House and Thursdays is all about the Ministry of Sound's return to Ibiza. Judgement Sundays is no longer on Sundays but on Fridays instead and has therefore aptly been renamed to Judgement Fridays. Saturdays are Uncaged and the week ends with Full On, a proper trance party with a very good line up, headlined by Dutch trance don Ferry Corsten. Definitely good to see change is now also happening on this side of the island!

Es Paradis

Es Paradis have a similar program to last year with Alex Kunnari's Colors on Mondays, the famous Fiesta Del Agua Water Party on Tuesday (featuring 80s and 90s music) and Ibiza Rocks' After Show Party on Wednesdays. On Thursdays Kisstory are back (they did a few one-offs at Eden last summer) while on Fridays it's again Fiesta del Agua (this time you can get wet to the current hits). Saturday is still easily Es Paradis' busiest night with long-running Hed Kandi, an institution in Ibiza by now. The week at Es Paradis ends with GLOW, their new neon paint party. A decent programme, but now that the new Eden plans are out, the beautiful San Antonio venue faces fierce competition on the other side of the road. But I stand by my opinion, San Antonio needs a fresh breeze and the latest developments will surely help everyone involved.

Gala Night

The Zoo Project crew sticks to their formula doing Channel Zoo on Wednesdays and the Zoo Project on Saturdays. For Channel Zoo, a few cool label showcases are on the menu and for the Zoo Project Saturdays, highlights on the artist side include nd_baumecker (27th July), George FitzGerald (6th July and 14th September) and Monika Kruse (21st September) plus a roster of other international guests and the Zoo residents.

Ibiza Rocks

Doing their 8th season in 2013, the Ibiza Rocks guys are again at it and present a few real crackers on the Ibiza Rocks Wednesday evenings. The ever-popular Chase & Status and Tinie Tempah are back, but my personal faves all come towards the end of the summer: Chic (featuring the unmistakable Nile Rodgers) on 4th September, Franz Ferdinand on 11th September and the closing party with Foals on 18th September. But there's more of course, for the second year now Ibiza Rocks also throw a more electronic party at the Ibiza Rocks Hotel on Fridays - W.A.R. (We Are Rockstars). On all of the July dates Example & DJ Wire host the party as well as on 23rd August, while Katy B is back on 9th August. Also, let's not forget about Ibiza Rocks House at Pikes outside of San An. One of our favourite hangouts for secret afterparties, great Sunday roasts which even leave me completely stuffed, and generally a lot of good vibes. Follow our forums to keep up to date on all the events happening there this summer, you won't regret it.

Ocean Beach Ibiza

After their first season in 2012, Ocean Beach Ibiza is back for their second summer on the island. Presenting a full week's line up this year, Ocean Beach have done their homework and are now offering parties every day of the week. Gone are the free entry days, but the admission prices are still very fair (10-30€, depending on the party and time of the season). The best days of the week so far are Mondays with Hed Kandi's Beach House Pool Party and Fridays' Ocean Pool Party. Tuesdays is Ibiza Sensations, Wednesdays is SubSoul and on Thursdays, the acoustic Pull the Plug sessions happen. Soul Heaven is on Saturdays while on Sundays various events (including five Ibiza Spray parties) are programmed. Ocean Beach has been quite busy so far and is definitely becoming a daytime fixture in San An this summer.


Another nightlife venue - arguably Ibiza's most emblematic - that got a lot of media coverage for most of the winter is Pacha. After Danny Whittle and Mark Netto left the club at the end of last season, the winds of change properly started to blow. With a new team behind the steering wheel, Pacha did the brave move away from promoter-based nights and run 6 out of 7 weekly parties themselves this year. If you compare this year's Pacha programming with last year's, you'll see only three of the traditional parties are still around: Flower Power on Tuesdays (this year every week during the whole summer), David Guetta's F*** Me I'm Famous on Thursdays and Pure Pacha, but without Pete Tong and on Saturdays instead of Fridays.

For the rest of the week, Steve Hulme and the rest of the Pacha crew have done something pretty bold and have put together their own nights. Rather than having a promoter running the night, Pacha themselves booked the DJs they thought they'd fit the night and have created four new parties: Epica on Mondays is probably the closest Pacha gets to EDM, with a lot of appearances of Chuckie and his Dirty Dutch Crew. Guy Gerber's Wisdom Of The Glove is on Wednesdays and is musically certainly the most advanced night with artists like Four Tet, dOP, John Talabot and Actress. The décor alone is worth seeing and the night has a true arty touch to it. Fridays at Pacha are Insane this year and are built around John Digweed and Fritz Kalkbrenner, plus a lot of guest DJs like DJ Sneak, Uner and Joris Voorn. A bit more energetic than Wednesdays, Insane still caters for the same sound-savvy crowd. To finish the week at the cherry club off, Pacha have bagged last year's most-hyped DJ Solomun for this season and present Solomun +1, a nice concept basing on ...yes you got it right, Solomun and one guest. Long DJ sets and back-to-back sessions plus a special DJ booth in the middle of the dancefloor, Pacha have done their utmost to make king Solomun feel comfy.

You can read more about all the changes at Pacha in the interview we did with Steve before the season. In the end, only time will tell if the decisions were wise. So far, the traditional nights (FMIF, Pure Pacha, Flower Power) are running on a standard Pacha level while the new nights are still a bit up and down at the moment. But let's not forget we're early in the season and those new nights first need to establish themselves.


The second San Rafael club - and nota bene the world's biggest one - arrived at a pivot point last year, when the club's famous Coco Loco and La Vaca rooms of old were remodeled into what is the Vista Club and Vista Blue today. The "Privi" guys also realised how they can be really successful: big room sound nights à la A State Of Trance in the Main Room, underground stuff over in the Vista Club. This concept worked well and has been further developed for this year. So you have the more mainstream nights such as Armin van Buuren's ASOT (Mondays), The Face of Ibiza (Tuesdays), Supermartxé (Fridays) as well as Don't Let Daddy Know (Sundays) all in the Main Room. The Vista Club then has its own events such as the new and pretty exciting Get Physical residency on Tuesdays, the continuation of last year's debut of Next Wave on Wednesdays, The Arena on Thursdays, Cristian Varela's Vista Club residency as part of Supermartxé on Fridays and last, but definitely not least, last year's surprise of the season, El Row on Saturdays. With this clever strategy, we can expect Privilege to do well. Make sure you plan one night in Privilege when the Vista Club is open and you stay long enough to watch the sunrise over Ibiza town through the big windows - this is simply Ibiza gold.


When I said "everyone was late this year" at the start of this article, I have to mention one big exception. When Mr Sankeys, Dave Vincent, and I met up towards the end of the winter (check out the interview here), their full season programme was already set in stone. Yes, you've heard it, Sankeys Manchester is indefinitely shut, but you can clearly see where all the efforts have gone. Presenting a 7 nights a week programme this year, Sankeys now definitely plays an important role in the Ibiza clubbing circus. I presume Tuesdays with Diynamic Neon Nights and Carnival on Saturdays, plus two of the new the nights, dirtybird on Thursdays and Fridays with Flying Circus will be the hot events at the club this summer, but the whole week looks really good if you like fresh underground music. Hypercolour happens on Mondays, FUSE is on on Wednesdays and the VIVa Warriors moved to Sundays. Dave and his team have definitely done their homework, not only on the programming, but also on the club. Every room has a fat soundystem now and especially the remodeling of the Box - now called the L.A.B. - is a great change, what a cool floor this is now!


Not a lot of changes in Space's weekly programme. A few nights have cleverly moved around days and Clandestin (with Felix Da Housecat every week) replaces last year's Beat & Raw on Fridays. Of course the Space biggies are Carl Cox on Tuesdays, Richie Hawtin's ENTER. on Thursdays and Spotlight favourite We Love... on Sundays. All those three parties have put together stellar line-ups for this season, bursting with talent; I could write a lenghty article alone just for those. But apart from them, also Café Olé, Ibiza Calling and Kehakuma have upped their game for 2013. Café Olé, new on Mondays has Roger Sanchez on a weekly basis and the S-man gets support from current top artists like Porter Robinson, Fedde Le Grand and Funkagenda as well as legends such as Frankie Knuckles and CJ Mackintosh. Ibiza Calling on Wednesdays caters for the hit-lovers and is bringing AN21 & Max Vangeli to the club, as well as Hardwell. And Space's boutique-tech night Kehakuma, on Saturdays this year, presents some of the scene's most acclaimed artists such as Steffi, Matthew Herbert, Roman Flügel, Mano Le Tough and DJ Koze. With Ushuaïa just opposite the road, Space is really not in the easiest situation, but in my opinion they've done extremely well with this year's programme and we shall be there lots - you should too.

Ushuaïa & Ushuaïa Tower

The Playa d'en Bossa flagship has grown significantly for 2013. Apart from the already well-known and party-proof Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel (which hosts all the big parties), the hotel Playa d'en Bossa just next door got completely refurbished over the winter and is now the Ushuaïa Tower. Offering luxurious rooms and suites as well as a steakhouse, this is the dernier cri in PdB. But it doesn't stop here; the Ushuaïa Tower is also a new party venue. Next to the pool and close to the beach, the tower venue is like a smaller version of the Ushuaïa Club next door. Throwing free parties every evening of the week in high season, the tower is becoming sort of a social hangout, a bit more chilled and demure than over at the club. The free entry thing has one catch though - the bouncers have to like you and your style, else you don't get in. So dress up a tiny bit, maybe save those baggy bermuda shorts and that footie top for another day and you'll be fine. Also read what Yann Pissenem, the mastermind behind everything Ushuaïa told us before the season kicked off.

Speaking about the programming of both venues, the Ushuaïa Club has seen some changes for this year. Mondays is still David Guetta's F*** Me I'm Famous (do you really need to be so popular to get laid?), but Luciano and his friends move to Tuesdays this summer. For a few of the Luciano dates not only the club, but also the Tower venue are included in the fiesta - an interesting idea. As the Swedish House Mafia is no more, Wednesdays are only two thirds of the trio, Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso, presenting Departures. Loco Dice presents his Used&Abused on Thursdays and has made some really cool and clever transformations to the club so he really fits in there. Pete Tong, who left Pacha, hosts his really big Le Grand Bazaar on Fridays - curious to see the whole concept really! The only Ushuaïa in-house production is on Saturdays with ANTS. Similar as with Dice's Thursday bash, ANTS starts very early and aims to bring pure daytime open air clubbing back to Ibiza. The week ends with Avicii who is back on Sundays - please don't play levels anymore though! Also see the boat party section below - you'll immediately understand why.

Over at the bottom of the Tower, Defected are running their Defected In The Tower parties on Mondays (apart from being at Booom! Ibiza on Saturdays), on 6 Tuesdays Reboot presents Rock 'N Beats, Be Crazy (last year at Lío) is on Wednesdays and the Nervo girls host Thursdays (apart from playing almost every FMIF date over in the club). Anane & Louie Vega present their Sunset Ritual on Fridays, Saturdays are shared by Wally Lopez and We while Sasha made his move over from the club to the tower and throws his fiestas on Sundays.

Boat Parties

The boat party market has grown massively during the last few years and for 2013, I counted over 20 different boat party brands. To be very honest, some of those will last one season (if even that...), while others are going from strength to strength. A few years ago it was just about having a party out on the sea, but by now the punters know what they want and so the promoters adapted accordingly. This summer the choice of different music genres, routes and boat types (anything from a normal motor boat to catamarans and sailboats) is huge and more and more boats get better soundsystems, lighting etc. Of course also the first so-called VIP boats have also appeared...

At Spotlight, we're selling the following boat party brands this summer:

Pukka Up - the original boat party brand and still the undisputed number one on the island. Working with a lot of experience in throwing boat parties as well as showing massive passion for detail, the Pukka Up boats sail from San Antonio and Playa d'en Bossa on Tuesdays and Fridays. The main focus is a great time out on the boats with the biggest current hits and then a superb afterparty - Tuesday tickets include Together at Amnesia (including Pukka Up hosting the Terrace at the start of the night!) and Friday tickets include Insane at Pacha.

Cirque De La Nuit - formerly known as Bermuda Boat Party, this brand runs daily boats from Playa d'en Bossa. We're offering their daytime Boat & Pool Party on various days of the week. Their big plus is free bar on board as well as free jetski passenger rides if you're up for it!

Lost In Ibiza - Focusing on underground sounds and on hand-picked artists, the Lost guys, running one weekly boat from San Antonio, are now also part of our boat party assortment. They have an especially cool package deal available including entry to Paradise at DC10 on Wednesday night - what a great pre-party to the boat the next day!

Ushuaïa Boat Party - As mentioned above, Ushuaïa are now also throwing their own boat parties. This year, it's one weekly boat on Sundays, leaving from and returning to San Antonio. Ushuaïa resident DJs on the boat, a free bus to Ushuaïa after that and entry to Avicii at Ushuaïa included (entry before 7pm). Let's see if they bring their ants to the boat too :)

Cream Sunset Cruise - After throwing a boat party for their opening party, a few more dates can be expected for this summer. Last year Paul Van Dyk came aboard, so maybe he'll be back... who knows! Just keep on checking, we'll update as soon as we know any more.

Personal thoughts

After seeing the season developing and closely observing the first few weeks of the summer, here are some very personal thoughts...because I care about the island.

Spoilt for choice...really?

First of all, with all those new and/or refurbished venues like Booom! Ibiza, the Ushuaïa Tower, Eden and locations like Santos and JAG in Playa d'en Bossa, plus of course the new Destino Pacha resort, the clubbing landscape and the touristic offer on our beloved island has broadened considerably for 2013. The pre-season hype was massive, probably the biggest Ibiza has ever seen and it's obvious all those new developments helped the island to a huge buzz. I'm sure all of this attracts a lot of new people and Ibiza will have a very busy season. The opening weekend alone, with most of the clubs filled to capacity, was a good indicator of how things are coming along.

But contrary to May and June, when things were still a bit quieter and the choice of parties was pretty limited, now that all the venues are open every night, I'm not sure there will be enough people on the island to fill them every night of the week. That said, I don't think Ibiza will see less tourists this summer, quite the contrary. But the number of club nights on offer is so massive now for July, August and September, I honestly think that many parties that used to be rammed to the rafters might be just perfectly busy this summer - with a few obvious exceptions of course. But hey, I personally quite like the idea of not being as cramped as usual and as long as all the promoters do well enough, everything's fine. But maybe I'm absolutely wrong with my estimation, we'll find out soon.

So yes, we are really spoilt for choice. I've never seen such an amount of parties happening here. You used to have two or maybe three strong parties on the same night, but now things have skyrocketed in Ibiza. Choosing your nights from our party calendar and trying to include a few smaller events as well is a real effort. In the end, pick the ones you definitely want to go to and also leave some room for improvisation (and don't forget you can cancel our club tickets up until 24 hours prior to the party if plans change).

One thing that slightly bothers me though, and this might come as a surprise to some, is the possible loss of identity of some of the parties. Remember last year, when for the first time in ages, those exclusivity deals were broken and Sven Vath played with Richie Hawtin in Space, and Hawtin himself teamed up with Luciano at Ushuaïa and later at Space too. I thought this development was fantastic and I basically still like it. It's definitely cool and especially convenient for people that are only on the island for a week to see the top DJs (Carl Cox, Loco Dice, Sven Vath, Richie Hawtin, Luciano etc) not only playing at one venue where they have their residency, but also popping up in other clubs. But to be very honest, many of the nights, especially in the deep and tech house sector, now look extremely similar this year. If you check their line ups, you'll see a lot of the new hot acts play in various clubs this summer and sometimes even for different promoters in the same club. I'll give you one example: apart from playing the IMS Grand Finale at the start of the season, Hot Since 82 plays for two different promoters at Space, two different ones at Ushuaïa and also plays Sankeys. Let's see if he also turns up on any of the Eden or Booom! line-ups... He's just one name and one example, but there are many other artists that play multiple promoters/venues in Ibiza this year. As much as I like the idea of everyone being able to play everywhere, I do think the uniqueness of a party and the identity of the night might be endangered because of this. All I'm saying is, dear promoters, stay on the ball - don't just book the artists everyone else does. I think it's very important every night keeps its own identity and vibe.

Ibiza - A VIP Paradise or a Very Important Paradise?

Right, I have absolutely no objections against a group of friends that celebrate a special occasion together with a bottle or two which they enjoy at a table in a club. But the naked thruth is, the ever-growing VIP culture couldn't be further from what Ibiza stands (or stood?) for. Yes sure, the island always attracted the rich and the famous, but they used to mingle perfectly well with the normal people. Now that more and more roped off sections appear, we seem to drift towards a two-tier society (at least during the summer) and this just feels very odd to me personally. When I started coming to Ibiza, the one thing that made an immediate impact on me and made me come back year after year was the fact that everyone was authentic, everyone was taken just the way they were and it never mattered where you were from or what clothes you wore. This leftover from the hippie era seems to be diminishing unfortunately.

Don't get me wrong, I am in love with Ibiza as much as I always was, more than ever actually, but I think we should rather focus on ways to keep the island beautiful and pristine than on the next generic white-washed beach club serving sushi. During the past decade, the rising number of yachts anchoring around Ibiza and Formentera have done a lot of damage to the Neptune grass which keeps our sea crystal clear. And pardon me if you're a lover of extraordinary cars, but why on earth would you need a Hummer or a Ferrari while you're on holiday in Ibiza? Yes, everyone needs means of transportation here, but none of those types of cars are appropriate for our island and only consume silly amounts of gas. With all the beautiful beaches, the lovely countryside and the stunning Dalt Vila above Ibiza town, I'm having a hard time to believe we need status symbols like these to enjoy our time on the island. Let's get back to the roots and help keeping Ibiza beautiful - also for the next generation to come. So when you next come to Ibiza, treat the island exactly as what it is: not just an island of dreams made of music, parties and excess, but a real precious treasure in the Med, offering lots more than you'd think.

Enjoy your Ibiza 2013 - I'm sure it will be a fantastic summer!

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