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Top 10 Ibiza moments, 2014

On an island which creates incredible moments for thousands every single night, we go through our personal favourite memories of the Ibiza 2014 season.

Detailed below are some standout scenes experienced by the Spotlight Clubbing Team this summer. We've had everything from hip hop, flamenco, fireworks, interviews and of course a choice selection of classic clubbing rave moments. Ibiza has so much to offer the music lover and for every ice cannon blast over a deadly bass drop there's also a wild drum session at sunset or a fancy dress party in a secret cove; the island is what you make it.

This is an entirely subjective list, so check out which memories made our proverbial mantelpiece and get thinking on your own - we want your stories!

Flamenco dancers and John Lennon at Space 25th Anniversary

The rapid and rhythmic percussion bursting forth from a flurry of red skirts and black shoes echoed across the car-park-come-festival-site … it was Space's 25th anniversary and across the Flight Arena stage (opened mid-season for the first time ever) stormed a troop of Flamenco dancers. On an island dedicated to music, performance and celebration, it's curious that the traditional Spanish dance doesn't have more of a foothold, thus it was a marvelous surprise to have this authentic Spanish entertainment stuffed betwixt a Javi Bora and Erick Morillo sandwich and seemed perfect to celebrate the birthday of the Spanish super-club.

As always, owner Pepe Rosello is a much-loved and oft-sighted figure in Ibiza, and at the closing of the outdoor area he emerged on stage to lead the crowd chorus in a happy birthday sing-a-long, followed by a sparkler filled rendition of John Lennon's Imagine, as requested by him for the occasion. It was a joyful moment, with an innocence to it not usually associated with the clubbing experience.

Full review here.

International Music Summit at Hard Rock and Dalt Vila

Christening the new addition to the Ibiza skyline, the Hard Rock Hotel, the three day event kicked off the season back in May, as anyone who was anyone in dance music came together to discuss, learn and of course, party. There were panels aplenty, including insightful interviews with some of the next generation of dance music moguls, Boiler Room's Blaise Belville and SBTV's Jamal Edwards; a shrewd look at Ibiza's night life and what could be learnt from last years mistakes, words from the legend that is George Clinton and a talk from team Avicii, which was considerably spiced up by an impromptu grilling from Seth Troxler sat in the audience.

Conference rooms aside, we were also treated to a spur-of-the-moment jam from Nile Rodgers at the cafe, (or at least the lucky handful of people who happened to be getting their caffeine fix at the time were), and a sneak peak at what turned out to be another of the season's highlights, the Corona Sunsets Festival. As ever, IMS also gave us two nights of world class music atop the legendary Dalt Vila, with sets from the likes of Nightmares On Wax, Seth Troxler and Jamie Jones, plus a truly joyful Frankie Knuckles tribute set from Pete Tong, David Morales and Hector Romero.

WORDS | Joanna Wright

IMS reviews day one, two and three.

Carl Cox joins Carola at Music On

There are a lot of perfect partnerships in Ibiza: evenings at Es Vedra, sun and sangria, aioli and…um…everything… but this season's Dream Team award has to go to Carl Cox and Marco Carola and their fantastic Friday fiesta at a one-off Music On in August. Tipped to be an unmissable event from the first announcement, the terrace party was a prime example of an awesome super-club music experience…and then some. Why? The two island legends proved there was enough room in the booth for both reigning monarchs as Cox bombarded us with his trademark big room techno and Carola drizzled out the minimal tech grooves. Treating ravers to a final back-to-back session in the early hours of Saturday morning, the terrific twosome complimented each other effortlessly, creating a real ‘lose yourself for hours in the music' moment that, would you believe, is rather rare. With the fusion of both genres expertly furnished and the Amnesia speakers on point, clubbers didn't stop moving until 10 in the AM. Carola and Cox take note for next year please!

WORDS | Francesca Evans

Full review here.

Flower Power at Destino

Flower Power is a tried and tested party in Ibiza, but this year its temporary move up the hill to Destino brought it to life with more vibrancy and atmosphere than ever before. Pacha's lavish outdoor resort was transformed into a happy hippy haven in true time machine style, with floral Volkswagen vans, draping fabric, peace signs and spliffs hanging from the sky and cardboard Beatles crossing Abbey Road. The hugely successful throwback event Flower Power had a new home for one night only as party-goers in their blossom crowns and spherical specs twisted and shouted to sounds from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Perched atop the cliffs of Cap Martinet above Talamanca, it was also the most perfect spot on the whole island to enjoy the annual Can Ciriaco firework display. From our mountain viewpoint we looked over the whole town, with breath-taking sights as far as Formentera. Meanwhile, revellers in their flares, flowers and frills were treated to a man zipping up and down the pool on a hydro-board, the hippy market selling kooky knick knacks and two timeless Easy Rider motorcycles that rode on to the dance floor. But the real highlight of the night came when John Lennon's anti-war anthem Give Peace a Chance rang through the venue and the dancers in their fairy-light cages gave out sparklers to a swaying and chanting crowd; it captured the vibe of the White Isle's freedom days completely.

WORDS | Francesca Evans

Full review here.

Nas at Ibiza Rocks

Hip hop isn't much of a thing in Ibiza… but after this season we feel the waters are beginning to change. There were several small hip hop events over the summer, showing a growing interest in the genre as the island diversifies in its musical tastes, but the standout event by far was Nas at Ibiza rocks in July. Thanks to Nas, Ibiza's appetite for hip hop has been exposed and must be fed henceforth. For any hip hop fan the news of Nas' global Illmatic anniversary tour this summer was drool-inducing stuff. Whilst most of the rest of Europe saw Nas play out his iconic album amongst thousands in a festival crowd, here in Ibiza we got to see him up close and personal at the comparatively intimate Ibiza Rocks.

It was an excursion through the Illmatic classics and beyond: we bounced to Represent, NY State of Mind, Life's a Bitch and The World is Yours, during which Nas made a point of eye-balling as many crowd members as he could lock onto, bridging the already small gap between stage and crowd and keeping us as focused on the tracks as he was. The stars really aligned for this one. Nas played everything I hoped he would, performed it excellently (might have had some practice) and the largely Spanish crowd was as chill as they come. What's more, the support act 17 year old Bishop Nehru had been the perfect compliment to the headliner to come, as both Nehru and Nas are about rhythm, flow and home truths, eschewing monster bass lines for melodic hooks and laid-back beats.

Full review here.

Josh Wink warm-up at Space closing

He's often said in interviews that, whilst peak time craziness is fun, Josh Wink would rather look out onto a dance floor and see people moving with their eyes closed, lost in the music, than manically fist-pumping to the beat. Well that's lucky – because closed eyes and a gentle sway was about all we had the energy for by that point, arriving at Space closing a few hours after leaving Amnesia closing, which had come at the end of a long week/month/season of constant parties. The prospect of techno was mildly nauseating by this point, love it though we do, but it's as if Josh Wink knew just what we needed, easing the small scattering of people in the discoteca into the night with tuneful, melodic, atmospheric tunes, sneaking in a funky beat so slowly and subtly that by and by were shocked and appalled to find ourselves dancing. It wasn't the sort of set to draw in the numbers, but Wink is brave like that, and the appreciation of those on the floor eclipsed the distracted attention of 500 more part-time clubbers that Wink might have drawn had he played a more upbeat set. Though understated, this was one of our favourite closing party moments.

Full review here.

Corona Sun Sets Festival

A great line-up is crucial of course, but in Ibiza phenomenal line-ups abound, so with a quality list of artists secured including Nightmares on Wax, Maya Jane Coles and Disclosure (live), Corona turned to presentation to elevate its festival above the rival parties – and the attention to detail paid off. This was one of the most beautifully built and decorated events I've been to on the island – and indeed anywhere else. By the water in Ibiza Town Marina, the sun set behind neighbouring Dalt Vila as we danced on a bed of sand laid down especially for the occasion, walked amidst beautiful wooden structures recycled from old pallets, and ordered our Corona-based cocktails from a wooden bar hung with fresh herbs growing in hanging baskets. Most dazzling of all was the stage, shaped like a giant, tessellated sun, dripping in blue and gold and shooting forth fire from its jagged tips. Here's hoping Corona can break the curse of the doomed Ibiza festival (R.I.P. Ibiza123) and return in 2015.

Full review here.

Innervisions takeover at DC10.

DC10 takeovers are always special occasions; the crowd is better, as most of the DC10 clubbing tourists choose to safari on a Monday at Circo Loco. DC10 on a Saturday however draws a music-loving, international crowd and, thanks to lower attendance, has enough elbow room for that crowd to actually interact. Combine that with the tidal musical force of Innervisions, whose influence on the island is growing every year with their artist's sets never less than good, and frequently peaking at soul-elevating (ten cents in the hyperbole jar, sorry), and you've got a brilliant night. Dixon's two-hours were a class act but it was Ame's closing set that really ignited and united the room. Whilst it was mostly a dark and melodic affair, some grooving classics stood out from the pack – it's hard to forget the entire main room chanting and stomping “I don't need a calculator, to know I'm going to see you later” (Tiga Plush, Ame remix).

Full review here.

Spotlight El Salon take-over parties

El Salon has long been Spotlight's unofficial favourite room in Space, because on an island bursting with epic super-club main rooms, sometimes what you crave is a nice old fashioned house party. So when we were asked to host this room for four dates over the summer alongside We Love... and Carl Cox we were stoked, instantly determining that our takeovers would provide something different and never take partying too seriously. All four dates were a laugh, but highlights have to be the Spotlight 15 Years Online birthday party in July, with cake, limbo and an unprecedented hands in the air moment in El Salon when Paul Reynolds dropped Love Is In The Air and the place went off like we've never seen it do before. Our parties also saw hip hop mc Harley Maxwell doing his thang live on the El Salon floor, a wedding proposal during a meet and greet with Monika Kruse, live laser-sax solos during Kenneth Bager's Music For Dreams takeover and an obscene amount of glitter and hierbas dished out in equal proportions.

Cocoon closing and afters

The Cocoon closing and afters combo is easily in our top 5 favourite sessions of the season, and something we look forward to all summer. With Sven Väth at the helm, there are never any fears for the quality of music or atmosphere – Väth has both in abundance and spreads them liberally amongst all in attendance, this year being no different. The crowd at the closing was the nicest bunch of strangers you could ask to rub shoulders and work up a sweat with and musically, well Sven blew us away with all the best vinyl he had up his sleeve, holding nothing back but still interlacing everything into a cohesive seven-hour whole. And that was only part one. Sven went on to play from midday to midnight at the clifftop resort Destino for the afters, where he rinsed the clubbing favourites as well as more funky, experimental tunes. It was basically 12 hours of fantastic music (I genuinely cant recall one song I didn't like), in the sun (after about two weeks of uncharacteristic rain), with a knockout view of Ibiza behind us and a sound group of people around us.

Full review here.

Special mention also goes to the dawn walks home along the beach, the unbeatable sunsets from craggy coastal locations you couldn't even dream up and all the private after-parties that just wouldn't say die.

WORDS | Jordan Smith with contribution from Francesca Evans and Joanna Wright PHOTOGRAPHY | James Chapman (Sven at Destino Jordi Cerva)

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