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Review: BBC Radio 1 at Ibiza Rocks, 2nd August

The event which put the icing on the cake of the Radio 1 weekend on the white isle.

As you all know BBC Radio 1 has been triple-taking the island for the celebration of their 20 years of Ibiza coverage. After the Ushuaïa and Sunset Strip events, the radio station said goodbye to an amazing weekend with the last stop at Ibiza Rocks Hotel open-air courtyard - and Spotlight wasn't going to miss it. Don't be jealous, but I had the pleasure of contributing to the event that put the icing on the Radio 1 cake with thousands of guests, ten artists, six hours of music and the unique Pete Tong hosting the evening and pressing the red button to spread the dance journey over the airwaves to those who couldn't attend.

The big crowd was on fire from the moment Annie Mac took over the decks with Melé's Ambience tune. Since I crossed the hotel doors I realised that the programme was quite easy to follow. 30 minutes for each artist— except Carl Cox who had 40 because he is the king—in a booth which was differently placed than the regular Ibiza Rock's parties, at the right of the pool, leaving the big stage free for Faithless and their set up, who were closing the night. The British queen of Radio 1 offered a pure house set composed of perfectly dance-able tracks full of vocals like David Zowie's House Every Weekend or Enzo Siffredi's Sometime. The next to be presented by Pete was Kölsch who started his 30 minutes of glory with his amazing Groove Armada's Love Sweet Sound remix. The Danish producer provided the venue with melodic house and tech beats, packing the dancefloor completely which couldn't stop dancing to the brilliant tracks he played like his own production's Unterwegs or the James Holden's remix of Fine Day by Kristy Hawshaw.

Without any doubt, the stage production was what impressed me the most: screens with the printed and lightened BBC Radio 1's letters, big balloons flying through the numbers, butterfly confetti, fireworks and lots of megatron. B.Traits got all my love starting her set with Axel Boman's Nokturn; the purple haired BBC girl captivated the audience when playing happy beats as the sun was going down and the music was going up. Her follower, Andrea Oliva, went for harder sounds, delighting us with his style half way between techno and house. He made us dance with amazing tunes that we've heard during the summer at his ANTS appearances, like Oxia's Domino or Strings Of Life's Soul Central that heated the dancefloor.

But Pete Tong was not only broadcasting the party, as one of the island's longest serving DJs, he gave away half an hour of his quality music concept in a set which perfectly represented his past nights as headliner of Pacha (he played Noir & Haze's Around track and I went crazy). Between fireworks and applause, Carl Cox jumped to the booth to offer the last DJ set of the night, cheering the audience and spreading not only music, but energy—what stage presence he has! Anna stone's Remembering Summer, Pirupa's Party Non Stop or Layo & Buskwacka ‘s Love Story were some of the classic tunes which made the dancefloor shake.

But for me, the greatest moment of the night was when the timeless band Faithless filled the Ibiza Rock's stage with their voices, two guitars, a keyboard, two drums and a bass. I'd never seen them live before and it was amazing. They played a variety of musical gems how many different genres their back-catalogue traverses from drum and bass to melodic, reggae, rock and trance. They shone like the stars they are during the performance which was extremely well applauded and whistled by the audience, especially when they played We Come 1 and the audience chanted in unison. It was something special to be a part of, but remember we are dealing with the masters of broadcasting, so of course you can watch highlights of last night on Radio 1's BBC iPlayer and YouTube channels. Enjoy!

WORDS | Natalia Gutiérrez PHOTOGRAPHY | James Chapman


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