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Zoo Project closing is a cage-breaking must

Teeth and bodies bared, the animals roll in. Here are the W’s on why you should join the stampede.

Who: Zoo Project and you lot
What: The last stampede of the summer
Where: Benimussa Park (The Old Zoo)
When: Saturday 26th September

Celebration of general oddity.

Firstly - and possibly most importantly - Zoo embraces the eccentric, and none fly the freaky flag higher than Zoo's own performance staff, who can be seen on any given Saturday traipsing, creeping, crawling and leaping around the venue, engaging with the crowds and spreading the word of weird far and wide. You may find yourself playing a series of bananas like a glockenspiel, or caught in a giant butterfly net in a fit of poacher-inspired play acting, or simply sharing your thoughts on snails with a new-found friend (I for one, respect their stately pace and stylish portable homes). The point is, at Zoo Project no one is expecting you to conform to any standard societal conventions except respecting each other and making the occasional bass face.

Fancy dress and face paint.

There are many ways to come at this beast, but whatever you go for it's a brilliant opportunity to ditch the usual clubbing garb and get creative. Cover up the naughty bits and slather the remainder of your body in glitter glue, which can represent snakes, fish, tigers, giraffes - all sorts of animals wear glitter, apparently. Or, for even greater kudos, brave the sweats of the animal onesie and behold your own transformation. People in animal onesies are obliged to be the life of the party, and you'll find it's hard to be anything but when you're cocooned in huggable fur and have a tail to flick at bugs and juicy hi hats.

Musical discovery and re-discovery.

Zoo has steadily been building itself a name each season as one of the best spots to catch the underground sounds before they become common knowledge. It's also one of the parties pushing the return of old school sunny house music on the white isle - so you're always guaranteed a classic. This summer Zoo has featured awesome sorts like Cinnaman, Hunee, Maribou State, Spencer Parker, George Fitz and Pedestrian - but that's not to say they can't book the more ‘obvious' techno and house heroes; Villalobos and Paul Woolford both dropped in for a spin this summer.

Also, check out the exclusive Maribou State podcast ahead of their headline appearance at the closing party this Saturday here.

That venue!

Ascend a small hill outside of San Antonio and you'll find yourself at a venue which, though not geographically isolated, feels quite remote. Benimussa Park is a unique party space - designed in the style of an old Zoo (sorry to crack the rumour, but no, there were never seals in the famous seal pit). It spreads across the hill with several different open-air spaces, lit with golden sun in the afternoon and alive with lights once dark descends. The effort gone into decorating this space is next level: tigers lurk in trees, umbrellas hang from the skies and the DJs are housed in stages resembling tree houses, living rooms and arctic boulders. Not your average venue.

Diversity of experience.

The Ibiza superclubs are an intense and amazing experience, no question, but sometimes you want more out of your six hours of partying than fist pumping on a dance floor with lasers and ice cannons stabbing your face from time to time. At Zoo, there's a lot more going on. The Mandala Garden is a space to meditate, get a massage, get yourself painted up or simply listen to some friendly hippies chanting and tapping on some bongos they picked up on their last trip to Goa. You can grab a BBQ, and dine on the outdoor couches until you're ready to join the ruckus, take a dip in the pool, revive your Mario Kart skills on a Nintendo 64 or join one of the two major dance floors and rave on. It's just not the sort of place you can get bored.

Zoo Project closes this Saturday the 26th; jam-packed line-up in the calendar below.

WORDS | Jordan Smith PHOTOGRAPHY | Zoo Project and James Chapman

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