The tour de Europa continued this week through the Island of Ibiza, which, needless to say, deserves its own post if not its own mini-series. We Dancing Astronauts often find ourselves hesitant to print glowing reviews of overhyped content so as to avoid riding the bandwagon and simply echoing the praise of others. This is not the case here: there is nothing overhyped about Ibiza. Having partied at clubs in Miami, Cancun, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, it is still immediately apparent from the moment you touch down in Ibiza that there is nowhere else in the world that throws the rulebook out the window like this island.
Entering Amnesia, you understand quite quickly why it receives such hype: the club is massive and all-engulfing. The two main dancefloors both could easily fit 2,000 – 3,000 people each and the music is not just audible but tangible from wherever you are on the floor. Terraces overlooking the dancefloors and tiered levels and stages in the middle of them give a lot of ways to stand in the pulsing crowd or get above it.
Unfortunately, this club doesn’t seem like one that should be ranked 5th in the world. Though it was impressive for the effort put into its lights, DJs, and decorations (giant glowing jellyfish float from the roof of the dancefloor), it was much like many other clubs around the world. If it were in any other city, Amnesia may be known as the best venue in town. But for Ibiza, it left something to be desired. Though the dancefloors are massive, its size seems to work against it at times because you find yourself immersed in a thronging crowd on all sides without much recourse for finding a relief spot or a bar to get a drink (they were sparsely scattered through the club.) Even for crowd-lovers, Amnesia lacked the cohesion that draws people together at outdoor festivals, as you could hear the music from multiple rooms in the middle of any one, which made people seem less involved in the DJ for that room.
Just to make sure that we were not the victims of an off-night, we went to Amnesia two times while at Ibiza: once for their CLR party and once for Cocoon (with Marco Carola and Sven Vath.) Both times left us wanting more from the club. Though it is impressive for its massive size, Amnesia leaves a patron wanting more from an Ibiza-level club. If you do choose to attend this summer, go on the night of their legendary foam party.
It is interesting that Pacha (at least as pronounced by some) sounds like “posh.” That description could easily be enough to define the club itself. Quite probably the fanciest venue in Ibiza, it still has the rage capacity of any other club in town. Ibiza nights start late – we would go out around 1:30 or 2am and still find people showing up to the club at 5am – and Pacha is no exception.
Pacha itself could be called the most beautiful club in the world. Not only is it frequented by the litany of attractive people who make up Ibiza, but the club itself is designed with the same attention to detail that wealthy tycoons demand of famous architects. At places looking like a small Spanish mission and at others like a club-converted warehouse, Pacha is amazingly well put-together. From tiny bars and winding staircases to sprawling mezzanines and tropical terraces, the club has many different faces.
It’s no surprise that Afrojack mentioned the club in his seminal “Pacha On Acid” either. When the later DJs start working through their sets and the whole crowd begins flocking to the main dancefloors, you can feel that drug called House working its way through you. Though you can easily get lost making your way through a club this big, there is no point at which you leave the music behind – DJs at every stop make sure to keep up a constant atmosphere of partying until well past sunrise.
The main dancefloor itself is set down between two stages, one flanked by the entrance from which you can see everything and the other by the impressively large area of VIP tables and couches. The DJ and light booth oversee the whole party from between these two stages, overlooked by yet another mezzanine. The setup of the floor means that at any time, wherever you look you can see people raging on all sides.
The siderooms are equally fun – there are small dancefloors hidden behind low wooden doors and multiple layers of terraces overlooking Ibiza and the night skyline. At no point in the club do you ever feel even slightly isolated from the party.
What’s also nice about this for Pacha is that there are no long lines at any one time. Though you should buy tickets for any party well in advance (it tends to sell out quickly in peak season), the club’s staff make it very easy to get in and start your night.
If you choose to attend (it would be a gigantic mistake not to), remember to dress well. The club does its job of attracting the global jetset so be sure to match the attire. The best nights to visit this summer are easily the party hosted by Defected, F**k Me I’m Famous, or All Gone Pete Tong.
I can’t believe that a place like this exists. One thought kept streaming through my head the entire time I was in Space: adult playground. Conventional wisdom has it that it’s impossible to recapture the euphoria of lost youth and irreverence you once felt during lunchbreaks or after school with your friends. Space politely rejects this mentality by recreating that very feeling. The first thing I noticed, as we were walking through the entrance, was that Space patrons eschewed the classy, formal dress code so prevalent at Pacha. Though women still dressed themselves to the finest detail in light dresses, the men came in t-shirts and shorts. I immediately regretted the long pants. Even if you’re not on a dancefloor in Space, it is impossible to be in the building itself without feeling a palpable energy emanating from the lights, music, and everyone surrounding you.
The venue itself is immense. You arrive in the mezzanine with many options of which direction to take, there being dancefloors and bars on every side of you. We were lucky enough to attend during We Love, one of Space’s most legendary events, which features anywhere from 25 to 40 different DJs on a given night, including Jeff Mills, Joris Voorn, Alex Metric, and Simian Mobile Disco. (See the full summer lineup here.) We Love opens its doors officially at 4:30pm and doesn’t close them again until the sun is high in the sky the next day (we would advise against raging there start to finish for health reasons, but then again you only live once.)
It’s hard to give an accurate tour of the whole club from memory, as Space consists of endless catacombs, terraces, and bars spilling out onto huge dancefloors almost at random. The club does do a good job, though, of maintaining a very cozy feel as there are no absolutely massive rooms. This keeps people streaming constantly from one part Space to the next as they migrate from DJ to DJ almost like a pilgrimage. If you lose your friends, don’t worry, you’ll see them all again soon enough in another part of the club – take the moment to lose yourself wherever you are.
Walking in from the lobby, there are dancefloors to your immediate left and right. Going left will lead you to the second-largest of the club’s two floors, Le Terraza, which is eventually where the remaining partiers migrate to for the last sets around 7am. Walking through that dancefloor and its multiple bars leads to an outdoor cool-down and exit area or up to the Sunset Terraces. The terraces themselves are expansive, with another DJ booth, bar, and very cool seats, beds, and a round tunnel of pillows and coffee tables for people to lounge in as they take a breather from the party. Moving past the terrace takes you down first to the Red Box, a closed bar area and smaller dancefloor with a view down onto the main arena, Le Discoteca. Should you choose to keep descending from the Red Box, you will immediately be struck by the most powerful lights in the club (and possibly in Ibiza) on the main dancefloor. The energy that pervades throughout the entire club climaxes on its main floor, which makes up for its medium size with its overwhelming energy. The stage itself drops back almost as far as the dancefloor does to accommodate endless lights, speakers, and DJ booths. Surrounded by three bars to provide refreshments to weary clubbers, you can find yourself spending the whole night in that room alone. If you’re more mobile, however, take time to explore the other scattered party areas throughout the venue. We were amazed to find ourselves still discovering new dancefloors at 6am.
In short, there is no excuse for missing Space. A visit to Ibiza without attending Space may as not well be a visit to Ibiza – it is hard to really understand the beating heart of the island without seeing it manifested in its best club. Space encapsulates the joie de vivre that Ibiza embodies without fail.