Posted by: pascoesabido | June 15, 2008

Ibiza Opening Part 1: Space

Ibiza Opening Part 1: Space

[Data Transmission]
Written By: pascoe Space Opening Party @ Space, Ibiza – Sunday 1st June 2008

Ibiza’s opening weekend is as eagerly awaited as an ‘all clear’ from Chlamydia. However, this year’s Balearic shindig was under threat as new legislation outlawed outdoor music before 4.30PM. Luckily, Space and DC10 – who both traditionally open at 8AM and have outdoor terraces – reached a 12pm compromise. However, for all those hoping to go directly from Space to DC10 (bloody hell) will unfortunately be forced to bed; or more likely, to the nearest field of sheep where your new ‘brothers’ will bleat at you incessantly until you piss off. Luckily for you guys, there happens to be such a field just behind DC10 – careful though, the bastards bite. Even the slightly saner option of Bora Bora – just opposite Space – is a no-no without a music licence. Sheep it is then.

If you do happen to be up at that time, it does become apparent why locals have been pushing for such measures: the school run. ‘Responsible’ parents are not so keen to have jaw-grinding wreck-heads wandering around town and scaring the kiddies. Many claim this is the end of an era, the end of Ibiza as we know it. But what, therefore, to do? Go fucking bonkers whilst it’s still allowed…

Outside Space, 12PM appears an early enough start for most. At 2PM people are walking straight in, but fast-forward 4 hours and the queues are reaching Bora Bora beach – unless you ‘happened’ to find yourself wedged in somewhere near the front. At the first mention of a 3 hour wait, the much-heralded English tradition of queuing in a civilised fashion was ditched in favour of every-man-for-himself. Even early arrivals who popped out for food were forced back into line. The security guards appeared most interested in letting pretty girls in, whilst the Guardia Civil were more interested in the pretty boys: friends of mine were pulled out of the queue, stripped to their birthday suits, and made to ‘spread’em’; but never actually searched – just admired. Fortunately, all truncheons were kept in their trousers – always next year, eh boys?

Despite converting the back car park into an enormous open-air arena fitting for any festival, 18,000 partiers would never comfortably fit into Space’s 9,000 person capacity environs, and the club duly fills up. Rather stupid therefore, to arrive alone with the intention of meeting friends inside… but not bring a phone…. nor anyone’s number. Lonely times.

As any sort of movement becomes difficult, it doesn’t help that half the crowd appeared to be body builders, big gay Spanish ones, who occupied the same floor-space as four Mexican families. Maybe if we banned body-building, we would have more room for dancing? Flip-floppers are suffering, but so is anyone with the misfortune to brush past said big guys. I soon developed a stubble rash on my arm from brushing up against someone’s prickly bicep. Rank. Who waxes their upper arm? And how much hair must there have been to give me stubble rash? Perhaps us English are just lagging-behind on the self-care front?

It could not detract from the vibrancy of an open-air area the size of a Boeing 747 aircraft hangar, and full of beautiful people – hot pants have thankfully stormed the scene – all smiling, all dancing, and all loving being there. Yousef and then Wally Lopez slaps down some techy house with a funky twist to keep the crowds interested and moving. DJ Oliver, while not of the same calibre as fellow Spaniard Lopez, still gets people stomping: the repeated drop of Night Train causing near-hysteria as the bass rips through the venue.

On the Terraza (actually an indoor room, but with enough light to confuse people into thinking it’s a terrace – as it used to be), minimal chunky house erupts from the speakers as Oscar Cano and then Elio Riso plays to an adoring crowd. However, the best party remains outside, and the ‘sunset privilege’ was handed to Fatboy Slim. Supposedly much edgier than his sets in England, it still lacks that real bite. An eclectic mix – with a few dubious selections – still keeps people jumping, while his interaction with the crowd – even leaving his decks at one point to come on stage– endears him with his dancing army. For those with friends around, his finale of Love Is In The Air almost brings tears to the eyes as the pink sky adds that extra ‘aaaah’ factor. Group-hugs everywhere, and a good-old sing-along was had – that’s until after 5 minutes, it really begins to wear thin.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man, and Steve Lawler guarantees all soppy sentiments threatening to surface are immediately banished with stomping, quirky, downright-dirty minimal tech house. Unfortunately, midnight in Ibiza signals the end of outdoor raving, and the gem in the Space Opening Party’s crown is closed off as people shuffled inside.

Almost immediately, both the Terraza and the Discoteca (the main room) become unbearable, as people constantly push and vie for space. In the Terraza, Pete Tong and then Groove Armada keep it respectable, but David Guetta lowers the tone by playing music more fitting for a Hed Kandi night in Maidstone than Space in Ibiza. In the main room, Sasha is quite literally hurting people’s ears – and not in a good way – with booming unadulterated basslines that reach a painful frequency. Genre-wise, it’s more hard progressive, trance-tinged house than anything else, as synthesised keys straight out of Depeche Mode sit on top of incessant kicks.

The respite never comes, and during a rare trip down from the Premier Étage (the roof terrace) Dubfire and Sharam aka Deep Dish play what can only be described as hard industrial techno: an assault on the senses more at home in the main room of Berghain, Berlin, where people go specifically to burst an eardrum. The roof terrace is the sensible bet as proggy minimal allows those wanting to groove in their own space the freedom to do so. Jose Padilla had previously delighted the Premier’s guests wanting something lighter, and Pepe Tucillo sees out the night in style.

Space will always be good, but if they want to continue to have exceptional parties, then a limit is going to have to be kept on numbers. Perhaps not as good as it could have been, with overcrowding and some debatable music selection from the indoor headliners, but a memorable 18 hours. I never found my friends, but it’s quite hard to stay lonely for that long when in the company of so many people!


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