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IMS gets the Ibiza party started

The International Music Summit conference arrives on the island, ending in one amazing party.

In May the island of Ibiza visibly wakes up from a gentle winter slumber. Hotels and restaurants open, the gorgeous beaches of the island start to fill up and everything simply gets busier.

When the International Music Summit (IMS) arrives on the island, it's a high speed train to summer. This annual meeting of the minds behind electronic music is a three-day event that culminates in an amazing party, IMS Dalt Vila, just before the superclubs' opening weekend. Top tip: everyone should attend the Dalt Vila event and if you stick around for the opening parties, you'll have done a rip-roaring world tour of DJs.

Incredible, atmospheric venue

The crowds gather as the IMS party takes the crowd to sunset and beyond

This important electronic music summit runs between 24-26 May. As we say, the closing night event is where it's at for shock and awe. You will be in one of the most incredible and atmospheric outdoor party locations in the world: the castle of Dalt Vila that rises majestically over Ibiza Town.

To get to the venue, you must make your way through ancient cobbled streets past moorish walls and Roman statues for a rave under the sky, for what has got to be the most delicious night out. Up in the old town, you will be soaking deep house vibes and techno tunes from world-class DJs in the open air. Can you imagine a more exhilarating night?

This medieval Mediterranean fortress provides utterly sublime views of the city and as the wind brushes your face, you can look out to sea blissfully as the beats pass through your body and you feel a state of utter connectedness. This is the party that is IMS Dalt Vila.


A deck of DJs

Atmospherics and sublime sound high on the hill in Dalt Vila

You will get some of the best DJs here. Last year was the turn of Dubfire, Tale of Us, Nicole Moudaber, B.Traits and Benjamin Damage. This year, in line with the event's 10th anniversary, you will get so much top DJ talent in one place at the same time that you expect Batman's bat signal announcing their arrival. That's not a bad idea!

This year we are expecting a fantastic event with sizzling back-to-back sessions all through the evening until midnight. It starts from 17:00 and you will want to get there early. Pete Tong, one of the founders of IMS, will hit the stage at 21:00 with the sensation of last year Nicole Moudaber. Seth Troxler will go b2b with Miss Kitten right after in a hand-waving spectacular of techno and house. Finally, the blazing Maceo Plex and hot Berlin-based duo Tale of Us will bring everything to a spectacular close.

Bernard tells us straight

The stunning Hard Rock Hotel, the venue for the three day IMS Summit conference

For those that want more than a party, you can be assured that attending the IMS summit at the Hard Rock Hotel will get you rubbing shoulders with the great and good of the electronic world. Get inspired by Bernard Sumner of New Order, who will be giving one of ten keynote speeches. Sumner wrote the group's album Technique, and some of the tracks were recorded right here on Ibiza when the group embraced the island's inimitable Balearic sound.

Now in its 10th year, the IMS summit has done much to help electronic dance music redefine itself. These TED-like talks are a mix of music industry players, DJs and anyone working in the field in some way. It has been a force for good and progressive change in dance music. We applaud it.

More greats will be discussing their careers. DJs Dixon, Grammy Award nominee from Masters at Work ‘Little' Louie Vega and others will relate their lives in the electronic music world. Inspiring talks and tech masterclasses such as how to do amazing things with Spotify or get famous with Facebook are also part of the programme.


There is no better place to and learn at the foot of giants or meet the odd god of the genre. Ricardo Urgell the founder of Pacha, for example, will be celebrated this year at the Legends Dinner. Each year a different dance music deity is celebrated. Last year it was quite tearful when Pepe Rosello was the star guest. 2016 was an emotional year for many of us when his club Space closed for the last time. We all wept a bit.

Music, dance and the gods

It is very fitting the event be here. Ibiza was named by the Phoenicians after one of the gods they worshipped, Bes. This god was a protector: Bes was summoned to ward off evil and malevolent spirits. He also symbolised the good things in life: music, dance and sex. That's my kind of god!

It seems that Ibiza's destiny was always to be a temple of dance music. The island continues to contribute to what has become a massive part of global culture. You owe it to yourself to be part of it.


Next up...

If you are coming for the party and opening weekend, remember that you will need a place to stay, so see our hotels and villas pages for one of the best choices of accommodation island wide.

For more ideas of what to do in the month of May, check out our preview article and get inspired.

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