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What’s so big about BIG

David Guetta electrifies BIG opening party at Ushuaïa.

The real question is, what isn't big about BIG. Set in the lavish open-air club Ushuaïa, David Guetta's event represents everything the venue does best: extravagance. In every way. Here is how the opening went down.

The production

Before you even enter the venue, you are greeted by large red pods on the ground with huge LED screens facing them. The words BIG in bold steel letters are assembled at the top. Once someone stands on the pod, a warped projection of them appears on the screen, distorting their bodies into crazy shapes.

Once you've entered the gates you pass by mannequin like girls, dressed in costumes that resemble something like Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad. Multi-coloured ponytails swing from their heads, they wear inconspicuous American baseball outfits, armed with bats and all.

The décor is dressed to match. A giant soda machine stands in the middle of the crowd, with a constant flow of water pouring out. The crowd are overcome with props, BIG props. Foam fingers, huge badges, fans and even sport visors bob around everywhere, all embellished with the words BIG.

The line-ups

On the line-up for this spectacular opening party were all chart topping international DJs. First up we had Deepend, the Dutch DJ duo known greatly for their remix of Matt Simon's Catch & Release, which went to number 1 in five different countries. They are confirmed to play again at BIG on the 31 July.

Next up we had Jonas Blue, a British DJ who is behind the remix of Tracy Chapman's Fast Car that was heard everywhere in 2015. In 2016, he also released track Perfect Strangers which has gone platinum in the UK and double platinum in Australia. Jonas Blue will be playing three more times this season at BIG on 24 & 31 July and 21 August.

Oliver Heldens was next on the bill. The Dutch DJ who was the creator behind 2014 hit Gecko. He went in BIG for this set, mixing massive chart-topping dance tracks from the get go. Hitting it high with a blend of Paradise by Coldplay and Chained To The Rhythm by Katy Perry, his pop choices were made funky with deeper beats and echoed vocals. As his heavy bass dropped the crowd's fists pumps were out in synchronised thumps.

With the sun starting to fade behind the festival like stage, a euphoric moment emerged. Temper Trap's Sweet Disposition filled the speakers with a special EDM twist. The stage was saturated with violet and sky-blue strobe lights. I'm still not sure which was louder: the screams or the smoke machines as Music Is The Answer was mixed into Put Your Hands Up For Detroit by Fedde Le Grand. What would a David Guetta night be without a Rihanna hit? Chains and Whips definitely excited this crowd.

As the night sank in around us, we were awoken by red fireworks blasting from the edge of the stage. A touch of Bonkers by Dizzee Rascal and Armand van Helden came on, giving us strong 2009 memories, before finishing with a mad build up that made your chest feel like it was about to burst.

The man himself

The stage went quiet while David's team prep for his entrance. The crowd cheered and whooped his name. Multi-coloured lights flashed across the stage while David appeared announcing to the crowd that 'Tonight, we make history.'

An explosion of gleaming gold confetti erupted into the sky, as a blast of dubstep welcomed in the set. Soon a dip into his own 2014 hit with Showtek Bad ft Vassy descended onto the ecstatic scene. The stage breathed fire at the very sound of The White Stripes' Seven Nation Army. The crowd of course sang the iconic melody back within an instant.

Love Is Gone by David Guetta and Chris Willis came in and as expected, as the crowd screamed it back while he dipped the sound low. David announced that the song is now 10 years old and thanks us for 10 years of support and fun in Ibiza.

Hundreds of multi-coloured flashing batons were thrown into the crowd as the Harley Quinn dancers filled centre stage once more. The audience became a sea of colour, adding to the already mind melting production of fire, lasers, strobe lights and smoke cannons.

David also played his new track with Justin Bieber 2U for the first time that night, and you already know its going straight to number one.

An enormous cluster of balloons that resembled a cloud then floated over the crowd with an aerial dancer walking through the air below. The crowd by now exhausted from the never-ending list of club bangers that this event hosts, watched the stage go dark. In David's words, it was time for a sexier moment. He slipped in a snippet section of house by playing Hanin' Out With Charlie by CamelPhat.

This event is a universal one, a festival set in the middle of Ibiza. People dancing on each-other's shoulders, as BIG tune after BIG tune fills the air. One for any age, you can party with your friends, family or a complete stranger. You're guaranteed to have a night to remember although you may need to go on vocal rest for the next few days as you'll have sung along to every song.

Every Monday for 12 consecutive weeks, feast your eyes on a show that will be etched in your memory for a lifetime. Equipped with a soundtrack of absolute belters from a collection of world class DJs, BIG at Ushuaïa is the place to be. See it to believe it, check it for yourselves every Monday until the 28 August.

PHOTOGRAPHY | Michael Tomlinson & Ushuaïa

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