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elrow brings The Gardenarium to life at Cova Santa

The weird and the wonderful at this elrow extravaganza.

Imagine stepping into a wonderland of crazy caricatures, brain-tingling music and an explosion of psychedelic art. This is what we encountered at elrow's latest adventure over to Cova Santa for spectacular new festival The Gardenarium.

After first collaborating last summer, elrow, Absolut and Cova Santa continue their blooming love affair, birthing the concept of The Gardenarium. The ethos behind the venture was to create a safe-space on the dance floor, where everybody was equal.

The show is reflective of our shared believe that - no matter where we are from - we are all human and that everybody should be welcome on the dance floor.

We were stoked to see this enchanted garden of the imagination.

Clad in our funkiest neon attire, we headed for the charming hills of San José, raring and ready to step into the unknown. Here's how it went down.

Remember that jaw-dropping moment at your first concert or festival when you cannot quite believe that you are there? Well, that's a little like the sensation we felt walking into the almost unrecognisable venue completely now infected with the elrow bug.

Draped from top to bottom in vibrant colours, sparkling lights and quirky art stalls, it really was quite a spectacular vision.

Of course, this is elrow, so the production was expected to go beyond the visual by inviting us to become a physical part of the spectacle. Actors dressed as hotel concierges led us to the wheel of fortune where we spun our luck and with each game came a free drink token. Oh yes.

Where better to spend a drink token than at the ABSOLUT cocktail fountain? This party was truly shaping up to be a magical experience.

I could go on forever about the wonders of this carnival utopia but what added sparkle to my eyes was the musical line-up.

Collating a diverse mix of DJs for the night, including some lesser-known to the Ibiza music scene, the line-up stood out as both refreshing and daring. Let me tell you - the risk paid off.

Heidi was on hand to accumulate the ravers into a warp of groovy techno. With her ability to dabble in the deep senses of underground house then simultaneously switch to melodic techno and disco, she always brings an electric set.

Classic tracks such as 808 State's Pacific State brought out an air of unison amongst dancers and set the friendly tone for the rest of the night.

As night fell, the elaborate production elevated this one-off event to a whole other dimension of whimsical. Now hitting 22:00, it was time for Hot Chip (DJ set) to take over.

Hailing from London, these synth-pop pioneers brought another funk-fest of beats to the decks, this time armed with some hot vocal toplines. There is something about raw soul vocals that ignites a fire in a crowd.

As for myself, a lover of Motown, I was completely in my element with this style of music seamlessly blending with dance music.

Check out Alan Dixon's tune Bless Me Today, a Glitterbox Recordings release which kick-started the set.

With the outdoor Sun Stage now coming to a close we headed down into The Den to continue the night's antics.

Female duo Raw Silk was a hidden gem in this elrow treasure land. Having never seen them before Wednesday night, I was intrigued. They have now gained a new fan.

The pair brought their finest selection to the mix drawing on influences from '80s new wave and electronica.

DJ collective Horse Meat Disco was next up. If you think that we had taken in all the funky goodness we could, then prepare to be proved wrong.

With the sultry sounds of disco, banging techno beats and funky basslines, the HMD boys brought the essence of elrow to life by breaking our human sensorial boundaries through music and dance.

On we went into the early hours of the morning when it was time for beloved Ibiza regular Seth Troxler to go back to back with Gideon. Excited was an understatement.

Both DJs are famed for being purveyors of the unusual when it comes to mixing and sample choice. Taking things more underground, they made sure we were never short of a groove to keep us dancing on.

Check out this mix of JVXTA's Brawn which featured in the set.

Whilst it's a claim made almost weekly here at the Ibiza Spotlight headquarters, I can honestly say that The Gardenarium has been one of my favourite parties of the season so far.

Boasting its own unique identity in DJ selection and party atmosphere I can only hope it makes a return next year to the island next year.

The elrow series continues with only a few more dates this season so head below for more information on tickets, dates and line-up details.

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