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Closing 20 years of Cocoon on Ibiza

Birthday week ten with Sven Väth and the extended family at Amnesia.

Where do we start? 2019 has been nothing less than colossal for Sven Väth and the Cocoon family. Undoubtedly the world's most respected techno party turned the grand old age of 20.

Dancing since ‘99 is no understatement. Throughout the years, Cocoon has established itself as a family gathering for global music lovers. who make the pilgrimage to Ibiza year in, year out to be a part of the magic.

Two decades on, has the spark gone? Not at all: it burns brighter than ever. This was not only a summer of reunions on Amnesia's dance floor, but one that welcomed in a new generation of Cocooners to join the party - myself, an Ibiza virgin, included.

Ever since my first venture to Cocoon I have fallen in love with the atmosphere, the music and the authenticity that makes this party so special. Being able to stand the test of time in today's ever-changing musical landscape, is an impressive feat.

Cocoon on Monday 30 September was set to be the grandest of finales. Let's have it.

Sven Sandwich with a Gou filling

For the closing, Sven Väth representing the pioneers of the '90s underground techno went face to face to face with one of the hottest names to come out of the scene in recent years, Peggy Gou. Now that's a killer combo.

Rocking up to Amnesia for midnight, as soon as I entered, Sven wasted no time in setting about his duties as host. It felt like the whole island had descended here for the occasion. From the moment I arrived, I could tell the atmosphere would be on another level.

His first set of the night took a trip to the more interesting side of things, rather than diving straight into hard and heavy territory. We proceeded to witness one of Sven's most charming aspects: his storytelling ability.

Adam Port's remix of Underwater from Rüfüs Du Sol gently soothed us with melodic vocals before sliding in the hypnotic sounds of minimal track Isolator from Duplex. And just like that, we were all under the empowering spell of Sven Väth and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Ever the gentleman, Sven handed over to lady of the moment Peggy Gou for the peak time set.

Fusing the sounds of modern electronic music with techno qualities, Peggy hit the ground running with her set.

We heard her playful side come out, as she threw in a few experimental tracks and of course, her homage to her Korean culture. The oriental sounds complimented the tech house beats beautifully.

By this point in the night, I'd settled into my space on the dancefloor. I couldn't imagine anywhere I would rather be than under the Cocoon sign.

Alongside other classics, it would have been morally wrong if she hadn't have played her Starry Night track. You can picture the cheers of excitement when it dropped.

Ready to finish what he started, there was only one possible way we could see out the twentieth year of Cocoon and this is, of course, was at the helm of Papa Sven. Taking his ever-modest stance behind the decks it was now time to go hard or go home and we weren't going anywhere.

Now dabbling with distorted electronica, Sven showed off his skills as a well-educated selector as we worked through his hand-picked vinyl collection for the evening.

The 1000 Year Storm from Rude 66 was a personal highlight from the night's soundtrack. Being sadistic yet high energy at the same time set a cool tone over the dancefloor.

Much like Sven, Cocoon itself shows no signs of slowing down.

Now in the thick of the closing party and you could feel the essence of Cocoon's musical heritage beaming through. The appreciation for uncovering the old and discovering the new is at the heart of what this party stands for.

Talking of uncovering the old, Sven went on to drop a classic of his own, The Beauty and The Beast. Excuse me one moment whilst I close my eyes and try to relive the magic.

Cranking it up in the Club Room

Next door in the club room, I was finally able to catch one of the hottest exports to come out of South America in recent years. I now understand why ANNA has earned a reputation as a rave ringmaster.

Utilising her own style of heavy techno to invigorate the crowd, she sent the deepest of dirty beats around the room whilst maintaining the momentum. Check out this remix of Teo Moss' Activation which captured the essence of her set.

Later on, we found the ever-reliable Ilario Alicante dominating the room. Now with even more dancers to keep occupied. A potential challenge for some, but childsplay for this suave selector.

The precision he has for his craft is admirable, teasing us with zorbing effects before dropping killer back-to-back cuts. Manuel Di Martino's Acid Advisor was one such crowd pleaser.

Adam Beyer was next on hand, tying things up in the club room. Playing some classic dance samples combined with his signature techno beats, I defy anyone to hear Celeda and Danny Tengalia's Music is the Answer and not dance.

And then, it was all over. Cocoon closes what instantly goes down as a historic season. We're left with cherished memories of nights surrounded by good company and even better music.

The closing party would of course follow a natural progression - the official after party saw us return to Benimussa Park. Much like the opening afters four months ago, we danced in the outdoors to Sven all day long.

Papa would again take to the mic to thank and reflect, before encouraging everybody to join him in the rabbit hole. Cocoon signing-off from its 20th summer in authentic fashion.

PHOTOGRAPHY | by David Holderbach

On that note, there's not much else to say other than here's to the next 20 years! In the meantime, bring on Cocoon 2020. What, you didn't think that was it - did you?

If the phrase "and they lived happily ever after" was ever to be applied, some might argue now would be the perfect time. However, the story isn't quite over yet.

Relive the sounds of Cocoon20 with our party playlist full of tracks straight from the dance floor and subscribe to our Spotify channel.

Stayed tuned to our magazine feed to be first to hear news of the 21st season. Until then, let's bask in the afterglow of 2019's memories. Danke schön!

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