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Gay Pride 2021 Diversity Celebration lights up San Antonio

Powerful performances and joyous celebration on the sand.

After a delay of almost 15 months, due to C****, Ibiza Pride 2021 finally kicked off in spectacular style on Playa de s’Arenal, San Antonio, with a Diversity Celebration open to anyone to participate.

For the first time ever, San Antoni’s beach made the perfect platform for this brand-new event, with the Mediterranean Sea lapping gently on the shore and the glittering lights of the stage and the boats in the marina shimmering on its surface.

On arrival, we were treated to a stirring and emotive operatic introduction to the event by Mikel Opera, just as the sun was setting. Slightly bemused, we took our seats at what seemed like it was going to be a genteel recital.

Minutes later, glamorous hostess for the night, drag queen Sandra Love, stormed onto the stage, with her entourage of masked assistants, immediately raising the volume up to 10. Dressed in stunning costumes, last seen at the closing of Space, Sandra and friends pumped out a joyous celebration of House Music and Disco.

Ably supported by backing tracks laid down by DJ Chechu, with whom she has collaborated to produce an anthem for the occasion, Rainbow Song, Sandra urged those nervously or curiously peering in from the street to come in and join the free event. By the end of the night almost every seat on the beach was taken.

First live act of the night was Selena Leo. Originally one half of one-hit-wonders, Sonia and Selena, whose 2001 album and single of the same name, Yo Quiero Bailar (I want to dance) sold over 1m copies worldwide. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the popular hit, the audience joined in enthusiastically. With the backing of dancers half her age, Selena climaxed her lively performance with an energetic version of Conga by Gloria Estafan and The Miami Sound Machine.

Next up, rising Burlesque EDM star from Los Angeles, Mercy, kicked off her pyrotechnic set with a high energy version of Blondie’s One Way Or Another. Following up with her own compilations, Dearest Alice and Broke Bad, Mercy and her dance crew kept the basslines slamming. The fire-breathing seductress informed us that she ‘wanted to ride on our disco stick’. No one was likely to refuse!

Headlines of the night were stolen by local heroine and Big Bad Bitch, Rebeka Brown who arrived on stage to a rousing reception and launched straight into the classic Sun Rising Up by Deux - the track which set her on the way to House Music royalty.  

25-years veteran of the Ibizan gay scene, at massive nights such as Matinée and Supermartxe in Space, Amnesia and Privilege, Rebeka’s powerful performances and limitless energy still bring the WOW! factor.

Rebeka owned every inch of the stage, while she treated us to a pumping mix of reworked House and pop classics. Anthems, such as She’s a Maniac from the movie Flashdance, You Got the Love by Candi Staton, I Can’t Feel My Face by The Weeknd, plus her own hit Millenium and, highlight of the night, Toca’s Miracle by Fragma, had the adoring crowd on the edge of their seats.

It was such a pity being chained to our chairs by Covid regulations, as everyone was desperate to get up and dance. Nevertheless, when the shackles are off, next year’s event promises to be a magnificent celebration.

Congratulations to San Antonio Council for having the courage to support and sponsor this well-organised and important occasion – reminding everyone of the importance of tolerance, respect, and diversity in society. If it becomes an annual fixture on the San Antonio calendar it has the potential to also be a major landmark on the whole island’s cultural map.  

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