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James | Dancefloor highlights from the summer that was

The founder of and original creator of our party calendar makes his 2022 picks.

Much like my business partner Tim, I'm another 'older' clubber. Therefore, I'd like to preface this with a comment about how often I go out: not very often. Nowadays I love a good party which finishes at midnight.

However, on occasion (and strictly in the interests of research) I can still be tempted out. And honestly, I've been to some pretty amazing parties this summer. No doubt made even more special by the events of the last two years.

KiNK | ANTS opening party | Hï Ibiza

ANTS opening party | Night | Hï Ibiza | Saturday 7 June

KiNK is an artist I've wanted to see live for ages. I love live sets – the creativity and the energy is always something special. It was quite simply amazing. A lot of the time he was playing beats with what looked like a Play Station controller.

There were keyboards, drum machines and all sorts of technical wizardry and his music is so danceable – I loved it. The sound system in the Club Room is incredible and there is a surprisingly intimate vibe with the low ceilings – what a fantastic way to start summer 2022.

Adam Beyer | Pyramid | Amnesia by PHRANK

Pyramid opening party | Amnesia | Sunday 12 June

This was a complete surprise, since we only decided to go late on that afternoon. As is often the way, the spontaneous parties are the best. Lilly Palmer and Adam Beyer absolutely smashed it in the Main Room, with a hypnotic blend of hard, tech beats and more subtle melodies.

When Amnesia goes off something magical happens: The lasers, the sound system, the crowd really going for it – just wow, what an energy. We danced until 05:00, hands in the air the whole time. Completely liberating.

Kora | Nido | Las Dalias

Nido | Las Dalias & Akasha | Sunday 26 June

Akasha has been one of the standouts of the season, in my opinion.

Situated in Las Dalias bar/restaurant/hippy market venue in the village of San Carlos, it has one of the most varied and talented DJ line-ups all year round, maintaining a pricing policy of €15 to €20 per event. I went several times, but the highlight for me was Kora on 26 June.

Nido was the party in question. Starting at 21:00 on the garden terrace during summer (though continuing throughout winter with earlier start and finish), the main act plays all night long. In this instance Canadian DJ and producer Kora – who combined live hardware performance, percussion and DJ mixing – almost exclusively all his own material too.

There was an incredible vibe – downtempo, yet paradoxically high-energy music to keep everyone dancing; and all this under the setting sun. It's how I imagine Burning Man must be, although I've never been. Ibiza doesn't get any better than this.

Plus, the garden restaurant serves really tasty pizzas.

El Restaurante | Pacha

Bedouin A Wednesday Saga | Pacha | 10 August

Henrik Schwartz, honestly, what an incredible musician and performer. Just the right balance of tech and melody, and perfect control over the levels – every beat crystal clear. Every breakdown perfectly timed. Just brilliant. What a sound system Pacha has!

We'd actually been invited to dine at the adjoining Pacha restaurant beforehand, which I think is one of the best ways to experience Pacha. The food and service are extremely high quality and you get free entry to the club through the stairs at the back.

The whole experience was perfect.

Lee Burridge | All Day I Dream | Cova Santa

All Day I Dream closing party | Cova Santa | Thursday 22 September

I love Cova Santa. The amphitheatre-style layout completely focuses the energy on the small, intimate dancefloor. The DJ is right there, it's open-air and you get a wonderfully mixed crowd. On this night, Tim Green and then Lee Burridge absolutely rocked it. Magical.

We were also invited to eat beforehand (hang on, I sense a pattern here... are the venues simply buying my loyalty with fine wine and delicious food? Well, it appears to be working!) The restaurant at Cova Santa is pricey, but the food and service are truly excellent.

If you want to treat yourself, I highly recommend it. But you can also just go for the parties.

My sister once gave me a t-shirt with the words 'The older I get, the better it was' – but that's simply not true.

I can categorically say I've had some of the best parties of my entire Ibiza life in the last few years. Ibiza is just as beautiful, there is still the same wonderful mix of people both visiting and living here, and that unique freedom to express yourself is unchanged.

After a short two-year break, Ibiza is most definitely back. Hallelujah!

WORDS | by James

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