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Looking back: The summer of a lifetime

One to tell the grandkids!

For as long as I can remember, the music industry has always been a space that I've wanted to be involved in.

My love for House music, creative writing and underground rave culture is where my passion lies. Therefore a job as a music journalist on the party isle of Ibiza was an opportunity I grasped with both hands.

I began clubbing from the day I turned 18 (or maybe slightly before, using my older sister's ID…), attending many crazy festivals and parties in the seven years since. Rio de Janeiro Carnival (Brazil), Kappa Futur (Italy), ADE (Amsterdam), Gottwood and Bestival (both UK) to name a few. 

Therefore, I'd like to think I'm able to distinguish between a good party and a great one.

When I arrived on 24 April on the eve of the season, no one could have prepared me for the next few months ahead. With parties here every day of the week, it's safe to say I've seen a lot of variety.

You won't need telling, there are many elements needed to make a party go from an average one, to one you'll never forget: the soul, spirit and story behind it, the crowd and of course, the main ingredient, la musica.

Not to forget a banging sound system, good energy and space to dance (which occasionally proved difficult in peak season!). The list goes on.

This summer, I partied till I dropped and experienced the island in full force for a whole season. Each day brought something different (except Tuesdays, which was routinely The 'Bros).


Summer highlights

It's hard to name just one highlight, as the whole summer has honestly been a complete blast.

Thinking back to the beginning of the season, International Music Summit (IMS) was definitely a memorable few days. What an incredible way to start the season and really set the tone for what was to come.

IMS taught me a lot about the industry from the get go, giving me insight into different sectors, the people and their roles. The experience provided invaluable knowledge that only people fortunate to attend the conference may appreciate.

Then we come to the after parties - where do I start?

Not knowing where they're going to take place until a few hours before, the nerves of not knowing if you'll be allowed in, the rumours of which DJs are going to perform, totally ignoring the issue how you'll get home afterwards - it's like a little adrenaline filled adventure.

I've been to several this season, ranging from an intimate Repopulate Mars afters with Lee Foss and wAFF, to a huge Pyramid villa party with Ricardo Villalobos.

Each one is different to the next and this is where you frequently meet the most interesting types of people, from tech giant CEOs to ambassadorial diplomats (allegedly), OnlyFans entrepreneurs to fugitives on Interpol's most wanted list (again, allegedly).

Plus lots and lots of people from all corners of the industry, natch.

The conversations you end up getting yourselves into are hilarious. For a start, everyone is in a bit loose by this point, having danced their socks off for lord knows how many hours at the main event. You need to try and wangle your way into one next time you're here.

I promise you won't regret it.

Thirdly, I have to say working with such a wonderful team.

I couldn't have asked for a more supportive, caring and lovely group of people to call my work family. Though we all work remotely, Ibiza Spotlight runs like clockwork and I think it comes down to everyone being in love with what they do.

With numerous group chats on the go, it feels like you're working collectively in one big office space.

I've realised that being surrounded by people who support you no matter what and have your genuine best interests at heart is the biggest motivator you need. It makes you want to do well and make the team proud.

Having worked in roles where there hasn't been a very nice working culture in the past, I'm very grateful for this experience.


Finding the right balance

While there haven't been any particular lowlights for me this season, simply surviving for the duration feels like a huge achievement.

Anyone that knows me, knows me and sleep go hand in hand. I love it as much as I love the rave. Oh, the juxtaposition between the two!

Be advised, if you're thinking about taking up a job in the industry, expect a very disrupted sleeping pattern. You basically turn into a night owl, which isn't always compatible with a climate famed for 30 degree heat and up to 14 hours of sunshine a day.

Make sure you get your recommended six hours per night, even if you're only getting into bed at 08:00. Take it from an expert, sleep is essential for your mental health and enables you to recover to then get up and do it all over again.


The learning curve

First and foremost, I've learnt an enormous amount about the industry itself from all of the different people I've come into contact with. It's crazy who you meet and what you can learn from just being in someone's presence (see the after parties above!). 

Ibiza is a small island so it's like one big circle. What goes around, comes around.

What also became clear, is that life is short and you should always follow your dreams. If you can do what you love for work, there's nothing better.

You gotta take the jump to gain the reward. I didn't know anyone on the island before coming out and now I'm leaving with memories and friendships that'll last a lifetime.

Trust your gut and go for it! If you're stuck working a nine-to-five job you hate, there is more to life than simply existing. Remember, life starts at the edge of your comfort zone.

I honestly have no regrets and I would do the exact same next time around. It's all a learning curve and I'm just grateful to have embarked on the crazy journey in the first place.


Tips for anyone hoping to do a season

Do it! Plan in advance as there's lots to take into consideration, especially for Brits since Brexit: visas, accommodation, contract, bank account etc.

I applied for my working visa last October and I only managed to get it in August, so that gives you some idea of how long the process can take! We're hoping, praying, it'll be a lot easier for next year, since all of the lengthy documentation procedures are out of the way.

It's also quite expensive too, so make sure you've saved the funds to do so. Keep an eye out for an article we have coming soon, for our tips and tricks on how to get it done!

This next one sounds obvious, but sometimes it's worth reminding yourself that it's a marathon, not a sprint.

Only a select few can last a whole season on Ibiza without losing the plot. Pace yourself and pick your battles. I've had to learn to say no a few times, no matter how much I've wanted to go for another consecutive night out.

Mental wellbeing comes first, so don't be afraid to have a night in. We all need our down time. The likelihood is that there's always another party. It may not feel like it at the time, but you're not missing out on thaaaat much.


Beating the blues

I'm now back home in the UK after six months of a relentless summer in the party capital of the world. It's one to tell the grandkids! You know how you get the Ibiza blues after a week of being here? Well magnify it by a thousand after doing a season. It hits like a ton of bricks.

Although sad, I've witnessed first hand all this beautiful island has to offer.

And there's no point feeling too depressed about it. The next adventure is already on the horizon. Season 2023 will be here before you know it. Just try keeping me away.

Quick stats

Number of Martinez Brothers sets: 9
Number of meetings missed: 11
Number of vehicular incidents: 3
Number of places lived: 2
Number of trips home: 2 (fleeting)

Hours on the dancefloor: 625 (estimate)
Hours spent sleeping: not nearly enough

Track of summer: The Future Is Bright by Max Dean

Favourite party: Paradise, Amnesia
Favourite beach: Cala d'Hort
Favourite restaurant: Es Gerret in San Antonio and La Bodega in Ibiza Town

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