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Staff picks: Hayley's top five parties of summer

Our hands-on and always enthusiastic social media manager selects her favourites.

April openings brought the crowds for an early start to Ibiza 2023. Fresh-faced clubbers were keen to get stuck into the island's party scene. From there, the islands remained on the up and up. Even now in the second week of October, we're still seeing queues and filled dancefloors.

Being lucky enough to have unrestricted access to the clubbing chocolate box (all for work purposes, you understand!), I've been to some incredible parties, resulting in late nights and inducing some stubborn hangovers. I'm feeling a little melted myself right now, if I'm honest.

However, it's been a treat and one I'm not sure I'm ready to say goodbye to. After six months on the scene, it's been hard to pick my top five but here we go…

Hayley picks out Worried About Henry, Eric Prydz presents HOLO, Clockwork Orange, Diynamic Outdoors and Craig David's TS5.

Worried About Henry | Eden Ibiza by Jack Kimber

Worried About Henry | Eden | June 24 

I'm pretty late to the D&B appreciation club.

Despite brief flings with Chase & Status at various festivals over the years, I really only began to fall in love with the genre over the past couple of summers. Thanks to weekly Monday installments from Louder and its 2023 rebrand Worried About Henry, I am now kept on my toes by a much greater assortment of bass driving DJs.

This particular night at Eden stands out for me, as I had no prior intention of going. On our way to another party, we bumped into the promoter on the street and were easily persuaded by a reminder of the line-up that night.

Worried About Henry | Eden Ibiza by Jack Kimber

With Andy C taking the reins early on, the crowds were there in full support. Hands down, the D&B crowd wins every time. Energy, enthusiasm and an unwavering eagerness lift you into somewhere else.

Andy, the expert DJ that he is, slammed through each track driving the dancefloor into a frenzy. I have to note I was with them, sober and decked out in a pretty dress for the other venue. I was hardly prepared for it.

However, when you hit upon sets like this, there’s not much to do but get fully stuck in.

Eric Prydz presents HOLO | Hï Ibiza

Eric Prydz presents HOLO opening party | Hï Ibiza | 3 July

The long awaited arrival of Eric Prydz and his one man visual feast HOLO was an eagerly awaited summer arrival.

Joining the Ibiza party circuit in July, we'd already made great strides into the season. Every club's weekly schedule was well underway by this point. The late starts was unlikely to make a difference to the numbers. Clearly everyone was desperate to catch a glimpse of the show.

It was a very busy night but, as we were soon to find out, it was well deserving of the turn out.

Eric Prydz presents HOLO | Hï Ibiza

Delivering on the music as well as the visuals, we embark on a journey through a set laced with Progressive, House and Trance flavours, complimented with occasional glimpses of the man himself flashing between shrieking trains, flickering eyeballs and giant astronauts.

Despite having seats behind us - yes we got lucky on this night with a VIP table - not a single one of us sat down. From our advantageous spot you could see the crowd clearly, all as enthralled as we were. 

My last time seeing Eric was in 2011 and I still talk about how amazing that night was. I'm pleased to be adding this 2023 addition to the Ibiza story bank.

Clockwork Orange's 30th anniversary | Tanit Beach Club

Clockwork Orange's 30th anniversary | Tanit Beach Club | 22 July

Always on my hit list, Clockwork Orange's week-long party schedule is unmissable, however one party will be fondly remembered. The free party at Tanit Beach Club was my highlight. Under the hot July sky, the orange army came together for a party of epic proportions.

The day was simply a barrage of Ibiza anthems and House classics, creating an energy and atmosphere that rippled from inside to out. Who delivered the tracks, I honestly couldn't tell you. Not that it mattered.

I was far too focused on the music and my newly acquainted friends I was dancing with. My greatest memory was turning around to see the entire beachfront section on their feet, using the beds and sandy strips as make-shift dancefloors as a tune rang out across the beach. Unreal.

Diynamic Outdoors | El Cielo | 528 Ibiza by Adolf Comes

El Cielo presents Diynamic Outdoors | 528 Ibiza | 2 September

Newly crowned as my favourite venue on the island, 528 Ibiza has become my go-to dancefloor this summer. With Pacha's El Cielo takeover for the 2023 season, it brought a host of Pacha family members, along with a whole new decor that kitted out Benimussa Hills in style.

Its intimate, outdoor dancefloor created a space that makes you feel cuddled around the DJ. When its someone as huge in stature and skill as Solomun, it becomes an even bigger treat.

I caught Solomun across both dates he played here this summer, but it was his back-to-back with Disfreq that really caught my imagination. My best description of it would be a more bubbly and accessible Techno set. By that I mean, along with the underlying booming Techno, there were catchy vocals laid throughout and even the odd old school tune.

I'm not sure everyone agrees, but I was particularly chuffed at Dirty Cash getting a play. The other track that stood out was Disfreq's Como - it's an absolute banger. I've replayed it every day since this party. Until I catch them again live, it will continue to be top of my favourites list.

Craig David's TS5 | Ibiza Rocks by Daisy Denham

Craig David's TS5 closing party | Ibiza Rocks | 26 September

Craig David has long been established as a firm favourite on the Ibiza Rocks stage, but the crowd pull for his closing was pretty impressive.

What's so great about Craig's shows is the range of fans he attracts, from young first-timers all the way through to those more senior in age. This was why it was such a special treat for me, as I took my parents along to join me for the day. 

Craig took to the stage like a true showman, pulling all the big guns out of the bag: Fill Me In, 7 Days, Walking Away to name a few. He shot from stage-front to DJ booth mixes with barely a breath caught. As my Mum pointed out, he's certainly an energetic bean for a man in his 40s.

All that energy never seemed to run out, as he overran his normal one-hour performance with an extra 30 minutes, which the shouting crowd lapped up. It doesn't look like he's slowing down at all. I'm looking forward to welcoming him back in 2024.

Ibiza 2023 may be almost over, but you can still find out about the last remaining closing parties and the cool season programme by heading to our party calendar.

Am I suffering from season fatigue? I'm not sure I have another weekend left in me. Then again, I'll no doubt change my mind again when Friday rolls around...

PHOTOGRAPHY | by Jack Kimber, Adolf Comes and Daisy Denham

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