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Review: Le Grand Bazaar Opening Party 2013

This bizarre line-up from Pete Tong was a stoke of ‘Genie-us’...

Pete Tong's new residency at his new home Ushuaïa started last night. The aptly-named ‘Le Grand Bazaar' sees Tong trying to bring back daytime partying whilst bringing a great selection of artists and genres to this swanky venue. A free beach party, complete with market stalls and barbeques, took place from 2pm. After providing burgers and beats in the sizzling heat to the early birds, the poolside party kicked off from 3pm.

The line-up for Bazaar's debut was a brilliant precursor of the calibre we can expect for this new Friday night out. Pete Tong was joined by Tensnake, Nervo and a name that saw every man in Ibiza don their finest trucker hat while every woman on the White Isle's knees trembled... Pharrell Williams.

The Ushuaïa stage was framed by two gold Genie lamps emitting scented dry ice across the crowd. Nervo gave a fantastic full on performance, playing a mix of their own songs and other hits. A highlight was when they mixed OneRepublic's ‘Apologise' with Otto Knows' ‘Million Voices', a great blend of melodic vocals and body-vibrating bass.

The artwork on the screens was designed by Damien Hirst. The idea of combining music and art is big this season, something we have also seen from Music On. The colours and designs were intricate and impressive as you would expect. I was however slightly unnerved by the image of a butterfly being set alight and shrivelling to a crisp, which was then reversed and replayed for the majority of the evening, (maybe because I'm a vegetarian, or was simply still emotionally delicate from Enter at Space the night before).

Half ten saw the moment everyone had been waiting for as Pharrell Williams took over. The audience was screaming at the top of their lungs as he shouted to the crowd "Are you guys ready to party or what?!" Starting his set with ‘She Wants to Move', he played full versions of classic hits such as 'Frontin', followed by a medley of other tracks. He invited girls up onstage to join him (something they'll definitely put in their Top Ten Ibiza memories), serenading one lucky lady with the song ‘Angel' before initiating a ‘twerking' competition along to Busta Rhymes and Nicki Minaj's ‘Twerk It'. The crowd's excessive twerking nearly sent me flying into the pool but it was great to see such an energetic and passionate crowd having such a good time and enjoying one different genre after another. Pharrell of course finished his set with ‘Get Lucky', the last few bars ringing out as a plane soared overhead.

A DJ set from Pete Tong wrapped up the night. His set was full of tech house and underground vibes, including songs such as a remix of Kai Limburger's ‘9.2' and George Fitzgerald's new track ‘I Can Tell (by the Way You Move)' and provided a great end to a truly eclectic mix of music that the day and night's activities had provided.

You can get tickets for Ushuaïa events on Spotlight. Why not make a real event of it and stay in the hotel too? You can book your time in the hotel through the Spotlight website also.

Photography by James Chapman

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