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Top 10 Ibiza Moments, 2013

On an island which creates incredible moments for thousands every single night, we go through our personal favourite memories of the 2013 season.

Detailed below are some standout scenes experienced by the Spotlight Clubbing Team this summer. We've had everything from live music, incredible interviews, eccentric house parties and of course a choice selection of classic clubbing rave moments. Ibiza has so much to offer the music lover and for every ice cannon blast over a deadly bass drop there's also a soulful guitar riff at sunset or a DJ in fancy dress at a beach barbeque; the island is what you make it.

Check out what made our shortlist and get thinking on your own - we want your stories!


1. Ultimate Crowd Surfer During Richie Hawtin's Cocoon Cameo (Amnesia Terrace)

It was the first episode of the Enter/Cocoon exchange and morning was awash on the Amnesia terrace, Hawtin in control. It had been a night of brilliant music and atmosphere and as the morning drew on both booth and dancefloor antics began to get eccentric. At one point I looked across the room to see a bold clubber crowd surfing – or sailing – his way from the back of the room to the booth. He travelled front first, with his chest raised like the prow of a ship and a pointed finger extended towards Hawtin, gliding slowly atop a sea of hands in the straightest smoothest line I have ever seen. At the last minute Hawtin looked up and spotted him and guffawed, pulling him over into the booth then promptly diving headfirst into the crowd himself. Cheering - lots of it.

- Full review here.


2. Innervisions Takeover We Love... (Space Terraza)

If you aren't already onto the German label fostered by Dixon and Ame, Innervisions, then you have an incredible musical treat ahead of you and I'm jealous. Last year we enjoyed Innervisions invasions of the We Love… Terraza monthly and have suffered serious withdrawals this summer; this did, at least, make the one-off takeover in September all the sweeter. Evocative melodies across dramatic depths, with simple but funky rhythms to keep your feet dancing while your hands sway and your eyes close. This is what we've come to expect from Henrik Schwarz, Dixon and Ame and just what we got that night. The energy in the room was as highly charged as I had seen the Terrazza in a long time and the Spotlight clubbing team (all of whom were present) came away with an embarrassing amount of shazams (can't...help it... must....know...epic...tune).


3. Nightmares on Wax Album Launch (Las Dalias Markets)

Ibiza isn't always about high-octane superclub doof moments. For lovers of soul, hip hop, funk and genre-less musical expression, Nightmares on Wax's Wax Da Jam parties at the psychedelically decorated Las Dalias Markets had many high points this season, not least the Mushroom Jazz (Mark Farina) takeovers. But for Spotlight, the end of season Nightmares on Wax Album launch was the sweetest. An incredible live performance, heavy on percussion, vocals and an excessive amount of feel good vibes. We were sun-dried zombies when we arrived, but left feeling like gold. Now that's what you want from a gig.

- Check out the album review here.


4. Nicolas Jaar at Destino (Destino Pacha Ibiza Resort)

The appearance of Nicolas Jaar - one of the scene's most mysteriously fantastic figures - on Ibiza dispelled any whispers that the island's edge had become less cutting. Jaar, the prodigal Ivy League graduate and soundsmith, has toured his acclaimed live show for the last few years expunging highly improvised versions of his wandering ear-worming eclecticism. Billed as one of Destino's one-off free parties the cliff-top setting, punishing sound and striking visual accompaniment all contributed to a highly memorable performance. Rising up from a thick, sludgy tempo, smatters of recognisable sound shimmered momentarily before being snatched away. Jaar played the crowd. Teasing and building, he took to the mic to deliver a dusty rendition before a quaking bass line delivered audience rapture. Moving through new and old material, the performance was more gig then classic electronica - more musician then 'live artist' - and a definitive musical firework.


5. Maceo Plex and Tale of Us at ENTER (Space Terraza)

I think it's safe to say that, thanks to everything from the inspiring line-ups to the sake on tap to the daunting black dot that has drawn us through Enter's doors every week, Richie Hawtin's Thursday parties at Space have supplied many a memorable moment. However, none so much as when Maceo Plex and Tale Of Us played on the Terrace in Week 9. Both acts have been huge this summer, and you would deserve a kick for missing any of them, but I can only hope for your sake you caught these 4 enchanting hours in this magically intimate space. After Tale Of Us provided us with what could only be described as the sort of melancholic melodic techno that seeps permanently into each and every pore (Der Dritte Raum's Hale Bopp is still trickling through my veins never mind being stuck in my head), the room seemed to have hit its crescendo... Surely even Maceo Plex would be dead in the water after this right? Wrong! After bringing the tempo and vibe right back down and starting afresh, he treated us to a deliciously layered set packed with genre-defying, face-scratchingly good cuts from the 80s onwards, using that signature ‘Maceo' way of making everything flow. This is a DJ who really reassures you that the answer to a lifetime of happiness is, ultimately, techno. After the calibre of these four hours... The rest of my musical life really has something to live up to.


6. Freddie Mercury's Birthday (Ibiza Rocks House at Pikes Hotel)

There were children with chest hair in the ball pit but the ball pit was a spa bath and the spa bath was a karaoke stage. It was 10pm. This was just one room of the many-holed wayward warren that is Ibiza Rocks House at Pikes. A rock and roll hotel like no other, its crowning event is the mega house party thrown to commemorate the birthday of Freddie Mercury, a frequenter of the hotel who's 40th birthday there was by all accounts…wild. Pikes does Ibiza eccentricity like no other venue, and who would miss out on the opportunity to don a moustache and dance with a giant skeleton in Freddie Mercury's old bedroom whilst Antz and 2ManyDJs spin tunes from a window in the closet? Someone brought a ukelele, of course.

- Full review here.


7. Best Sit Down of 2013 (DC10 Garden and Sankeys Basement)

Whilst this antique rave move is now seen by some as a bit passé, and certainly its reputation has been tainted somewhat by overuse, those in the know acknowledge that a sit-down done well can be extremely exhilarating. It takes patience, team work, good timing and strong quads - and most importantly it must be crowd instigated. The award for best sit down of 2013 goes to... ladies and gentleman, it's a tie!

DC10 opening party: out in a packed garden terrace with David Squillace and friends, clubbers decide to christen the new decking area by sitting on it - en masse. The highlight is the well-timed moshing post-stand up!

Diynamic in Sankeys basement, mid season: Solomun drops his own remix of Kraak and Smaak's Let's Go Back and after a tense crouching session the entire room explodes, the beanstalks of the bunch missing the low ceiling by inches.


8. IMS Keynotes (Ibiza Gran Hotel)

The International Music Summit, held during May, provides the first real Ibiza rumbles before summer opening parties break and the season roars into action. There are parties, panels and networking sessions aplenty, but what really stood out this year were the incredible keynote interviews with Sven Väth, Paul van Dyk, Jean Michel Jarre, Fatboy Slim, Bob Lefsetz, Idris Elba and last but not least, Nile Rodgers. I'll never forget watching Rodgers busting out Get Lucky with his hitmaker guitar in the conference room, at first struggling to remember the chords (it had been many months since he worked on it and the track was only newly released) but eventually settling into the groove with a solid grin, whilst an enraptured audience clapped along.


9. Chic Live (Ibiza Rocks Hotel)

After witnessing the honest and anecdote-fuelled interview with Nile Rodgers at IMS in May, Spotlight was counting down the days until Rodgers and his reformed band Chic swung their manic touring schedule back around to Ibiza to play Ibiza Rocks Hotel in September. The time flew, or crawled, one can never be sure which, and soon enough a diverse audience spanning three generations were disco-dancing poolside to the Nile Rodgers written classics like We Are Family, Let's Dance and Like a Virgin, plus Chic hits like I Want Your Love, Everybody Dance and Le Freak. Chic stoked the fires of an already spirited audience, the troupe of skilled musicians delivering one of the best technical performances of the season with a whole lot of love.

- Full review here.


10. Cocoon Afters (Sal Rossa and Destino)

From dancing barefoot with sand between your toes outside the casual beachfront Sal Rossa, to stomping on whitewash at the stylish clifftop Destino Resort with an unbelievable sunset vista on your back – Cocoon's world-renowned opening and closing afterhours encapsulated all that is joyous about Ibiza daytime partying. And besides - not a chance a season could go by without Sven making this list. He creates incredible techno moments like the English make cups of tea: prolifically and with care and skill unparalleled. Väth completed monumental marathon sets at these after parties, providing us with the sweetest melodies and vocals amidst a powerful techno onslaught… all whilst blatantly partying harder than any single person present. The man's a rave inspiration - a ravespiration.


Special mention also goes to the dawn walks home along the beach, the unbeatable sunsets from craggy coastal locations you couldn't even dream up and all the private after-parties that just wouldn't say die.

Photography by James Chapman (exceptions - Destino venue photographer, ENTER. Visionhype & We Love Phrank.net), words by Jordan Smith with contribution from Lydia Laws and Michael Huntington.