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Review: Hed Kandi opening party, 2014

Watch Ibiza fall down the rabbit hole into San An's answer to Wonderland.

Last night saw everyone who's anyone in Ibiza dig out their best outfits, crack open the bubbly and jump head first down the rabbit hole to San An's answer to wonderland, Es Paradis. It was the grand - and I use the word quite literally - opening of their hedonistic Saturday night party, Hed Kandi XS - a night for the white isle to "explore its excessive side".

Arriving at two, the usual disorderly crowds you get outside a club opening were nowhere to be seen, with just a few party goers being swiftly ushered into the entrance. However my initial assumption that this was the sign of an opening falling flat was soon proven wrong when I entered to find the dance floor packed. As one of the oldest clubs on the island, I can only assume that they've managed to get queue control down to a fine art, a secret I'm sure we'd all appreciate them sharing with some of the other clubs in Ibiza.

As a newcomer to the island, this was my first taste of the big red apple that they call Es Paradis, and I can confirm that it most definitely lives up to the hype. Decorated like a Grecian palace, with ivy draped over towering white pillars, sweeping stair cases and balconies galore, this has to be the only club where scantily clad dancers suspended from the ceiling in lit up cages aren't the most eye catching thing in the room.

Hed Kandi DJs Phil Faversham, Ben Santiago and DJ Eibhlin all took to the decks with a mix of high energy, anthems like Secondcity's I Wanna Feel and Sub Focus' Close, which created the perfect soundtrack to the entertainment focused night. Irish Eiblin in particular impressed, with her impeccable timing and clear enthusiasm evident when on stage with saxophone player The Lovely Laura. Duke Dumont's I Got U, a track I can usually take or leave, suddenly had me on my feet with the duo managing to make it sound like something out of a carnival. Hey, by the end of the night I was so sold I was beginning to wander what on earth these other clubs were doing without their own brass bands.

With two other glitter heavy openings on last night, Booom!'s new disco venture Glitterbox and the Zoo Project opening, it's a wonder there was any of the sparkly stuff left on the island this morning. Not to risk being outdone, Es Paradis were of course giving guests the standard Hed Kandi glitter eye treatment, but also had dancers on the balcony play fighting with glitter filled pillows - getting the prize for the most ingenious way to cover a crowd in confetti.

In a club that feels like one giant VIP room in itself, you can guarantee that it's worth giving your credit card some action to get behind the red rope. Running around the top of the pyramid, the VIP area gives you the unique opportunity to look over the madness unfolding below whilst reclining in one of the swanky director-style chairs, drink in hand. But then again, maybe being downstairs in amongst the madness is what its all about? Either way, Hed Kandi at Es Paradis is definitely one night worth a trip this summer to discover your own excessive side.

WORDS | Joanna Wright PHOTOGRAPHY | Hed Kandi

Hedkandi listings - 2023

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