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Season preview: Ushuaïa 2014

Sure-footed moves for Ushuaïa this year, with the odd trance or rapping curve ball thrown into the mix.

Last year was a crazy year for Ushuaïa. Its party schedule increased over 100% as it ran a seven-party week at the flagship Ushuaïa hotel, a seven-party week at the new Ushuaïa Tower venue next door, and several special events on the remote rooftop of Ushuaïa Tower. It was a bit too much. We know it and they know it, as Ushuaïa head honcho Yann Pissenem freely admits that it was a form of ticketing cannibalism, as events at Ushuaïa tower took ticket sales away from its sister venue Ushuaïa hotel. So it's back to basics this year, with a formula that works like a charm. With the exception of Ants, Ushuaïa has dropped the techno in favour of the biggest EDM acts in the world right now. Where else can you see Guetta, Hardwell, Axwell and Ingrosso and Avicii residencies in one week? Throw into the mix the world's biggest trance DJ Armin Van Buuren and you have a star-studded cast to take Ushuaïa through what is sure to be a hugely successful season.


MONDAYS | David Guetta
9 Parties - 30th June - 25th August

You can't go wrong with a bit of our old Francais ami, David Baguetta. A scene as immense as the current commercial dance music boom necessarily develops from many different places, but it is still widely acknowledged to have a very big catalyst in the form of one David Guetta. One of the first producers to get dance music back on the radio since the 90s, Guetta is still a hugely popular music maker and showman extraordinaire, enough to sell out double residencies in Ibiza two years running. At his Ushuaïa party you can expect an elaborate and excessive show, with all the dancing, lighting and performance theatrics you can feast your eyes on, and pumping electro beats to appease the ears.


TUESDAYS | Hardwell
10 Parties - 24th June - 26th August

Although a new kid on the Ushuaïa block, we have a feeling Dutch EDM poster boy Hardwell isn't going to have trouble making himself heard. One of the fastest rising stars on the scene, it's only natural he make a home for himself in the dance music mecca that is Ibiza. Hardwell's guests include many of his fellow Breda artists and up-and-coming EDM DJs, not without some very established and respected guests to educate the young, music-loving masses on the progression of their adopted scene. It's going to be full of energy, fast paced and deliciously loud. Look out for the 5th of August, where Hardwell brings island favourite Fedde Le Grand to the party!

PHOTO | Hardwell at his opening party this year.


WEDNESDAYS | Departures
11 Parties - 25th June - 3rd September

Round two of Departures is expected to see the party grow its already massive fan base. Hosted by two thirds of the presumably defunct Swedish House Mafia, Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso, Departures is a mind-blowing evening of dazzling lights, sing-a-longs and hands in the air moments by the dozen. A mixture of choruses to make you wail like a banshee and drops to make you rave like a rabid gorilla, Departures is another great opportunity to lose yourself by the Ushuaïa poolside. The 27th of August will be a particularly massive date, with Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso joined by Gorgon City and Dirty South.


THURSDAYS | Armin Van Buuren
12 Parties - 26th June - 11th September

Now here's something new for Ushuaïa. Armin has made his way through almost all of Ibiza's superclubs and has now gone al fresco and set up camp at Ushuaïa. A State of Trance will be perfectly at home under the Balearic stars, and will especially come to life with the incredible levels of production and that come hand in hand with any Ushuaïa party. Trance + Ushuaïa lasers = heaven. Armin brings with him all the best trance names of the moment, plus a highlight of the ASOT Ibiza season will be his Armin Only set on the 7th August. Love or hate his style of music, Armin is a very skilled DJ and can take you to some pretty magical places in seven hours! We're also pretty curious to see how a typically nocturnal trance party will go down in the sunlit hours too.


SATURDAYS | Ants
18 Parties - 31st May 27th September

Ants is Ushuaïa's own party, and is interestingly a very different style to the rest. Ants features a solid section of underground house and techno DJs with a strong Spanish contingent. Although the headline act ends up on the Ushuaïa mainstage, for most of the party the DJs play in a small booth at the back, set right amidst the punters for a much more laid back, frivolous vibe. Ants also starts early – so you can spend the day dancing in the sun or lounging by the pool before kicking into rave gear later on. The party burst onto the Ibiza scene last year with an admirable marketing campaign and has already become a favourite amongst islanders and tourists alike. The La Familia takeover on the 30th of August looks to be a season highlight, with Nic Fanciulli and Joris Voorn joined by Stacey Pullen, Timo Maas, Ben Pearce and Alex Tepper.

PHOTO | Ants has been a revelation in daytime clubbing, utilising the flexible space at Ushuaïa by moving the party to the rear. As darkness ensues the party moves to the main stage.


SUNDAYS | Avicii
7 Parties - 20th July - 31st August

When it comes to modern dance music's household name Avicii, you know you're going to get an evening of songs you love, songs you know, and songs you can both dance and sing along to. And yet you never really know what you're going to get. Avicii's experimentations with the country sound took everyone by surprise – now we can't get enough of it. Head to Ushuaïa on a Sunday and you'll get all the fire and fanfare of a massive Ushuaïa party, the house bangers you're already mad for and, if you're lucky, you might just hear the young Swede's latest productions which, with collaborators like Nile Rodgers in the studio, might not be exactly what you expect.


Part Timers

This is Hard Rock

Friday remains quiet at Ushuaïa this year, with two very big, very bold and very loud exceptions. The This Is Hard Rock live music series, new to Ibiza with the recent addition of the Hard Rock Hotel to the island, is usually held at the aforementioned hotel. There are a few gigs, however, expected to exceed Hard Rock capacity in attendance and have thus spilled over to the neighbouring Ushuaïa. First up, on the 25nd of July, contemporary rnb idol Jason Derulo touches down on the island for his first ever show here. His music is smooth and his moves are even smoother. Ladies – commence squealing!

Then, on the 15th of August, the legendary Snoop Dogg makes his return to the white isle. Snoop has had a bit of a sound and image make-over since his last Ibiza booking in 2011, and returns to us with a little less of the gangster hatin' and a little more of the Rastafarian peace and love as Snoop Lion. He'll surely whip out the classics though… and he'll most likely whip out something else he's famous for on stage. Keep your cool ladies, I'm talking about a spliff.

It will be a very different sound to what usually spills out across the Ushuaïa grounds and out to the beach beyond and we have a feeling it's going to absolutely go off.


Revealed

Bookending the I Am Hardwell residency season will be four parties showcasing Hardwell's fledgling label, Revealed Recordings, in June and September which already has a few hits under its belt. Artists on the Revealed roster will be playing, which includes some who are residents at I Am Hardwell like Dannic and Dyro. A great opportunity to see some talent on the rise in a larger than life setting.


La Familia

The brainchild of Nic Faniculli and Joris Voorn, La Familia will take over from Avicii on Sundays (slight change of tack!) with four dates in September plus a few takeovers of Saturdays Ants parties, as mentioned above. Techno, house and tech-house will be the sound of the day and the guests joining Fanciulli and Voorn on these dates are the cream of the underground crop. It's a nice opportunity for Ushuaïa to host a different style to its usual this summer and the September crowd is sure to be music savvy and chilled out.


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