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Review: BBC Radio 1 on the Sunset Strip, 2015

Five-hour squeeze in of talent on the rocks.

Radio 1's 20th weekend broadcasting from Ibiza wasn't casually marked by any means; on Saturday the station joined up with Creamfields for a mega day at Ushuaïa, rolling on from the opening event at the same venue the day before. Not all roads led to that side of the island, however, as San Antonio's sunset strip had a stage set-up for the first time in Radio 1's two-decade Ibiza history. A visit to the location to drink on the rocks is an island pilgrimage, the stage on the rocks to duplicate this.

2500 lucky winners of a draw were able to take themselves and a plus one to the event and on the day the area seemed busier than any clear-skied approach to sundown. Annie Mac was first up setting the scene with Chicago by Après, which samples house anthem Can You Feel It. Fellow residing DJs for the station shared the short set time of 15 minutes. Pete Tong playing a sun-drenched 7pm fitting set featuring Inside Your Arms by Kaz James & Ivan Gough, Mistajam packing more energy with Lovin You by Hot Source.

The intimate stage with a backdrop of the ocean led to close encounters with the line-up, views of the bay and mountains to the left, a blazing lowering sun on the right. While pools of water in the gaps between different levelled rocks, made the dance floor a slight mission to navigate. The fast turnover of DJs continued as deep house duo Blonde came in with their remix of Shura's White Light, followed by Format:B's massive Chunky. Duke Dumont took us down disco memory lane with Rhythm of the Night, The Bomb! (These Sounds Fall into My Mind), and M.A.N.D.Y. vs Booka Shade's Body Language. All before cheers ignited the second the piano to So Good To Me was heard, Duke lastly selecting 2014 summer hit I Got You.

At the midway mark jazz singer Gregory Porter came out for a short but dizzying rendition of Liquid Spirit. Rudimental opened with a Bob Marley quote ‘my richness is life', gracing the stage with bouncing energy and a crew to see in the legendary sunset. MNEK came onstage to sing on Spoons, Will Heard joining to perform Sun Don't Shine appropriate against the setting sun, complimented by the harmonies. A flurry of boats had plotted to listen from sea and witness the sun melt into the horizon, once vanished an orange glow remaining. Mixing Andhim's breezy and tropical Boy Boy Boy, Rudimental then moved to reciting their drum ‘n' bass incorporated hits with the welcome addition of live brass.

Redlight opened with Gold Teeth, for the person next to me to cry out for the bass line. The darkness allowed things to get clubbier, as he continued with Ninetoes' Finder and his latest track Lion Jungle. His mixing was the most thrilling as he overlapped belters, running acapellas over distinctive percussions like Shadow Child's 23. Crouching down to the decks to ensure the blend of Tiga Vs Audion - Let's Go Dancing, he caused the crowd to a jump about in a madness. It was then Danny Howard's turn, who had presented the evening for radio broadcast, taking things on a more techier direction with Disclosure's Bang That. Eric Prydz made a surprise appearance playing his new track Opus using both arms to air-piano, arching the way for Erick Morillo to follow with electro house, before Mistajam returned to close things.

Radio 1's set-up of shop on the famous location will ring in our ears and memories for a while to come. The five-hour squeeze in of versatile talent escalated in appropriate Ibiza fashion, a steady outburst of energy the closer the clock got to midnight.

WORDS | Emma Gillett PHOTOGRAPHY | James Chapman

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