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Review: The Zoo Project opens its gates

The Ibiza animal kingdom descends on Benimussa Park

It's been a long day for those of us who pre-partied on The Zoo Project's Noah's Ark - but the already half-partied-out animals, with their slightly smudged paint, join the freshly painted at the bus station as we head towards Benimussa Park for round two. We pack into the disco bus and we're like overexcited, caged animals, chanting and whooping all the way to the wilderness of the Zoo Project, located in the forest hills.

There's an overwhelming sense of togetherness at one of Ibiza's best venues - I'm flooded with a sense of gratefulness to have the chance to party where jungle giants could have lived. There are cages with feathers winding along the bars and the legendary seal pit is transformed into a unique dance square - it's all a bit too much to take in at once.

I stand on one of the higher steps as Zoo resident, Defex, opens the seal pit. Out of nowhere a pack of tribally adorned performers leap between the crowd, roaring into the faces of those appreciating the music. Their aura adds to the jungle vibe and there's an immediate confirmation that this is one of the greatest parties on the island. The heat drives me towards the pool where I'm the first one to break the ice and jump in. More follow my lead and it quickly turns into a pool party, giving us time to chill before the night takes over the zoo and the lasers paint themselves across the aztec walls. Michael James has recovered from playing the boat party and has taken to the tree house stage, continuing his Zoo legacy.

As night sets, fairy lights powered by bicycles begin to illuminate. I wander off and stumble across what I later decide to be my favourite area - the Mandala Garden. A circle of spiritual hippies are playing the bongos around feathered dancers surrounded by candles and warm smiles. I'm pulled from my stool and handed a maraca, and joining the dancers we perform a tribal-esque rain dance. On my way out I hear the faint techno beats produced by The Ripe Banana Music Academy, because bananas are the best instruments to play these days.

Lee Walker, who's already the talk of Ibiza thanks to his track, ‘Freak Like Me', has unsurprisingly filled the seal pit, and he's working his magic for a fulfilled and happy crowd metres above him. I just catch some of Michael James and then us animals are lead from the zoo before closing time. There's talk of an after party but my legs can take no more, I'm happy to go home with the motto “Love Music, Love Family, Love Zoo” ringing in my ears.


WORDS | Ruby Munslow PHOTOGRAPHY | James Chapman

Full summer listings for The Zoo Project Sundays - 2020

Benimussa Park

The Zoo Project Opening Party

Sun 03 May
Line up TBA
Benimussa Park

The Zoo Project

Sun 10 May
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Benimussa Park

The Zoo Project

Sun 17 May
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Benimussa Park

The Zoo Project

Sun 24 May
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Benimussa Park

The Zoo Project

Sun 31 May
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Benimussa Park

The Zoo Project

Sun 07 Jun
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Benimussa Park

The Zoo Project

Sun 14 Jun
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Benimussa Park

The Zoo Project

Sun 21 Jun
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Benimussa Park

The Zoo Project

Sun 28 Jun
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Benimussa Park

The Zoo Project

Sun 05 Jul
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Benimussa Park

The Zoo Project

Sun 12 Jul
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Benimussa Park

The Zoo Project

Sun 19 Jul
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Benimussa Park

The Zoo Project

Sun 26 Jul
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Benimussa Park

The Zoo Project

Sun 02 Aug
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Benimussa Park

The Zoo Project

Sun 09 Aug
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Benimussa Park

The Zoo Project

Sun 16 Aug
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Benimussa Park

The Zoo Project

Sun 23 Aug
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Benimussa Park

The Zoo Project

Sun 30 Aug
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Benimussa Park

The Zoo Project

Sun 06 Sep
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Benimussa Park

The Zoo Project

Sun 13 Sep
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Benimussa Park

The Zoo Project

Sun 20 Sep
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Benimussa Park

The Zoo Project

Sun 27 Sep
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Benimussa Park

The Zoo Project Closing Party

Sun 04 Oct
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