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Why we love opening weekend

Our unmissable guide shows you how to experience the magic of opening weekend on Ibiza.

for ibiza spotlightThe evening buzz builds in the recently renovated port area in Ibiza Town

The island of Ibiza is well-known for many things, including hippies, a devotion to large Buddhas, its '60s hippy counter culture and its salt. However, most people around the world will likely know it as being the best party place on the planet and opening week is like the magical reboot of this each summer.

Our beloved White Isle famously awakens over the course of one indulgent weekend at the end of May. In 2017 we'll begin to feel the fervour building up for those few days on Monday 22. The action heats up from the beginning of the week as we get closer to Friday, with restaurants opening their doors, beach clubs laying out sunbeds as beaches start to fill up, and bars quietly opening as if they had been there all year.


Bars open one by one, a sign that the openings are near

Then the superclubs, one by one, unlock those doors for another season of unrivalled hedonism. With two months to go, we're already anticipating the big changes that lie ahead. We've got Playa d'en Bossa's new superclub, Hï Ibiza, taking the gauntlet from the iconic Space. Elsewhere, Privilege has nabbed Carl Cox for two exclusive showdowns, and we hear that many more surprises are to come for this super-sized haunt.

At this time of year, the sun is blazing nicely. Not too hot, not too cold - just right. Excitement is in the air, the buzz is almost tangible. As you observe the high-spirited humans around you, you can sense that they are on the same level. This is the world-famous Ibiza and it offers one of the best holiday experiences you could ever have. If only for that, it is time you made yourself a part of it.


Why you should be here

For the uninitiated, one of the best ways to see the best of the clubs is opening weekend. If you have been to Ibiza, you'll have never forgotten that unique Ibiza energy when this time of year arrives and the show you will see. Opening nights are extravaganzas. They are spectacles. They are shows that hammer home the fact that you are in the best party on earth. And that is because you are.

If you are reading this and don't list clubbing as a hobby, then consider that there is a strong possibility you will change your mind after a stint at an Ibizan superclub. Go and you might just find that your world will be transformed. Beautiful colours, lasers, pyrotechnics, glitter, confetti. Not forgetting, of course, that across this weekend you will experience some of the best international DJ talent.


Mixing it up

If you are expecting all venues and events to be packed with a young crowd, think again: you will see a real mix of people in the clubs and hip bars. A big number of people return year-on-year to go to the openings in much the same way as some would follow their favourite rock star on tour, and that many people cannot be wrong.

It is not uncommon to speak to fellow revellers celebrating their 30th, 40th, or 50th birthday on opening weekend. Pepe Roselló, the island legend who led Space through 27 magical years of clubbing, could be seen dancing within the club walls at the age of 80 in the final year of the club last summer. It's the experience baby!


Clubbing for your life

Stifling an urge to dance is bad for your health, and while we might be left with a dance floor injury by 7am, who is really complaining? Dancing is what energises our souls, and as the quote goes: ‘you don't stop dancing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop dancing.' It might be a little corny, but there is some truth there.

We dedicate ourselves to dancing in the bellies of Ibiza's clubs, and while they are bursting with life throughout the season, after lying dormant for six months, the opening weekend is when that quintessential Balearic spirit can really be found and savoured.

To help you guys out and save you time researching, we have compiled a list of the biggest opening parties that you will want to get yourselves to in 2017. Dig in.


What: IMS Dalt Vila
Where: Dalt Vila, Ibiza Town
When: Friday 26 May

The first entry on our list is IMS Dalt Vila, which is the grand finale of Ibiza's very own electronic music business conference, the International Music Summit. Ibiza Town's ancient citadel and fortified walls is the venue. From here you get panoramic views across the town as it lies twinkling below – trust us when we tell you it is a very special experience. In celebration of the 10th year of the event, we are getting a series of sex for the ears, the b2b sessions with the following deadly duos: Maceo Plex b2b Tale of Us, Seth Troxler b2b Miss Kittin, Pete Tong b2b Nicola Moudaber, Dixon b2b Kenlou (Masters at Work), The Martinez Brothers b2b Kenlou, B.Traits b2b Jesse Rose and Manu Gonzalez b2b Lollino.

How to get there: a nice walk up from the port (centre) of Ibiza Town. Head towards the old city walls and at the old market you'll find a stone ramp that takes you up to Dalt Vila and the Baluard St. Llucia.

Hot tip: If you haven´t yet explored Dalt Vila, take your time and spend an afternoon strolling through the narrow streets that characterise this historic site. And if you are feeling hungry, you will find some enticing cafes for a quick bite to eat before the dancing begins.


What: HEART Opening
Where: HEART Ibiza
When: Friday 26 May

HEART Ibiza is a creative experience that fuses gastronomy, live performance art, world class live bands and electronic music. Opening in 2015, it sent the benchmark high with its first party by securing one of the island best loved DJs, Sven Väth, and electrifying composer, Nils Frahm. With two solid seasons behind it, HEART is set to roll into 2017 with another stellar showdown. Sven Väth will play for a third consecutive year, and while his guest is yet to be revealed, we are expecting to be wowed by exquisiteness once again.

How to get there: €10 in a taxi from Ibiza Town, €15 from Playa d'en Bossa, €30 from San Antonio. While we're unsure of the date the Disco Bus begins operating, if the bus is running, you will be dropped off directly at Pacha, which is just on the next street over.

Hot tip: As it is renowned for attracting a well-dressed crowd, this is one that calls for you to get the glad rags out.


What: Amnesia Opening
Where: Amnesia
When: Saturday 27 May

This biggie stands firmly on that pedestal as it has long been considered an essential in Ibiza's clubbing calendar. Amnesia's first night of the season is characteristically chock-a-block with DJs who are at the top of their game, and it is renowned for its longevity. We don't know what the official closing time is, but if it finishes at 12 noon, prepare yourselves as it is not for the faint-hearted. More DJs will be announced in the coming weeks, but those already confirmed are Jackmaster, Erick Morillo, Gorgon City, Hannah Wants, Cuartero, Mar-T and Patrick Topping.

How to get there: €10-15 in a taxi from San Antonio or Ibiza Town, around €20 from Playa d'en Bossa. If the disco buses are running, they go direct from Ibiza and Playa d'en Bossa to San Antonio and vice versa.

Hot tip: Some might say cheating is eating, but in Ibiza you´re pushed to your limits and if you want to see the sun streaming onto the Terrace, a tactical eat would be advised. What is unbeknown to many is that the bar on the far right of the Terrace (to the right of the DJ when looking at the booth) has a coffee machine, as well as croissants, other pastries and pizza. Dig in.


What: Pure Pacha, Paris By Night Opening
Where: Pacha
When: Saturday 27 May

French export Bob Sinclar takes his duty to Pacha's clubbing community very seriously, as he is intent on delivering an experience you won't stumble upon anywhere else on the planet. Bold claims, but those who get a taste for this extravaganza do not leave complaining.

Sinclar's music policy is all about the uplifting dance floor fodder, and previous guests have included Todd Terry, Danny Howard, Kenny Dope, David Morales, Armand van Helden, Basement Jaxx, Roger Sanchez, Louie Vega and Felix da Housecat, among many more. It has commercial appeal, but even for those who normally frequent underground sessions, you could quite easily fall for Sinclar´s formula of fun, easy to digest dance music.

How to get there: Taxis cost 10€ from Ibiza Town, 15€ from Playa d'en Bossa, 30€ from San Antonio. You can walk from Ibiza Town in about 10-15 minutes (taking in the beautiful views of the Marina along the way), and if the disco buses are operating, you will be dropped off almost directly in front of the main door.

Hot tip: On any Saturday you will have a mix of clubbing tourists and locals out for the weekend, but on this weekend, the club will be particularly packed. If you want to avoid a crowd crush, you can opt for the VIP treatment. Overlooking the dancefloor, Pacha VIP is a fabulous option to live a unique experience. A fantastic place to view what is going on around you while you enjoy the freedom and intimacy but still feeling the energy from the DJ, the music and the crowd.


What: Ushuaïa Opening
Where: Ushuaïa
When: Saturday 27 May

Ushuaïa is an experience. Before you even start with the music your senses are blasted with an assortment of lasers, LEDs, fireworks, flame throwers, strobes, CO2 cannons and jaw-dropping dancers.

It is likely you will come away from your holiday with the most photos from Ushuaïa. It is also likely to be a venue to rave about as its open air form differentiates from most clubs elsewhere.

The opening party formula looks to the underground for its sound, and this year you have Paul Kalkbrenner debuting his brand-new concept, Back To The Future. Joining him are Andrea Oliva, Steve Lawler, Davide Squillace b2b Martin Buttrich, UNER, Eats Everything, Francisco Allendes and Raúl Rodriguez. Notoriously, Ushuaïa extends its hours for the opening party, so save some of your energy for the small hours.

How to get there: 25€ for a cab from San Antonio, 10€ for a cab from Ibiza Town. Disco buses, if they are operating, run along both these routes at night.

Hot tip: Doors open at noon, and while we are in no rush to tell you to get in early doors, you do want to make sure you are in there as the sun descends. Sunsets here are a sight to behold. Trust us.


What: Hï Ibiza Opening
Where: Hï Ibiza
When: Sunday 28 May

This is an opportunity to experience a new chapter in Ibiza, where we wave goodbye to Space and say hola to Playa d'en Bossa's new state of the art superclub. As part of the Ushuaïa Group, Hï Ibiza will crank open those doors for the first time with a fusion of underground sounds.

Confirmed to be on booth duties is one of the first to be announced summer residents, Black Coffee, and joining him is a pack of seasoned Ibiza DJs, including Apollonia with an extended set, Luciano, Nic Fanciulli, Joris Voorn, Andrea Oliva, David Squillace, Kölsch, Matthias Tanzmann, Bas Ibellini and Djebali. Most recently added to the line-up are Brooklyn-based duo Bedouin and seasoned Ibiza selectors Anna Tur, Igor Marijuan and Paul Reynolds.

How to get there: 25€ for a cab from San Antonio, 10€ for a cab from Ibiza Town. If the disco buses are operating, you'll find them running along both these routes at night.

Hot tip: Regulars to Ibiza are eagerly anticipating what this new kid on the block will pull out the bag. Our advice to you here would be to make sure you are in on the excitement.


What: Solomun + 1 Opening
Where: Pacha
When: Sunday 28 May

Over the course of the season, Sundays belong to Solomun. This summer will be his fifth consecutive year, and under his control, you will find a techno-loaded soundtrack that is funky, dark and dramatic. He doesn't cart in mammoth line-ups, instead choosing just one guest per week, with whom he will also go b2b.

This night stands as one of the most successful nights of the last few years, making this one of the hottest tickets in town. His guest on the opening night is yet to be revealed, but to give you an idea of who you can expect, his previous partners in crime have included Butch, Black Coffee, Joseph Capriati, Dixon, Âme, Michael Mayer, H.O.S.H., Karmon and Adriatique.

How to get there: Taxis cost 10€ from Ibiza Town, 15€ from Playa d'en Bossa, 30€ from San Antonio. You can walk from Ibiza Town in about 10-15 minutes (taking in the beautiful views of the Marina along the way), and if the disco buses are operating, you will be dropped off almost directly in front of the main door.

Hot tip: If you are fond of snacking before, during and after the party, then Pacha is the club for you because there are a ton of places to eat. Have a VIP dinner in the Pacha Restaurant, which leads directly on to the dance floor, and you will get entry to the club included for a minimum spend of around €120. You will get a pretty good feed (and view) - just don't expect to have any deep and meaningful conversations, because as you can imagine, the sound system is pretty loud. For a slightly quieter affair, you can get a table inside the adjoining Sushi Lounge (on the left as you walk through the main entrance).


Final words to lure you...

They say that there are few countries in the world that have not heard of Ibiza because of the reverberating roar heard from its renowned superclubs. While we have no proof of this lofty claim, we are 100% confident that millions of eyes will be on us over opening weekend, so make sure you are a participant rather than an observer. See you there. Hasta pronto.


WORDS l Julian Heathcote and Aimee Lawrence

PHOTOS l Julián Farina, James Chapman, phrank photographics and Peter Young

Next up...

Get your tickets in advance and guarantee your entry to one of these fantastic parties. Our 2017 Party Calendar is your best place to start, where you can buy tickets direct.

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