NYO Goes to Spain
We had the pleasure of visiting Spain to check out some amazing events. If you’re looking for a great beach vacation with lots of EDM party options, Ibiza is the place to be. The island has stepped up its game for the 2013 season and is re-branding itself to focus on more of the underground while still maintaining its status as a destination for mainstream DJs.
Here are some of the clubs we had the pleasure of visiting.
Amnesia is one of the oldest clubs on the island and is known for its sunrise dance floor. We attended Sven Vath’s Cocoon opening party featuring Ricardo Villalobos, Sascha Dive and others. This Frankfurt-based crew hosts the event every Monday at Amnesia during the Summer season. Please note, this massive club has intense security, long lines to get in if you’re not VIP, and expensive drinks. However, the quality production, massive crowd (5000+), sexy go-go dancers, amazing music and most importantly, incredible energy, makes it well worth it. Sven Vath was the highlight of the night and played until 7 or 8 in the morning in the main room. Villalobos closed it out on the terrace but the music was a little slow for our taste. Another one of their most well known parties is Cream which takes place Thursdays with featured artists including Calvin Harris, Above & Beyond, Paul Van Dyk, Laidback Luke, Steve Angello, Alesso, Nicky Romero, Hardwell and Paul Oakenfold to name a few.
Pacha is a NYO favorite. An amazing sound system, much more intimate setting, hidden side rooms surrounding the main stage, super cool rooftop terrace, really sexy environment and the most theatrical dancers on the island are some of the reasons that Pacha sets itself above the rest. This club just turned 40 and now hosts Guy Gerber’s ‘Wisdom of the Glove’ event, replacing one of the island’s most longest-running residencies from Erick Morillo. If you’re unaware of Guy Gerber, now’s your chance to put him on your radar. This rising techno producer is creating quite a rep with his new Wednesday night party. Gerber’s guests for the season include Four Tet, Nicolas Jaar, Chromatics, and Matthew Dear. Another notable Pacha weekly is Hamburg House Producer Solomun’s +1 party on Sundays.
Ibiza Rocks Hotel is far from the norm. It’s one of the only clubs in Ibiza that features rock music. However, we ended up checking out their DJ-themed night W.A.R. which featured TNGHT and Jacques Greene. Best parts: Great viewing deck, friendly staff and it’s completely open air!
Ushuaia isn’t our thing. Plain and simple. Pretentious staff and stupid dress codes. It’s still one of the hottest and newest beach clubs on the island worth mentioning.
Favorite chill spot off the beaten path: KM5
Other clubs we didn’t get to, but are noteworthy: DC-10 (Jamie Jones’ Hot Natured residency happens on Wednesdays), Sankeys (Dirtybird Players have a residency this summer) and Space and Privilege just because.
Special thanks to Hotel Garbi for hosting us for the week. This hotel is super pimp and affordable compared to the majority. It’s also a nice getaway from all of the chaos that happens at many of the other hotels. It’s more sophisticated and chill.
Then we were off to Barcelona for Sonar.
Now in its 20th year, the Sonar Festival is known for its avant-garde and experimental EDM bookings. We were lucky enough to catch the last day and night. The ‘Sonar by Day’ location upgraded to Placa d’Espanya this year after 19 years at the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art. Sadly we missed Beardyman because the theater he played in was at capacity. Chromatics was, by far, the best performance we were able to check out. While relaxing on the lawn at the main stage, it was entertaining to see so many party kids partaking in whatever they could get their hands on. The food options were impressive, even for vegetarians. The tech part of the fest was enjoyable, with our favorite part being the sound ambulance.
‘Sonar by Night’ took place at Fira Gran Via, an exhibition center in the neighborhood of L’Hospitalet. We missed most of what we wanted to see, either due to massive lines, short sets, and/or the time it took to get from one stage to the next. It could have had something to do with the total attendance this year of 121,000, a festival record. The best set we were able to check out was Frenchman Paul Kalkebrenner at 4AM on the main stage. The best part of Sonar by Night: techno bumper cars. Tips for next year: Go earlier and find the Estrella beer guys with the mini keg backpacks on and buy beer from them all night to avoid staying in line at the bar.
During the weekend of Sonar Festival, tons of parties pop up all around town. The Barcelona beach parties never fail. The organization of it all is much less structured and the vibe is very down to earth. We got to check out DJ Koze and Michael Meyer at the 20 Years of Kompakt party at a chiringuito (Spanish for beach house) called Mac Arena Mar Beach Club.
Hope to see you soon Spain!