The illustrious radio station returns to the island for its traditional crusade to the heartbeat of electronic music.
Radio 1’s annual broadcasts from the island usually amount to one of the busiest weekends of the Ibiza season and this year, judging by the swollen streets of Playa D'en Bossa, is no exception. Ibiza’s newest super-club ‘Hi’ hosts one of the weekend’s parties for the first time. The venue’s previous occupant, Space, had a long and intertwined history with Radio 1 that was responsible for many magic moments in dance music, so tonight’s party has big boots to fill. Tickets have been punted at well over a whopping 100 Euros for the party and as a heatwave grips the island, temperatures are soaring.
Can the DJ’s bring the heat to match? On tonight’s bill is a line-up of stand out Radio 1 friendly artists; Maya Jane Coles, Eric Prydz, Mistajam and Kölsch, alongside station stars Annie Mac, Danny Howard and Pete Tong. Unusually for Ibiza superclubs, at 9pm the venue is already bursting at the seams with tourists. Blink and you might think you’re in London or Manchester. In the main room, Maya Jane Coles is rocking the dancefloor with one of her latest releases, 'Werk.' Danish Kompakt star Kölsch follows with his brand of darker, tech house climaxing with his own production, 'Oma.'
Tongy takes an altogether trancier approach with tracks like his Essential New Tune from earlier in July, Kydus ‘First Contact,’ summoning memories of classic Ibiza moments from years gone by. DJ S.K.T Feat Pepper Rose 'Jack That Jack' belts around Hï Ibiza’s ‘Theatre' room to conclude Annie Mac’s set. B-Traits plays the night's most underground selections, throwing a bone to the crowd with vocal tracks like Slam's 'Clap Your Hands' or Stephen Brown's 'Deep In.' No stranger to Hï with his seven week residency this season at the club on Tuesday nights, Eric Prydz takes it home for the crowds with his signature brand of electro flavoured trance.
On the way to the 'The Club Room' my attention is diverted by the 'Wild Corner,' better known as the “Disco Toilets” by the ravers thanks to the DJ booth installed in the toilets. Robert Miles 'Children' is being played by a DJ called Cristoph and every so often over the mic, a call of “no spray no lay,” “no splash, no gash” prompts an outburst of laughter from the throng of clubbers in the toilets.
The production on show is a visually immersive experience. State of the art lasers bath the crowd in neon blasts of pink or blue as the Radio 1 logo hangs ever present over the stage. As impressive as the lights and sound are however, for lovers of underground music, tonight isn’t the place for you. The music throughout the venue is best described as entry level dance music and the young crowd seem flat in comparison to the dancers more familiarly encountered in Ibiza. BBC Radio 1 in Ibiza weekend may not be everyone’s 'go-to' night out, but it is an important gateway event for younger clubbers to the island nonetheless.