Adam Beyer and the promoters behind Ibiza's surprise hit parties WooMooN and Unusual Suspects reveal their thoughts in the next in our series of features looking back at Ibiza 2017.
Nomad sounds refused to be ignored in Ibiza this summer. WooMooN, the island’s very own link to Burning Man, lead the charge, fusing low BPM, occult techno with more traditional Balearic beats to tap into the style of melodic music that has emanated from the Nevada desert over the past ten years.
Aside from Music On at Amnesia, Carl Cox's new Pure party, and Cocoon, where Drumcode boss Adam Beyer was a mainstay, the island's post-midnight techno brands were forced to slog it out for a diminishing fan base. Unusual Suspects was the other big underground success story, creating roadblocks in Playa d'en Bossa every Thursday from May to September and providing a home from home for minimal house fans
In the second of four exclusive features, it’s time to chat to more of the key players who made Ibiza 2017 one of the most intriguing Balearic summers on record.
Christian Len, promoter of WooMooN: After the big success of 2016, I thought [our] second year was always going to be difficult. But even so, I truly think we delivered what people thought we could. The season was a success and we managed to preserve the magic that made WooMooN famous.
We also opened up our musical range a little. Our ethos is all about quality electronic music, not only the so called desert or nomad sounds, but a wide reaching range of styles. Betting on new talent is [also] one of our core values. New talent is fresh, the DJs are full of ideas and their desire adds an extra element to the party. It's all about the crowd being surprised and discovering new sounds and artists.
In Ibiza, most promoters want to be sure that things are going to work, which is why they always book the same names. Sometimes this can get boring. One party looks and sounds very much like the next. What we have at WooMooN is the surprise factor, not just with the DJs, but also with the performers.
Moving forward, now is a big moment for WooMooN. We are receiving a lot of offers from all over the world. We're going to visit Tulum again, and we've received offers from Miami Winter Music Conference, Barcelona for Sonar, in addition to projects in New York, Portugal and Dubai. Now we have to see if these offers fit our philosophy. But the biggest news of all, of course, is that we will be back to Cova Santa next year. We have already signed the deal.
Of course, next year in Ibiza, there might be parties trying to copy us. After all, we have definitely created a trend. But we're not going to change. We don’t give a fuck if it is trendy or if it is considered spiritual. Spiritual can be super cheap. And we don’t want to deliver that. We want to deliver a great party with lots of true essence.
Adam and Ida Beyer at Cocoon, Amnesia. Photo courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/COCOON.OFFICIAL/
Adam Beyer, DJ: I think the rise of the more spiritual sound in Ibiza can be connected to what is going on socially and culturally. I agree that the world appears to be getting more spiritual. I don't know if this is because we are exposed to more of this kind of information on social media or whether the world actually is becoming a more spiritual place. But whatever the reason, it does seem as if this alternative subculture has a lot more potential for growth these days. Does it belong together with the music, as part of the electronic dance scene? Yes, I think so.
It's partly because of Burning Man and that same kind of vibe has definitely spread to Ibiza, where there is a similar kind of crowd. I'm looking forward to taking part in that side of things over the wintertime, because I still think the scene continues over the off-season, only on a smaller scale. I do appreciate that kind of music and it is probably what I prefer to listen to at home, rather than banging out techno in the house.
In general, I think people are searching for something more. The state the world is in at the moment, I don't think it is any surprise that we're all feeling a little restless. After a couple of quiet decades, suddenly everything looks a lot more uncertain. Progressive people, people in our scene with our beliefs about a more liberal way of life, are suddenly being threatened. I think that triggers people to go even further in the opposite direction. They tend to become more spiritual, move away from mainstream society and start thinking about alternative societies and ways of creating something completely new. I think it is a good thing.
Marco Bassi, promoter of Unusual Suspects: “There is a massive change in the type of people who are coming to Ibiza that has changed the balance across the whole island. The people now have different interests and their knowledge about music isn't the same.
I hope that next season [the island] will be more affordable. From the rental prices of the apartments to the prices in the restaurants, everything is becoming so expensive that we are losing the clubbers. Many parties had a lot of problems [this season] and it is a sign that the demands of the public visiting Ibiza are changing.
Nevertheless, we had a really good season with Unusual Suspects. We are lucky because we host such an underground lineup that the people who come to party with us really know their music. We are working in a small niche, but it's a niche for true dance music purists. The people who come to our parties are the people who follow the release of every track.
The Unusual Suspects concept is not so much about big names, as respectful names. By respectful names, I mean DJs who are proper DJs, great producers who make amazing productions. We did Eats Everything three times, Thomas Melchior, Raresh, Rhadoo, tINI, Luigi Madonna, Markantonio, they all did amazing with us.
I also really believe in open air parties in Ibiza. I think this is the future. Unfortunately there are not a lot of outdoor spaces available. Benimussa Park is an amazingly beautiful location. I can't tell you where yet; but we are definitely going to do something outdoor next season.
For the first in our series of Ibiza 2017 recap interviews with Black Coffee, the promoters behind Resistance/Pure Carl Cox and Solardo, click here.