The last time I stepped foot in an Ibiza club was the day of January 1, 2018. Yep, that’s 396 entire days and nights ago. The weirdest thing is, apart from the odd pang of FOMO related to some Luciano gigs in high summer, I really haven’t missed the experience at all. If I could step back in time and tell my fresh-faced dance music enthusiast self that she’d go on to spend a whole year without clubbing in the future, I am sure she’d scoff at me in disgust, while sprouting some kind of waffle about music being life and life without music being no life at all. Not to mention pointing out the whole reason she’d crossed continents and hemispheres to be here was for the chance to be at the heart of the clubbing capital of the world. Oh how times change…
First things first, let me make one thing clear. Just because I didn’t go clubbing per se, doesn’t mean I didn’t listen to music. It doesn’t even mean I didn’t dance. It simply means that I never crossed the threshold of Pacha Ibiza, Amnesia, Hï Ibiza, HEART Ibiza, Ushuaïa Ibiza, Privilege, Sankeys, Lío, Eden, Es Paradis, Ibiza Rocks Hotel and not even my all time fave, DC-10. [Side note: I did technically go to Ibiza Rocks, but it was for a daytime photo shoot and there were no parties on that day. So it doesn’t count!]. Wow – when you write them all down in a running list like that, there really are a lot of clubs in Ibiza, aren’t there? So anyway… those were the places I stayed away from in 2018.
It started out as a bit of a joke really. After spending New Year’s Day at DC-10, I developed some quite serious health problems (unrelated, but let’s just say a day and night there certainly didn’t help) that persisted and persisted until the beginning of the clubbing season. And at that point, when I was finally feeling good again, I didn’t want to do anything that would affect my health, which included late nights/early mornings, smoky environments, loud noise, booze and whatever else a night in an Ibiza club entails. We’ve all been there. And so I started to joke that I might spend a season from of the clubs. I mean, when you’ve been going regularly for more than a decade, you start to see patterns and realise that the more things change, the more they stay the same. You know that although you’ll surely miss some magical dance floor moments, the club scene will still be there waiting for you next year.
I thought about penning a blog about the idea back then, but I didn’t trust myself to stick to my word. Especially not when my ultimate duo of Luciano and Ricardo Villalobos were planning to reunite on the Amnesia terrace (my heart still pangs a little knowing I missed that one) in August. But August came and went, and I remained true to my word. And then September – known to one and all as the greatest clubbing month of the year – also passed. As did October (and yet another B2B by my faves). Once I’d managed to make it through an entire season, I started to ponder the idea of making it through the entire year. And yet STILL I didn’t write about it, mainly because Luciano was booked to play Pacha Ibiza on NYE and I thought surely that would get me to pull on my dancing boots.
But the clock struck 12 and the calendar flipped into 2019 with no chance of me turning into a pumpkin, because I’d never left the house. And when DC-10 opened its doors the next day, I was indeed tempted to go. Truly tempted. Because you know, it had been 364 days since I’d last been clubbing and it really is the best day of the year for islanders to go out. But I had a bit of a sniffle and the memories of the previous year’s illness still haunted me so I opted out again. Which leads me to today. Here I am, alive and well, and telling the tale of a year spent in Ibiza without clubbing. Did I miss the experience of clubbing?
Sometimes. But not often. Did I miss my friends? No, because I made an effort to see them outside of clubs, which I found to be much more rewarding. Did I miss the music? Well, I missed the great big whomping sounds of those mega sound systems and that excitement you feel when your taxi pulls up outside the club (because we never drink and drive!) and it’s vibrating through the walls, but as for actual songs/tracks/mixes/DJs? No. I didn’t miss them at all thanks to the power of the internet which means you no longer have to be front left at DC-10 week in, week out, to identify the songs of the summer. Did I miss doing the walk of shame through Dalt Vila in a sequinned dress at 7am and trying to avoid eye contact with my neighbours? Hell no! And obviously I did not miss the hangovers one bit.
One of the other things I realised during my clubbing sabbatical was that over the years, Ibiza clubbing lost a bit of its sparkle for me. After so many years spent working in Ibiza’s best clubs and interviewing the world’s best DJs, I’d turned into one of those people who arrive at the club and instantly head to the backstage schmoozing area, green room or office where OK, it was less sweaty and busy which is nice in high summer and you’re also likely to be the lucky recipient of a handful of drinks tickets, but it’s also not conducive to dancing and enjoying the music. Depending which club you’re in, half the time you can’t even hear the music at all from these spaces (which is ideal for DJs and their agents/managers and the club staff). It’s a privileged position to be in of course, but if my former self could have seen me, no doubt she would have been ashamed of me. Because music is life and life without music yadda yadda yadda…
I think the moral of my story is that I finally realised that just because I live in the clubbing capital of the world doesn’t mean I have to go to a party every night. By going to so many parties over so many years (although I wouldn’t change a thing), I had diluted the experience and now, after a year’s break, I feel just about ready to reignite my love for the dance floor. If I go to any parties this season (and I’m not averse to the idea; in fact, it kind of excites me), it will be all about the music (no Carola pun intended). To quote the great Kylie Minogue (oh come on, indulge me – you know I love her): ‘When I go out, I want to go out dancing.’ However, that’s not to say I’d ever say no to a handful of drinks tickets!