There are very few restaurants and party venues (clubs aside) who can boast a 20-year history, and continue to grow and thrive in a competitive market, while other places prove to be a flash in the pan, or as we see old icons fade into obscurity. But there is Km5 Ibiza, in all its 20-year glory, shining like the star of Ibiza’s party circuit that it is.
Last weekend Km5 threw their annual closing party – as you’d expect, bigger and better than ever before, and I went there preparing to write a review of the event, iPhone in hand to take notes and snap Instagram worthy pics. But the longer I was there, the more I realised – it is the PEOPLE of Km5 Ibiza that make the party. The people who love it, the people who created it, the people who flock there and the people working tirelessly behind the scenes daily and nightly throughout the summer to bring it to life.
So rather than write another closing party review – which, let’s face it, which would go a little something like this: get stuck in traffic on the San Jose road, park way too far down the road then totter down to Km5 in precarious heels, air-kiss every 30 seconds until finding your table, wait too long for food so that you’re really drunk by the time your steak comes and devour it in an unladylike manner, get up to discover the entire venue is totally jam-packed, hit the dance floor, aka time vortex, stumble back outside at midday to find your car’s been towed (or is that just me?) – I decided to go on a recon mission and take notes on the people. And here, my dear readers, are my findings – 20 types of people you’ll encounter at Km5 Ibiza (on any given night – not strictly limited to closings!).
1. The local business owners. Aside from Km5’s owners, Ana and Josh, who you’ll always find mingling and smiling with the hoi polloi of the island, you’ll also be rubbing shoulders with most of Ibiza’s influential business owners. Whether restaurateurs, hoteliers, marketeers, designers, architects or shop owners – deals are being made via verbal agreements and handshakes, secrets are being shared and new plans are constantly being hatched. Sure, it LOOKS like a party, but it’s also Ibiza’s very own version of a boardroom
2. The jet set. They’re all tall. They’re all gorgeous. And they’re super stylish. And they’re speaking every language other than English, so try as you (erm, in this case I) might, you’ll never infiltrate their glamazonian pack unless you’re equipped with sky high Jimmy Choos and a six-pack of languages.
3. The DJs. When your neighbours are Sven Vath and David Guetta, you can guarantee a susperstar DJ or two (plus their superstar DJ mates) to pop in for a cocktail at your closing. And sometimes, if you’re lucky, they might bring their records and play until the very early hours of the following afternoon.
4. The journalists. You know the type. Scrabbling around for free drinks, glancing over everyone’s shoulders waiting for someone better (or more famous) to come along and declaring to anyone who’ll listen that they’re writing for The Guardian or The Metro or Vogue or Elle or countless websites that will sing the praises of Ibiza’s amazing closings AFTER the event rather than before.
5. The photographers. A different breed to the journos – although cut from the same free-drinks squaffing cloth – these guys (and girls) nervously linger around the edges of the party swooping in and snapping you at the most inopportune moments. The things about Ibiza parties is – you just can’t capture the vibe on film. Sure you get the glitz and the glamour, but in these closing party cases – you just had to be there.
6. The performers. Stilt walkers, acrobats, dancers, magicians and contortionists. There you are, mingling under a fairy-lit tree and then WHOOSH! They appear as if out of nowhere, faces painted, sparkly costumes and awesome acts. All part of the Km5 magic.
7. The foodies. In addition to its reputation as a party place, Km5 Ibiza is also one of the island’s most renowned fine dining destinations. Getting a table for the final dinner seating at the closing party is like scoring front row seats to a Madonna concert or getting an audience with the queen. You literally need to book months in advance (unless you’re lucky and someone cancels). Now, the food is always a little slower to come out at the closing due to the sheer volume of people in the establishment, but when it arrives to your table. HEAVEN. I could eat that Argentinean steak every day of my life. So, as you can imagine, the tables are peppered with Ibiza’s gourmet lovers, savouring their last mouthfuls of Km5 goodness for 6 months.
8. The old timers. And by old timers, I don’t mean age. I mean long-serving Ibiza stalwarts. The types who’ve been to every Km5 Ibiza closing in the past 20 years. Traveling in packs, you’ll find them propping up the bar and reminiscing about the earlier years, but you’ll also discover they’re as fiercely loyal to the venue and love its current incarnation too.
9. The fashion pack. Km5 Ibiza has always attracted the who’s who of the fashion world – models, their management, photographers, stylists, designers and hair and make-up artists – and they’re easily spotted due to their impeccable style and couture clothing of course. You’ll never see a fashionista with a glass of red wine in her hand for fear of spillages – clear liquids only my dears. You’ll probably never spot them tucking into an Argentinean steak either.
10. The posers. While fashionistas are naturally tres chic, and constantly being papped by the photographers, the posers are a little more on the obvious side. This gang is here to be seen, and you’ll find them in gaggles of sequin-clad dresses and amidst high-pitched shrieks determined to attract attention. Ultra-white teeth are essential.
11. The young blood. For every old timer, there’s a newbie – someone coming to the end of their first season in Ibiza and attending their very first Km5 closing. Sometimes they’ll be the Ibiza kids who’ve finally come of age (ahem, or are attending with their parents!) and are easing themselves into a grown up social life. But all of them are easily spotted by their youthful exuberance, the glint of excitement in their eyes, and their willingness to try anything and be a part of the action. Ahh, enjoy it while it lasts my young ones. You too shall join the ranks of the cynical oldies within a few years…
12. The eclectics. Ibiza is chock-full of quirky characters and they come out in full force for the Km5 Ibiza closing party each year. You’ll spot women in head-to-toe leopard print (not me, I swear), men that could be mistaken for Salvador Dali, modern day gangsters doing their best Tony Soprano impersonations, guys in glitter, a woman dressed as a bride and clutching a giant teddy bear, pierced and overly tattooed guys and girls in rockabilly get-ups and even the occasional pooch wearing sunglasses (not even joking). The beauty of it is, everyone knows everyone, and eclecticism is embraced wholeheartedly!
13. The die-hard ravers. For this gang, the party just never stops. The last time they had a solid eight-hour block of sleep was some time back in April. They’re still going from the marathon Ushuaia-Amnesia-DC10-Blue-Marlin-Sankeys-afterparty-the-after-afterparty session, and Km5 brings them a good dance floor and fab music for another 16 hours or more. When you see them wearing sunglasses indoors, don’t ask them to take them off. They genuinely look better with them.
14. The millionaires. It’s true, Km5 Ibiza is a millionaire’s playground. If you want it, they’ve got it, from a specialist VIP Caviar (sorry, I mean ‘Kaviar’) bar and jeroboams of the finest champagne, to high-end designer clothing in the boutique and modern art worth more than I’ll ever earn in a lifetime within the gallery. They’re the ones puffing cigars and talking about the pitfalls of the private jet terminal in Ibiza Airport.
15. The Angels. The Ibiza Angels that is – those wonderful all-in-white beauties who swoop in just when you think you’re going to pack it all in and head home from exhaustion. A ten-minute over-the-clothes head, neck and shoulder massage from these gals will put you back in the game faster than you can order your next mojito.
16. The crazies. Now, these guys are (thankfully) outnumbered but if you look carefully, you will find them. Muttering to themselves in a corner, ranting and raving about conspiracy theories or dancing with a tree. This is Ibiza after all.
17. The players. Smooth, slick and generally all talk, these handsome, buffed boys no doubt drive a Hummer (or have a driver to do the hard work for them), are members of the Polo Club and leave a trail of Hugo Boss aftershave in their wake as they hope from bar to bar (of which there are seven at Km5) looking for the next pretty girl to (hopefully) impress. Take them or leave them, it makes for good people watching. And hey, who’s going to say no to a free drink in this economic climate (aside from the millionaires of course).
18. The rubber neckers. Speaking of people watching, these are the types who read blogs like mine and think, yes, I’m going to make it my mission to be part of that scenario next year. Usually fresh off the plane, you’ll identify them by their constant questions. “Who’s that?” and ‘What are they doing in there?” or “Isn’t that Kate Moss?”. Be kind. Indulge them. Or you could do what I do, and send them off on a wild goose chase looking for Kate in the men’s loos. Just saying…
19. The immortals. How the hell do they do it? Those Ibiza people who have not aged a day in, well, 20 years! While I wasn’t at the first every Km5 Ibiza closing party, I have seen the photographic evidence, and this year there were quite a few of the regular guests and I swear they don’t look a day older. In fact – dare I say – some of them even look better! Whether it’s surgery, a healthier lifestyle, or a hard-partying life style that’s simply pickling their blood, I’ll have what they’re having!
20. The cleaners. Always the last to leave… unfortunately for them, there’s no end time on these closing parties, so they just have to stick around waiting for the last of the glamorous riff raff to leave.