No matter where you are in the world, the full moon is pretty magical. Now, I know full well that Ibiza wasn’t the first place in the world to host parties paying tribute to the magical ‘luna llena’ and it probably won’t be the last, but I believe the most recent full moon party I went to on the island must have been one of the best in the entire world. There may be some regular readers out there who think I am a little biased with that statement. The party, after all, was WooMoon, which I have previously made my feelings known about and the headline act was Luciano, who anyone who knows me can tell you I have been pretty much stalking since circa 2005. So, you can imagine how excited I was when the full moon edition of my favourite party featured a special one-off set from my favourite DJ. It was pretty much guaranteed that I was going to have a good time. But more on that later.
Serendipity was smiling on me that Sunday. Some people say the full moon makes things go haywire or that it sends people into crazy moods (the word ‘lunatic’ is derived from lunar, after all) but for me, that full moon wove a magic spell over my life for 24 hours, starting from the very moment I woke up. My telephone was ringing and as I reached over to grab it, I was confused by the unidentified Swiss telephone number on the other end. The person on the other line had a very simple question for me: Can you be on the other side of town within 30 minutes to interview Luciano? Obviously, yes I could. 36 minutes later (I did my best, really I did), I found myself sitting opposite the man himself, chatting about the island and the future of the party scene at great length. I won’t go into detail – you can read the full interview here if you’re interested – but what I walked away from that meeting with was a sense of excitement unlike anything I’d had in years. I had butterflies in my stomach. You see, we’d been discussing WooMoon, and how it was the one party on the island that really encouraged unity and freedom on the dancefloor. About how it was the place where all the old faces from the ‘old days’ were flocking to and that it was a place where there was no division between rich and poor, plus that it had that feeling of open-air Ibiza magic. And Luciano’s genuine enthusiasm and excitement for the event, his passion for the music he was going to play, his thrill at being part of something so special – it was contagious.
I skipped out of there (well, once I was out of sight of my hero of course) and headed home and spent the rest of the day dreaming about what was to come. The magic continued as my friend Miss M and I made our way to Cova Santa – the parking was already full but with a flutter of her lashes, Miss M managed to get our car into a premium spot reserved for people that were probably a lot more VIP than us. We shimmied to the guest list queue (a little after we’d been told it may be closed) and were greeted with a smile and two little bands that meant we could bypass the queue of people waiting to get inside. Once inside, we found a secret little drinks ticket booth with not a soul waiting in line, while the main booth was totally overwhelmed. The lovely happy man who made our caipirinhas winked as he poured an extra shot of rum into each cup. And then as we prepared to face what we thought may be a huge swarm of people, we found the dance floor so easy to manoeuvre and secured the perfect spot at the top of the stairs – ideal for people watching, DJ booth watching and live performance watching. Total score.
The live electronic sounds of Germany’s Monolink floated across the hillside as a lovely, friendly crowd started to congregate in anticipation of Luciano’s ‘Back to the roots’ set. It was hot – that sticky, stifling August heat – but somehow, it didn’t matter. What’s a little bit of sweat between newfound friends on a dancefloor? I looked around and it was exactly as we’d envisioned earlier in the day. There were old faces next to new faces. Old people next to young people (and kids!). Super dressed up next to super dressed down. Flip flops and high heels. Rich and poor. A local crowd fused with international tourists. Iconic island characters (Tanit, Francisco the hippy and Pippi the Panda Lady) next to the international jetset (Cathy Guetta and crew). The REAL Ibiza. And then Luciano stepped up, all smiles. Electric is the only way to describe the ambience at Cova Santa as he kicked off his set, which flitted in and out of classic, emotive tracks and some serious old school DC10 sounds with a good dash of tribal, rhythmic beats in between some fun tropical soundclashes. Long-term Luci lovers like myself and Cadenza fans were in hands in the air heaven. I am not ashamed to admit there were moments that even brought a tear to my eye. It wasn’t the typical type of nomadic house music you usually hear at WooMoon – but it was never meant to be. It wasn’t about genres. It felt like a salute, a thank you, a tribute, a dedication – to the island and its authentic party people. It was nothing short of magic.
As we danced on the stairs, the WooMooN full moon experience unfolded around us. Beautiful performers seemed to glide past us wearing incredible macramé style dresses and intricate headpieces made from animal skulls. Others wore tribal style painted face masks. The full moon rose over the hills in the distance as acrobats tumbled and flipped on sky high trampolines, twirled from the ceiling attached only by a hook in their hair and rolled over iridescent balls reminiscent of the moon itself. Half way through the event, the music was lowered as a teensy tiny little man invoked a prayer for the spirits of those who have left this world too soon – and while that may sound a little bit airy fairy or hippy dippy, I defy anyone to watch the Memoriam video on WooMooN’s Facebook page and NOT be brought to tears when he says “Energy doesn’t have colour or language,” and again at the end when a ringleader style performer references somewhere over the rainbow. I’m getting all misty-eyed again now just typing about it. Ask anyone who was there and they’ll tell you Luciano played the set of a lifetime. To an outsider (and a long-term fan) it looked like he was having the night of his life – his classic cigarette hanging out of his mouth as he danced all night long (complete with his signature hand flick moves), constantly hugging everyone around him and with a grin from ear to ear. I hope it was everything he had dreamed of and more. Because in addition to providing such a magical experience to the thousands of people dancing in unity before him, Luciano had also selflessly donated his performance fee to local children’s cancer charities (APNEEF and Proyecto Juntos). Luciano has a vision, to bring people together on the dance floor and make a difference in our communities and I think we could all take a leaf out of his book. We may not be able to donate our entire pay packet to charity, but every little bit counts, and help doesn’t always have to be financial.
I floated home as if I were on a cloud, the full moon still shining in the distance and my heart filled with gratitude for the experience I had just shared. Inspired to make a change in the world. Dreaming of Ibiza’s future, with respect to the spirit of its past. The full moon may have been shining all over the world that night, but I truly believe it was casting a little extra magic over the hills of San Jose in Ibiza. Magic exists is the tagline of the party and I think they know exactly what they’re talking about! Photography courtesy of WooMoon by Phantomography / Valya Karchevskaya