Before anyone says anything, yes I’m well aware I’ve already written a blog this past week about the Space Closing Fiesta. But after what went down on Sunday and Monday, some more dues have got to be paid, so I’m writing another! Plus, it’s my blog and I’ll write what I want to and I want to write about Space. Again (though to be safe, I ran the idea past Chief White first, and she was fine with it). So here goes… I’m going to start by telling the absolute truth. Despite all my pre-rave day, well, ravings about the party, I wasn’t expecting it to live up to the expectations I’d set. I had a sneaking suspicion it would be full of people getting way too high or way too aggressive. I thought it would be way too crowded full stop. I thought a lot of island people were going to boycott it because they couldn’t use their Space passes, blag the traditional resident’s free entry, couldn’t get a pre-sale ticket or thought it was too expensive. I thought there’d be a lot of VIP wannabe newbie Ibiza lovers. You know what I mean – sometimes these big events can attract ‘the wrong crowd’ due to over exposure (cue ‘it’s not like the old days’ from old timers). How very wrong I was to be proven. Hallelujah!
I was very fortunate to be whisked through the side entrance as a guest of one of the artists playing, which meant I could avoid the two to three hour wait on the queue to get in, during the early hours of the afternoon. Trust me when I say I am extreeeeemely grateful for this. Finding our way to the huge Flight Club arena in the car park, extended for the occasion, I prepared to battle crowds as I attempted to locate my friend Miss G, who was front and left of the stage. To my surprise, the dance floor was blissfully spacious – with thousands of people dancing, but with room to move between them thanks to all of the other five rooms being open at the same time. A few hours later, I would not be so lucky, as I tried to make my way back to her only to realise my attempt was fruitless, as the car park was body-to-body-to-body while Carl Cox played the closing set, dressed in Balearic all-white like his buddy, Space creator Pepe Rosello (do you think they called each other and coordinated?). This for me, was one of the first truly magical moments (aside from being whisked in the side entrance for free). As he closed his set with Frankie Knuckles’ Your Love (a perfect tribute to another king of dance) and segued into John Lennon’s Imagine as thousands and thousands of people sang along and waved their luminescent phones in the air (it was like disco karaoke, as the words were flashed up on screen!), I could feel the tears starting to well up. In the words of the big man himself, oh yes, oh yes!
But the magic didn’t stop as the music wound down, and a gospel choir, all dressed in white, made their way into position on stage. Billed as a ‘surprise live act’, many revellers were surprised, perhaps expecting a live singer or rapper, however I thought it was the perfect way to wind down the atmosphere in the car park as sound restrictions meant they had to lower the volume from midnight. I found out later on that each and every member of the choir was either a cancer patient or cancer survivor from the island – what an impressive show of strength and talent. As the choir left the stage, the massive lightshow was turned off and replaced by a simple screen that bore the words: 27 years have been brief, to remember and dream about them is forever. Being with all of you has meant everything!! Thank you. Cue more tears. To the right of the stage was a specially built VIP area, especially for Pepe’s family and friends, many of them elderly Ibicencos, dressed to the nines, sipping champagne and looking super emotional as they left the venue after the choir. Who said clubbing was for the young? I saw handsome older men and elegant ladies, draped in elegant lace shawls and walking on beautifully carved walking sticks – this was real European style, right there in the Space car park. Magic.
Sadly, the car park was closed down earlier than expected due to police intervention – despite advertising it would run until 5am, it was closed abruptly at 3.40am during Balearic legend Alfredo’s set, meaning the inside areas became pure bedlam for the next few hours. I was again grateful for the magic wristband that allowed me to skirt around the edges and not get caught in a can of sardines inside! You’d think the police would have been lenient, given it was THE last party ever… but I guess the law’s the law. Even magic can’t help you there. I’m going to fast forward now to 8am – you can check out some other popular dance music websites for more comprehensive musical reviews than mine – when we arrived on the Sunset Terrace for what was, quiet literally, the best four hours of a party I have ever experienced in my life. Island resident DJ Paul Reynolds was manning the decks, having scored an epic eight-hour set, which seemed kind of strange considering most other DJs were limited to between 30 and 45 minutes, but on conclusion, I’d have to say, it couldn’t have gone to a better DJ. Later, he was joined by the 2016 winner of Best Ibiza DJ Award, Mr Doris – whose set in the car park had been called off due to the fun police turning up – in a show of good karma. Or maybe more Space magic? Smashing it would be an understatement, as it was pure hands-in-the-air euphoria, with more and more people flocking into the room once they heard news of the atmosphere. It was the Space terrace of old. It was sunshine, smiles and happy faces. It was high heels next to trainers. Sequins and sparkles next to face paint and fancy dress. A collective of clubbers from all generations, united one last time under perhaps the most famous clubbing roof (or lack thereof in that room!) in the world.
There were giant Space flags flying in the wind from the fans, glistening in the rays of sunlight coming through camouflage canopied roof. There were bottles of hierbas, tequila and champagne being passed around and swigged from by one and all. There were people writing on the walls and the DJ booth like high school teenagers. There were mums and dads, fresh from the school run, ready for one last dance. There were hundreds of familiar island faces, all knowing that despite the King of Space, Carl Cox, playing his final ever set in the room next door, THIS was the room to be in. This was Space as we knew it. And as we’ll always remember it. The absolute highlight – according to the videos on my Facebook feed, as well as my memory – was when Reynolds dropped Love Is In The Air at around 10am. There was not a dry eye in the house, every single arm was in the air and yes, the air was indeed full of love. Love for the music, love for each other and love for Space Ibiza.
Of course, everyone who wasn’t there wants to know about last tracks. You can find them all over Youtube and Facebook by now, but in the Discoteca it was Carl Cox laying down Kings of Tomorrow’s Finally with Angie Stone’s Wish I Didn’t Miss You. But for those of us on that magical Sunset Terrace, it was Lionel Richie’s All Night Long (slightly ironic, since it was the middle of the day) as Paul Reynolds totally, and deservedly, stole Carl’s thunder (I mean come on – he has closed the club quite a few times this week already). Because nothing beats dancing in the sunlight on the Space Terrace, especially when you know, you can never repeat that experience again. Our very own Space-time continuum has come to an end. And now if you’ll excuse me, I just have to go and clean all the tears off my keyboard while keeping the words of Dr Seuss in my head to avoid it malfunctioning: Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. NB: Sadly, #occupyspace didn’t become a thing and the security eventually ushered everyone out for the last time (the lease is up and the new owners slash neighbours want in, I suspect!).
Photography courtesy of Space Ibiza – thank you… for everything!