Four nights from last season at Sankeys Ibiza carry over from last summer. After opening with SANKEYS AWAKENS (20th/21st May), Steve Lawler's VIVA WARRIORS (Sundays from 31st May) returns for a fourth consecutive year, MAGNA CARTA (Saturdays from 23rd May) also features again, as does TRIBAL SESSIONS (Tuesdays from 26th May) without Darius Syrossian, and Amine Edge & DANCE's CUFF (Mondays from 1st June).
Despite that, it's all-change. The most groundbreaking addition is the introduction of Darren Hughes's WE LOVE (Wednesdays from 17th June), which moves to Sankeys after spending 17 years at Space. SHELTER (Fridays from 29th May), from the makers of Ibiza Rocks, is another new entrant with names such as Waze & Odyssey, Doorly and Shadow Child involved.
Opening on Friday 22nd May (but running Thursdays), THE REDLIGHT party — powered by Sankeys owner David Vincent's old COLORS promotion at the Haçienda — will introduce the proper US house and garage night Vincent feels the island lacks, with the likes of Redlight, Todd Terry and S-Man on the bill.
Fuse is no longer involved (moving to Space for a few dates), while SOLIDGROOVES/ABODE, BLASÉ BOYS CLUB and AUDIOWHORE feature at various points over the summer. We sat down for a chin-wag with the man with the plan, David Vincent...
There's plenty of movement at Sankeys Ibiza this summer. What's going down?
“This is Sankeys 2015 and it is onwards and upwards, and I feel the club is going to explode with the carefully thought-out programme, as we have the best team we could have ever assembled together with a lot of island experience and musical content. Obviously we have four of the nights from last year carry on this summer, which gives the club consistency (see above).
“Signing We Love at the last moment was great for our Wednesdays, and seeing the line-up they are assembling is amazing, as they are bringing so many other different artists to the club that have never played before, and they will for sure bring a different demographic to the club.”
What are you looking for most this season at the club?
“Watching the faces of my peers at IMS when they see the new improved Sankeys, with our new mind-blowing soundsystems. I have waited four years for this moment, as I had so many doubters in the industry before I started this project saying I would not have a chance.
I love a challenge. Also really looking forward to getting out my lightsaber at the Sankeys Awakens opening parties and putting on some feathers.”
Music aside. What key changes regarding the venue are worth mentioning?
“Brand new LED grid, Void soundsystem, amplification and DJ box in our beloved Basement. Brand new lighting system in the LAB and Pioneer GS Wave (four big towers) in the LAB with new amplification. Brand new Void soundsystem in Spektrum. Plus a few other modifications in the terrace and cinema. This battle station is fully operational now...”
How important is the introduction of We Love to Sankeys?
“It was exciting and fun for all those involved when We Love joined Sankeys, as no one expected it, and it came in, in the last minute in the Ibiza transfer window. It showed Ibiza and the world that Sankeys doesn't want to be a bystander in the future of the white island but wants to be a world beater and the best that we possibly can be.
“Also working alongside We Love's Darren Hughes (who was my hero during my younger Hacienda promoting years) has really been a dream come true. Darren is one of the few people besides Danny Whittle that I can learn off and become better at what I do. I am sure he can learn off me as well, but it's great when you are in this type of working environment.”
What can we expect from Tribal Sessions this season?
“I have been very excited about our second season on the island as I had to start my whole booking policy from scratch, after the recent changes to our residents prior to the season.
“Last season, we booked 85 artists to find out where our sound lies. The line-up was very classic Tribal Sessions, as we had all of the original Tribal Sessions legends play. This season, we are honing down our night to 60 artists (where 40 of these artists will be making their Tribal Ibiza debuts).
We have developed the night towards a more authentic 'Tribal Sessions' sound, where our real roots lie from the Tribal Gathering organisation, which leans more towards a techier sound whilst keeping to our 'forward-thinking music without prejudice' music policy.
We have made a point of re-writing the music policy from last year, with a strong core of residents like Jozef K, Argy and Manu Gonzalez and an all-star team of guests like Boddika, Dusky, Gerd Janson, Levon Vincent, Dusky, Alan Fitzpatrick, Scuba and more forward-thinking emerging talent like Eduardo De La Calle and Marquis Hawkes.
Obviously, I am particularly excited to see original Tribal resident Greg Vickers behind the Tribal ones and twos — his sets were so inspiring and some of the best, considering he retired two years ago. No one works the Tribal ones and twos better than he does in my opinion. Also, hopefully we may see the likes of Luciano and Paco Osuna grace the Tribal decks this summer.”
What other tricks do you have up your sleeve?
“Now that would be telling but expect the unexpected, possibly DJ Snoopadelic (aka the Snoop Dogg) doing a DJ set. Now that would be legendary...”
GOT THE LOVE!
After 17 years at Space, We Love is moving to Sankeys Ibiza. Darren Hughes, the night's director, fills us in...
We Love moving from Space is the end of an era. What's it like for you? Must be mad!
“It is many things, mad being one of them. I guess it's the end of an era, but everything has a life-span, even the glorious times that I have been lucky enough to be a part of over the last 17 years at Space on Sundays.
I have been lucky enough to have had two glorious incarnations in club culture over the last 23 years, first at Cream in Liverpool, and then at Space in Ibiza, both experiences were magical for me but both culminated in my realising that the cycle for me had come to an end, and that I had to move onto the next phase, no matter how hard it would be for me to make that move.”
Why did you decide to move the night?
“The time had come for me to step out of Space and onto the next stage of my life as a promoter. The decision for me to leave, was based upon the uncertainty surrounding the future of Space when Pepe Rosellò’s lease for the club runs out in 2016, along with the opportunity to go and work with my old spar Danny Whittle, in a club that I like a lot, alongside the maverick that is David Vincent.”
“Besides the above, Danny, a club I like and David Vincent, I do have a lot of respect for D.V for being able to break into the closed shop of Ibiza clubland. No one has successfully broken into this island and opened a proper club, outside of the big four, not a proper club, but D.V has and Sankeys is it. That I admire, but more so I do really like the club, the rooms, the layout, it could almost be a club in London or Manchester, but sat in the cauldron that is Bossa.”
What have you got planned for the summer?
“My aim for the summer is to present a programme of artists that I hope continues to cover as broad a field of the music that we love. Electronic, acid, house, dance music. After all, there are only two types of music. Two types of everything. The good and the bad, and the former is the one I am interested in, of course.”
How do you think We Love will differ at its new venue?
“I guess I am planning a more ‘Boutique We Love' series of events at Sankeys. The principal difference I am feeling in preparing the programme, besides the obvious differences of the physical nature of Sankeys compared to Space.
One of having less restrictions surrounding the need to book artists to fill the club, as opposed to artists booked first and foremost you really must have on because they are your favourite DJs. This is a difference I am feeling right now as I am programming the summer events at Sankeys.”
We Love was known for bringing some of the bravest, most daring dance names to Ibiza. Will this still be the case?
“I think that this needs to be judged after the summer, not by me, but by everybody that visits the parties.”
Who are the residents this year?
“On-island weekly residents include Jason Bye, 2Vilas, Andy Baxter, the Mambo Brothers… plus some non-island very tasty artists such as Sasha, Catz N Dogz, Hannah Wants, Dusky, to name but a few...”
How is Ibiza changing in your eyes? Is it still as strong as it used to be?
“Ibiza is the same Ibiza as it has always been to me. Yes of course right now it feels a very different place to the Ibiza of 15, 10, five, even two/three years ago... but Ibiza is governed by its cyclic nature, and will never be defined by people's labels or tags, just because the words sound right at that moment in time.”
What's good about it these days? What's not so good?
“Everything and nothing!”
SANKEYS IBIZA 2015
STEVE LAWLER'S VIVA WARRIORS
AMINE EDGE & DANCE'S CUFF