Location: Ibiza, Spain
Calvin Harris and MK, Martin Garrix, David Guetta’s F***k Me I’m Famous!, Armin van Buuren, elrow, Swedish House Mafia, Tiësto, Afterlife, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, KYGO — the names associated with Ushuaïa’s 2023 season are as legendary as the venue and its shows are spectacular. And this is before we’ve even mentioned ANTS, Saturday’s big room techno institution, which celebrates its 10th birthday on a weekly basis from May through to late September.
As one of the most significant selling points for many visitors heading to Ibiza today, Ushuaïa’s outdoor dancefloor, complete with beachside pool and hotel tower, are now visual totems of summertime in this corner of the Mediterranean. Meanwhile, the overall operation — which since 2017 has also included sister spot Hï Ibiza, known to be among the world’s most high-tech clubs — is nothing short of an industry juggernaut many consider responsible for changing the face of night (and day) on the island.
It wasn’t always like this, of course. The venue’s roots can be traced back to when French entrepreneur and visionary Yann Pissenem relocated here in 2008 and found Ibiza much changed from his treasured memories of the place in the mid-1990s, with after- and beach parties particularly in decline. Opting to do something about the situation, he opened a coastal cabana for free entry events on a windswept strip of sand, its location invoking feelings of standing at the edge of the world (hence taking its name from a town on the southernmost tip of Argentina). Just three years on, the end-of-season closing party attracted no less than 14,000 people.
Clearly onto something very good indeed, 12 months later the Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel was officially born at Playa d’en Bossa, offering various bars and restaurants, 415 individual rooms and, of course, the main events area defined by that aforementioned main stage. A firm fixture in the DJ Mag Top 100 Clubs poll each year, 2022 saw Ushuaïa fully bounce back following coronavirus woes with its longest-running season since inception, with revellers from across the planet embracing the experience. This time the action began weeks before many other clubs kicked into gear (late-April), giving some idea as to just how in-demand dates still are. Official estimates gauge that up to 1.5 million people will visit this adult’s playground and its counterpart venue Hï Ibiza during the six month summer season.