One of the hardest things to do in Ibiza for a club brand is to hit the ground running and capture the imagination of the clubbers from the off, many of the world’s biggest brands spent at least one season establishing themselves on the clubbing capital. Last summer saw Ushuaia do jut that, on the back of an eye catching marketing campaign, not to mention a stunning venue, it quickly became one of the places to be. After smashing its opening season the challenge throughout the winter was to put together a programme that would maintain this profile.
As we near the end of another Ibiza summer, Ushuaia can be satisfied that it has answered another huge question. Not only did it maintain the profile it worked so hard last summer to create, it has raise the bar once again on outdoor clubbing. Changes were made to the giant stage, the DJ was moved forward, the lighting and visuals that had captured the imagination last summer were increased and now can be seen in front as well as behind the booth, making it even more imposing and impressive than before. As for the parties, if last summer saw a few high profile residencies as well as a few interesting collaborations, it was only a taster of what 2012 would deliver!
The opening weekend was as much a statement of intent as it was a celebration of the start of another white knuckle ride; Fatboy Slim and Luciano delivered two days of high energy dance music to capacity crowds as the new look Ushuaia got its first public outing. This was the taste of things to come as the hotel on the beach delivered a monumental line up that saw David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia, Pooldisco and Avicii join Sasha and Luciano in residence for the summer. Some of the biggest names on the electronic scene made for an impressive team sheet and one that not only looked good on paper but one that delivered where it mattered, in front of capacity crowds week in, week out.
David Guetta had dabbled with Ushuaia with great success last summer; his own residency this summer proved once again that he is the biggest dance act on the planet. It’s no longer relevant holding the Frenchman to the same standards that we hold other DJs, he is no longer a DJ, he is a pop star, pure and simple and the show that he delivers is as far away from a DJ set as you can get.
The Swedish House Mafia announced early in the year that this would be their last, making the Ushuaia residency the last opportunity to see them as a threesome in Ibiza, although, truth be told, they didn’t all play together that many ties throughout the summer, not that it mattered to the legions that turned out to see them every Wednesday. The closing party was a particularly emotional affair and one of the biggest dance phenomenons of the last decade said goodbye for the last time.
Luciano and Sasha returned to Thursday and Friday night respectively and carried on where they left off last summer, delivering amazing parties to huge crowds, where music was the focal point. Ushuaia has added huge ice cannons and exploding confetti to its arsenal but these are not really what matters on nights where you have some of the finest underground talent on show. Sasha has been an innovator for as long as he has been a performer and once again showed his class throughout the summer, introducing a few new faces to the Ibiza faithful along the way. The vagabonds once again brought the carnival atmosphere to the beach and continued a relationship with Ushuaia that has seen them both flourish in recent years.
Saturday night was perhaps our favourite addition to the Ushuaia line up, Pooldisco. The London based party brought a real glamour to Playa d’en Bossa, not to mention several talented residents, adding another dimension to the huge outdoor venue. Flamboyant hosts and glamorous dancers and performers added a theatrical element to proceedings but for the most part, it was great house music played by people who clearly have an understanding of what it takes to get the party moving. The weekend line up was completed by young turk Avcii and a cast of fellow new trailblazers delivering a high energy soundtrack to finish off the week.
There have also been the odd one-off or two, one of the things that caught the imagination last year, when the likes of Pete Tong, Idris Elba, Usher and Danny Tenaglia took to the Ushuaia stage. This summer seen Fatboy slim oversee the opening party, he also returns on Monday September 24 for another massive event. Pepsi also came to town as Calvin Harris delivered an electronic show to remember in front of a capacity crowd, Brazilian giants Green Valley brought Carnival to the beach front and Deadmau5 performed one of only two Ibiza appearances his summer in Ushuaia Unhooked. All in all it has been a great second year for the hotel that promised to change everything, so far, you would have to agree, it’s mission accomplished. Roll on 2013!