20th DJ Awards Celebrates 2017 Winners

Posted on September 27, 2017

Words: Olivia Ebeling

Images: Tamara Sini

Two decades in the music business mark a milestone moment for any organisation but last night’s 20th edition of the DJ Awards did a great job of honouring its past while looking towards the future, embracing change while paying tribute to those who have helped the event grow and achieve the clout it holds today. Founded by renowned Ibiza organiser Jose Pascual and well-known DJ, producer and record label owner Lenny Krarup in 1998, the annual ceremony has become a White Isle institution in its own right, a fondly anticipated event that signals the end of another busy season and a chance to celebrate those who have made an impact of the musical and cultural landscape of club land and its capital Ibiza.

The 2017 edition of the awards was held at new super club Hï Ibiza in Playa d’en Bossa, an apt choice of venue considering not only its glamorous and state-of-the-art facilities, but also that Hï Ibiza was one of the most talked about openings of 2017. Its relaxed outdoor garden area made for the perfect place to hold pre-award interviews with the nominees, and we managed to catch up with Ibiza legend Luciano, who was a hot tip for the Tech House category and proudly took home the famous green trophy. He told us, “I’m nervous! The awards are a way to acknowledge the people who have dedicated their life to something, and whether you win or not it’s still a place to celebrate that career or the time you gave to the industry. It’s about celebrating with the people you love and gathering with your peers to share good moments.”

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After a couple of hours of mingling and catching up over drinks and canapés, the 20th DJ Awards went underway in the spectacular setting of Hï Ibiza’s futuristic main room, the sense of occasion heightened by the incredible light show and crystal clear sound. First up was the special award for Best Ibiza DJ, which had two triumphant winners recognized for their long-standing success on the White Isle, Pacha resident Graham Sahara and Melon Bomb co-founder Paul Reynolds.

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A new addition for this year, the Eco Award was tributed to the team of Oceanic Global, who had made a splash (pun fully intended) on the island this year with their incredible showcase at Agroturismo Atzaro to raise awareness for the plight of our seas and their wildlife. True to form, the winners took to the stage in imaginative costumes, two mermaids in outfits made of recycled rubbish collected out of the ocean and, of course, the famous Mr Fish.

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In the big categories, DJ Awards veteran Hardwell cleared up the Big Room and International DJ trophies, while Carl Cox scooped the award for Techno and, testament that Ibiza simply can’t get enough of Coxy, his Pure Carl Cox concept as Best Ibiza Event. The first Hï Ibiza resident to be announced this year and after enjoying a stellar summer with his first Ibiza residency, Black Coffee ended the season on a high by taking home the accolade of Best Deep House DJ. Fellow Hï Ibiza resident Armin Van Buuren was honoured in the Trance category, while Richie Hawtin was named Best Electronic Live Performer.

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The evening continued at pace, only pausing for a live performance by ‘Just Kool’ disco legend Mohamed Moretta, who performed Kool & The Gang hit Celebration before the ceiling erupted in an explosion of confetti. Bontan was awarded the Best Newcomer accolade, while Solardo took home the Breakthrough award. The colourful, creative and crazy concept of elrow was awarded in the highly competitive Best Ibiza Night category, while Romania was named as the hot new music destination.

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As the DJ Awards looked back over 20 years in the changing landscape of electronic music and the vastly transformed clubbing culture of Ibiza, homage was paid to two artists without whom the industry, or at least a significant part of it, would not exist in its current form. DJ Awards founder Jose welcomed the truly legendary Ibiza icon Alfredo, the man widely credited with launching the Balearic sound that brought the island to the world’s attention, to the stage to present him with the special 20th Anniversary award.

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Another hugely important figure in the history of electronic music, the Electric Pioneer award went to Marshall Jefferson, dubbed the ‘Father of House Music’. He told us, “It’s not just about the musical work I have done, but when I look back at all the times when I went to Croatia right after the war, or places like Israel, China, Russia and Germany – right after the wall came down and they just started out with techno – people were always calling me up asking, ‘Is it safe to go here?’… It’s good to be recognised for that.”

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The night ended with the traditional ‘family photo’ of all the winners, the promise of birthday cake and an invite to open the dance floor, with newly crowned winner Luciano headlining the after party. Firing up Hï Ibiza’s incredible sound system, it was time to kick off the celebrations in earnest and raise a glass to both the winners and 20 years of the DJ Awards.

Further Information
w: www.djawards.com

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