Sankeys Ibiza Brings Back Girl Power And Acid House

Posted on March 6, 2016

Words: Olivia Ebeling

Words: Olivia Ebeling

‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, they say. But despite running one of Ibiza’s best-known clubs, Sankeys’ founder David Vincent isn’t resting on the laurels of the success of seasons past. Not afraid to question the status quo, as he proved last summer when he introduced a Hip Hop night to his roster and secured legendary rapper Snoop Dogg to play, the innovative owner has got some groundbreaking new ideas and continues to push the boundaries of the expected in 2016. Not only is David on a mission to bring back the glory days of Acid House, which he predicts will be the sound of the island this season, he is also working on raising the profile of the many talented female DJs the White Isle is home to. We caught up with the David – and his adorable Pomeranian, the ‘most famous dog in Ibiza’ – to talk about a music renaissance, breaking the glass ceiling of the dance music industry and extending Ibiza’s summer season…

So what’s new at Sankeys this year?
We’re bringing together Shelter and The Redlight, which is the most successful new night we’ve ever had, and we’re moving it to Monday. On Tuesday’s we’re doing Applebum, which is our Hip Hop night. We had a party with Snoop Dogg last year and it was successful. It made me realise that there is a market for a Hip Hop event.

It’s good to have some variety!
Sometimes the problem with Ibiza is that people are trying to do too much of the same thing. The island doesn’t really need another techno night, you know… it needs different types of events that you don’t necessarily associate with it. For us, it worked out better than we cold have expected and we’ve got a strong line-up for Applebum this year; people like Grandmaster Flash and Jazzy Jeff. And Snoop Dogg is coming back.

That’s pretty cool. Are you and Snoop pals now?
To be honest, apart from saying hello to him in the DJ booth we didn’t really hang out. He had so much security with him! But maybe after working together last year, he’ll be more comfortable with me.
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Photography by:

The party that everyone’s really excited about is Dance 88/89…
It’s a project that’s really close to my heart because it kind of tells my own story of how I got into dance music. But it’s not just about me; that era was kind of the beginning of the whole [house music] story and I’m going to tell it through the music. We’ve got all the original godfathers involved like Alfredo, who played that legendary set in ’87 when Paul Oakenfold, Danny Rampling and Nicky Holloway heard it and brought house music back to England by starting their own parties.

How authentic is the line-up going to be?
All the DJs that are playing Dance 88/89 are the original DJs from back in the day. In my opinion, they are The Beatles of dance music because without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. They started everything off. And the way we’ll do up the club, it’ll all be very authentic even down to the old lighting. It’s going to be like a time warp!

We heard you’re planning a retro rave back in the UK for the launch…
Yes, there’s a big warm-up event for the night in Manchester on March 27th. We’re bringing together 15 off all the artists involved in the project and we’re trying to make it as authentic as possible. When Acid House took off, it was always in secret warehouses so we’re doing the same. So we’ve announced the party is in the Manchester area but the actual venue won’t be revealed until a week before. There’s not been a line-up like this since the last big acid house party in ’89. It’s a great start to the whole Ibiza season!

David Vincent

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Does it take you back to your own partying days?
Back in the day, you didn’t know where the hell you were going and maybe you’d meet someone at a service station and they’d give you directions. [Laughs]I don’t know if people would do that now, everyone has a mobile phone now. But we’re actually banning cameras for the night! Back then, people just got in the zone and partied. Now, they are taking selfies and filming the DJ. So we’re putting a smiley face sticker over people’s phone cameras.

When do you open the doors in Ibiza?
We’re starting on May 1st and we will be staying open until October 29th. We’re going to do something big for Halloween, which is amazing on the island. Ibiza will die down a little in mid-October but the weather is still really good and direct flights at that time of year aren’t expensive, so it’s the perfect excuse to go.

That’s a long stretch for you then!
Well, since I’ve been on the island I’ve always heard about this ‘extended season’ but no one has actually been doing it. So I want to use the influence I have to do it and if people follow my lead, maybe it’ll get bigger and bigger eventually.

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You already have a really cool project going on at the club right now…
After I had 800 people turning up for my birthday at the end of January I had the idea to keep the club open in the winter and that’s how Sankeys Sabados was born. We’re keeping it simple, with my dog Sankeys on the flyers and instead of flying in DJs my friend Junior suggested we support the local talent, especially the girls.

Sankeys Sabados is all about promoting the female DJs on the island, right?
Yes. Since I’ve been living in Ibiza I have really noticed how many great female DJs there are. But when I looked at the Resident Advisor Top 100 I saw that there are only four women in it! I was brought up by women: my dad deserted my mum and I grew up surrounded by my grandmother, my sisters and my cousins – all girls. So I thought it would be nice to give back, because there is definitely a glass ceiling in this industry. It is very male-dominated and there is a bit of a ‘boys club’ mentality. I want to give women a chance with this.

How did you find the contestants?
It kind of developed organically. We get sent a lot of mixes and I picked twelve girls. The only requirements to enter were that they had to be female and they have to live on the island. Each of them has to do a warm-up set and a set to finish off the night. They are judged on four criteria; the music and their mixing, their charisma, whether they are team players and their promotional skills. The concept runs for twelve weeks.

Sankeys 001

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Buy tickets Sankeys Ibiza now from Essential Ibiza and enjoy great prices plus queue jump entry!

What is the big prize for the winner?
There are not set prizes as such, everyone will get something out of this concept. If somebody didn’t make any effort but played good, we’ll probably still give them a few gigs throughout the year. But the best person will win a management contract and a residency. I sat down with the girls and told them, ‘You’re not really competing against each other; we are all here to support each other’. We want them to grow and raise their profiles.

So what do you think is going to be the sound of 2016?
I’m not just saying this because of my project, but I think the whole genre of Acid House is coming back. There are a lot of kids who have heard about it but never experienced it themselves and all that music is going to sound so fresh that people will embrace it.

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Fresh Female Talent: Kellie Allen at Sankeys Sabados

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Acid Flyer