Visiting The Garden Of Madness

Posted on August 16, 2017

Images: Andrei Oprescu

Ever since Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike announced their Ushuaïa Ibiza party with a hot air balloon, you just knew they weren’t going to be doing things by halves. In the weeks that followed, Garden of Madness proved so popular that additional dates have been added to the line up, and the party turns out some of the biggest Ushuaïa Ibiza crowds every single week. As we walked through the gates yesterday and into the gleaming poolside venue, we were greeted with a colourful, psychedelic extravaganza.

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Ushuaïa Ibiza was on absolute form last night – loud, colourful and exciting. Bubbles streamed from the podiums, which were topped with glamorous dancers in rainbow-bright leotards and blue lipstick. The surrealism peaked on the stage though, where the ginormous behemoth, serpentine head is an integral part of the set design, glowing different colours and blowing smoke through its nostrils over the crowd and the DJ booth. It’s not uncommon for the expansive venue to be packed, but last night it felt more so than ever, with bustling crowds right the way back laughing, chatting and dancing under the setting sun.

Garden Of Madness Steve Aoki by Andrei Oprescu

Garden Of Madness Steve Aoki by Andrei Oprescu

With Jose Maria Ramon, Angemi and EDX having set the fun-loving, summery tone and got the party started during the earlier sets, it was Lost Frequencies on stage by the time the crowd really started congregating at the front of the stage. The sound was classic house and dance mixed with more contemporary numbers, and the crowd were loving the recognisable and upbeat tunes. Against the psychedelic lights, the gigantic, bright set and the heavy use of effects, smoke and lights, the music made the venue feel like the nighttime at a festival. The lively crowd were a part of that ambience, too, packed tightly into the dancefloor in their summer regalia and the flower crowns that had been handed out by the venue.

Garden Of Madness Steve Aoki by Andrei Oprescu

Garden Of Madness Steve Aoki by Andrei Oprescu

As W&W, the penultimate act of the evening, took to the stage the crowd cheered intensely as the duo launched into a classic house set with big builds and bigger drops. The whole set was kind of retro in the best way, with the DJs getting the crowds to wave their arms in unison while they sampled tracks from Michael Jackson and Fatboy Slim. Star-shaped confetti rained down on the screaming crowd, adding to the beautiful ornate detail of the whole set-up. Towards the end of the set, the sampled tracks got more recognisable still – everyone was singing along to Shape Of You by Ed Sheeran, and to finish was Linkin Park’s Numb, which made the crowd palpably emotional in light of the band’s recent loss. In this crazy, bright dance party, it really brought the crowd together and there was a strange sense of community in the air.

Garden Of Madness Steve Aoki by Andrei Oprescu

Garden Of Madness Steve Aoki by Andrei Oprescu

Whilst looking for the least densely populated bar, I somehow found myself around the back of the stage as the Ushuaïa Ibiza team were preparing for Steve Aoki to walk from the hotel to the stage, ready for his set. He’s a pretty big deal, and people had gathered en masse around the back of the stage to get a look at the man of the moment up close. As he arrived and was ushered through by security, he fist bumped the guy next to me – who instantly held his hand aloft in jubilation. When these massive names play with such frequency over here, you almost forget how surreal it is to be in the constant presence of celebrities. But then, surrealism is all I would have expected from last night’s whimsical affair.

Garden Of Madness Steve Aoki by Andrei Oprescu

Garden Of Madness Steve Aoki by Andrei Oprescu

When he took to the booth for the final set of the night, the atmosphere was electric, with people jumping up and down and shouting ‘Aoki’ over and over. He started with a massive build that transgressed into an electro sound – it was heavier than the rest of the night’s music, but you could just tell that people were ready for it, and the result was euphoric. As he played the night out, along with all the production you could possibly imagine – strobes, sparks, flames, confetti and lights – you could tell this wasn’t a night anyone was about to forget in a hurry.

Booking & information:
w: www.ushuaiaibiza.com

Garden Of Madness Steve Aoki by Andrei Oprescu

Garden Of Madness Steve Aoki by Andrei Oprescu

Garden Of Madness Steve Aoki by Andrei Oprescu