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Winter clubbing on Ibiza | The New Year diaries

Ibiza Spotlight

Friday 30 December

Our journey begins at London Gatwick airport just after midday. In the face of industrial action, we plan an early arrival but we needn't have worried. Security is a breeze and we find ourselves in departures with plenty of spare time to eat, drink and shop before boarding.

It's an initial two hour flight to our first stop, Palma Mallorca, where we change effortlessly to our connecting flight. Not much chance to appreciate our sister Balearic island on this fleeting visit. Before boarding, we bump into some familiar faces who have taken the same route.

Touch down on Ibiza is 22:20 CET. After collecting our hire car, we're on the road and making our way to San Antonio. By 23:00 our hotel check-in is complete. Base camp for the next week is Rita Boutique Hostal. Without too much time to settle, Amnesia is already calling...

Pyramid "The Last One" | Amnesia Ibiza by Pablo Dass

PYRAMID "THE LAST ONE" | AMNESIA

In the taxi, we second guess what kind of scenes will welcome us? How will Amnesia compare to normal?

Just as during summer, we find all parts of the club open including VIP balcony, vape stand, merch shop and outdoor area, including fast food wagon. The crowd is mostly Spanish, as you might expect, and younger than average. Some fellow Brits have made the pilgrimage though.

When we enter The Terrace, pocket rocket Sidney Charles is moving up the gears. It's his choice of Insomnia remix, paying homage to late Faithless frontman Maxi Jazz, that leaves its mark most. Having given us so many Ibiza moments down the years, this fitting tribute is fondly received by the older clubbers in attendance.


Once he finishes, Cuartero is next on. Picking up right where he had left off at October’s Closing Festival, the Amnesia resident carries us into the peak-time zone.

In the Main Room, there is no suggestion of things being taken lightly. One after the other, Italian imports Stella Bossi and Deborah De Luca rip up a bustling dancefloor. Pyramid was one of the few Ibiza parties that gave women headline slots in 2022 and we're thrilled to see that trend continuing tonight.

Pyramid "The Last One" | Amnesia Ibiza by Pablo Dass

Before leaving, we track down Amnesia head booker Neil Evans in the smoking area who's in a jovial mood. Under his programming last year, Amnesia booked marquee names such as Bicep Live and had international promoters take turns on Friday nights.

We expect equally ambitious plans next term.

Despite our best efforts to extract some gossip for the summer, Neil remains tight-lipped. We'll just have to wait until the formal announcements like everybody else.

Whilst this night was a civilised introduction on our behalf, it proved the perfect start to get things rolling on a full-on clubbing itinerary. Tomorrow we up the ante.

Find our updated Pyramid playlist here. PHOTOGRAPHY | by Pablo Dass  

Saturday 31 December

We awaken feeling refreshed to glorious sunshine. The day is still young, so we jump in the hire car and head to Ibiza Town.

Hopping from shop to shop in a leisurely manner, our wardrobe was given a last-minute refresh right in time for New Year's Eve. Bag, jacket and top - all purchased. Having satisfied our retail therapy compulsion, we move on to Plaza del Parque.

Securing a table in the sun, we order tostadas and caña whilst wishing we'd remembered to pack our sunglasses. You could be forgiven for thinking it was summer, but for the Christmas tree and festive lights decorating the square. The vitamin D is invigorating. We are positively basking.

Once back in San Antonio, we pay a visit to M Hotel. Its rooftop pool proved a popular spot this summer and since it's such a beaut of a day, a dip seems like a good shout.

Looks can be deceiving. As inviting as it appears, the reality is a stark wake-up call.

The benefits of cold water plunges are said to be numerous. We'll take that under advisement. The shock to the nervous system does have some noticeable effect - it's time for a disco nap.

Before hitting the dancefloor at midnight, a wholesome evening of catching up, feasting and merriment is in store as we're invited to dinner by a colleague.

The menu consists of barbecued steak, creamy dauphinoise potatoes, thick peppercorn sauce, seasonal veg and fresh bread - it's as good as we're likely to eat all year but better than the food, is the company. It's good to be reunited, even if after only a short separation.

We reminisce on the year that's been: the highs and the lows; the happy times and the sad times then toast to the future with renewed optimism.

Already fairly lubricated, we make our way back to the centre of San Antonio. Can Tina Grilo is our next destination - an unassuming Spanish bar with a small, but vocal pocket of high-spirited revellers.

We wave goodbye to 2022 and say hello to 2023 amongst a close-knit crowd of locals and residents, including friends from Ibiza Rocks and Kick Ibiza. Special mention goes to DJ Hayley for stepping up to take control of the tunes.

Despite protests to stay, we bid our friends farewell as Pacha is already well underway.

Music On NYE | Pacha Ibiza

MUSIC ON NYE | PACHA

Much like Amnesia the night before, Pacha is alive! From the foyer to the rooftop, the garden to the Funky Room, it's firing on all cylinders just like peak summer.

We make the most of the warm air, ordering a round outside before learning some details about the forthcoming Lío London - the latest project from Pacha Group. Official news coming soon!

Andrea Oliva is playing deep when we arrive but gets incrementally faster as Marco Carola's time approaches. Les Gout by Rampa and music from The Deepshakerz and Manuel Tur give way to fist-pumping Tech House, as the Swiss DJ dials it up.


By the time Carola is ready to take the reins at 03:30, Andrea opts for Black Circle's Inner Tension as his handover track. It feels Solomun-esque in its delivery. Job well done, Andrea passes the primed crowd over to the party talisman.

Marco Carola can play what he wants and the dancefloor will lap it up regardless.

Aside from an eyebrow-raising edit of Flo Rida and T-Pain's Low, this was Carola in vintage form, pulling out the rollers and putting the groove in an impenetrable headlock. It might just be the best we've seen him play in a good while.


Testament to a good night is when time escapes you. In what seems like the blink of an eye, we debate leaving. Conscious of beating the surge for taxis, a tactical departure is made but there's no disputing the quality of the night. Music On NYE was a class act.

Listen to our updated Music On playlist here.

Is bed calling? It doesn't feel like it. Not when the world can be put to rights. Sleep is an afterthought for the time being. Champagne flutes are topped-up and portable a speaker connected to Bluetooth - let the meandering chit-chat commence.

Around 11:00 there's a drinks run to restock the fridge, but things are naturally winding down. There's only so much waffle that can be said. A long overdue bedtime has finally arrived.

Despite our stubborn insistence merely 12 hours earlier, it would seem the New Year's Day Dive at Las Salinas would indeed go without our participation. There's always next year.

Sunday 1 January

The alarm jolts us awake. The few hours sleep, if you can call it that, feels hollow.

Between states, we've become in demand. WhatsApp messages probe our level of consciousness and quiz our likely arrival time at Amnesia. Details. First, we must eat. These dancing feet don't fuel themselves. 

Restaurante Gran China is chosen for dinner. Just a few hundred metres from the entrance of our hotel, it could not be a more ideal choice. Crispy aromatic duck, satay chicken, spring rolls, egg fried rice and prawn crackers are the order of the day - and gratefully received they are.

Further incoming peer pressure demands an ETA. It's pointed out that Ilario Alicante is on next. Eats Everything has already started. The message is clear: we need to get moving.

elrow NYD | Amnesia Ibiza by Toni Villens

ELROW NYD | AMNESIA

Effigies with glowing eyes, Dalínian melting clocks and a kaleidoscope of psychedelic patterns greet us. This is Nowmads. It's hard to believe this was the same club we were in just 48 hours earlier. The transformation in itself was jaw-dropping. elrow doesn't do half-measures.

Our late arrival has meant we've missed all of Ilario Alicante's set, but thankfully we're here in enough time to catch Arielle Free blow The Terrace away. Gie laldy! What a performance. Unstoppable.

READ OUR RECENT INTERVIEW WITH ARIELLE FREE


Bastian Bux is next on. The Spanish DJ and elrow resident fuses the modern Tech House sound with more traditional music from his homeland and the Latin-speaking world. The infuriating catchy early 2000 hit Papi Chulo is one such track to get a club workout, while la tropetas of Sube Lo Que Sea are another given the remix treatment.

These selections, running parallel to the explosion of production and zany stage skits, create a carnival atmosphere inside Amnesia. It's quite a sight from the balcony as we peer over the edge.

One of the animation team pogos inverted from the ceiling, whilst two more performers pivot on a giant seesaw suspended above the dancefloor. From every angle, Amnesia's Terrace is a circus of colour and entertainment - and that's without the periodic blizzards of confetti.

Backstage in the red room, we bump into our old friend Katie Knight. We exchange salutations before formulating our onward plan for the remainder of the night. Club hopping is a behaviour we have acquired a taste for over the years. Why should New Year's Day be any different?

Soon we're in a taxi heading east.

Our elrow playlist has been updated and can be found here. PHOTOGRAPHY | by Toni Villens

CIRCOLOCO NYD | DC10

This winter we have been gifted with a bumper New Year's programme, but few things are more traditional than the long-running New Year's Day at DC10.

Arriving pretty dead on 03:00 and walking straight in, we roll up having just missed both Jennifer Cardini and Sweely - the two acts we had been most looking forward to seeing. No point sulking. There are lots more goodies on offer.

Step into the limelight Patrick Mason. Playing hardwire Techno edits of some overly familiar tracks, flamboyant Mason bangs it out in the Main Room. Butch's remix of Go Up by Cassius points to the direction he's taking us. Or could it be a double-bluff, as things get heavier again?


There are moments that tend to stay with you forever, and the end to Mason's NYD set might be one of them. In writing it can easily be dismissed as cheesy nonsense, but for those of us in attendance the final two tracks of Samba de Janeiro and Rhythm Is A Dancer feel exultant.

The rulebook goes out of the window on New Year's Day. Everything is fair game.

If the track selections weren't enough by themselves, some eye-stealing voguing at the front is exactly the kind of showboating the occasion calls for. Reznik has quite a task on his hands to follow that, we think, as we scurry next door to catch Archie Hamilton close The Terrace.


There we link up with Elliot from Appetite London and his crew and grill them on a potential Ibiza adventure in 2023. Much the same as Neil, cards are being held very close to the chest. We love these cryptic chats! Gossip season is our favourite for that very reason.

Staying until the bitter end comes with its pros and cons. Pro: you don't feel like you've missed any of the action. Con: you find yourself at the back of the taxi queue. A very long and slowly-moving taxi queue.

Suddenly, for the first time on this trip, we feel cold. We feel tired. We're ready for bed.

Fortunately, working on Ibiza means you're never short on friends nearby. A quick SOS call is made and less than 30 minutes later, we're being collected by the boss himself and ferried back to the hotel. Blessings are counted.

Monday 2 January

Very little to report. Monday is a complete write-off that oversees almost a full 24 hours of sleeping. The only passing thing of note is an UberEats delivery that provides just enough sustenance to slip back into a deep coma. Unrepentant partying comes at a cost.

There's no Keep On Dancing at Bora Bora on the cards for us.

Tuesday 3 January

Today would not be another wasted day. An early rise was always on the cards and we are keen to make up for the lost day yesterday. Unfortunately, the incredible weather we had since we started appears to be over. Although still mild, the drawn curtains reveal overcast conditions.

Instead, we put on our explorer hats and visit the ruins of Festival Club - the abandoned amphitheatre buried in the San José hillside.

The derelict site has been partially reclaimed by nature, but there's plenty of evidence of recent human activity. Most notably, Festival Club has become a canvas for trippy, political and sometimes plain nightmarish graffiti.

Today's meal comes courtesy of Es Nautic and its stupendous value menu del día. Starting with pineapple and cured ham carpaccio and ending on a palette cleansing lemon sorbet, with seafood paella as main - full of white fish, prawns, mussels, crab claw and langoustines.

These are supplemented by sharing plates of padron peppers, chiperones and the obligatory bread y alioli. (Oh, and several Bloody Marys, because in truth, some of us are still struggling!)

It wouldn't be a trip to Ibiza without at least one visit to Golden Buddha - a ritual if ever there was one. This nightcap signs off another day with no temptation to take things further into the night.

In some ways - the weather, the crowds, the energy - it felt just like summer. Though in lots of others, this trip felt new, fresh and exciting.

One thing's for certain, you won't be able to keep us away for New Year 2023-24.

elrow NYD | Amnesia Ibiza by Toni Villens

That's not all from Pyramid for this winter. The party visits the Inter Expo Centre in Sofia and ilMuretto in Venice at the start of next month, before a huge takeover of London's Studio 338 on 18 February. The month ends with a date at House Of Son Amar on neighbouring Mallorca.

Keeping similarly busy, Marco Carola takes Music On first to Buenos Aires (20 February) and Medellín (25 February), before Printworks (14 April). Then ahead of the Ibiza season, the annual Music On Festival takes place in Amsterdam across the weekend of 6 and 7 May.

And anybody who thought that elrow might be going quiet is clearly in need of being acquainted with the brand. Spring dates are in the book for Dubai, Lisbon and Madrid, alongside the Snowrow extravaganza in Andorra from 30 March to 2 April.

As for us, we'll be sitting by (im)patiently for the 2023 season to begin.

In case you didn't know, we can't wait to get started! In the interim, follow our social channels and report back to our newsfeed for all the latest club announcements.