Why call it Space? Going to the Moon was a “spiritual” endeavour.
The inspiration behind Space Ibiza owner Pepe Roselló’s decision to name the club after man’s first contact with a world outside our own couldn’t have rung truer as we danced for the last time in the institution this Sunday.
Floating through the club as dawn slowly crept its way through the windows felt like an otherworldly experience. And for those of us who weren’t lucky enough to be a part of the club’s early days — when day-raving happened regularly — we came closer to being a part of what the original club was all about than ever before.
27 years ago, Ibiza was a very different place. And Space was a struggling disco competing with Ku — now Privilege — for a share in the emerging Ibiza club market.
“At the beginning we were not very successful, it was hard,” Pepe Roselló said at this year’s IMS. Then, the law stated the club had to close by 6AM, but not when the club could open.
“So we empty, clean, reopened at 8 with a big queue,” he continued. “They come for breakfast from 8 to 10AM, and the crowd dancing from 10.”
Those rough, lawless all-day raves are what attracted a young Carl Cox to the club, then just a punter looking for a party.
“I was one of those poor people,” he remembered. “Had my 50cc moped rented from San An. There was no VIP area, it was a street club. It’s saddened me we had to comply to the people who want to spend the money.”
It’s partly this shift that’s pushed Carl away from Ibiza, and one feels destined to continue until the island is perhaps unrecognisable, eventually more resembling Las Vegas than the Balearic outlaw haven it once was.
But before the club falls into the hands of Ushuaïa, and one more vestige from the old days of Ibiza disappears for good, we visited one of clubbing’s greatest institutions for a last, 20 hour dance — and it was the experience of a lifetime.
Though the party’s success wasn’t a sure bet.
Sound restrictions have meant that in the past, the volume in “outdoor” rooms like El Salón, the Sunset Terrace and the rooftop Premier Étage stayed so low, losing yourself in the moment was an impossibility.
This was not the case on Sunday. Something made clear as we hopped out of our taxi across the street decked out in the most colourful outfits we could muster, as a modern remix of Energy 52’s trance classic “Café Del Mar” blasted from the huge car park speakers clear as day.
Inside the massive arena, two monolithic speaker stacks surrounded a giant festival-like stage — something Space does for each opening and closing party — complete with ice cannons a well executed light show.
Spanish tech house heavyweights Uner and Coyu were playing back to back, dropping Âme’s “Rej” toward the end of their hourlong set, something that would become a theme for the night.
Not wanting to miss the beautiful Ibiza sunset, we headed upstairs to find DJ Oliver putting the rooftop through its paces as the sky behind us turned from golden to red to purple. Though there were no sunset vibes here, this was a party, and Oliver made sure everyone was on their feet with Space classics like Oxia’s “Domino”, and I experienced my first ever Premier Étage sit-down. Things were off to an amazing start.
Out in the Car Park, Do Not Sleep frontman Darius Syrossian played one of the best sets of the party, with high energy selections like KiNK’s “Existence” and Floorplan’s “Tell You Know Lie,” as well as well worn classics like the original “Cafe Del Mar” and Underworld’s “Dark and Long.” He was followed up by the former King of the Terrace Steve Lawler, who worked the massive stage like the pro he is, finishing huge with Jam & Spoon’s “Age Of Love.”
Though the biggest moment of the night came with the end of Carl Cox’s set. Wearing a long white shirt, he jovially yet emotionally worked his way through hits like “Rej” (I told you), Dennis Ferrer’s “Hey Hey” and Stardust’s French house classics “Music Sounds Better With You” into “Around The World” by Daft Punk.
As the King of Space’s final ever car park set came to a close with Frankie Knuckles’ timeless “Your Love,” the curtain behind him parted to reveal an angelic gospel choir, Space owner Pepe Roselló (also in white) joining him on stage for a final thank you and goodbye, and everything else melted away. It was an unbelievable moment, pushing several revelers around me to tears.
The unexpectedness of the situation was also somewhat bizarre. Especially once the choir kept right on singing about our “lord and saviour” for another 10 minutes. Eventually I wrapped my head around it, and fell into their upbeat church-spun chants, though it seemed the religious Space sendoff didn’t quite connect with everyone, as the outdoor area began rapidly emptying. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful overture, and one I’ll remember forever.
Looking for some time to relax, we found a free area in the now half-empty car park and had an incredibly satisfying sit. Though for some reason, the staff became aggressive, forcing us to stand back up. It was the only real damper (besides an overly agitated couple who seemed intent on starting a fight over dance floor space) on an otherwise perfect night. Though by 6AM, I succumbed to the searing back pain that had been building since midnight, and used my press band to head out to the beach to watch the sunrise with some friends, grabbing a cheap beer and a huge bottle of water along the way. After gathering our strength, we headed back inside to finish what we’d started.
Melon Bomb resident Paul Reynolds was tearing the roof off the late morning Sunset Terrace with big disco anthems and house classics like Robin S’ “Show Me Love”, further cementing his status as one of Ibiza’s best loved DJs. Bringing After Dark head honcho and longtime Ibiza resident Mr Doris to help him close things out in the famous room — where After Dark went down at parties like We Love… and Revolution — was one more incredible and touching moment in a night full of them. The two had huge energy on stage, loving every minute of their set, and the crowd followed their every move.
Though my favourite set of the bash took place over in El Salón, the Space side room that’s become an essential hideout for any party at the club. Crowds were more than manageable, and I’d never seen it in the morning light, adding to the incredible vibes there. But it was Ibiza Sonica’s Igor Marijuan’s superb skills behind the decks that really made it standout. After a night full of classics and overly excited mixing, his tight, controlled set was a huge breath of fresh air. Not stoic like Tale Of Us had very disappointingly been every time I checked in on them, nor did I hear “Rej” for a fourth time. Instead, Marijuan simply delivered, track after track, and it really felt like things might never end.
Of course, they always do. And as Coxy and Nic Fanciulli wrapped up for the final time in the Discoteca with Angie Stone’s “Wish I Didn't Miss You” and Carl, Nic and Pepe once again said thank you for 27 years of memories, the curtain finally dropped, and a club that’s changed the world closed for the very last time.
Last Monday, about this time in the day, the curtain closed at the last ever Space Closing Fiesta in the history of world clubbing. This was the very moment of the ending of an era. Its memories will remain forever in the collective memory. #SpaceClosingFiesta #ClosingParty #IbizaClosingParties #IbizaPartyIsland #SeeYouOnTheDancefloor #Ibiza2016 #Summer2016 #Techno #TechnoMusic #TechHouse #TechHouseMusic #HouseMusic #Dance #DanceMusic #ElectronicDanceMusic #ElectronicMusic #DJ #DJing #Deejay #Ibiza #NightClub #Clubbing #SpaceIbiza #27SpaceIbiza
As we slowly wandered out into the morning light, passing clubbers eager to take home a chunk of the wall on our way, it dawned on me just how much this might change things for Ibiza.
Sure, Carl Cox will very likely be back next year as a special guest for various parties around the island, but it’s highly unlikely he’ll ever have a residency here again. Beyond that, a club that for almost 30 years has been an Ibiza institution will fall into the hands of the Matutes Group — people not even Pacha’s owner feel like competing with anymore — and will likely become just another trophy on the mantel of their “new Ibiza;” one where money is more important than music or passion, where selfies are more important than experience, where the VIP rules all.
Though nobody really knows what’s next. So for now, all we can do is enjoy the memories.
Thanks for an incredible run, Space. There will never be another club like it.