There were tears on the dancefloor as Space Nightclub bade an emotional farewell with the closure of the Iconic Playa d’en Bossa venue on Sunday.
Space Closing Party, Sunday 2nd/Monday 3rd October 2016
- Nick Gibbs
The hugely anticipated closing party brought out the masses and with them some emotional scenes, partygoers shedding a tear or few as the marathon event drew to a close Monday lunchtime.
There may have been tears but there was also a huge amount of joy.
The closing party of all closing parties has gained pretty well universal acclaim as the event of the year by those attending. There is no shortage of people prepared to go much further than that, with some saying it was the best party they had ever attended.
Praise of the party people has been matched by music media with rave reviews and frequent use of descriptors such as ‘a Landmark Event’.
It even made the BBC news.
In this issue we report on the build up, the party and the reaction. We have a great photo gallery by Robert Szczechowiak, the personal view of a non-attendee, and also a report on the complaints of neighbours.
The Run Up …
Anticipation had been building in the weeks prior to the closing party and despite the 100€ entrance fee, tickets were by far the hottest of the year. Demand for online tickets was such that the Space website was overwhelmed and crashed and other ticket selling hubs reported difficulty coping with the traffic.
Following this initial online release, it was announced that no further tickets would be available through any other outlet than on the door, on the day.
Inevitably, this led to big queues, although some will have been surprised that entry for most people was, though taking a time, was a relatively painless exercise. In gauging social media reaction the overwhelming view is that the price and the queue was well worth the experience.
Such a buzz was coming out of Space overnight on social media that many of those who had elected not to go were waking up to find friends having such a good time that they went along on the morning, still paying 100€ entry with only two or three hours remaining.
We have to give the award of Ibiza blagger of the year to resident singer/strummer Nell Shakespeare who, having arrived on Monday morning is to the best of our knowledge, the only person to have achieved free entry on the door through what must be premier league blagging skills.
The Reviews …
“In a nutshell, the 19 hours we spent at Space – yes, 19 hours – were simply unforgettable. Although not for the faint hearted, getting around the club was at times a lengthy expedition and meeting people wasn’t easy. The adventuring became part of the experience, part of the charm. Any Ibiza veteran who’s visited closing parties before will be able to tell you that they’re always an epic and at times testing event but everyone knew the importance of this one.
“Dancers of all generations were in attendance: young upstarts right through to the seasoned ravers, drenched in glitter and bright colours, the ones who helped contribute towards everything Ibiza is now. Along with all of them, we danced, laughed and smiled. And we shared a collective lump in the throat when it came to the end.”
Full review here, which includes their top tracks. Mixmag recommend a supply of tissues at hand … http://mixmag.net/feature/spaces-final-closing-fiesta/2
“The Sunset Terrace was transformed. It fit my image of the old Space Terrace: colourful characters of all ages spread across a breezy, sprawling dance floor with various gradients, responding to every new track or drop with screams and a wave of flailing arms. The vibe was loose and insanely feel-good. I saw punters collecting glasses for the cleaning staff in exchange for selfies, while Space die-hards scribbled farewell love notes on the front of the booth. Around 9 AM, during my final stint in there, resident Paul Reynolds threw down jams like Lovebirds’ “Want You In My Soul” and Joey Negro’s remix of Christopher Cross’s “Ride Like The Wind,” while the warm morning sun mixed with the cool air from the giant fans.“
“But by that point it was about more than the music. I have to admit I’ve found Space difficult to love over the years: as impressive as it is, it’s always felt too professional, too clinical, too much of a well-oiled machine. The closing, though, was wilder and more euphoric than most parties I’ve been to in Ibiza, and everyone I spoke to said the same. It was a fitting send off for a club that has meant so much to so many over the years, one that’s shaped the careers of countless artists and promoters. During those final moments in the Discoteca, as thousands danced in a tornado of lasers and CO2 spray, something Cox had said earlier suddenly shot into focus. “Ibiza will never be the same again, you know it.”
Read Carlos Hawthorn’s excellent review herehttps://www.residentadvisor.net/reviews/19964
Alongside such recognition in the music industry and Ibiza networks, the closing was of sufficiently import significance to have made the BBC news that covered the closings in some depth.
The Locals …
Social media in Ibiza now seems to have handed itself over entirely to Space closing.
“Is this facebook or spacebook”, commented Hotel Es Vive owner Jason Bull.
There are so many positive reports, but perhaps the most remarkable testament to the event is that we cannot recall having seen one negative account.
These words from Anthony McDowell, proprietor of the Candy Apple Bar in San Antonio, are representative of the views held by many.
“Space Closing was the perfect club night for me, tune after tune, classic after classic especially the last couple of hours in the Discoteca….
Everybody singing along to some of the best dance music that has ever graced our ears…
“There was an energy in there on Monday morning that I’ve never felt before in a club, absolute nostalgia at it’s finest!!
“A huge salute to anyone and everyone I met in that cauldron of emotion…
The club might now be gone but the memories of that night will certainly last forever!!!”
The closing party DJ line-up may have broken some kind of record for most DJ’s playing in that given time period. There were many well-known island residents included on the bill.
Jonny Flipflop said,
“No one can ever takeaway the fact that I played in space and I was at the last ever party!!!That is something I will brag about until I can’t brag no more !!!!!!
“Big love to everyone involved special mention to Carlos Jaimenacho Gonthalez who made people’s dreams come true xxxxx”
Paul Reynolds seemed to be flying even before the event. There was no disguising his excitement at getting the prime closing set.
It is fair to say Paul made quite a few more friends Sunday, and judging by his ongoing social media, he hasn’t come down from cloud nine yet – but that seems fair enough given it’s Space.
Although there seems to be no negativity from those attending, the overnight closing party did cause some upset in the local community with people reporting of noise disturbances through the night. A total of 27 complaints were received, which has prompted the San Jose town council to talk of a winter rethinking as to whether the traditionally extended hours licenses for opening and closing parties will be allowed in future.
The Future …
And now we wait and see with perhaps even greater anticipation what the future of Space will be. Though Sunday was the closing party of Space as a venue in Play den Bossa, few doubt that the nightclub brand will be back at a new home in Ibiza.
There has been no further news regarding the proposed San Antonio development, which is currently in a state of legal limbo regarding permission granted by the previous San Antonio town hall.
The Gallery …
Our huge thanks for permission to use the photography of Robert Szczechowiak.
The skill involved in club photography is often underrated. Robert brings a real ‘life’ to his pictures and manages to convey a real sense of occasion and atmosphere.
We are indebted.
Follow Robert on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/meyouphotonow/
or on Instagram @meyouphotonow
The Poem …
Space Closing stirred the poet inside reader and resident Caroline Yardley.
Space, Our Dear friend
Your church is gone!
Clubbing mecca consigned to legend
But your love it lives on in the hearts of minds
Of those lucky enough to have worshipped
You were our Mother and Father of partying
Undoubtedly our most exciting friend
You lead the way in lessons of kinship
Joining herds, ages and creeds right to the end
Your closure it leaves us redundant
The most experienced ravers retired
For there can never be a replacement
of a dance floor so damn well admired
When recalling lifes fullest experiences
You utterly blazed the trail
You lead the way with the DJs and the music
And our memories will never be for sale
The rumbling of the ground from the queue outside
The exceptionally expensive drinks
The Terrace, the music, the worlds best crowds
The outstandingly best high jinx
We are blessed to have been part of your history
And we all know things will never be the same,
But you’d hate us being sad so we should raise arms in thanks
And carry on, hard, in your name
It’s amazing you left us on such a high note
But all the best things never last forever
So we wish you farewell, from deep down in our tech-house hearts
We love you…. y hasta la vista
The Bloke Who Didn’t Go …
That would be me.
So should I feel the pressure of a thousand peers burning into my back? Do I regret not going? We’ll come to that.
The bulk of the text to follow was written six weeks ago. I had intended to complete it with another tale or two, but as is too often the case, never got to it. Best crack on. The printers are waiting.
Why I Love Space, But Have No Interest In Their Closing Party.
I love Space. I have had some great times there. Some of the very best times there. But equally I have zero interest in attending their closing party.
To get the obvious out of the way, these are not the reasons I am not interested (due apologies for the double negative).
Not the 100€ ticket price.
I have seen a fair amount of criticism of the 100€ price tag, OK they could have made it free entry, they could have made it a charity event, but come on – in the world of Ibiza clubbing 100€, possibly with two free drinks, is not so bad.
Look at it another way, Space could have charged 150€ with no drinks and I still have little doubt they would have sold out.
Anyway, perhaps they set it at 100€ so the DJs playing could get a friend in.
Not because ‘it isn’t what it used to be’.
Of course it isn’t what it used to be. How many things are exactly the same now as they were 27 years ago? Even marmite now comes in crisp and chocolate form, and the Bisto kids are asking ‘what’s your flava?’ Progress may not always be welcome, but it is essential and inevitable.
So they are not the reasons I do not want to go. As for why I love Space, I guess I am the same as many people in that I can most easily explain that by anecdote.
I do not claim for one moment to be one of the very earliest Space terrace in crowd, watching Alex and Brandon mixing on gas powered cassette recorders when everybody knew each other’s name, the gear was twice as strong for a tenth of the price and if you were hard up Manuelo would always give you drinks for free.
Actually whereas in most situations this sceptical sarcasm as to ‘how good it was’ might be justified, in the case of Space’s very early years I have heard enough first hand tales from people I know and trust that it really does sound as if it was that good.
My Space days were way before being ‘connected’ in so far as most of us living here tend to be to some extent. My Space history is simply one of an average Joe. But perhaps that makes it a little different, most texts I am seeing on the subject are written by those who played there or have a close connection.
I am sure there are many people with their own average Joe stories as to why they love Space, Here are some of mine.
To the best of my recollection during years when recollection is a little sketchy.
My first Space. Naked bloke being lead by the genitals by really hot girl to industrial soundtrack.
I can’t remember what day or night it was, but I remember that on my very first visit I walked through a fairly busy terrace into an almost empty back/main room – which seemed vast with the bars forming oasis of light in the otherwise total blackness.
There can have been no more than 50 people in the entire room, a very small cluster dancing to the limited appeal of some really tough industrial sounds, and the remaining, that were visible at least, silhouetted against the bar back lights.
Whilst we were still taking in the surroundings one of these silhouetted couples got up from the bar at the most distant end of the room. As they made to walk across the floor of the club they came out of silhouette and it became apparent that the man was dressed only in a few leather straps, effectively naked. The girl was stunning, in huge heeled thigh high boots and a bikini, and was holding a dog lead attached to the man’s genitals.
Baring in mind the most extreme clubwear I had seen in the UK to that point was a few glowsticks, this was quite a sight. But what struck me even more as they made their passage across the floor and past us into the terrace, was that nobody seemed to be taking much notice.
We had only been in Space 5 minutes and we were watching a naked man being lead by his cock by a gorgeous girl and it seemed that it was barely noteworthy. I can remember thinking “I love this place”.
The particularly odd thing about that first experience was that I never saw anything approaching that extreme again. There were some incredible outfits, some real flamboyant characters, but nothing ever at that extreme. I have no idea if it was a one off party, why they were there that day. But regardless, that was my very first experience at Space.
The Gay Canadian Pharmacist, Liquid Acid, and Emergency Services.
The text up to this point is what I had written so far. You know what, the printers really are getting twitchy now, it is past deadline, and I somehow think that might be for the best—the rest of this story , and a couple more, may be best suited to the online version only, or I’ll be looking at a level of complaints not seen since the last Tony Pike interview.
Suffice it to say my connection to Space for many years was very strong. I can remember being swept out of the place on Monday mornings. Literally. When they couldn’t get rid of the last few they would bring out these huge brooms and sweep you out. All in good humour. Anyway, wasn’t like it was a problem, we were going to DC10 anyway.
But the point, for me at least, is that the Space I loved is one that has passed, in the past. I haven’t really enjoyed it as a club when I’ve been recently for journalistic duties. That was then, this is now, and though I get it was to be a really big night, could it ever surpass the memories? Do I even want it to? I mean Gay Canadian Pharmacist, Liquid Acid, and Emergency Services, I can’t see it myself.
I have already had my closing party, it closed for me in around 2003 I guess, It was great, and I was totally happy to leave it at that.
But of course all that was before seeing and hearing how great it obviously was. So do I regret? Sure, a bit. But honestly only in the context of it being a good party this year, not being seminal. Unless anybody can tell me they noticed naked blokes being dragged by the cocks, or Liquid acid hilarity, or any one of many more superb memories I have of the place, I can’t really think I missed anything.
Plus on Sunday I got to spend the first whole day with my 6 year old son in months. We went to a gig and a flea market, got milkshakes and candy floss, went to a medieval fair, went go-karting and talked a lot. That might sound wet, or old, but I wouldn’t have swapped it.
That is the point. Things move on. Things change. Nightclubs. Lives. Nothing stands still. That is how it should be. Embrace it.
Looking forward to writing a few more anecdotes down though. Did I mention the drug tunnel or the Italian girls? … (Stories from Space article to follow)
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