Back in 2005 the people behind Ibiza Rocks had a brainwave… They were going to bring live music to the White Isle.
Bored of the commercial direction the dance scene had gone in, they wanted something better than the superclubs and superstar DJs. They decided to turn that world on it’s head and invited the very opposite of Ibiza clubland – Pete Doherty & Babyshambles – to play a beach party, joined by indie rock prince Zane Lowe to DJ. it worked. Just about. But it worked. The fire was lit and it was swiftly followed by a show with Kaiser Chiefs who were riding high with I Predict A Riot. People said it definitely wouldn’t work but it did. That Kaiser Chiefs show sold out three days in advance, something that was unheard of on the island, nothing ever sold out in advance.
For a few years, gigs happened at Bar M (now Ibiza Rocks Bar) on the beach in San Antonio, but getting licenses from the local authorities was a weekly challenge. Ibiza Rocks for a while was a brand on the run. Their lets-put-on-the-show-right-here attitude and can-do spirit, meant that gigs were arranged in the unlikeliest venues; the dolphin pool at the old zoo (Dirty Pretty Things, The Fratellis) the island’s abandoned racetrack (The Zutons, Pendulum, The Enemy) and the tennis courts at Pikes Hotel (We Are Scientists). Ibiza Rocks now had a solid core, a ravenous fan base and crucial support from the music industry. They had created a new party narrative for Ibiza. But the ambitious team knew that Ibiza and Ibiza Rocks deserved more.
So in 2008 they acquired a permanent venue: the 1000 bed Ibiza Rocks Hotel. Now bands could play in a central courtyard, flanked by a swimming pool and surrounded by guests watching from their balconies. The only noise issues would be which visting artist would get the loudest roar from the crowd. The Streets in 2008? The all star line up of the Radio 1 Weekend in 2009? Florence & the Machine or The Prodigy in 2010? Biffy Clyro in 2011? Ed Sheeran in 2012? Bastille in 2013? Nas in 2013? Boy Better Know in 2015? LCD Soundsystem in 2016? All of them were special.
By careful curation of its musical acts and navigating some truly outrageous rock star behaviour – check the £20,000 guitar Pete Doherty was loaned and then smashed up, framed in the bar – along with the “triple A” values of Attitude, Atmosphere and Authenticity, Ibiza Rocks has somehow become a major lifestyle and travel brand.
Get ready to live the Rocks life.
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