In 2016 when it was announced that Space Ibiza was closing for good there was an outpouring of grief similar to the death of a revered head of state. To many Space wasn’t just a club, it was a beacon, a way of life, a shining light of how it used to be when life wasn’t so serious although in truth it had become a slick commercial operation still marketed as a no-holds barred escapist paradise.
When Space finally closed its doors for the very last time at midday on Monday 3rd October 2016 not only did the mourning start but also the rumour mill of what would happen next to this famous site owned by the Matutes family who also owned Ushuaïa Beach Hotel.
While the chatter circulated and many old school ravers declared that Ibiza would never be the same again, Yann Pissenem the creator of Ushuaïa got to work creating another marquee brand, a new kind of club for a new kind of Ibiza.
Construction work on the site started straight away and the first hint was when the exterior became a large patio, giving it a grand Vegas-style entrance. The rumour mill went into overdrive especially about the new name, (what could possibly replace Space?) so when a very slick video dropped on 01 Feb 2017 announcing the name ‘Hï Ibiza’ the world had its first glimpse of Yann’s vision and what would become the future of Ibiza clubbing.
What no one realised back then was that this wasn’t a continuation of the Space ethos, this was a whole new concept in clubbing. Pissenem had done the air miles and his homework and knew exactly what he wanted to deliver. A new experience in clubbing run by a professional team creating a brand new experience. He wasn’t going to equal Space, he was going to better it for the next generation of clubbers, many who would be experiencing Ibiza for the first time.
Space was a time and place in Ibiza history, it was the heart and soul of hedonistic clubbing on the island long before it got hijacked by certain DJ’s. Although the outpouring of grief for its demise was genuine there was also a real need to up the ante in the new era for an Ibiza that was being compared to Las Vegas, Dubai and other emerging clubbing destinations on a daily basis.
When Hï Ibiza finally opened its doors on 28 May 2017 there was a mixed reaction, of course there was. It wasn’t Space any more, in fact it was a million miles away from Space and for some that was never going to be acceptable but Hï hit the ground running with its own identity and it was slick, very slick. No rough edges, more VIP, no more terrace but introducing new funky elements which the worlds clubbing fraternity would soon be talking about and adopting.
Hï was doing it their way and even though some were (and still are) dismissive of the shiny decor and new vibe you couldn’t argue with the talent on show. The music policy was on point introducing new acts and combining them with the iconic showstoppers that Ibiza had become famous for.
It’s hard to believe that Hï Ibiza has only been open for 3 summer seasons (in real terms little more than 12 months) yet it has taken the clubbing world by the scruff of the neck and propelled Ibiza to a new level. Even the most ardent Space-lovers have begrudgingly acknowledged that Hï has carried on where Space left off. Meanwhile other Ibiza clubs have followed suit and raised their game meaning that it’s been a win/win for the Island while other destinations throw money at their product in a vain attempt to compete with the White Isle.
Last week Hï Ibiza won Best Club in the World for the 2nd year in succession to keep Ibiza firmly at the top of the clubbing tree. Operations Manager Charlie Tatman accepted the prize on behalf of all the people that made it possible. In the list of TOP 100 CLUBS Ibiza has 4 entries in the top 8 and 9 in total, more than any other destination and although the list is highly objective, it can only be a good thing for Ibiza on the world stage.
It’s been an incredible journey in a very short space of time (pun intended) and it might not be everyone’s cup of tea but the biggest compliment you can give to Hï Ibiza is that it doesn’t get compared to Space anymore. It just happens to be located at the same place but it has it’s own identity and the clubbing world loves it.
Ibiza clubbing constantly evolves, it never stops and you either change or die. Space was amazing for many years and will never be forgotten but l, nostalgia aside, the King is dead, long live the King.
Blog Post no. 299