By Charlotte Cox
BOOM. Just as the beat drops, a confetti cannon turns the air red, yellow, pink, green. SPLAT. A crowdsurfing inflatable boat to the face. SWOOSH. There goes the trapeze artist overhead. ROAR. The crowd absolutely loves it… Welcome to Elrow at Space: Ibiza's most ridiculous night out.
Having taken over Saturday night for the superclub's last-ever year (sob), Elrow is sold as a 'unique and unrepeatable experience'. They're not kidding. It's not often clubbing comes with circus performers, huge bouncy props and acrobatic aerial boxers as standard. Let alone stilt-walkers, hoola-hoopers and more neon inflatables than a Toys R Us depot. As you can probably guess, here the aim is one thing, and one thing alone: F-U-N.
Barcelona party-starters the Elrow family have form for this kind of tomfoolery. Last year's residency at Space was the stuff of legend, with wild and colourful nights with themes including Chinese New Year and the Mexican Day of the Dead. And this year? Well, the partying has been ever more theatrical, with nights including '60s, Bollywood and the none-more-intriguing Psychedelic Trip. Sounds like a challenge to us.
But first things first – this night is dedicated to the 'Rowlympics'. Which translates as a huge set adorned with day-glo Olympic rings, huge inflatable Olympic torches and any number of bouncy sporting hijinx. Full synchronised swimming team gliding past? Yup. Spandex-clad cyclist flying through the air? Sure. The Greek god Olympus riding a stuffed unicorn? You betcha. 'This is madness,' we're told by a clubber beside us, dressed up as a 118 athlete. And if there's anyone we trust to give us information that's right on the money, it's a 118 athlete.
Of course, props and costumes alone do not a party make. The fact that it's taken until now to mention the music shows that this night is about so much more than that – but its also doing a disservice to the fine DJ line-ups that keep the Elrow party rolling. In Space's cavernous Discoteca room, up-tempo, excitable house-tech is the order of the day, with Matador, Steve Lawler and Toni Varga keeping the dance floor packed till way past 6am, and setting the standard for coming headliners that will include Seth Troxler and Hot Since 82. It's all about laying down infectious beats that build to the drop… and BOOM! That confetti cannon again.
Meanwhile, the Terraza provides a more stripped-back space away from the sensory overload. It's also where the decks are dedicated to a single selector all night long – giving some of the finest names in dance a full six hours to let their beats breathe. Tonight it's none other than Groove Armada, who mix cool, bass-heavy house with crowd pleasers such as Superstylin' and I See You Baby. When Candi Staton's You Got The Love drops in, indeed we do got the love.
Over at Sunset Terrace, meanwhile, up-and-comer Demarzo sets a super-cool tone with groovy house beats and enough bass to keep the ravers interested. It's almost like cool clubbing for grown-ups… Until a team of rowers in Elrow one-pieces sweep by to carry us back into the silliness next door. Cue sparring acrobat boxers, inflaty-muscled strongmen, countless huge floating balloons, glitter, neon, lights… and… BOOM!
Elrow Ibiza is every Saturday at Space until 24 Sept; advance tickets: 43 EUR.
Space, Playa d'en Bossa, S/N, 07817 Sant Josep de sa Talaia
INSPIRED? Don't miss these hot Ibiza nights in 2016
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FOR SUPER-COOL ELECTRO: Martin Solveig - My House
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FOR THE NOSTALGIA: Carl Cox - Music Is Revolution, The Final Chapter
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WHAT: Ibiza main man Carl Cox bids farewell to Space after 15 seasons. Expect appearances by returning heroes such as Sasha, John Digweed, Josh Wink and James Lavelle. This is going to be emotional.
DETAILS: 50 EUR; Space, Playa d'en Bossa, S/N, 07817 Sant Josep de sa Talaia