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Brief History of Dance Music and the White Isle – Ibiza

By Kerol Garcia (UK)

Ibiza and dance music are synonymous with one another. As there a wide range of genres styles out there, it’s easy to forget the history of the music born in clubs and at the beaches around the island. How, then, did it come to be that Ibiza was connected so strongly to dance music? The interesting thing is that long before dance music even a thing, Ibiza from the 1960s onwards is the painters, writers, musicians and artists along with hippies. So, it was all flower power, which worked well with the laidback vibe and 300-days of summer sun you get in Ibiza.

By the time the 70s rolled along, tourism on the White Isle was really starting to hit a high, one that has barely changed since. The 70s was when disco was born and as any dance music historian or enthusiast knows, that led the way for dance music.

By the 80s disco had been evolved into dance music and raves were all the rage. Balearic house music soon developed out of the genre that was originally formulised in Chicago and New York. Nowadays though, just about everything is covered with events and clubs across the island catering to the tastes of the many different visitors.

History of Ibiza Clubs

There have been many clubs set up over the years, through the evolution of dance music from its time as an offshoot of disco through to the modern day. Clubs of note includes:

  • Amnesia – This was the first night club to open in Ibiza and was founded in an 18th century country house. After it being bought from the original owners, the Planells family, the new owner rented it out to Antonio Escohotado who turned it into a discotheque. Alfredo Fiorito was the resident DJ and during 1988 and the second summer of love, Danny Rampling and Paul Oakenfold went over to see their friend Trevor Fung and the whole thing kicked off. It was there that they got the inspiration to open their own nightclub back in London.

Amnesia Club Ibiza

  • Pacha – This was another of the big clubs in the early days, that was originally opened on the mainland in 1967. It wasn’t until 1973 that the club joined the hippies on Ibiza and the small farmhouse-looking club grew into something big and important in the following years. Pacha is still an important name in the dance music scene today.

The Swedish House Mafia at Pacha | © David, Bergin, Emmett and Elliott

The Swedish House Mafia at Pacha | © David, Bergin, Emmett and Elliott

  • Es Paradis – This first opened in San Antonio in 1975. It was the invention of Pepe Aguirre and brought people to an open-air party. Eventually, its iconic pyramid was designed and built.

Es Paradis

  • Privilege – This club started originally as a restaurant and then had a swimming pool and bar incorporated into it. At the time it was called Club San Rafael. In 1979 when it was bought by the footballer for Real Sociedad Jose Antonio Santamaria and became known as KU after a Hawaiian god.

Privilege Ibiza 1984

Other clubs that have a long and historic past with the island includes Space, DC10 and Ushuaia.