Ibiza Rocks 2011 review

'Sixth year anniversary event for island festival is a veritable success'

Photographer: Chris SwindellsChris Swindells on 23 July 2011

Bringing the world’s biggest live rock acts to Ibiza island was a much-maligned idea when it first appeared six years ago, met with sceptics and cynics. More than half a decade on the mix of live thunderous rock and roll under an Mediterranean sun has established itself as much at home on the island as record-breaking superclubs and streets overflowing with the stench of English tourists against scenes of outstanding natural beauty. So with four months of line-ups, now conveniently shared with sister event Mallorca Rocks, the sixth year anniversary of Ibiza Rocks was a veritable success. 

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The festival shares a similar format to another festival institution, ATP, with a ticket purchased alongside accommodation within the venue compounds which means the action is never far from the your bed. In fact it’s so close to your balcony, many choose to watch from the privilege of their own rooms.

Based at the clubbing capital San Antonio, the resort packs 368 rooms of revellers for one long night of live music and big name DJ guests. Tonight Zane Lowe (9/10) and resident disc jockey Doorly take the mantle for spinning the latest club favourites.

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Zane is up to his usual tricks and quips, letting the island know exactly how much it means to be in town for the anniversary of the event he’s been so involved with organising from the day of it’s inception. The venue may have changed twice now but the shows are anchored with the philosophy that guitar music has as much to say in Ibiza as anywhere else, and that point tonight is proved in the expectant mass gathered for one particular Scottish trio. 

If there’s been one band in recent years that have come to represent the best a British guitar band can do reinventing the genre whilst exposing themselves to chart success it’s Biffy Clyro (8/10). Fitting then they should be invited back to headline the sixth birthday event for Ibiza Rocks and do so in such style. The crossover appeal of the trio since the success of their fourth studio album ‘Puzzle’ cannot be understated. Their latest release ‘Revolutions’, a live concert captured at Wembley Arena, was a demonstration of a band firing on all cylinders and growing into a giant-killer.

Shows at festivals this size retain an intimacy for Biffy after recent summer headline sets at Sonisphere and Wakestock, something not lost on the fortunate throng of fans watching with doting eyes up from the pool-side floor. Never dropping below 20°C under the starry skies the band stay hot with Blackened Sky-era steadfast rock hit ‘57’ and crowd favourite ‘Many Of Horror’. When they do say goodnight on a thorough set with ‘Mountains’ and the clocks chime midnight everyone is prepped for the night in San Antonio and one of the many after-parties on offer.

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The fact Biffy Clyro, like so many acts, ask personally to return to this still fledging festival shows how much thought it packs into getting the ingredients just right, between the escapsim of a sunny summer holiday and the serious business of rock and roll, this sits pretty close to perfection. Many happy returns Ibiza Rocks.

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