Fusion of DJs and rock stars: The Ibiza 123 Festival Review

Ibiza holidaymakers and island residents witnessed history this July when the island’s first ever festival took place with a dubbed star line up, including the world’s most prominent Ibiza virgin – Elton John. The festival’s ‚Rocktronic‘ concept was “to bring together three of the most famous rock stars with the world’s best DJs”.


Set in the wasteland behind Cafe Mambo the location was well chosen and allowed dancing in the beautiful twilight of the sunset. Sound and light production were impressive and would have been sufficient for many more people than actually turned up. Worth mentioning the very fair drink prices, like 6 euros for a mojito or 1 euro for water.

Ibiza-123-Festival Lenny KravitzThe location by the sea, the set up, the friendly mix of people and the magical sunset made the Ibiza 123 Festival an unique experience and everything was perfect, only that the ‘Rocktronic’ concept did not work out. Sting played his usual live set, Elton John presented only a few pop-songs with Australian group Pnau and Lenny Kravitz halfheartedly played one song together with Luciano.

On the electronic side, the festival put up all the great names of the island including a well-received appearance by David Guetta (waving a Spanish flag after the team won the European Cup on Sunday), Tiësto, Fatboy Slim and an energetic set by Steve Angello which closed with fireworks.

The 3 days of the festival all began calmly. Only a limited number of Ibiza tourists and residents amused themselves on the grass-green carpet in the afternoons, chilling and chatting. This image changed in the evening hours when the big names entered the festival stage.

With a perfect full moon rising over the hills of Es Amunts the third evening, if not the whole festival, belonged to Lenny Kravitz. You could feel the excitement of the fans while the stage was transformed for Lenny’s performance, and also the area had filled up although the number of visitors were still well below the expected level of the organizers.

Kravitz started with a 40-minute delay but in a very good mood and as always totally energetic, virtuoso and stylish. He opened the show in medias res, with the first of seven guitars (!) in his hands, and started a selection of his greatest hits. Especially with „It ain’t over ’til it’s over“ the 48-year-old was able immediately to build a bridge to his fans, who he encouraged to sing along, and of course they all did! Lenny also delivered some words of appreciation for Ibiza, saying that he had “to wait 23 years to play on this beautiful island.”

The career of Lenny Kravitz and his songs shaped the love for music of so many generations, and still are his secret weapon in terms of ‘Zeitgeist’ as the song „Let Love Rule“ with which once again he succeeded to unite his audience in a sense of peace and connectedness.

Slightly less unity, however, seemed to prevail between him and Luciano. Just one song, „I Belong To You“, the two jammed together before the DJ disappeared from the stage and rock star Lenny performed his finale alone before he cleared the way for Luciano, whose groovy set lift the visitors off their feet, floating into a magnificent end of the first Ibiza 123 festival, dancing with happiness under the full moon and the stars.

Ibiza 123 was a promising kick-off for festivals on the island and we are already looking forward to its next edition, which will be in 2013, as promoter Pino Sagliocco from Live Nation said in a press conference.




Pics by Silvia Andueza V. and Rica

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