It’s arguably the most important underground institution in Ibiza. But Circo Loco’s wheels have been spinning for a lot longer than you might think. Back in the late 90s, the club was barely half full and looked more like something from that wretched hive of scum and villainy known as Mos Eisley in Star Wars – desert-like and strangely deserted. Back then, DJs like Lottie and Danny Tenaglia would play tribal-house beats to an audience of savvy house heads, while Ibiza promoter Charlie Chester kept an eye on behalf of the Brits. It was genuinely one of the best-kept secrets on the island.

It was also home to brilliant music from Circo Loco mainstays like Rocky, Cirillo and former Peace Division producer Clive Henry, who continues to play for the club today. Indeed, the West London producer was back at the club on January 1 alongside Carl Cox.

For island and club veterans, January 1 is maybe the closest you can get to the very early Circo Loco spirit. It takes serious dedication to make the journey to the Balearics off season, but it’s totally worth it to see a superstar like Carl while the tourists head to far-off destinations like Punta Del Este and Tulum. “The second some friends mentioned that they were going to DC10 for New Year’s Day, I knew I had to be there,” enthused one NYD rave witness. “The terrace felt more like a good friend’s party and the DJs played like I hadn’t heard in years. It was truly just amazing music and vibes. This was the Ibiza I fell in love with: I didn’t want to leave. No one did. DC10! I’d go back right now.”

“THIS WAS THE IBIZA I FELL IN LOVE WITH: I DIDN’T WANT TO LEAVE. NO ONE DID DC10! I’D GO BACK RIGHT NOW.”

And while most clubs now accept that it’s the superstar DJ who powers the tables and floors (thanks in no small part to social media and occasionally, smart billboards and branding), Circo Loco is one of the very few that trades on its own unique brand and only releases the line-ups as the party is getting ready to start. In February and March, promoter Andrea Pelino is still finessing those line-ups and isn’t ready to tell anyone what he has planned for the season ahead. Judging by previous form, it’s safe to say we can expect Circo Loco mainstays like Tania Vulcano and Clive Henry alongside newer DJ/producers like Seth Troxler, Maceo Plex and Laura Jones.

But something else happened in 2014: while most Circo Loco heads have witnessed P. Diddy behind the DJ booth, celebrities headed to the club in force last year, with British actor Orlando Bloom just the tip of the iceberg. Luckily, for every artificial celeb, there were bona fide legends like US producer Rick Rubin at the party. Hell, even Madonna made it to DC10 last year. Ask promoter Andrea Pelino when he was there and the response tells you everything you need to know: ‘Rick was at DC10 on 22 July,” says a super-specific Andrea with a smile. “Was he was nice? Yes, and he stayed for a few hours with me and [WME’s] David Levy! Paul Cook also came down last summer. They came like normal people.”

But as anyone who has been to the club can tell you, Circo Loco is anything but normal. Which is why even the most average of Ibiza clubbers leaves its dusty floors transformed by the experience. And also why clubbers and VIPs will traverse the globe in search of similar beats and find themselves returning to the club again and again. It may not be the best secret club it once was but nowhere gets to keep that accolade forever. No Circo Loco, no Burning Man, no BPM in Mexico. And that’s a fact.

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Photo by Alex Soto

 

Names To Know

Although Circo Loco are keeping tight-lipped about their specific artist plans for 2015, the three DJs below should all be making an appearance this summer.

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Ryan Elliott
The super-charismatic Ostgut Ton artist should be back for more this season. He’s the boss of Spectral Sound and undoubtedly the best DJ to emerge from Detroit in a long time.

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Black Coffee
Last summer, the fast-rising SA wunderkind played in front of P. Diddy and published the sweetest post imaginable online afterwards in disbelief.

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Laura Jones
Expect to see more of Miss Jones after her debut season on the terrace in 2014. She’s the most adept deep (deep) house and techno DJ to explode since Maya Jane Coles.