We're not even at Amnesia yet and we spot a reveller sporting a T-shirt with 'Väth 17' printed on the back. In fact, we're at a different club altogether to warm ourselves up for the Cocoon opening party. It just goes to show the excitement that the return of Sven Väth's party conjures up. He's a hero in Ibiza, an icon to techno fans worldwide and in a few hours he will be celebrating Cocoon's 18th year on the island.
There's something special about the drive to Amnesia. Unlike most of the other clubs on the island, it's situated away from the bustling areas, on the side of the road in between Ibiza Town and San Rafael. Seeing the illuminated yellow 'Amnesia' lettering as we roll up gives us a funny feeling. You know, a "we're about to enter one of the best clubs in the world for one of the island's most popular parties" kind of feeling.
Sven's pulled in some revered faces to help him kickstart the Cocoon season tonight. DJ Koze is opening the Terrace for him and Nina Kraviz and Cocoon associates Dorian Paic and Ilario Alicante are taking control in the Club Room.
It's business as usual for Cocoon. Hoops hang above the dancefloor, lights spinning through them, and dancers in kaleidoscopic outfits hold aloft each of Cocoon's letters on the podium to put on an impressive show to announce the party's re-arrival. As always, they take the dancefloor's full attention while Koze takes a moment to clap and show his appreciation.
Koze's set combines the in-yer-face '90s brilliance of DJ Sneak and more trippy moments, setting Sven up for a three-hour session of masterful techno. Of course, it wouldn't be a Sven set without him looking elated in the booth and waving his beloved vinyl with the same spirit of a DJ who's just started out. Dorian Paic lays out a hefty selection in the Club Room, before Ilario Alicante uses a Robert Miles classic to bring the dancefloor to an emotional standstill. Soon, Nina's out to close with a full-on techno excursion with moments of weirdo acid.
Below are the tracks that made Cocoon's 2017 opener a smash.