In the summer of 2013, Ibiza was in transition. No club more so than Pacha Group, who had just culled their influential backroom staff in a huge changing of guard. Their departure also saw the exodus of many of the club’s marquee nights, including Subliminal Sessions, Luciano’s Vagabundos and Saturday staple Defected.
In the transition, previous staff member Danny Whittle went into bed with high-end hospitality tycoon Cipriani. Taking over a building just meters from Pacha’s front door, together they launched Bomba (later changed to Booom!) - Ibiza’s newest, but short-lived, nightclub. In a parting shot to Pacha, Whittle recruited all of its former talents, including Defected.
Beset by a number of difficulties, the project failed after only one season. Despite this, it wasn’t all in vain. At least not where Defected was concerned.
During this time, then owner Simon Dunmore made a bold move by launching a second weekly party. Aimed at an older clientele and honoring both the music and vibe of a bygone era, Glitterbox set out to be an inclusive, uplifting party designed to unite the dance floor, regardless of age, gender, sexuality or religion. A back to basics approach with extra pizazz. Sparkle not so much optional, as highly encouraged.
Defected floundered for a few years, hopping from club to club before eventually taking leave and regrouping in Croatia. Glitterbox on the other hand flourished.
Differentiating itself from Defected, Glitterbox priced itself that bit more expensive. Its booking policy went old school, programming line-ups with the founding fathers of house music: names like Todd Terry, David Morales, Louie Vega, Dave Lee, Armand Van Helden and Roger Sanchez.
Whereas Defected promoted a stripped-back, music-focused style of clubbing, Glitterbox went big on image. Gorgeous dancers, fierce performers, drag queens and a tonne of disco balls are all part of the Glitterbox experience.
Seemingly unscathed from the association with the failed Booom!, Glitterbox waltzed into Space the following season. Taking over Friday nights at the legendary club, it would become a popular fixture in the final two years of Space’s run until its closure in 2016.
In fact, when Palladium Group took control of the site and built Hï Ibiza in its place, Glitterbox made the transition. It was the only party to survive the switch and continues to serve up unashamed, feel-good house and disco each and every Sunday night to a diverse crowd - and packed, naturally.
Away from Ibiza, a London edition would follow before the concept spread like wildfire, first across Europe and later the world. Today, you can find Glitterbox parties in all territories, but it all started in Ibiza.
In less than 10 years, the party has turned into a nightlife phenomenon.