These are the powerful words that define the young but exceptional and now iconic club Hii Ibiza. Opening its doors in 2017, the club has played host to an array of Electronic music giants and this time we went Trippin with Glitterbox at Hii to find out more about the beautiful island, the changing face of Ibiza’s party landscape and the impact of a space like Glitterbox on the Island.
The island has a long history of gay culture having one of the first organised gay scenes in Spain in the 60's, and the queer disco seen has been ever present all over the world but more and more the segregation of gay and straigh parties is becoming prevalent in the Ibiza scene. “In London there’s a real separation with the queer scene and the straight scene. There’s this kind of antagonism between the two because everyones fighting for equality but here in Ibiza it’s more relaxed and there’s more fluidity between the two. Going up and down the strip it isn’t as separated, everyone goes into anywhere”. What makes Ibiza special is that its inclusivity reaches further than just the night life and over time, more and more safe spaces for the queer community have cemented themselves into the Islan’s ecosystem. Every night has a morning after and what would on of Europe’s Gay capitals be without a stream of glamorous and safe gay beaches to take refuge on after a heavy night. Lucy reflects on the tension she senses in London and compares it to the chill vibe in Ibiza. “Maybe that’s because everyone’s on holiday here and they’re forgetting all the politics of nightlife in a way. It makes it easier for everyone to just be together. I don’t know. I'm really lucky but I also don’t see the rest of the dancers having trouble with anyone either”.
“Glitterbox is one of the more inclusive parties on the island for sure. I think by the type of music that’s played and how they market the night with the drag queens as the hero of the brand it kind of shows you what the brand is about, with queer people at the forefront”. Since 2014 Glitterbox has united music lovers from the UK, to Ibiza, to New York - it is the 21st century disco renowned for moving the mind, body and soul by bringing dancers, fierce performers, drag queens and music together to make truly unforgettable moments on dancefloors worldwide. “This year's party tagline was “express yourself”. They’re spreading the vibe and energy for people to be themselves - if you’re a human be yourself and don’t stop other people from being themselves. It’s important because their are parties in ibiza that are really “laddy” where a lot of people wouldn’t feel invited or safe”. This is one of the many reasons that parties like Glitterbox need to exist. The world is changing and the party landscape must change with it, especially in locations as iconic as Ibiza. Each year the island attracts around 6 million people, most of whom are out to party and it is important that every single visitor feels like they can enjoy themselves in a safe, inclusive and accepting space!
An important part of the Trippin experience is connecting with the locals, respecting their home and endeavouring to learn more about their culture. For Lucy, it was also a welcome break from her experiences with her fellow UK nationals. “The locals are super lovely. Especially when the first impressions you get coming from the UK is that everyone’s getting on it. I was having a lovely flight, then, at sometime around 7am, everyone on my flight was drinking and the guy next to me had ten miniature bottles of gin. Why are you drinking that much at 7.45 in the morning?! Once they’re at the airport they’re already on their way”. This years personal experience for Lucy couldn’t be more different. “I’ve been sober since the end of my last season...I wanted to experience what I’m doing and being so busy with work...I can’t keep up with getting trashed.”
Growing up, model, dancer and face of Glitterbox Ibiza (and UK), Lucy Fizz always wanted to travel for work, but never figured out how it could happen. With holidays abroad being few and far between, usually at Haven, Pontoons, or sometimes Costa del Sol, Lucy didn’t have the opportunity to see a wide range of foreign lands. It took falling into dancing to make what seemed like only a dream come true. “All these opportunities to work around the world cropped up quite naturally as a result. It feels so amazing. When I have a gig somewhere around the world, I always try to extend my stay by a couple days to experience the city I’m in”. We got a chance to catch up with Lucy and dive deeper into her experiences trippin around the world as a Glitterbox ambassador.
Lucy’s Glitterbox journey began while she was working at Sink The Pink, the LGBTQ+ Collective changing UK club culture. “Glynn Russel came onboard as a Creative Director which was how I was put onto Glitterbox. I did two or three parties over two weeks at the end of season. We became an integral part of the brand and after that I was working in a club night called Savage - we hosted the wild corner maybe four or five times and so that kind of became our naughty little rave space and it was a really wild”. Her experiences show just how important inclusive spaces are, how often is it that we could feel safe “running around the crowd with a thong sequined beaded leotard. It's just real funny and welcoming and inviting”. One of the main aspects of the Glitterbox experience is their ambassadors who the crowd have really come to know and be familiar with. ”It honestly feels like we’re they’re friends and it's even more inviting for them to say hello.” This dynamic of having both a talented team of ambassadors as well as a crazy line-up if DJs brings a welcome change to the Ibiza party circuit, creating an atmosphere of friends and family whatever the location. What’s more, the Glitterbox team is inherently mixed, built from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds! “There’s a lot of people from London, but we’re expanding and there are always people getting added from different tours, just recently a girl from Germany joined us on the tour to Croatia - there’s a good amount of variation and representation of people within the dance routine”. The diversity of the Glitterbox ambassadors is not just seen in their location based differences but also their personas and roles within the party.
The team is comprised of around 8-10 drag queens and 8 female dancers. The dancers are trained professional dancers whereas the drag queens are more like wild creatures with a “crazy” amount of energy. “It's nice to have that balance of amazing people who know how to use their bodies and move really beautifully.”
Having visited the island for the first time only 4 years ago, Lucy had some concerns around what her Ibiza experience would be like. “I was always put off by the tv programmes like ibiza uncovered. It was never what I wanted to surround myself with. I was really shy and studious so Ibiza was the opposite of the world I grew up around when I was a teenager”. However, her first experience exceeded her expectations and blew the preconceptions out of the water. “It was nothing like I supposed. I really don’t see that side. I’m always staying in old town - it's so peaceful and chilled there”.
Written by Joycelyn Longdon
Photography by Sophie Jones