Life’s a beach at Champions League Final party
The after-party had a lot to live up to. Barcelona had just pulled off one of the great Champions League victories and the Catalans of Ibiza celebrated until dawn.
On the field, the Spaniards delivered. On the beach, they promised to do likewise.
The Heineken Ibiza Final had invited fans from 35 countries, including Singapore, to indulge in a unique experience to rival Berlin.
The bar had been raised at the Champions League Final screening. It was cleared the following morning with the help of a DJ mushrooming from the sea, a yacht filled with beautiful people and a flying Jet Man.
The surreal day began on a luxury catamaran on the Mediterranean and ended at the legendary Blue Marlin club on the beach.
After being chauffeured to a waiting catamaran in the historic Ibiza port, a resident DJ had fans dancing on deck. The dance floor was packed as VIPs bounced along to waves and baselines.
The rugged rocks of the Ibiza coastline made for a stunning backdrop as the spangles joined in, dancing along the sea beneath a cloudless sky.
At sunrise and sunset, the Mediterranean sky offers a Neapolitan ice cream of colours; layers of blues, reds and purples that confound the eye and take the breath away.
During the catamaran cruise, the deep, vibrant blues connected the flawless sky with the pellucid sea. It was hard to see the joins, making for one remarkable canvas to paint a party.
When the catamaran joined others in the panoramic bay of Cala Jondal Beach, the vessel was tied to a shipping container painted in Heineken colours. Motorised dinghies then shipped over cases of beer to each catamaran, a neat touch topped off by the most jaw-dropping innovation of the day.
I believed a man could fly.
They are called fly-boarders and proved a hit on the Ibiza coast last year. But they haven’t yet reached Asian shores so it came as something of a shock to witness them in close quarters.
Connected to a jet-ski via a mechanised umbilical cord, these jet men were propelled into the air by water gushing through the tubes, reaching heights of 50m.
The water pushed them upwards. Their bravado kept them there.
Not content to stand and admire the view, they back-flipped and somersaulted through the air before dive-bombing and riding waves like dolphins.
Frankly, I’d never seen anything like it.
And it would continue proving to be a day of firsts.
The Heineken shipping container wasn’t a shipping container at all. As smoke poured through its vents, the walls fell away to reveal one of Ibiza’s top DJs and his resident backing band mashing ‘80s pop classics with contemporary house tunes.
The crowd went nuts.
Watching sun-tanned partygoers screaming and fist-pumping atop half a dozen catamarans moored around an elevated shipping container in the middle of a Mediterranean bay is an image that will never leave me.
By the time the outstanding DJ had added some throbbing drum and bass to The Clash’s Should I Stay Or Should I Go, I was on the deck of the catamaran, waving my hands in the air like I just didn’t care, surrounding myself with far too many women in bikinis and wondering how I got here.
Once I started singing Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody with a couple of African chaps, I realised it was time to step back and into the arms of a beautiful woman.
She offered massages to guests at the Heineken Ibiza Final and I availed myself of her exquisite services. Had she not gently tapped me on the shoulder and pointed out that a long queue had formed on deck, I might still be there.
But the massage refreshed fans for the short dinghy trips to the shore. Dinner was served at the private Yemanja beach bar before the party moved to the Blue Marlin, one of Ibiza’s top clubs.
The queue was long, but a quick flash of the Heineken wristband and a wink to the doorman saw him move the red rope aside, re-enacting a scene from Entourage as we joined the fast and the furious of Ibiza.
Shorts, bikinis and an ability to dance elegantly whilst holding a beer bottle were the only requirements at the Blue Marlin. I managed one out of three, but the other VIPs didn’t hold it against me.
As the Heineken Ibiza Party continued long into the night, the glorious sunset illuminated the golden rocks that fringed the bay of Cala Jondal.
It was a picturesque end to a perfect weekend. From the turf of Berlin to the sands of Ibiza, the Spanish played and partied like champions.
All images: Neil Humphreys