IT’S ONLY ROCK’N ROLL BUT WE LIKE IT!
IT’S ONLY ROCK’N ROLL BUT WE LIKE IT!
By Laura Martínez
"This is insane!" exclaimed Miles Kane - one of the most acclaimed British musicians of recent times and Alex Turner's soulmate in 'The Last Shadow Puppets' - after giving him a tour of Pikes Hotel, where Ibiza's only rock party happens. Created in 2005 by our CEO and co-founder Diego Calvo, Rock Nights has become Concept Hotel Group's best loudspeaker and is about to celebrate 18 years of rock 'n' roll in the mecca of electronic music. Swimming against the tide is just one of this party's specialities: it is the meeting point for people of all ages, cultures and urban tribes who wanna dance 'til the early morn, united by guitars. We look back at its history and tell you what's coming this year.
After trotting through the island's smaller clubs - Rustik, El Club, Somni and Martina - Rock Nights made the leap to the big leagues in world-famous discotheques such as Space, Privilege and Pacha. But it wasn't until 2014 that this irreverent party found its perfect dance partner: Pikes Hotel. A place as iconic as its creator and former owner, Tony Pike, is considered the creator of the Boutique Hotel concept and probably the concept of the textbook playboy. The personal relationship that united Diego Calvo with Tony - who passed away in 2018 - was the main reason why Calvo moved his party there. It is the beginning of a love story whose flame is still alive and is now in its tenth season at the hotel, taking the title of the longest-running party at Pikes.
Between 2014 and 2017, Rock Nights was the aftershow of the Ibiza Rocks concerts, the perfect setting for artists like Madness, Primal Scream and The Libertines to let their hair down after their live shows earning Pikes the nickname: 'Playground of Rock 'n' Roll'. Since 2018, it has been the aftershow for the Dorado Live Shows concert series, hosting Spanish legends such as Loquillo, La Bien Querida, Los Zigarros, Mikel Erentxun and Lori Meyers. This year, these live concerts will be hosted in Venice Bay - our multifunctional space between the Paradiso and Grand Paradiso hotels - where Carolina Durante and Mando Diao, among many others, will be playing.
This temple of rock has garnered a loyal following, with a community of locals and visitors marvelling at its unrivalled atmosphere. If you bump into Diego Calvo and get on well with him in Freddie's - the room where most of the 'Rocknighters' dance inside Pikes (it was Freddie Mercury's suite when he visited the hotel) - maybe he'll give you the famous Rock Nights Crew plectrum, with which you can get into the party without queuing at the door and get a discount at the bar.
There are no VIP areas or distinctions of any kind. What there is, is a guest list where you can sign up through their website and a motley crew of people ranging from 25 to 60 years old, where you can chat with rockers or hipsters, sing a song by Brian Ferry in the Karaoke led by Lola Von Dage - literally in a bathtub filled with plastic balls - or meet Kate Moss, Bobbie Gillespie or Alex Kapranos.
Rocknighters don't come to worship a DJ; the proof of this is an anecdote that happened a few years ago when Skrillex turned up and asked to play for a while. After five minutes, which took forever, Diego asked him to kindly leave the DJ booth. The audience thanked Diego warmly.
Tony Pike's spirit lives on at Rock Nights, and there's only one commandment: Have a good time and treat everyone the same. That may be why the legendary hotelier hung out at Rock Nights 'til the early hours. As well as Freddie Mercury, stars such as Julio Iglesias, Grace Jones, George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley (who as Wham filmed their immortal Club Tropicana video there) all enjoyed Pikes because Tony exuded that all-important quality of making people feel good, wherever they came from.
Perhaps Mercury left the deepest mark in Pikes, where he held his legendary 40th birthday party that went on for days. The hotel continues celebrating the milestone as if that night had never ended. Another 40th birthday - less mythical, but just as important for the Rock Nights community - happened at Pikes: that of our beloved resident DJ Colin Peters, where recreated the video clip of Club Tropicana, in honour of Wham and the history of the most emblematic hotel on the Island.
If all this doesn't convince you, you'll have to come and experience it in person. The Rock Nights Opening Party is on Thursday 18th May, with limited entry, but don't worry if you can't make it as the summer dates are as follows: you'll have another chance on 22nd June on San Juan night, 13th July, the first date of our 18th anniversary celebration, with the second date on the 3rd August. The Closing Party is on 21st September, with our Bonus Track party on 6th October, coinciding with the end of the Sonorama Ibiza festival.
Soren Manzoni, Marc from Dorian, JotaPop or Axel P from Sidonie will be some of our guests this summer, along with our resident DJs: Colin Peters, Diego Calvo, Lola Von Dage and Simøne. Paul, our resident ink master artist, will be tattooing once again, and we will have two tarot readers who promise to foretell the most unusual omens.
We look forward to another year with the spirit of community that has made us stand out from the crowd and kept us going for almost two decades. As the Stones sing: 'It's only Rock 'n' Roll, but I like it.' We totally get what Mick says.
*Tickets at rocknightsclub.com