If you’ve ever visited Ibiza, you’ll notice that it’s hard to stray away from the flashy lights, billboards, and big commercial club nights that give the island its name. One club night going against the grain on the White Isle has just relaunched for a third season – DJ Oliver’s PANDORA IBIZA, the no-frills night asking clubgoers to switch off the phone, enjoy the music, and get stuck in.
Launched in 2019 at Pacha as a “small party” bringing together friends of Ibiza stalwart DJ Oliver, PANDORA evolved into “a big gathering of house music lovers”, and now remains in place each summer season at the venue’s sister club Lio Ibiza. Every single Saturday, DJ Oliver puts on a spectacle through every style of house music without the glitz and glamour you’d come to expect on the White Isle. This bare-bones night strips everything back to the music.
PANDORA kicked off on May 13 for its third season and will continue to run throughout the summer months for a whopping 22-week marathon stint until October 7. This season includes appearances from the likes of Ibiza favourites; Angel Linde, Ruben Solar, Salva Martin, Javi Muñoz, Alvaro Smart, and DJ Oliver himself, all on the renowned dancefloor of Lio Ibiza.
We caught up with DJ Oliver on the next season of PANDORA, his legacy on the White Isle, and what’s next. Check it out below.
Tell us about PANDORA, what’s the concept behind your event series?
The idea is based on Pandora’s Box, a great story from Greek mythology in which Pandora used her box to take out all the evils in the world. We’ve opened that box, and it’s full of beautiful things such as good music, fun and joy. It’s a night where you can listen to various styles such as house, deep house, classics, tech house – all those styles merge into Pandora’s night with a dedicated audience and a very large musical education.
PANDORA will run for 22 weeks – what are you looking forward to most during that time? Any special collaborations?
We sincerely hope to achieve the same success as last season, to have the same reception from the public, and that all attendees enjoy themselves and take away great memories from an amazing night. In all the nights each season, we always have important collaborations – we have DJs who’ve marked an era in Ibiza and are important in the island’s music history.
How did you go about choosing the line-ups for PANDORA nights?
This year, the line-up of each night is configured to have an emblematic artist from the island and with a lot of experience such as Angel Linde or Ruben Solar, as well as another artist from the new generation, so we support the fresh and very great talents.
PANDORA is said to be a no-frills night without dancers or special FX, can you tell us about that?
That’s right, our mission every night is to have and create a musical connection with the crowd on the dancefloor. Our concept is very clear, it’s to connect with the public and make them dance all night. Lio Ibiza is a very intimate club, and every night at Pandora, in a very natural way, we create an atmosphere that invites you to be on the dancefloor. For us, that’s everything. Therefore we have no distracting elements, contrary to other parties on the island – and the truth is, we’ve always had good results.
Why did you choose to host the event series at Lio Ibiza?
PANDORA started at Pacha in 2019 and went so well that the following year, they offered us the chance to do it at Lio on Saturdays, which is an important night for the club. Lio as a club is perfect for us and PANDORA as a party, we’re very happy to be there every Saturday.
Will you adapt your style and sound for PANDORA nights? If so, what are you looking to do differently?
I haven’t had to adapt my style, at PANDORA all good music is welcome. We always try to do things differently from other parties or clubs and we try to reach the public in a different way. What sets us apart from the rest is that we always connect with the public and create an incredible atmosphere.
You’ve been performing in Ibiza for some 30 years – how has the scene evolved since you started out on the White Isle?
I think that evolution has been very fast and technology has been one of the biggest causes, however, that evolution was also necessary in many aspects. Perhaps a negative part of this evolution is that music is currently in the background and social networks are above music and music quality.
How has your sound changed during that time? And how has Ibiza’s club scene influenced it?
My sound has been evolving throughout all these years – I started in the acid house era, then I moved on to house, and currently shift between deep house, house and tech house. In terms of production, I feel very good with tech house and deep house, although I identify with all aspects of house and they suit me well.
The clubbing scene in Ibiza has changed a lot. Before, there were hardly any promoters and all the parties were organised and produced by the island’s clubs. Now, from Monday to Sunday, everything is run by promoters from all over the world who have their parties here. I sincerely believe that since Space closed, there was a turning point in Ibiza. Space marked an era for the industry on the island.
You’ve had an impressive run of shows in Ibiza over the years alongside some of the biggest names. What are you excited about for the future of your career, and where do you go from here?
At this moment, what motivates me the most to carve out my future is to continue working every day to the maximum. Right now, I enjoy the day-to-day, and I try to live the present in the best possible way. I live from music and with that, I am already happy!
What’s next for you?
The next thing for me is to finish some EPs that I’m producing in my studio in Ibiza, and that will soon be released. This coming Saturday I’ll return to PANDORA in Lio Ibiza!
DJ Oliver’s PANDORA nights take place every Saturday at Lio Ibiza until October 7. Find out more about PANDORA nights here.
Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter
Written by: Tim Hopkins