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Classic Ibiza returns to Cheshire

PUBLISHED: 00:00 07 June 2018

Classic Ibiza  stage perforrmance

Classic Ibiza stage perforrmance

not Archant

A picnic in picturesque parkland, a laser show and some banging tunes... the spirit of the Balearic dance scene comes to a stately home near you as Capesthorne hosts Classic Ibiza

Classic Ibiza fun on the stage - event in 2017 Classic Ibiza fun on the stage - event in 2017

It’s been described as ‘a very refined rave’. The pulsing tracks which were once the soundtrack to the steamy hedonism of Ibiza’s club scene now waft across the manicured lawns of English stately homes.

And the clubbers who, two decades ago, danced the night away, footloose and fancy-free, now take their children, and a picnic, to enjoy the same music, but with a classical twist.

Yes, this is Classic Ibiza, which comes to Capesthorne Hall for the first time on June 30th. Beating a path there will be the music tribe which partied at Manchester’s Hacienda, and summered in the White Isle’s legendary clubs. They may be all grown up now, but they’ve not lost their affection for the thumping soundtrack of their youth.

Lisa Ward, of Market Drayton-based Revival Productions, organisers of Classic Ibiza, should know. She’s a member of that same music tribe. ‘It’s very much my era. I was one of those people who went clubbing, went to Ibiza and then had my children,’ says Lisa. ‘I went to Manchester University, so I frequented the Hacienda during those years. I had a fantastic time in Manchester...very happy memories.’

More Classic Ibiza fun at  Blickling 2017,  Photo by Simon Finlay Photography More Classic Ibiza fun at Blickling 2017, Photo by Simon Finlay Photography

Perhaps to the surprise of some, the tracks which fuelled dance culture in the 1990s have not just endured, they’ve been co-opted into the world of classical music. In 2015, DJ Pete Tong hosted a Radio 1 Ibiza Prom at the Royal Albert Hall, with orchestral adaptations of electronic hits.

The next year, the first Classic Ibiza event was staged at Blickling Hall, Norfolk. Today, they have what Lisa describes as ‘six of the most beautiful stately homes in the UK’ at their disposal. After Capesthorne, the party rolls on to Ragley Hall in Warwickshire, Harewood House near Leeds, Bowood House in Wiltshire, Blickling and Hatfield House in Hertfordshire.

At the heart of the performance are some very familiar electronic hits, several of which have been picked by the fans via a poll of Classic Ibiza’s Facebook followers. Nineties hits loom large, with favourites including The Prodigy’s Out Of Space, Ultra Naté’s Free and Corona’s Rhythm Of The Night.

The human element is provided by DJ Goldierocks, the Urban Soul Orchestra and several live singers. Founder and conductor of the USO, Stephen Hussey has worked with a host of music’s big names, including many of the artists whose work is adapted for the show.

‘If last year’s concerts are anything to go by, Capesthorne is in for a real treat this summer,’ says Stephen.

‘Classic Ibiza is a heady mix of iconic dance tunes, a classical orchestra and a music festival in a stunning setting. Whether you want to sit back and relax with a glass of bubbly over a picnic in the evening sun, or get up and dance the night away, everyone is guaranteed a great time.’

Lisa, who worked for Bollington-based Performing Arts Management for 12 years before setting up Revival Productions with long-standing friend Katharine Brindley, adds: ‘It’s a picnic-style event, similar to the proms events that have been done for many years, but with a modern twist. The first half is a lovely chill-out set, while people enjoy their friends and their picnics. During the interval, the DJ starts to ramp the evening up, and in the second half is the dance set where the lasers and light show kick in, and it’s an incredible atmosphere.

‘Some may think it’s a young audience, but it really isn’t. They’re aged between 30 and 50, and it tends to be people who went clubbing in their youth, had children and can’t do that any more, but want to relive their youth and take the kids along with them.’

There is, of course, one factor which Ibiza’s clubbers seldom have to worry about...the unpredictability of English summer weather. ‘It’s far less of a problem than at the proms concerts,’ says Lisa. ‘At the proms, they come to sit and listen. If it’s wet, there’s no getting away from it, it’s not great. At the Ibiza concerts, we’ve done just one in the rain, and it’s a bit like Glastonbury...they love it. They’ll come and dance in the rain, and the lasers look amazing.’

join in the fun

Classic Ibiza, in association with Ministry of Sound, is at Capesthorne Hall, Siddington, Macclesfield, on Saturday June 30th . Tickets are £39.50 for adults, £17.50 for children (aged 5-16) and free for under-fives. Car parks and gates open at 6pm, the chill-out set begins at 8.00pm and the dance set with light and laser show begins at 9.30pm, finishing at 10.45pm. For details and tickets go to www.classicibiza.co.uk or call the box office on 01283 841601. Tickets are also available from Macclesfield Visitor Information Centre, Market Place, and from Congleton Tourist Information Centre, Town Hall.

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