Watch an ’80s tourist promo for the legendary open-air Ibiza nightclub that rivaled Studio 54.
Summer has officially arrived, and in light of all this heat and sunshine we thought it an apt time to revisit this excellent find by Apiento of peak 1980s club Ku in all its Balearic glory. At its zenith, the Ibizan club had 20 bars throughout its grounds, a 10,000-person capacity (take into account that the max at Pacha was 3,000 and Amnesia 5,000, just to give you an idea of its scope), and hosted some of the most legendarily hedonistic open-air parties the island has ever seen.
It lived during the golden, precious decade in Ibiza before its commercial explosion, when clubbers could swim in the pool and (quite literally) dance the night away under the moonlight until that iconic Spanish sunrise.
Acting as an unofficial asylum for queer and alternative Spaniards, the club provided an inclusive haven to not only dance but share new ideas and concepts. Ku was also the first venue to promote live acts on the island, where the likes of Grace Jones (a frequent attendee), James Brown, Duran Duran, and the Wailers graced the stage.
Celebrated nightlife photographer Derek Ridgers captured the spirit of KU during a night out in 1984. “It had the reputation of being the biggest and best club on the island. You might even have been able to say it was the biggest and best club in Europe,” says Ridgers. The venue is centered around the enormous San Rafael pool, complete with a water slide designed like a dragon. “It was almost like a James Bond film set… I’d never seen anything like it.”
KU was also where Ibiza-loving Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé filmed the music video for the 1987 hit “Barcelona.” By then, Ku was already a symbol of the island, rivaled the great venues worldwide, and was considered the place to be in the global scene. One of the creative masterminds behind it all, Faruk Gandji, recalls, “It was like paradise; you could do anything you want. There were no boundaries, no voyeurs, and the drugs were pure. Envision total freedom with beautiful scenery, new music, and a diverse crowd.”
“…Tomorrow another dream will start.”
Catch a glimpse of it here in this video uploaded by Testpressing‘s Apiento:
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