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I AM HARDWELL Opening Party – Ushuaia, Ibiza



From the second I was informed that I was interviewing Hardwell to the day of the opening of I AM HARDWELL at Ushuaia, I simply couldn’t contain my excitement. I spent the week prior to the event perfecting the questions for my interview and watching his videos on YouTube for hours on end. I was literally like a little boy in a toy store, all my dreams had come true at once. 

It appeared like I wasn’t the only over-exasperated individual just dying to meet the world famous number one behind the decks either. Herds of Hardwell addicts piled on into the luxurious open top venue known as Ushuaia as they eagerly awaited for their idol to appear on set. With the opening of Carl Cox’s Revolution at Space occurring on the same night, it was a given that Playa D’En Bossa was going to be far from quiet this Tuesday, especially with both super clubs being separated by a single road.   

Considering this was my first time attending this open top paradise, it definitely exceeded my high expectations as far as the premises was concerned. Shaped like a unique cul-de-sac, the hotel facilities surround the stage in an aesthetically pleasing structure providing all Ushuaia residents the most glimmering and prosperous views when an act is performing at the Bossa super club. The EDM scene was in full swing in terms of the crowd – girls in high-waisted shorts and boys in neon vests. The prestigious Ushuaia hummingbird could be seen everywhere you looked too, a truly star studded symbol representing one of the most illustrious clubs on the planet.


With the sun setting in the background, a picture worth a thousand words was created – worthy of any image on a postcard to family back home. The Dutch prodigy, Hardwell, then graced the Ushuaia crowd with his presence and the crowd erupted. Let’s put it this way, if Ushuaia had a roof, it would have been completely blown off. Lights and fire highlighted the stage ensuring everyone’s attention was firmly upon the headlining act. Hardwell immediately revved the crowd up into the next gear as he shouted over the mic “Are you ready to party?!”

The atmosphere picked up immediately as Hardwell remixed famous tracks like I Got U by Duke Dumont sending the Ushuaia faithful straight to the dance floor throwing shapes like their lives depended on it. Rated number one in the world by his fans, Hardwell lived up to this reputation and dug down even deeper into his box of delightful tricks by satisfying all EDM loyalists in attendance. Records including the W&W remix of This Is What It Feels Like by Armin Van Buuren and Found You featuring Matthew Koma were blared through the speakers on set.

Hardwell continued to raise the bar in terms of his own performance by providing the crowd with a dose of unpredictability in his set. The Dutch sensation remixed Armin Van Buuren’s Ping Pong with vocals from Latch by Disclosure as this mix was blended with motoring drops of a ping pong ball. The Ushuaia resident then jumped up onto his booth and the atmosphere increased even further. As I clutched the rails at the front by the main stage, the desperation of the rest of the crowd to get a better glimpse of their idol was indescribable – I had never witnessed anything quite like it in my life. He then supplied the energetic crowd moments in his set for a singalong dropping tracks like Alive by Krewella and his very own record featuring Matthew Koma, I Dare You. Laser beams and EDM classics filled the close to his truly breathtaking three hour set as day turned to night – this one will definitely be etched in my memory for years to come.


The support acts for the opening of I AM HARDWELL at Ushuaia also impressed on the night. With a line-up full of promising Dutch talent, Hardwell wasn’t the only show stealer present at this all star venue. Having received recognition and approval from names like Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angelo, dance whiz kid Franky Rizardo brought his A game to the White Isle in style as he entertained the Ushuaia crowd with classics including Funky Noise. House producer Funkerman also made his presence felt featuring some absolute belters including Speed Up and 3 Minutes To Explain. Kill The Buzz also performed at this opening event getting the crowd in the mood as they prepared for Hardwell’s set later on.

Following seven hours of heaven in Ushuaia, I think it’s safe to say my first experience of the day time open top event was completely mesmerising and it definitely won’t be my last. I AM HARDWELL has officially arrived and will be making memories all summer long.

Words: Matty Adams

Grahame Farmer

Grahame Farmer’s love affair with electronic music goes back to the mid-90s when he first began to venture into the UK’s beloved rave culture, finding himself interlaced with some of the country’s most seminal club spaces. A trip to dance music’s anointed holy ground of Ibiza in 1997 then cemented his sense of purpose and laid the foundations for what was to come over the next few decades of his marriage to the music industry.

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