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definition - Amnesia (nightclub)

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Amnesia (nightclub)

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Inside Amnesia in July, 2006. Photo: David Boyle
Coordinates38°56′52″N 1°24′29″E / 38.94778°N 1.40806°E / 38.94778; 1.40806Coordinates: 38°56′52″N 1°24′29″E / 38.94778°N 1.40806°E / 38.94778; 1.40806
LocationSan Rafael, Ibiza
Capacitymore than 5,000
WebsiteAmnesia Homepage

Amnesia is one of several internationally renowned clubs in Ibiza and was awarded Best Global Club in the 2007 International Dance Music Awards for 2006 at the Winter Music Conference in Miami[1]. The club is located close to the village of San Rafael on the highway between Sant Antoni de Portmany and Ibiza Town and less than a kilometer apart from Privilege, both among the island's most popular nightclubs. The club can pack more than 5,000 people on the dance floors. Amnesia was the first major outdoor club on the island. Today the previously open-air terrace is closed, but light still floods in as sunrise approaches. Like Privilege, it is famous for its sunrise dance floor.


Home of many famous club nights

Amnesia is home to the successful Manumission club night since mid August 2007. This unexpected mid-season change of venue from Amnesia's biggest rival, Privilege, took place over a dispute between Manumission's organizers and the club's owner which peaked when the owner locked the doors to the event organizer on Friday August 3,[2] leaving thousands of ticket-holders stranded outside the club. Another successful club night is Cream, started by Joseph Murphy in 1996 and is still one of the longest-running UK nights on the island. Club Cocoon, promoted by the veteran DJ and producer, German Sven Väth, is another popular night, taking the share of Monday's crowds since Manumission, for many years its biggest rival at Privilege, moved to Fridays in 2006. Amnesia was also home to the famous club night La Troya Asesina night up until 2006, when it finally moved to Space to end a long association with the venue.

One of the oldest clubs on the island (island legend Alfredo was a resident in the 80s, when it was open air and the haunt of celebrities in the days before thousands of clubbers flocked to the island every season) it opened in the 1970s, and survived closures and memorable summers alike before it finally cemented its position as one of the island's premier clubs in the early 90s.


The history of Amnesia really began in April 1970, when the Planells family who had inhabited the house for five generations decided to move in to town and sell their finca (country house) to a widow from an aristocratic background. Ibiza, which had become a destination for tourism already in the fifties, was at that time a hive for counterculture and idealists and the building that was to become Amnesia turned into a meeting point with hippie bands playing and other facets of hippie culture taking place.

In May 1976, Antonio Escohotado, a young man born in Madrid and with a degree in philosophy, who had arrived on the island two years earlier to start a new life, signed a lease with the landlady for use of the premises and he chose the name for the discotheque he was going to establish: "The Workshop of Forgetfulness". He wanted to express that when people go out at night it is to forget their problems and indulge in an unknown world far away from ordinary routine. However, the next day he realized that the Greek word Amnesia contains it all.

Two years later, in 1978, Ginés Sánchez, a manufacturer from Madrid took over Amnesia and a decade filled with ups and downs began. Unexpected closings alternated with wonderful summers with capacity crowds in active competition with the other discothèques, such as Ku (now Privilege), Pacha, Glory’s and Lola’s (the last two have long since closed).

In the 80s a young Basque named Prontxio Izaguirre took over the running of Amnesia, and the music changed to dance music, a mix between pop and funk, and hip hop. Freestyle mixing was permitted and house was about to take over. The Ibizencan discothèques introduced the magic of open rooftops. The original Balearic Beat emerged spearheaded by legends like DJ Alfredo Fiorito and DJ Huggy MacPherson. On the night of June 22, 1991 Amnesia reopened under MFC management. It is at this time that the clubs of Ibiza begin to gain international fame.

Due to complaints from its neighbours Amnesia had to cover its open-air dance floor. Even so, the club experienced massive expansion with the number of bars increasing from four to 16, and from a staff of 30 to more than 200 employees during the summer festivities. The staff now includes waiters, spectacular go-go dancers, security, light-jockeys, as well as office workers.

References in Media

  • The protagonist, DJ Frankie Wilde, in the film It's All Gone Pete Tong plays gigs in scenes that take place at Amnesia.
  • The film Kevin & Perry Go Large (2000) had a large proportion of its scenes filmed inside the club and there are numerous mentions of the club in the main dialogue.
  • Armin van Buuren recorded Universal Religion 2008: Live from Armada at Ibiza, from Amnesia on August 21, 2007.


  2. ^ "Manumission shut down by... the boss himself.". ibiza-voice.com. 2007-08-06. http://www.ibiza-voice.com/news/news.php?id=1235. Retrieved 2007-08-12. 

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