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Javier Anadón’s 10 Biggest Nights in Café Mambo History 

A shamanic sweat lodge ceremony might just lead to a spiritual rebirth.
Photography by Katarina Baliova

“There are other incredible nights of course such as the first time Sasha played, when Jeremy Healy was so famous he could play in the afternoon and still cause a roadblock, the crazy times of Alex & Brandon and when Judge Jules was at his height with Judgement Sundays. But for me, these are the ten nights that will always stick in my memory…”

Javier Anadón’s 10 Biggest Nights in Café Mambo Ibiza
“Being inside the hut is like being inside your mother’s womb.”

The opening night  // June 1994

I bought the building in March and so my Scottish and Spanish decorators only had two months to turn what was a shabby block into my dream. I was always confident it was going to be a cool bar, but never in my wildest dreams did I actually think it was going to develop into the famous worldwide brand it is today. I actually played the first ever record, Bob Dylan’s ‘Times Are Changing’…

The first superstar DJ // August 1994

It was quite fitting that the first big DJ to play at Mambo was Graeme Park. My wife Caroline is Scottish and so  it meant a lot to have the most famous DJ from her homeland there. None of our friends in Scotland believed us to be honest. Back then it was so difficult to get a big DJ to come to a bar and play for free, but that is one of the best thing about our relationships with the best DJs in the world – I have never paid anyone to play at Mambo.

The Radio 1 broadcasts // August 1997

Take your pick from any of the many times the BBC has arrived on sunset strip! It is complete chaos with so much organization, but wow what a party Radio 1 brings. This was the summer of big records from Basement Jaxx, Ultra Nate and Daft Punk…an incredible time for music. I can remember Pete Tong telling me it was him who had convinced Radio 1 that instead of doing roadshows in England, they should be in Ibiza. How right he was and how lucky we were.

The MTV Festival pre parties // August 1999

The legendary MTV Sa Pefrera quarry parties are some of the best parties Ibiza has ever seen. This was the time when MTV was a supercool brand that did so much to help promote the island. Erick Morillo was always the star of the night for us interviewing all the big DJs and live artists on the terrace…just magical times.

When Roger Sanchez was the biggest DJ on the planet // July 2001

I only have to hear the first bars of ‘Another Chance’ and it takes me back to the nights Roger played that summer. We were both having dinner at Sa Capella one evening and I went over to introduce myself and invite him down to play. He was on top of the world at the time, nobody was bigger and it was a huge moment for us when he stepped into the booth for the first time. It was the start of a beautiful friendship; he is like family now.

Every Monday with the Swedish House Mafia // June 2009

How many bars on the planet can claim to have Seb Ingrosso, Steve Angello and Axwell playing for them every week? We hosted their pre party for their Masquerade Motel parties at Pacha and the boys had so much fun with us. It was wild. I had to pinch myself some weeks watching the sheer happiness on people’s faces when these legends were playing. Three amazing guys who became firm friends of the Mambo family, Axwell even got married at our El Chiringuito restaurant on Cala Gracioneta.

The night Carl Cox played the keyboard with The Brand New Heavies // October 2011

Another of those ‘only in Ibiza’ moments. One of the biggest names in techno playing Stevie Wonder classics with one of the best jazz funk bands on the planet. We had built a special stage in front of the bar with the sea and sunset as a backdrop, it was unforgettable and emotional. Carl took us all by surprise with his skills.

The night David Guetta and Martin Garrix went b2b // July 2014

At the time it didn’t get any bigger than these guys. The two leading DJs in the world playing sunset in the middle of the summer, I can remember the goosebumps when David dropped Disclosure…an incredible night. The funniest moment though was when David left by the back door and there was about 200 photographers there waiting for him. It was pure Hollywood with a thousand flashes exploding as he tried to get to his car.

The Fatboy Slim takeovers // August 2014

It is impossible to put into words the enormity of what happens when Fatboy Slim plays at Mambo, it’s like a rock star is appearing. There are people dancing as far as the eye can see and the whole of the bay is full of boats each with their own little party going on. Norman is one the nicest people you will ever meet, a total gentleman and a huge friend of my family. And when he plays, wow! He just gives it 100% every time. 

The Mambo Brothers debut // June 2018

What can I say? The proudest night of my life as my sons Christian and Alan played for the first ever time. I watched from the early days when the likes of the Swedes and Roger would give them advice, today they are doing 160 DJ shows a year around the world. June 11th 2018 is a date I will never forget for the rest of my life.

Mambo Brothers, Café Mambo Ibiza



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