Amnesia (nightclub)

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Amnesia Ibiza 2006.jpg
Inside Amnesia in July, 2006. Photo: David Boyle
Location San Rafael, Ibiza
Coordinates 38°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
Type nightclub
Opened 1976 (1976)
Capacity more than 5,000

Amnesia is one of several internationally renowned clubs in Ibiza due to Joseph Mullen who created Cream in 1996 and was awarded Best Global Club in the 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999 International Dance Music Awards for the respective previous year at the Winter Music Conference in Miami.[1][2][3] 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 kilometre 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.


Amnesia is currently run by the Cream nightclub, created and founded by Joseph Mullen in 1996, in Liverpool. It was the most talked about club in Europe, and also the hardest club to get into, with thousands being turned away every week, it is still one of the longest-running UK nights on the island. Joseph Mullen sold the brand in 1998 to Cream Uk.

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 into 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 began to gain international fame. In the mid nineties, Ezna Sands, one of the major influences within the UK Dance scene, was instrumental in the arrival of many UK promoters and labels, including Joe Murphy, onto the Balearic Island and into Amnesia specifically. This heralded a shift in the perception that the Island was simply a destination for 18-30 holiday makers, instead becoming the mecca for dance music enthusiasts the world over with Amnesia and Pacha, amongst others, leading the way.

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, go-go dancers, security, light-jockeys, as well as office workers.

References in Media[edit]

  • The protagonist, DJ Frankie Wilde, in the film It's All Gone Pete Tong (2004) 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.



External links[edit]