Stormzy To Curate New Ibiza Festival

Ibiza Rocks director of talent and programming Jordan Hallpike says he knew he wanted to work with English grime sensation Stormzy from the moment he supported Dizzee Rascal at the  in 2015.  

Stormzy Ibiza Rockets Hotel
Luke Dyson Photography
– Stormzy Ibiza Rockets Hotel

Which is why he brought him back for a headline show the same year and, in 2016, for a four-week residency – “arguably one of the standout and most successful residencies of the year in Ibiza,” according to Hallpike.

Now, in 2017, the first #Merky Festival is to welcome some 3,000 people to a one-day, multi-stage grime extravaganza featuring a handpicked lineup of urban music.

Stormzy, who is curating the artist lineup, will also headline the first edition, also at Ibiza Rocks Hotel, July 11.

Apart from Stormzy, no acts have been announced yet.

“I’ll be bringing some very special guests,” the artist tweeted. Ibiza Rocks, which was founded by Andy McKay and Dawn Hindle in 2005, started life as a promoter, curating the back room at the world-renowned weekly club night Manumission at Ibiza’s Privilege club.

#MerkyFestival Poster
– #MerkyFestival Poster

It was “turning Ibiza’s music landscape on its head by bringing over live, indie and guitar music. People like Babyshambles and The Libertines,” Hallpike remembers. “We saw an opportunity to develop that whole disruptive scene a little bit further,” he told Pollstar

From the back room of Manumission the live event traveled to Ibiza Rocks Bar on the island’s San Antonio Beach to the Hippodrome.

In 2008, the live concept made a permanent residency at what is now the Ibiza Rocks hotel, a 360-room youth hotel aimed at 18- to 30-year-olds.

Stormzy Ibiza Rockets Hotel
Luke Dyson Photography
– Stormzy Ibiza Rockets Hotel

Concerts take place in the courtyard area of the hotel, so guests can watch the shows from their balconies or come down to dance. Tickets for non-residents are available too.

“Today we see ourselves as much as a travel and lifestyle brand as we are a promoter,” Hallpike said. “We move more people in that youth demographic to Ibiza than anybody else now.”

Stormzy Ibiza Rocks
Luke Dyson Photography
– Stormzy Ibiza Rocks

Just as guitar music was disruptive to the islands usual programming back in 2005, grime is today. “We’ve continued that breaking music mentality over the last 10 years, bringing out people like Chase & Status, Annie Mac and Skream, showcasing UK bass and drum n bass, and various other strains of that UK sound.

Grime has become a big part of that.” Over the course of the last couple of years, Ibiza Rocks has brought grime acts such as Dizzee Rascal,  and his Boy Better Know collective, Legal Bizzle and now Stormzy to the island.

“It’s important for our ethos that we put on breaking bands as well. A lot of the acts [at #Merky Festival] will hopefully be in a position to headline themselves in a few years to come, which is what happened with Stormzy.”