Hï Theatre - March, 16, 2017


Hï Theatre - March, 16, 2017

On January 5, 2017, High Scream began work on Ibiza's greatest production challenge. To transform the inside of the building that had, for 27 years, housed the iconic club Space Ibiza into a brand new venue for the 21st century - Hï Ibiza.

We were awarded the contract after six successful seasons of production delivery at another leading venue, Ushuaïa Ibiza. Our experience here helped pave the way for this exciting new project.

Space will forever be part of Ibiza’s history, it hosted many of the island’s biggest parties and set the bar high for both day and night-time clubbing. It was important for us to respect the legacy of Space as we moved into the future for Hï Ibiza. We set out to visualise, design, produce and install a completely new infrastructure that would support innovations in production technology.

The aim was to combine all production elements, in spectacular new ways, to redefine clubbing as profoundly as Space once did - in less than five months.

Watch this video to see High Scream’s creator, Romain Pissenem explain the production planning for Hï Ibiza. They talk about how theatre inspired the new infrastructure, how they collaborated with legendary set designer Willie Williams, and how High Scream used VR to overcome huge technical challenges to bring the impossible to life.

January, 2017

We weren’t able to enter the building, formerly known as Space, in a professional capacity until the start of 2017. That’s when its 27-year lease finally expired and the keys were handed over, the baton officially passed from one generation to the next. We stood inside and surveyed the bare walls of what was now an empty shell. In just five months' time, the doors would open as a brand-new club and the clock was already ticking.

Space turning into Hï Ibiza, as it would soon be known, was much, much more than a simple rebrand. It was a complete reinvention.

Making Hï reality

Our role was to conceive, design, install, manage and creatively direct all of the production aspects of the project. This included the lighting, sound, LED video, animation, special effects, costumes, dancers, acrobats … Put simply, our job was to make Hï spectacular.

Once completed, the interior would be capable of extraordinary changes from one night to the next, with the versatility to be customised, to look and feel completely different, everyday. Hï Ibiza would become the ultimate electronic theatre, with a brand-new show every 24 hours. The intended effect would be to make the people fascinated in wonder, to emit un grand cri, which....of course, is French for High Scream. 

An ever-changing environment

Crucial to expanding the production's potential would be a new steel "skeleton" structure inside the roof of the main room, aka The Theatre. This would be anchored by a foundation of steel beams driven three metres deep into the ground, capable of bearing enormous weight. From the skeleton could safely hang huge banks of moving lights, screens, or even human performers. The Theatre’s 800 square-metre interior would become endlessly fluid, kinetic, unpredictable, shape-shifting, exciting and adaptable to new ideas. 

Another dramatic new addition, The Twist, would be central to The Theatre’s new identity, the only constant in an ever-changing environment. The Twist is the name given to the eye-catching steel I-beams positioned in two sections. Each section consists of three parallel steel ribbons with small gaps in between, that run for 28 metres along opposite walls of the Theatre before twisting and diving into the stage. A pioneering feat of engineering. Once installed, each ribbon would be covered with 6mm LED tiles. These would pulse with light and high-res video content, much of which High Scream would also create and program. The Twist would become a kind of high-tech proscenium, the electronic theatre’s ultimate motif.

The great thing about being involved from the beginning of Hï Ibiza was that we could work with Ushuaïa Entertainment and the architect, Estudio Vila, to ensure that the production infrastructure could be seamlessly integrated into Hï Ibiza’s interior design. We were able to advise on every production aspect, to ensure the final layout would help, not hinder, ambitious daily production changes.

Production in virtual-reality

In the months leading up to the opening party on May 29, our dedicated team overcame a series of daunting logistical challenges. We produced a scale model of the entire production in virtual-reality, so the owners could don VR goggles and be walked through a perfectly scaled 3D simulacrum of the new interior. This helped overcome any language barriers during the build.

There was the small matter of precision-bending six tonnes of steel ribbon to form The Twist; creating scores of dazzling new costumes for dancers and acrobats; sourcing high-performance tech - Ibiza being a small island, everything has to be imported. We also let our imaginations run riot, conceiving and implementing individual shows for every single night of Hï’ Ibiza’s 20-week summer run. We became obsessed. We still are. 

Towards the end of the video on this page is a series of images from different nights at Hï Ibiza this summer. You can see the circular banks of lights that swooped over the crowd like benign UFOs at the opening party; the iconic three-metre crosses for Martin Garrix’s Multiply night; the mirrorball spectacular at Glitterbox; the dark and tribal vibe for Black Coffee’s deep house, with the DJ booth relocated to the heart of the dancefloor. Every night looks and feels unique. It takes a team of 54 people to take down each production, assemble the next one and deliver on the night.

Every night, High Scream’s show director controls the production like the PT Barnum of dance music. Leading the show crew to monitor, adjust, co-ordinate the lights, video, lasers, dancers, special effects. To make each event as mind blowing as it can possibly be.

“Ultimately Hï Ibiza is all about the design, to elevate the senses, like no club has before.
At Hï Ibiza, you do not think, you feel”

Romain Pissenem

Armin Van Buuren - Hï Ibiza

Armin Van Buuren - Hï Ibiza

Eric Prydz - Hï Ibiza

Eric Prydz - Hï Ibiza