After what always feels like a long and drawn out winter in between seasons, we knew summer had arrived with the opening of one particular set of doors. Rebranded with a chic new name yet staying true to all the bells and whistles on which it’s built on, Friday 17th May saw the hotly anticipated O Beach come alive. Kicking off season number eight, the island’s favourite beach club for fun, frivolity and plenty of OTT action made sure it was one to remember by layering on the theatrics and good times. As ever, the turn out was gargantuan proving O Beach’s loyal following, us included, clearly couldn’t wait for the first taste of pool party heaven.
The day had already started on a high with the sun coating the island with glorious rays of happiness as we begun to ready for the day ahead. As it’s well documented, the weather coming into the season can be a little hit and miss, yet with O Beach’s opening imminent, the forecast had turned itself around at just the right time. Walking down San Antonio’s promenade with glittering views of the sea, a sigh of welcome relief left us as we reached the blossom-drenched doors of O Beach – it had been too long! While temperatures weren’t quite scorching yet, it didn’t stop any revellers donning their most eye-popping swim-attire as we soon found out upon our entrance. Met with a crowd already out in force by the early afternoon, glamorous ladies and gents peacocking in fabulous outfits filled every inch of the beach club – beds, tables and the dancefloor at capacity.
As if the previous summer had never ended, the vibes inside were threatening to compete with the palpable energy that typically comes in the high-season. Gloriously feel-good house anthems were being served in abundance by O Beach residents Tom Craine, Grant Collins and Sam Dungate. Drumming up an all-smiles turn out into hands-in-the-air frenzy, vocal hits and insatiable rhythms held those on the dancefloor firmly glued to every last beat. Gold streamers dressed the palm trees while disco balls reflected the twinkling sunshine yet, of course, it wouldn’t be O Beach without jaw-droppingly decadent production. All stops had well and truly been pulled out as early on in the day, a carnival-themed takeover had us competing for the ‘gram. Dancers in impressively large feather headdresses paraded around the DJ booth, flashing in purple sequin one-pieces.
Keeping us all on our toes, the sensory delights begun pouring in one by one. A colossal, multi-coloured parrot – as jazzy as the gorgeous dancers – emerged from the sky. Carrying a samba-dressed entertainer that sashayed to the pounding beats on its back, the floor erupted into cheer while guests clamoured to take photographs. The buzz was rampant as percussionists joined in alongside the DJs orchestrating more energy across the open-air venue. Ruben Moran bellowed silky smooth sounds from his golden saxophone while Sam Slattery on the drums pitched the tempo higher. Alongside several others on the instruments, house music had been elevated to unstoppably danceable moments.
Attention from the descending of the parrot continued to be stolen from all angels. What makes O Beach so addictive is the other-worlds it fashions its all-white interiors into. Paying homage to its founders’ roots, a London-inspired theme took over the prior rainbow-infested shenanigans. Topping itself in the space of a couple of hours, next to drop from the sky was a black-cab with the Queen serenading the crowd, followed closely by a pillarbox-red double-decker bus – every head had turned for this one. A sexy take on Beefeaters infiltrated the crowd as stunning dancers shot out fiery energy. From midday to when the skies begun their descent into hues of pink and purple, O Beach never lost of a touch of spirit.
Dishing out more feel-good than we thought could be possible, the once immaculately presented guests had begun to let their hair down come sunset. Following a dramatic piano performance in the middle of the pool, the night came to a crescendo with breath-taking fire-breathers that light up the darkened sky. Oblivious to how quickly time had passed, O Beach had taken us and a thick crowd on till the very end. Through a multitude of themed worlds, it had felt like we’d been on a sonic journey across the globe all in one place. Undeniably, the opening for this glitzy poolside venue was the biggest yet. If this is a taste of what’s to come, our advice: buckle on tight! O Beach have levelled up, once again.