As you might have seen, Nonchalant Magazine was the lead media partner this year for Velvet Ibiza – the epic lesbian festival that takes place in Ibiza every May. As part of that partnership, we were lucky enough to get the chance to head to the festival as a team to see what it was all about, frolic around, and report back to you.
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We wanted to give you (our beautiful readers) a true look at what this festival was like, so check out our summary video below where we interview some of the DJs and show the events. But be sure to read on for our full review of Velvet Ibiza. We also answer all the questions we had prior to going and explain what we got up to whilst at this festival for queer women.
Velvet Ibiza Review and Low Down
Ok, we’ll set the scene, you’ll land at Ibiza Airport and once you’ve collected your bags, you’ll be greeted by a friendly guy who runs the shuttle bus service, you’ll join the coach alongside other lesbians and queer women arriving with the hope of an epic holiday ahead. The coach journey takes approx 30mins from the airport, so this is a chance to chat with people that have arrived on the same flight as you – which is a massive touch, we’re still in WhatsApp groups with the people we met on the coach. At the hotel you’ll be checked in, you’ll throw your bags in your room, and head to the pool where a DJ is playing tropical house, women are everywhere sunbathing by the pool and partying. Sound good? We thought so….
What’s the vibe and crowd like that attends Velvet Ibiza?
Okay, so this is absolutely the main question we were asked when returning from the festival, on the lead-up, and still to this day. Questions such as, what is the average age group? What nationalities go? Are the people that attend friendly, cliquey, bitchy, nice? Are they femme? Are they butch? Are they studs? Are trans people welcome… etc etc etc, the questions went on.
Before we get on to the nitty gritty, we want to start by saying, the festival has all types of people there and it was very accepting and inclusive. Everyone is welcome – which we are all about, so that was a great start.
The vibe at Velvet Ibiza
The first thing to say about the vibe of the festival is that it is extremely friendly, which is very apparent as soon as you arrive. The people that attend want to talk to you, want to be friends with you, and want you to join their group for a drink (If you live in London, that gets some getting used to).
So in short, it is not cliquey at all and you’re welcome to go and chat to all groups and not feel shunned. Generally, this is quite rare for a lesbian event (or so we have found previously). This part of the festival we absolutely loved, and felt like it was a breath of fresh air.
Carine, the founder, goes out of her way to welcome you and introduce you to other people, which is super lovely and sets the tone for the week ahead. What a legend. And spoiler alert, by the end of the festival you’ll find yourself chanting her name from the crowd at the closing party as she shoots a glitter cannon over you alongside other lesbians showing their gratitude for the week they just had.
What is the age group at Velvet Ibiza?
The age group is truly mixed. We met people by the pool who were 20s and 30s, all the way up to their 60s. But what is really lovely about this festival is that age isn’t really a problem. You make friends regardless and everyone is super cool and interesting to talk to. In general, though, the main two age groups that seem to attend Velvet Ibiza are 20s and 30s.
What is also important to note about this topic, is the festival seemingly has something for all ages and people with all needs from a holiday. So for example, if you want to party all week, listen to DJ sets by the pool, drink in the day, and rave in the evening – they absolutely have this covered (and we’ll get on to this more in the next section). On the other hand, if you’d prefer to wake up in the morning and attend yoga, relax in the day, go for beach walks and hikes, visit the old town, or sing songs by the pool with your guitar and pals then this is also an option there too.
What nationalities go to Velvet Ibiza?
We have a confession, we had not heard about Velvet Ibiza until this year, and thank god we did hear about it. It seems this festival has passed the UK by for a 7 solid years. However, we are there now and we are reppin’. What we’re trying to say is, English people are the minority at the festival. This is a great thing because the festival attracts a mixture of nationalities. According to Carine, it usually attracts mainly a large percentage of Americans, Belgians (of course, because it’s the spin-off holiday from Velvet 69 which is a lesbian event in Belgium), Spanish, and a mixture of Europeans. We met so many interesting people from all over, including London to be fair, and that’s what makes it such a cool atmosphere.
The DJs that are booked are from all over, from DJ Kaspa (London) to Boogshe (Neth.), DJ Nomy (Belgian), DJ Gala G (Spain), Dj Mia Wallas(Spain), DJ Michal Serr (Tel Aviv), and Dj Sahra (Belgian).
What is Included in the package?
For 2023 the package included 5 days of accommodation at a resort, and food throughout the trip, which includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with snacks by the pool, alcohol until 10:30pm, and return transfers from the airport, plus all of the events that are held during the week which include a club night every night at the resort, live DJs at the pool, speed dating events, and more.
The Food & Alcohol
For the trip, you are able to attend the resort’s all-inclusive restaurant canteen for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The food is very basic, and if an area of the trip could be improved we would say it should be the food for sure, however, that said it’s such a good package and the food does the job if you’re attending mainly to party. However, if you want something a little more cultured or slightly up-market for food you can always head out of the complex and attend the many restaurants and cafes nearby, which is what we did once a day either for lunch or dinner. We suggest you head to the bar opposite called EsBirra Cervecerua Artesana, for a Margarita and to try the local food.
With regards to alcohol, you’re able to head to the bar the moment you hit the pool in the day and ask for beers, wine, house spirits, and a selection of cocktails too – which was way more than we expected. So, after several Pina Coladas by the pool, you definitely have enough courage needed to approach another squad of women.
We stayed in the main resort, The Cala Martina Hotel which is a 3* resort. The room situation is similar to the food, it does the job for the time you’re there. You won’t get luxury, but as we mentioned before, the price of the full trip is so reasonable that this is completely what was expected. The rooms are made up of single beds, double or 3 sharing. They are clean and tidy and have ensuites. Something that is great about the resort is that it is so huge that if you want to head to bed early (maybe you hit it too hard the night before) then you can do so without hearing any of the loud music as the complex is so large.
The resort is set out in small bungalow-style rooms so they are super private (if you get lucky wink wink) and the resort itself is right near the beach overlooking the sea, so it’s absolutely beautiful. You are also able to walk to the beach really easily.
What are the events like?
The DJ sets are epic. Every day there is a DJ set by the pool from 3-6pm, and then another from 9pm-11pm at the main stage by the pool. Once 11pm hits then everyone is moved inside the club for another DJ set until 3am. The club is set in an amphitheater style where the steps slope down on to the dance floor so you can see the DJ and stage from up high, it’s pretty vibzey. So if you want to party they absolutely have that covered. The music was mainly house, and tropical house, alongside dancefloor fillers but also a nice mix of different sets including afrobeat and dancehall.
Other events that take place across the week include speed dating, water sports during the day, morning yoga looking out over the sea, beach hikes, trips into Ibiza Old Town, and more. You have to pay extra for some of the extra activities but they are truly worth it as you get to experience Ibiza in all it’s beauty.
But of course, we can’t forget to mention the famous duck race which consists of hundreds of rubber ducks being thrown into the pool that everyone has to jump in and grab for your chance to win a free ticket to next year, amongst other prizes.
Another nice highlight of the festival is the famous hippie market that goes on at the resort itself. This is not run by Velvet Ibiza it’s part of the local town and is on every Wednesday. There are hundreds of bespoke hippie stalls selling everything from clothes to jewelry.
Other Things to Check Out Outside of the Festival
- The hippie market is a must at the resort, but it’s hard to miss this.
- Head outside of the complex and walk to the local beach, you are surrounded by beaches and coves so you can head left or right once outside of the complex and still end up at a beach.
- Go on the trip to Ibiza’s Old Town, get some brunch, and check out the castle and local bars.
- Make sure you head to the beach at night to see the moon from the beach.
In summary, you’re sure to leave this festival with new friends from across the globe (and perhaps a girlfriend too, oi oi), plus so many fun memories. We had a great time! Thanks to Carine and the Velvet Ibiza team for having us.
We hope to see you there next year,
Team Nonchalant x
Last Updated on 22nd June 2023 by Nonchalant Magazine