A Manumission Life: Flashback to 2001

Considering the current situation in Ibiza we thought you might enjoy a flashback to one of our favourite summers… 19 years ago – on this date, June 18th 2001, The Fantastic Sea Voyage of the GOODSHIP Manumission began.

Mike & I were introduced to photographer Neil Soni and we commissioned him to follow ourselves, and our crew throughout the summer of 2001. His lens migrated towards the more chaotic side of things. He started shooting from week 3 and on the corresponding week this summer we will be exhibiting a selection of these photographs here at Mission Mansion.

A hint at the forthcoming photographic exhibition.

In the words of photographer Neil Soni:

I first met Mike and Claire at the opening party of Manumission during the summer of 98, when Derek Dahlarge introduced me to them in the back room after one of his sets. I was 19 years old, looking for work and Derek was my only contact in Ibiza. They told me to come to the Manumission Motel as they needed help getting it ready to launch – I ended up removing the stones from the roof in the sweltering heat… and going to every single Manumission party that summer! 


That year I met Lois, Claire’s younger sister, and we realised we all went to the same high school, although I was a few years below them. Much later on we realised the first ever Manumission poster was shot at my dad’s old studio in Kensington park Road shot by Phil Silcock in the mid nineties!

Lois was becoming a stylist/fashion designer and we ended up meeting on a few shoots in London during 2000. We became good friends and we ended up travelling in India together for a month during the winter of 2001. I was in Kathmandu in May 2001 when I received an email from Lois saying she was going to ibiza to do the costumes for Manumission and they needed a BTS photographer. I jumped on a  flight back to London and went off to Ibiza for the summer season. 


When I met M&C I showed them my India travel pics and they decided my style was suited to catching the humour and hedonism during after hours at Manumission in the Coco Loco (back room that got going between 6-8 am) and Carry On at Space. My shift started at around 5am Monday morning and finished 4pm after Carry On. Everything was shot on 35mm film in hot and sweaty conditions. I didn’t have the ability to check the images when I was shooting like you can do with digital and had to wait until Thursday to get the results… 

I was very much part of the party and tried to capture the wild moments and energy of the after hours. The Coco Loco got going at 6am after the shows and was the time when all the Manumission team and showgirls let loose, dancing on the bars, and Colin Peters was dropping bangers! We jumped on the happy bus at 9am after hanging in the changing rooms and went for breakfast opposite Space, had some beers/shots and went to Carry On where we handed out toys and fancy dress to the up for it crowd. 

Manumission mornings by Neil Soni

19 years ago – on this date, June 18th 2001, The Fantastic Sea Voyage of the GOODSHIP Manumission began.

Neil’s flair, his timing and wicked sense of humour shine through in this collection, more to come…

A Manumission Life: Flashback to 2001 – Tuesday mornings at Manumission, and CARRY ON in Space, caught through the lens of Neil Soni, Loft Studios.

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