Manumission, The Motel & You…

This is the real Ibiza story and it started in New York

Words below by legendary rock n roll biographer Kris Needs.

“When it comes to chronicling the long and convoluted history of Ibiza’s fabled clubs, Manumission is long established as the most infamous and biggest weekly party the world has ever seen; shattering taboos with its notorious stage shows while taking unbridled mass hedonism to heights not even seen in dance music.  

    Over a million and a half people came to Manumission over its fourteen year run at the world’s biggest nightclub, earning a place in the Guinness Book of Records. Going into its fifth year, Manumission creators – Mike & Claire – felt they needed somewhere cool, secret and special for the island, an intimate fantasy playpen with its own unique magic. 

    Opening summer 1998 in a condemned abandoned brothel, The Manumission Motel stands with the mothership club as a unique flashpoint in socio-cultural history; a truly bohemian pleasure palace which, for one summer only, instantly flared into an idealistic supernova hotbed of liberated mischief and mayhem, chaos and cavorting, bathed in love, warmth and positive harmony (that inevitably couldn’t last when the world outside got wind of it). In today’s corporately-overrun Ibiza, there’s no evidence The Motel had even existed at the el cruce de Jesus (Cross of Jesus) crossroads just outside Ibiza Town but, when Mike & Claire fell in love with the little known island, vowing to make their time there seminal and culturally rich by drawing as many great people and extraordinary artists to share it with them under their roof, this is the spot where it happened. 

    Inevitably, The Motel’s legend has grown and its infamous mythology ballooned; often for all the wrong reasons. We’re here to rewrite that history and tell a story in this documentary that’s more incredible than that of any other club – on the White Island or anywhere else. It’s an Ibiza tale that actually happened; in a much different way than well-trodden accounts set in someone else’s stone would have you believe, let alone anything dreamed up recently by clueless screenwriters. 

    We want to tell our fantastic tale wrapped in the dream-like glow that seemed to bathe The Motel ‘like a dolls house on acid’; ecstatic, idealistic, barely believable; shocking to some, unique as this single, unrepeatable moment in time, totally natural in its organic flow. 

The 20s are the perfect socio-cultural time for the real story of The Manumission Motel to be told. Not just because of the deluge of Ibiza-related TV films and series that routinely miss the point and get it wrong, whether it’s the location, dress, music, ideology – or the link to the ‘Second Summer of Love’, which was dead and buried by the time Manumission and The Motel were born from first Mike’s & later Claire’s immersion in New York’s cross-sexual cultural melting pot in the 1990s. To them and those invited to join their club, black lives mattered then as much as Latin, European or British ones. Me Too didn’t even come into the equation as Manumission females were already strong, dominant and confident in their beauty. Manumission was dazzlingly confident in its own skin and everyone else’s. 

This is the real Ibiza story and it started in New York.”

Claire beyond the Virgin Mary & Otter. Photography by Franck Sauvaire @thefranckster

As part of The Motel book and groundbreaking audio book we have asked friends, artists, DJs and guests who shared the Manumission life with us to contribute a story, a memory, a song or a moment that brings it all flooding back.

The result has been an awe-inspiring deluge of choice tracks, hilarious anecdotes and a rekindling of some great friendships made on the dance floor.

All will be included for you to read and enjoy at your leisure in the audio visual experience that will be ‘The Motel’.

To be forever immortalised in print and become a patron of the arts we are inviting ‘Friends & Family’ to make an early pledge by pre-ordering their copy of ‘The Motel’.

Be forever remembered as a part of this magical moment in time.

Click on this link and make Ibiza history…

As the 25th Anniversary of the Manumission Motel approaches we feel it is High Time we open up the “dolls house of acid” – walk around its graffiti stained halls, take a peek through the sound proof doors and unlock the secrets behind the hottest and wildest summer on record.

Claire Manumission

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