The recovery time has been and gone, and now is a good time to reflect on the party festival that was Xlsior Mykonos.
This four day festival packed 8 massive parties into just 5 days. Starting on Wednesday afternoon at the Elysium hotel in Mykonos town, a hotel perched on the top of one of Mykonos’ many hills, the opening party had an amazing view out over the entire town. Of course, once the music was pumping and the shirts came off, not many of us were looking out at the view.
Like most Circuit parties, the men were hot, muscular and slightly towards the older side of the age ledger. Not terribly older mind, but don’t be on the lookout for many twinks in these parts. The music at each of the parties was predictably excellent, even if it was at times a little repetitive – every DJ loves to play the hottest tracks at each party, and who can blame them? There are of course, only so many times you can hear ‘Everybody needs a Man’ before it’s stuck in your head forever.
One of the great things about festivals such as these is that one gets to experience a diverse number of locations and clubs. Some are excellent, others are somewhat lacking. I always find it better to get things that aren’t great out of the way first, so we’ll start with the parties Deep and the Garage Pool Party. While the music was good, and the dancers at Deep were very sexy (not to mention flexible!!) the management of the party was a little amateur. Starting the night about an hour late, and then requiring everyone to line up for tickets to purchase drinks from staff with machines that weren’t working, the night got off to a rocky start.
Once we finally had a few drinks to get our night going, things went a little more smoothly, until a visit to the bathrooms was required. I know what you’re thinking: the bathrooms at a gay party are always going to be a dirty sleazy place right? Well, dirty yes, but for all the wrong reasons. So wrong in fact, suffice to say that it was bad, it was watery and overflowing. A similar fate was in store for the pool complex across the street a few nights later. Unfortunately they too had bathroom problems. Luckily, mostly we were there to dance until the sun came up, and that was something that the parties provided in spades.
Many of the venues, such as Cavo Paradiso, which hosted two parties were fantastic to party in. Filled to the brim with hot guys, and perched right on the cliff face overlooking Paradise bay, dancing near the water gave the impression that a giant black veil had been pulled over the whole venue, giving way to a stunning sunrise the following morning.
One thing that sets Xlsior apart from other Circuit party festivals is it’s great beachside locations; such as dancing directly on the beach at Elia beach, Mykonos’ newest gay beach, to partying overlooking the entire town at Elysium hotel, finishing off with an incredible fireworks display at the main party on Sunday night at Cavo Paradiso.
Certainly one thing that was not lacking was the overall management of the event. From mailng the purchase and pickup of access passes super simple, to the great information provided via facebook as to when and where to get busses or private transport to the parties, the Xlsior team certainly lived up to their title of ‘Xlsior Dream Team’ emblazoned on their staff singlets.
For those of you wanting to visit this festival next year, I can certainly recommend staying near Mykonos town, where most of the action is, especially the buses to the parties a little further afield (taxis are a little tough to find sometimes on the island), and you’re within walking distance to all of the towns sites, clubs, and restaurants. This is especially useful when you realise that because the Island is only open for a few months a year, it never closes. You can find yourself sitting at a restaurant having dinner served even at 4am on a Monday morning. We settled for some ice-cream after leaving the incredible clubs Jackie O’s and Babylon. One can also spend some time exploring the excellent partner restaurants for the festival, or the Montparnasse piano bar which plays live music of various styles all summer long (it’s a short walk past the windmills around the corner from Babylon and Jackie O’s)
Also a good idea is to get in early and purchase an all-access pass, it costs about 200 euro this year, and got you express entry into every party (the line-up for door sales could be up to 2 hours at some parties) as well as a cute little bag and t-shirt. You could also go for the VIP pass for around 400, and get guaranteed entry, a private dancing area, and some food to nibble on during the parties. The little mini magnum ice-creams that were being passed around at some parties were most welcome.
Like most events of this nature, there are the good and the bad. Overall this festival is well worth the visit. The party schedule is pretty intense, it’s a good idea to have a few days either side to get yourself situated and have a few days to relax before going back to work. The town of Mykonos has definitely got enough to see to keep you busy.
A short glimpse of this year’s festival was recorded by Youtubers Twink Tales (leave it to one of the few twinks at the festival to make a video)
The author attended as a guest of Xlsior Mykonos.
Australian photographic artist living in a small city in Germany. I travel a lot around Europe and blog about my travels, as well as photograph the cities and people I meet.