There have been several pivotal moments in my life where I felt like everything suddenly changed. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse.
Experiencing Magaluf for the first time was one of those moments. A moment which would veer me onto an exciting course in my life.
I was 15 and had just endured two years of incredibly low self-esteem and self-worth. I needed change more than anything. However, I had no idea it would be in a package quite like this…
I didn’t take any photos of the night in question so instead I’m including scenic images taken at other points during my trip. I think it’s for the best that I didn’t photograph anything anyway.
I’m sure right now we are just all very much relieved that I finally upgraded my camera to one that took pictures which weren’t distorted with giant pixels. I don’t think I’ll ever get over my poor Caribbean photos.
Also, I’m obsessed with chronological feeds so just adding (only to satisfy my own weird obsessions) that the time-skip between my Caribbean island-hop and this was a year and a half.
The twinkling stars beamed down on me as I gorged myself on the warm chocolate cake. The night air was alive with laughter and high-pitched talking. I knew the adults on our table were drunk. Their vocals always got incredibly whiny when they’d consumed too much alcohol.
On the table next to us were three effortlessly cool men who had pretty much silenced the restaurant when they swaggered onto the terrace. I had no idea I would be running into them later in the night.
As I took another bite of chocolate cake, I could barely contain my excitement. Tonight was the night!
Beside me, my good friend, Toni also looked like she would explode from anticipation.
I couldn’t believe I was going to a nightclub. Even better, one of the biggest nightclubs in the whole of Europe. And I was only 15!
Like in the rest of Europe, the legal age for drinking in Mallorca is 18. However, I had heard rumours that Magaluf, the island’s main party town, was extremely lenient and the clubs barely ever bothered to ID partygoers.
Magaluf is a major party resort within the district of Calvià. Perched along a vast expanse of beach, it’s easy to see why this town attracts so many European tourists. The town has a bad reputation (see here and here) due to the numerous clubs and drunken tourists and has even earnt itself the nickname Shagaluf. Need I explain?
There would be 6 of us venturing into
Shagaluf Magaluf tonight: myself, Toni, Toni’s brother and our friends Elle, Lisa and Kay. Toni’s brother was a couple of years older than us so he was supposed to be the responsible one. Supposed. My parents felt reassured knowing he was there but I was silently glad that he wasn’t all that responsible.
Adrenaline was pumping through my veins as the 6 of us made our way down the beige steps that lead down from the terrace to the carpark outside. The two taxis we had called was waiting for us, their neon white lights blinding us.
It was 11pm.
I stepped into the white taxi and sat down on the black leather seat. The taxi driver looked over his shoulder, ready for the destination.
“BCM please.” I announced, barely supressing a squeal of excitement.
Without any more questions, we were on our way.
BCM is the largest club in Mallorca. For most of my life I believed BCM stood for Biggest Club Mallorca. However, I was wrong. It actually stands for Bartolomé Cursach Mas which is the name of the club’s founder. The club was built in the late 1980s.
We drove into the night, the twinkling lights of Magaluf on the horizon enticing us in. I had absolutely no idea what to expect.
I may not get invited to many parties back home but this was far better. No one in my year at school had been to a nightclub and certainly not a club in one of the party capitals of the world.
The taxi dropped us right outside BCM.
As I made my way out of the taxi, I laid my eyes on the huge two-storey building for the first time. In illuminated orange letters was the name BCM written at the top of the grey, rectangular block with a strip of orange light below, in a horizontal line, spanning from one corner of the building to the other. A flight of grey steps led up to the entrance on the first floor. The steps were flanked by bright blue water which gurgled gently in the background.
The floor vibrated slightly with the booming of music. The bubble of drunken chatter was in the air and the smell – oh the smell! It was a warm, humid, alcohol-vomit smell. Whatever it was, I was totally living for it!
Palm trees stood surrounded by pavement, leading their way towards the club’s entrance.
In the street people were giggling and talking, often a plastic cup of questionable, colourful liquid in their hands. Being sober, I almost allowed myself to be intimidated. Everyone was older. I guessed people were mostly around 18 years old.
Almost at once, one of BCM’s ‘reps’ sauntered over to us.
“Evening ladies.” He began, his voice smooth and rehearsed. “Fancy coming to see Tinie Tempah perform tonight?”
I stood back quietly as Elle liaised with him.
“That’ll be €52 each.” The rep responded, gesturing for us to follow him to the venue.
It had been a coincidence that we were turning up whilst an act was preforming. Honestly, mainstream music was never really my thing. My iPod (gawd I feel so old saying that) was filled with the likes of Linkin Park and Bullet for my Valentine. The entrance price was therefore higher than usual but right now I didn’t mind. I was just happy to be here.
We made our way up the never-ending flight of stone steps. At the top we were greeted by two beefy doormen. I swallowed nervously. Behind them was a sign stating that the venue was strictly for over 18s only. Would they turn us away?
We paid for our tickets and the bouncers stamped our hands. We were in.
We walked passed them to find ourselves in the foyer. An entrance desk was situated to the left of the building with BCM merchandise available to purchase behind it. To the right was a great stairway which led down to the ground floor where the foam parties were held. Finally, right in front of us were a set of thick, black drapes. Behind them came the blasting of music, threatening to deafen me.
It was time.
Nothing quite prepared me for the scene which greeted me from the other side of the curtains.
I pushed into the heavy, musty fabric. The unmistakable sound of the bass hit me first, making my whole body gyrate with it.
Hot, sweaty air washed over me as soon as I was through. I squinted as bright flashing flights of many colours swung round the room. Below me was a sea of heads, jumping and dancing to the blasting music. One second they’d be illuminated by a brilliant white light, the next cloaked in darkness.
The dancefloor was surrounded by several bars and tall podiums. Upon the podiums were scantily-clad women, dancing in vibrant colours around glistening poles. Most of them were completely topless.
I had never been anywhere like it. It was crazy but at the same time amazing.
First things first, we needed a drink.
Toni’s brother vanished into the sea of people to meet some friends. I didn’t blame him. The last thing I’d want to be doing was babysitting.
The rest of us pushed our way through sweaty bodies in order to reach the nearest bar.
On my way, men frequently tried slapping my ass. I was surprised at first but quickly learnt to shrug it off. Whilst these days unapproved male attention like this is seen as controversial and even degrading, back in 2010, things were more chilled. In fact, I’m not ashamed to admit that at the time it made me feel like I was desirable. I felt I was ugly and not outgoing enough to ever get male attention. Maybe I wasn’t as ugly as I thought?
Our tickets came with 1 free drink per person.
The bartender promised to mix us up a special cocktail. I’m pretty sure it was just a bog-standard Sex on the Beach. I stared at the red liquid for a moment before taking my first sip. The cheap alcohol caught in my throat but I didn’t care. I actually liked it.
I noticed that the majority of our group were standing awkwardly, their eyes wide as they stared at the sweaty crowd.
It was intimidating but I was feeling more alive than I had ever felt before. Or was that just the effects of the alcohol?
I exchanged a glance with Toni and we began to make our way towards the dancefloor, the others making the decision to sit this one out.
I snaked into the crowd, feeling the sticky dancefloor beneath my flipflops. I was not dressed well for this event. Pools of sweat were forming in my flipflops which kept sliding off every few minutes. I’d also been foolish enough to wear a dress, not the best idea when drunk men thought it was funny to lift it into the air.
We began to dance. I watched as a guy slid behind my friend and started grinding against her. She embraced the moment, swinging her hips and swishing her hair. I wished I could have been that confident.
I tensed as I felt someone behind me, their hands grabbing my waist. I gritted my teeth. I didn’t even know what he looked like! But then, perhaps I just needed to let loose and enjoy myself. And so I allowed myself to dance, swinging my hips rhythmically. It felt strange at first but eventually I learnt not to care and just to let go. And you know what? I had fun!
The drinks were flowing and the night got wilder. I felt I barely saw Elle, Lisa or Kay.
All of a sudden, crowd surfing with Toni felt like the absolute best idea in the world. Toni asked a tall guy if she could hop on his shoulders. I approached one of his friends and asked the same. They were both extremely willing and before I knew it, I was hoisted into the air, towering above the sweaty crowd of drunken Brits.
I waved my arms around. I had never felt so free! My flipflop must have been feeling the same as it slipped off my foot and disappeared into the crowd. Oh shit! I’ve just lost my shoe.
I then felt my dress being lifted up by some rowdy 18-year-olds. At first I felt painfully embarrassed. Then I remembered I was actually wearing a bikini underneath so… jokes on them, I guess.
I lay back and allowed myself to be passed through the crowd. I laughed. Then I felt scared someone would drop me. Then I noticed myself on a giant TV screen overlooking the dancefloor. Omg that’s me!
When I was eventually placed back down, the hunt for my shoe was on. I winced as my naked foot slapped in some spilt alcohol, and likely a puddle of sweat and god knows what else.
It was a blessed relief when my flipflop came into sight.
I felt someone tap me on the shoulder and half expected to turn around and face a rowdy man. Thankfully it was just Elle, ushering us to the front of the club.
My ear drums must have sighed in delight when I pushed back through the black cloak and into the foyer. The blaring of music was slightly muffled now, though the floor beneath my feet still vibrated wildly.
The bouncers pushed open the glass doors and I breathed in fresh air. By fresh I mean terribly humid and with the stench of alcohol and intensely chlorinated fountain water… but it was still fresh compared to inside the club.
We made our way down the flight of stone steps.
A metal bar stood in the middle of the stairs, separating the entrance form the exit. I noticed some men coming up the stairs, one with thick black glasses and a top covering his head.
I felt a hand slap my ass as I passed. I didn’t think anything of it. It must have been the 50th ass slap of the night.
When we reached solid ground at the bottom of the stairs, Elle turned to us, her eyes wide with excitement.
“Did you see that?” She gasped. “That was Tinie Tempah!”
See who? I turned around to try and catch a glimpse but the men had vanished inside.
“He just slapped my ass!” Toni squealed, unable to hide the utter glee from her voice.
I pulled a puzzled expression. “I think he just slapped mine too!”
“And he told me I was beautiful!” Elle interjected.
Just like that, our nights were made.
I later learnt that Tinie Tempah and his crew had eaten at the same restaurant as us whilst we were there. My siblings got a selfie with him not long after we left for our Magaluf expedition. But I didn’t need a selfie.
I couldn’t believe that (who we believed to be) Tinie Tempah had just slapped my ass!
Disclaimer: It cannot be confirmed that it definitely was Tinie Tempah who we bumped into. 5 drunken girls were wandering down some steps and encountered a group who looked similar. Imaginations could run wild!