So you may have read about it elsewhere, and seen the Instagram photos that just seem to keep coming, but Jess was lucky enough to get to go to Stormzy’s birthday bash in Menorca at the end of July, and we thought that she should tell you about it!
All I can say is that if that’s what 25th birthday parties are about, then I totally undersold myself on my 30th* as I never want to live any other way except the high life. Actually that’s not true, I think I’d get bored quite quickly but what a life to lead for a short amount of time! *Also not true, I had an amazing 30th party and lots of love and celebrations that just keep coming, see: Staycation Kings Cross Clocktower from the other week!
Armed with no more information than “get to Stansted for check-in at 7am” and a list of things to bring including swimming costume, sun cream and a phone charger, we had no idea what to expect, just to look for the people with “Merky Airways” signage. So arriving as we were told that’s exactly what we did. It was only once we were all ready to check in that the destination was announced – a day in Menorca; Love Island eat your heart out.
At the airport was where the imposter syndrome kicked in. Once we had seen that pretty much the foundations of the UK garage/grime and rap crew seemed to be on our plane with us, and then Big Mike himself rocked up we started to question why it was exactly that Spotify thought it would be a good idea to put us on this trip.
Everything was mad, from the goody bag we were given at the check in with branded Merky Airways towels, Merky visors and Bluetooth headphones, tote bags and Spotify sunglasses – it was SO well thought out.
Once on the plane the silliness stepped up a level. OK, so we had the normal safety announcements, because I’m pretty sure you can’t get on a plane without them, but then reality hit. We were on a private, chartered plane to Menorca with a bunch of industry people and a bunch of Stormzy’s mates. Sure. The Merky gifts kept giving with a packed lunch on board, and then we all realised we had iPads in the seats in front of us. OK, no we couldn’t keep the ipads, in fact the warning was if we didnt give them in on the way off the plane we couldn’t get off, but they were cleverly loaded with a few videos (Stormzy’s of course), and some BRILLIANT content from team #Merky. They included safety announcements, announcements about the event as a whole and just general hilarious footage. THe plane ride was a whole experience in itself. People up and down saying hello, being introduced, networking and most importantly just smiling, A whole load of smiling, Stormzy took over the PA to thank people for coming and for supporting him and he cut it off before it became too Oscars emotional. He did have another important request though. He thought there would be booze on the plane and there was none, so he found himself seeing if anyone around had been clever enough to think ahead and got given a cute miniature of Grey Goose, pretty sure that did the trick. He also said what we were all thinking… as the plane lands it’s our chance to see who the real pussy’oles that clap for the landing are. Don’t worry, some still did.
On arrival in Menorca, we could have been forgiven for thinking that we had arrived in our own private airport too with the size of it, and speed of security checks, but no, it just represents the size of the island! We bundled into cars which took us off through the exceptionally beautiful Menorcan countryside, to a Villa. I’m nit kidding, from the moment we stepped out of the cars you could feel the beauty of the place radiating and the excitement of what was still to come in the air. A beautiful villa surrounded by INCREDIBLY beautiful people. Definitely felt too nerdy to be there.
The pool was massive, yet there were definitely a lot of hesitation when it came to people actually getting in. It didn’t take long once the welcome announcement from Big Mike happened (we’ve not got long/make the most of it/drink, eat, get wavey) for the inflatables to get in the pool and the festivities to really kick off. It was very weird watching the brilliant Rachael Anson and Manny Norte DJ and MC, watching rappers and artists alike (Lethal Bizzle, Ray Blk, Krept and Konan, AJ Tracey, Shiggy…you name it!) dance, drink, sing and party. The atmosphere wasn’t just buzzing, it was electric. Full of excitement and laughter mainly.
It wasn’t just the pool party, there were fields (ok gardens but they were huge) full of outdoor board games, there was a photobooth which somehow we missed, and loads of beautifully tasty free food and drink. Oh and don’t worry, there was a cake cutting and it was as you would expect it to be. Epic cake of the villa, lots of loud out of tune singing, and lots of camera phones! Once we’d had a bit more party, the magical #merky girls started to round people up and we headed back to the changing rooms and bag check to collect belongings and boarding passes, ready to jump on the coaches back to the airport.
The way home was no calmer! Once we got to tiny menorca airport and through security, it was clear people’s priorities lay in one more drink and eating to sober up. Once back on board #Merky airways and the pre-flight checks, people did start to slip off. We did miss our take off spot because there was a passport missing to start with (too many drinks perhaps) and there were too many heads counted on the plane to the number of tickets scanned, but you know. 200 drunk people managed to work it out eventually. Once in the air Big Mike himself was wondering around the plane catching slips of people sleeping whilst waking them up in any manner possible. In fact, he filled most of the journey home on the PA with his one liner jokes. They were funny, even if we knew all of them! You know, jokes like what do you call a dinosaur with no eyes? Doyouthinkhesaurus etc. I think the most heard phrase on the way back was definitely “if you wanted to go to sleep, you should have booked a hotel room” which should summarise the journey. That and the bottle of patron that just sat in the middle of the gangway. The people at Stansted security got a shock when a party of rappers and zombies (not actual zombies, but people that were very tired and some reaching hangover point after a sleep) took to passport control! Boy was I sad to be back.
Whilst writing this we put out feelers to our friends to find out what they wanted to know about the event. Here is our mini Q and A about it!
Jess, I want to know things like who was there, how much of a laugh it was, did Stormzy look into what was going on? How close did you get to Maya Jama?
Oh my goodness, she dyed her hair blonde for the event and is even more beautiful in real life than over the internet, just as fun, just as lovely. And seemingly very in love. Stormzy loved it, he was very gracious, grateful to the people that came to spend the day with him, but also very determined that everyone was to have a good time, whether that was drinking all the free booze, eating as much as they could, dancing or whatever. We totally did have the best time, I’m not sure I stopped smiling from 7am until the week later – it was mad. And funny, not weird funny but belly laugh everyone laughing at everything together funny.
I want to know the maddest things you saw? What stuff did you get for free? What was the flight like? Tell me as many anecdotes about rappers who were there as you can provide. The insider gossip!
I tell you what, everyone there could party and how. There wasn’t anything totally mad, I mean the Stormzy performance, the encouragement to drink as much as you could and have a good time, Shiggy doing his own Shiggy challenge and just loads of dancing, it was mad as a whole rather than individual things. The flight there was mad as no one could really believe it was happening and thought they might fly us in a circle and land back in London, the flight back was hilarious. The free stuff – I mean, the flight, the party, the fun, the alcohol, food, ice creams, games, pool party, DJ, performances, photobooth, good bags you name it. It was great, I think my favourite part is the well branded Merky visor and Merky Airways towel though. USEFUL!
What did you do? What music did they play?
I think I’ve covered what we did, but did I mention we had a great time? Music wise – the DJ was the incredible Rachael Anson (@rachaelanson on Insta) and Manny Norte! It was amazing from old school garage to afrobeats, Drake to Wideboys it was brilliant!
What is Stormzy like? How drunk was everyone? What were the other people there like?
I can not emphasise how great a person Stormzy was, and how much he seemed to enjoy his own party. The booze flowed, let’s put it that way, I think they over catered on the alcohol but we managed to basically drink it dry. Everyone there was awesome no matter how into it they were, and everyone seemed to be having a good time!
So there you have it. A whirlwind day, an amazing party with an amazing host, and many positive lasting impressions. I guess they aren’t solely for people that were at his party too, and he really is a great guy – look at the book deal he’s got himself with Penguin and the amazing work he’s doing with his Cambridge scholarship – he really is an incredible man. #merky forever.
Have you got any questions you’d want answered about the day? Let us know in the comments below!