Death and Pleasure on a Small Island

  2 young British men have died over the last 7 days in San Antonio at the same hotel in two separate, tragic incidents. Fraser Gillespie, 26, died after falling from from his 5th floor balcony whilst partying with up to 20 friends, his death is not being treated as suspicious. Then only a few days later Andrew Watson, 32, was found by a friend in his room, he was unresponsive and doctors were unable to revive him, drugs are the suspected cause.

It appears that these 2 young men have died during a relentless pursuit of pleasure.

Groups of young people arrive at their UK airport ready to party. They party in the departure lounge, they party on the plane and then they come through passport control screaming and shouting. The relevant authorities have already had 3 opportunities to firmly enforce standards but most have turned a blind eye, in fact the airport bar and the low cost airline have profited from this behaviour. Is it any wonder that these young people think they are in dreamland so who can blame them when they arrive at their holiday hotel or villa and want to carry on the party but as we have seen over the last week there can be serious consequences when you have a “but this is Ibiza, I can do anything” attitude.

Ibiza and its people have always been famous for their liberal nature and easygoing attitude but is this now the root of our problems? Imagine arriving at Dubai or Miami airport half cut, screaming and shouting, they wouldn’t tolerate it and those places are all the better for it, Ibiza has always turned a blind eye but how can we carry on doing that when our streets are being filled with over-zealous partygoers who have a complete personality transplant once they step foot on the island.

Isn’t it about time we said NO? Not all the time but just now and again? No you can’t act like hooligans on the plane. No you can’t scream & shout at all hours in your hotel. No you can’t do exactly what you want in Ibiza with no consideration for anyone else.  Getting the tone right is the key as we don’t want to become prissy head teachers tutting at everyone but there has to be a line otherwise everything becomes blurred. It’s imperative that Ibiza retains its magic but it’s also important that we send out a clear message otherwise more parents will be mourning their children over the coming months. 

There is no easy solution but as we enter a new political age it’s time for the authorities to tackle the problem head on in a open and honest way as to continue to ‘turn a blind eye’ would surely be very dangerous. Ibiza’s free spirit needs to be celebrated not abused otherwise we will devalue the one thing that defines us as an island.

Recent election manifestos promised change and a better touristic model for Ibiza and San Antonio so now it’s up to our new elected leaders to deliver on those promises.

Author: Martin Makepeace

Englishman living and working in Ibiza since 1991. Entrepreneur with a passion for villas, boats, sunsets and San Antonio. Read my blogs, listen to my podcasts and catch me on Radio One Mallorca every Tuesday morning.

4 thoughts on “Death and Pleasure on a Small Island”

  1. There’s a recent study about Ibiza’s fame of being free spirited by Rosa Rodríguez: “La construcción d’un mite: Cultura i franquisme a Eivissa, 1936-1975”, which you would find interesting. It says that the image of the island as a safe haven for emigrants like hippies, beatniks etc. is created and used by Franco’s regime to blur and “soften” the image of Spain’s fascist dictatorship.
    Ibiza has continued to use this myth to attract visitors and has nowadays the tourism it called for, including drug abuse.
    To make Ibiza/ibizans responsible for laying ground for people’s drug habits may be discussable. But adults dying of a drug overdose or being so fucking drunk that they fall from a balcony are to blame themselves, as sad and stupid as their deaths may be…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Apparently all those who go to Ibiza on Monarch Airlines need telling this:
    “Thank you for choosing Monarch for your flight to Ibiza.
    Whilst we appreciate that you would like to enjoy yourself on the flight, at the start of your well earned holiday, we would like to remind you of the safety regulations associated with travelling on Monarch aircraft.
    Ibiza flights tend to be lively, but please remember that the crew are onboard for your safety and as such have a duty of care to all of our passengers.
    The Company has the right to refuse carriage if we believe anyone’s behaviour is unacceptable. If the passenger refuses any lawful commands from the Captain they are liable to face either a substantial fine, imprisonment or both. It is also an offence to use any threatening, abusive or insulting words towards a member of the crew, behave in a threatening, abusive, insulting or disorderly manner towards a member of crew or intentionally interfere with the performance by a member of crew of his aircraft duties.
    It is against European law to be drunk onboard an aircraft and therefore cabin crew have a duty to control the amount of alcohol consumed by any passenger, including any alcohol purchased prior to boarding.
    Unfortunately, in recent months, some passengers have had to be arrested on landing at destination due to their unacceptable behaviour onboard and therefore these passengers did not receive the benefit of their chosen holiday.
    On occasion, a small number of passengers can affect the enjoyment of the majority, in particular families with children, therefore we would ask that you respect your fellow travellers.
    We do hope you have a fabulous time on your chosen holiday and thank you for taking the time to read this message.”


  3. Excellent article

    Any loss of life is sad, even more tragic when as tragically as these

    You cannot change behaviour of holiday makers but we can ALL increase awareness … They are all someone’s children!

    Good words Martin.

    Liked by 1 person

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