Ibiza 2016: Year in Review

Ibiza: Just the word conjures up a thousand thoughts and feelings and for an island so small it creates a lot of headlines. Constantly changing, always interesting, never boring and with superclubs, amazing bars, restaurants, beaches, resorts of all types, 5 municipal councils, 1 island council and an ever growing population, 2016 has seen the White Isle transformed in many ways but still retaining its unmatched natural beauty.

Happy New Year, here’s my 2016 year in review. 

January: New year, new hope but there’s an Ibiza beach bed backlash as resident groups fear that the island’s beaches are being privatised and local people are being marginalised. Without a hint of irony San Jose announce an auction for the rights to their beach concessions (see April).

February:  After 100 years of free living, a politician in Mallorca decides that the fabled Es Vedra goats are impacting too much on the plants that people aren’t allowed to see so dispatches a couple of ‘technicians’ with high velocity rifles to shoot them. Cue outrage, street demonstrations and a court case: Ibiza Winter Residents take animal welfare very seriously! Aforementioned politician Catarina Amengual gets fired as a scapegoat (oh the irony) while 4 goats avoid the death squad and get re-homed.  Elsewhere plans for more 4 and 5 star hotels are announced in Ibiza’s relentless surge upmarket.

March:  Ryanair international flights start whilst taxi drivers announce an Easter strike demonstrating against pirates taxis. 84kg of cocaine is found washed up on a Formentera beach and goes unclaimed. San Antonio announces a strategic review that will take it to the year 2030 whilst banning legal PR’s and street parades. A report reveals that Ibiza has the most expensive hotel rooms in Spain at the same time the island government announces a crackdown on illegal tourist rentals using software purchased for the princely sum of 5000 euros. 

April: – San Jose council sells its soul and auctions off its prized beach concessions to the highest bidder which sees frenzied activity leaving many baffled and some local families out of business. Ushuaia agrees to pay over 500,000 euros annually for 3 lots and a convicted drug trafficker from the Canaries has to be escorted out of the auction room. But it’s OK because the council raised over 4 million euros, roughly what a superclub takes an hour/day/week in the summer. 

May: – Massive opening parties aplenty,  Ushuaia say that they will convert Space into a luxury club (shock) following the lead taken by Pacha with Lío. Many mourn the death of the Ibiza Club Scene while some including Sankeys and Eden spot an opportunity to start again. San Antonio bans drinking in the street including water which is hastily changed after a press outcry. Amnesia declare war on the same San An council for refusing a late licence for their opening party while Pete Tong (or Lord Tong of Talamanca as he prefers to be called these days) describes San Antonio as “disappointing” and “embarrassing” in a speech at the International Music Summit

June:  Summer is in full swing and to the surprise of nobody except politicians the U.K. votes for a BREXIT leaving a thousand unanswered questions especially for those living abroad. Those ‘cheeky’ tattooed wannabe’s from Geordie Shore secretly film on the island after being kicked out of Mallorca staying in a converted caravan in Es Cana. Reality TV is definitely not welcome in Ibiza in 2016. The Ibiza streets are busy busy busy. 

July:  Chris Brown allegedly causes 60,000 euros of damages/unpaid bills to his swanky holiday apartment (illegally rented I presume).  Superclub Amnesia (not their year) has a dawn raid by tax officials as part of an investigation into money laundering, the owner, his son and lawyer are arrested. Parties galore confirming Ibiza’s status as clubbing capital of the world much to the derision of Las Vegas.

August: Ibiza is in the middle of it’s busiest summer ever so naturally resident groups are up in arms about levels of noise, crime and lack of facilities while illegal street sellers fill their boots. Spanish national TV exposes pirate taxis in all their illegal glory while Cathy Guetta hosts a lavish house party and Johnny Depp decamps to the island and manages to avoid the Paparazzi. Craig David rocks Ibiza Rocks in the breakout success of the summer. Celebs and superyachts are everywhere. Eternal teenager Wayne Lineker becomes a grandfather.

September: Record temperatures as Ibiza swelters, San Antonio council vote to ban any future beach clubs after a planning application rumoured to be from Space slips through the net. An outdoors music crackdown as both Bora Bora and Ibiza Rocks Hotel have their music licences temporarily suspended. The island is buzzing with closing parties. 

October: Space in Playa den Bossa closes its doors for the very last time (we think) with a 24 hour party and an outpouring of grief usually reserved for a deceased head of state. Many view it as a watershed moment for Ibiza Clubs which is compounded by news that the Pacha Group is being sold to venture capitalists. Meanwhile Amnesia go to a Mallorca court and overturn a late licence ban for their closing party. A new residents group called ‘Prou’ are formed to fight for residents rights against the excess of tourism (they obviously don’t live in San An). 3 Ibiza clubs are voted in the worlds top 5 much to the derision of Las Vegas (again).  

November: ‘Winter’ starts with the Ibiza island council voting in new land laws limiting the building on rural land. Sevilla FC travel to Little SD Formentera and give them a good hiding eventually going through 14-2 on aggregate. San An councillors get themselves into trouble on social media by making fun of the local police.

December: Ibiza gears up for the festive season but the capitals tree is moved due to work being carried out on the Vara de Rey area which includes a new 5 star hotel where Cine Serra used to be. San Antonio council reveal plans to remove all terraces from the famous West End by 11pm due to noise levels;  everybody scratches their heads apart from a handful of locals residents. Biggest rainfall in recent history as the island is awash but on the plus side Santa Eulalia has its famous river back for a few days. Rumours aplenty swirl about 2017 clubs but all is well in the world as the sun shines on Christmas Day. 

2017: who knows but it’s always an interesting ride. 

Many thanks to the Ibiza Press: Diario de Ibiza, El Periodico, Nou Diario, The Ibizan and everyone who contributed, commented and took the time to read my blogs in 2016. Gracies a tot. 

West End Terraces to be Removed by 11pm

More details have been announced by San Antonio’s coalition council about their plans for new laws on terraces which will come into force in March 2017.

In a press conference Pablo Valdes (Environment), Juanjo Ferrer (Planning) and Aida Alcaraz (Security) announced the new measures as follows 

1. Bars and other establishments in certain areas will be obliged to physically remove all tables and chairs by 11pm (11.30pm at the weekend). This will definitely apply to all West End establishments without exception. 

2. No fixed elements will be allowed in the street, everything needs to be removable. 

3. The news laws will also specify what type of tables and chairs are allowed e.g. plastic chairs made from injection moulding are not allowed. 

4. Televisions, loudspeakers, musical instruments and any other audiovisual medium may not be placed on the street.

5. The sale of tickets is not allowed.

6. Two posters will be allowed per terrace, max 80cm wide and 120cm high.

7. Terraces will only be allowed if they leave a 1.80m space for the walk way

8. Certain areas will have to leave a passageway of 3 metres to allow access for emergency vehicles. 

9. Local police will have new powers to immediately remove any terrace not complying to the new laws, previously it was a minimum of 48 hours. 

10. Fines of up to 3000 euros and suspension of licences for serious breaches.

11. The council reserves the right to apply these new laws to any bar or zone that they see fit. 

12. Review of the prices currently paid for terrace licences which will now be charged per the market price of the land meaning that price will increase. 

On announcing the new plans Pablo Valdes said the new measures will “at least begin to respect the sleep schedule of residents, which is the priority”

Comment: In the 2015 elections Pablo Valdes formed his ‘Reinicia’ Political Party with the promise of putting residents needs first and he is being true to his word but at what cost? This latest law firmly places the needs of a very few residents over a vast number of tourists but after last seasons decision to remove all PR’s it’s one thing bringing in new laws but it’s another thing enforcing them especially with so few police on the streets. 
EDITORS NOTE: As of February these plans seemed to have been put on the back burner. Updates as and when on Man in San An. 

San Antonio Council to Remove all West End Terraces for Summer 2017

Noise Pollution Map of San Antonio

The coalition council of San Antonio is preparing plans to remove all terraces from the streets of the West End to try and cut noise levels in the town centre.

The move is based on 2 technical studies carried out which backs up the local governments position that the West End is the main source of noise pollution in the town centre and its surroundings areas. 

Councillor Pablo Valdes confirmed the story to the Diario de Ibiza saying that the new bye-law is almost drafted and that the council hopes to vote it in by January at the very latest. He also confirmed that the new law will only affect the West End and not the area by the fountains known locally as ‘Passeig des Fonts’. 

The overall objective is to reduce the noise levels during the summer months which is one of the main factors contributing to the depopulation of the West End by its residents. According to the latest study the number of people affected by noise exceeding 55 decibels (the maximum allowed) would be reduced by 11% if the terraces were removed although much of the West End noise pollution exceeds 80 decibels, “which is barbaric” said Valdes

The Council will with either stop authorising terraces or demand that chairs and tables be removed by 11pm because “the residential use of the area must be made compatible with its tourist use”. 

Valdes justified targeting only the West End by saying “it is the only place in town where there are terraces on public roads until 3am or 4am in the morning, we can’t ignore the results of the study”. 

Currently there are 150 residents living in and around San Antonio’s West End who have to endure noise generated by over 50 bars that are open all night. The government team admits that the eradication of the terraces will not totally solve the problem because “there are other sources of noise” but considers that it will have a beneficial influence.

Valdes also admitted that the new bye-laws may be subject to a legal challenge but is confident that the technical studies will be a reasonable defence for the change.

Pablo Valdes, Environmental Councillor for San Antonio

Source: Diario de Ibiza 

When Sevilla FC came to a Small Island

Pic by Ando

It wasn’t meant to be and SD Formentera can hold their heads high this morning but if you are to achieve a cup giant killing then conceding a penalty after only 12 seconds isn’t the best way to go about it.

As you would expect from a top class team Sevilla, playing in white, came out with a steely professional commitment wanting to avoid any potential banana skin.

Formentera on the other hand looked edgy in front of a large local support packing out the impressive temporary stands that stood all the way round this tiny ground. Several home players couldn’t get going, overwhelmed by the occasion, the biggest game of their lives in front of the national TV cameras.

There was an audible groan when the early penalty was converted by Sevilla’s Wissam Ben Yedder and when Joaquin Correa doubled the lead in the 15th minute you feared for the red and blacks of Formentera. After a big build up nobody wanted to see a bloodbath, well apart from the 200 noisy Sevilla fans behind the far goal.

Then in the 25th minute came a minor miracle. A smart passing move involving no less than 6 Formentera players resulted in Gomez’s right foot shot getting a slight deflection and ending up in the corner of Sevilla’s net. The home fans celebrated like it was a last minute winner, nobody really expected that to be honest. The magic of the cup encapsulated in that one moment.

But football can be a cruel game and 3 minutes later, as the home fans were still dreaming of an upset, Sevilla put together a clinical training ground move that saw Correa notching his 2nd and dampening the euphoria.

Formentera carried on chipping away but the deflation was complete when Correa completed his hat trick just before half time with a sharp shot from outside the area making it 4-1.

As Formentera trudged off at the break the crowd descended on the several pop-up bars for refreshments which in time honoured fashion ran out of food almost immediately. The 4 portaloos in our section also had a long waiting time. “Be prepared” obviously not the grounds motto for the evening but hey who was worried (apart from my 2 kids). This was an ‘I was there’ night, not a culinary experience.

As the second half started you couldn’t help but think that Sevilla had taken their collective feet off the gas as they dropped deep and invited Formentera to come at them. The home team enjoyed plenty of possession but not much penetration up top.

All thoughts of it being a game of 2 halves was put to bed on 74 mins as Formentera conceded another needless penalty for Ben Yedder to bag his brace with a low drive into the left hand side of the onion bag. The racehorses of Sevilla were too quick and too clever for the workhorses of SDF. 

The final whistle came and the crowd applauded both teams who stayed on the pitch taking in this once in a lifetime experience. Sevilla’s goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu threw his shirt to the away fans which was a nice touch and star striker Luciano Vietto signed a couple of autographs and posed with fans for photos. 

At the port we waited for the last ferry back to Ibiza and mulled over our evening. Was it worth the 40 minute boat journey, the 10 minute bus ride and the 15 minute walk to the ground?

The answer was a resounding YES because we can say that we were there when a quality Champions League side came to town to do some business and the little club that is SD Formentera: players, management, ground staff and organisers put on a great show and can be very proud of their performance and achievements. 

¡Amunt Formentera! 

Jolly Boys to Formentera, pics by Stew/Ando