Colin Butts: A Tribute

Colin Butts has sadly passed away aged 58 after a brave fight against cancer. He was known to many as the co-owner of Plastik in San Antonio and also as a screenwriter and a published author of 3 books plus 1 more in the pipeline.

After a tough London upbringing Colin’s introduction to Ibiza was as a holiday rep in the 80’s and it was this experience which led him to pen his 1st book ‘Is Harry on the Boat’ in 1997 about a group of first year reps looking for fun. The book was a pre-reality TV, no holds barred expose but wasn’t an overnight success, it was only because of Colin’s tenacious attitude that it eventually went on to sell well into 6 figures.

By this time Colin was living in Ibiza full time and along with his business partners had opened ‘Plastik’ Bar in San Antonio. Colin’s love of music had seen him come up with the idea of merging a recording studio with a record shop and a bar giving something fresh to the town. It gave his numerous celebrity contacts somewhere cool to hang out in San An and the bar soon became a phenomenon.

As luck would have it, a teenage Lily Allen who was working at Plastik introduced Colin’s book to her mother, film producer Alison Owen, who loved it and adapted it as a film with Danny Dyer in his first lead role. After the film’s release, Owen developed a TV series from the book that was screened on Sky One in 2002/3.

Even though Plastik was now breaking records Colin’s passion for writing continued as he published a sequel to his first book. ‘Is Harry Still on the Boat’ was released in 2003 quickly followed by his 3rd book in 2004 called ‘A Bus Could Run You Over’ once again using Ibiza and his personal experiences as the backdrop. This book would eventually go on to become a major motion picture called ‘White Island’ starring Billy Zane and a fitting tribute to the man.

For all his bluster ‘Buttsy’ was a sensitive and private man with a sharp intellect. When he was diagnosed with cancer he vowed to fight the disease with all his might doing his own research into alternative medicine and becoming very knowledgable about the subject. He sold his Ibiza house and moved back to the UK with his beloved dog Chani to get the best possible treatment and care. His attitude was inspiring as he fought to the end with dignity and humility with his great friend Steve Lawrence by his side.

Colin will be fondly remembered by many from his early years in London to his glory days in Ibiza. Not many people can say they made a real difference but Colin was a pioneer in many ways, bridging the Ibiza hierarchy gaps with his experience and personality, bringing a touch of glamour to San Antonio when it needed it most and moving in showbiz circles before social media even existed. He may have looked like an East End gangster on the outside but underneath he was an unassuming and shy gentle giant with a caring nature and a great sense of humour.

He has now exited the stage but through his writings and TV work Colin Butts has left a legacy that can never be taken away. He will be greatly missed.

Footballers Arrest Serves as a Warning to Others

News that 3 young men including 2 English professional footballers have been arrested in Ibiza for alleged sexual aggression is sad but sadly not unsurprising.

It’s a tragic story and no matter what the eventual outcome, the damage has already been done. Every parents nightmare, the alleged victim going through hell and fledgling careers lying in ruins.

It’s a snapshot of the 21st century where pro footballers from all leagues are put on pedestals and treated with reverence whilst being paid exorbitant sums of money to kick a leather ball around a green field.

Here in Ibiza we get an influx of footballers from middle May to late June. They come from teams from all over the world, attracted by the bright lights and promise of a hedonistic paradise. They come in their droves, world superstars like Messi and Ronaldo who love the island so much they have bought or want to buy hotels over here. The lower league journeymen also love to experience the white isle as well as the young professionals just starting out in the unforgiving world of professional football.

As in all walks of life, everyone is different. The superstars have their big entourages, the journeymen bring their wives and/or families but it is the young impressionable players who usually end up in trouble as we have witnessed here this last week.

Out of the bubble of the kindergarten that is modern day professional football where players are told where to be, what to do, what to eat and how to conduct themselves, Ibiza must be like a big playground with no parents or coaches to order you around while the hangers on who love a bit of reflected glory facilitate free entry to clubs and the availability of anything at any time.

While the superstars charter the superyachts the young lads from the lower leagues hang around the bars of San Antonio and Playa den Bossa cashing in on what little bit of fame they possess, 16 appearances for a league 2 club can be major currency if used effectively.

When word goes out that the footballers are in town, a procession of reality TV obsessed youngsters are paraded past. Which self respecting teenager doesn’t want a footballer on their instagram feed, just imagine how many likes that photo will get. Ibiza + Footballer = social media gold.

Young footballers are on holiday and away from the pressures of profesional sport so are entitled to let off steam without being bothered too much. The problem is that in the age of the smartphone they won’t get any peace or quiet unless they are holed up in a private villa and what’s the fun in that for a young lad?

Their favourite hangouts of Ocean Beach, Blue Marlin and Ushuaia are full of eager hangers on who will facilitate almost anything. This is where the danger starts and a young lad can sometimes get his head turned in an ‘anything goes’ environment.

Of course there’s no harm in a bit of fun but all of a sudden with too much indulgence taking place, things can get serious very quickly: You can do what you want in Ibiza after all? Well actually no!

It’s important to remember that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, there’s always 3 sides to every story but this sad episode has already claimed its victims. Parents blaming themselves for giving their young girls too much slack, the alleged victim and her friend who were having fun until it wasn’t funny anymore and will no doubt blame themselves for getting into the situation, not to mention the trauma that will stay with them for a long time to come.

Whatever the outcome of the legal process the young footballers will now be tarnished forever, their club playing damage limitation, their parents dreams in tatters and all the while, Ibiza gets dragged through the press, guilty by association.

Justice will be served but the process in Spain can be slow but this story should be a warning for all young football players and all of those who come with them. Fun in the sun is fine but never cross the line, 16 appearances for any team doesn’t give anyone the right to act disrespectfully or unlawfully, especially to the impressionable hangers on who are often too young and naive to know any better.

English Footballers Arrested in Ibiza for “Sexual Assault” on 19 year old Girl

3 young men including 2 professional footballers* from an English 3rd tier club (believed to be Charlton Athletic) have been arrested after an alleged sexual assault at a hotel in San Antonio Bay.

A 19-year-old British girl has alleged that one of the youngsters sexually assaulted her while another held her tightly and a third recorded the act with a mobile phone.

According to judicial sources, the young woman has been examined by professionals of the Legal and Forensic Medicine Institute of Ibiza who confirmed that a sexual assault had taken place.

The alleged victim and a friend had gone back to the hotel with the players after meeting them in a local bar.

The parents of the alleged victim reported the incident to the police early the next morning after the girls returned to their hotel.

The players have all been detained and are due in court today.

NOTE: *Players now named as Karlan Ahearne-Grant & Reeco Hackett-Fairchild

Source: Periodico de Ibiza

The Resurgence of Eden Ibiza

San Antonio is facing some challenges over the next couple of years but a bright spot on the horizon is the resurgence of Eden Nightclub.

After the Gatecrasher debacle (where it closed half way through the season) plunged it to an all time low Eden has gradually clawed it’s way back up through hard work and realistic objectives.

It’s difficult to overstate how important a fully functioning world class nightclub is to San Antonio so Eden’s comeback is great news for the town and also for the young tourists who flock to the islands main gateway for 18-25’s.

Playa den Bossa has been the big opposition over the last few years but they are now facing their own challenges while Eden are reaping the rewards of their hard work.

The bright lights of Bossa has been a big draw with Bora Bora, Ushuaia, Space, Sankeys and all the other beach bars and in many ways Eden wasn’t seen as a viable alternative so the workers and tourists almost had no option but to go there for better parties but now that tide has turned.

Sankeys is under new ownership and struggling to find it’s place in the brutal Ibiza market (exactly as Eden had struggled 4 years previously), Hi’s strategy of targeting the ‘VIP’ market and Ushuaia’s over reliance on big EDM artists and production (a genre which is in decline) has left a gap in the market for San Antonio and specifically Eden to put on some old fashioned crowd pleasing parties.

Joining forces with Defected on Sunday nights has proved to be a defining moment although when it was announced back in early 2017 many didn’t quite know how it was going to pan out.

Eden and Defected had been traveling on different paths but came together at a great time for both sides. Defected had built up their brand but were running out of Ibiza options. They had done Pacha then went to Booom (remember that?), then they went to Ushuaia and Ushuaia Tower, they also had the terrace at Amnesia on Tuesdays and then they took a year out to weigh up their next move. Even though the Pacha years put them on the Ibiza map it was never their spiritual home, theres usually only one winner when dealing with Pacha.

While at Booom, licence problems forced Defected to stick there toe in San Antonio waters with a couple of one-off parties at Eden which were a roaring success but the club wasn’t a credible enough venue then unlike now.

Eyebrows were raised when Defected announced they would be doing Sundays at Eden but it’s turned out to be an inspired decision looking at the competition. Solomon at Pacha which is a sellout (and practically no guest list). Rumors at Destino is too far for San Antonio crowd, Blue Marlin is difficult to get to and expensive and Zoo Project and Ocean are daytime so the ‘party on crew’ will end up at Eden. Important to note that Cream at Hi hasn’t started yet but has gone totally EDM, so might not attract too many from San Antonio.

Eden is now under the ownership of Dutch businessmen Michael van de Kuit and Rinco Soesman with Dermot Condon proving a canny choice as general manager and through their vision and hard work the credibility issues are a thing of the past and they have managed to succeed in the phone camera generation.

For 2018 Eden have put together a dynamic package of nights that will appeal to all plus new laws will see the majority of bars in San Antonio close at 3am so Eden’s 6am licence should mean they pick up the local late trade especially with their reasonable door prices and worker friendly attitude.

All these little things are adding up so after a few tough years Eden is back where it belongs: on the top table of Ibiza clubs.