For many years the ‘San An Worker’ was a mainstay of Ibiza’s famous west coast resort.
They were easy to spot and even easier to manipulate. They came in their thousands renting small apartments and using them as dormitories, spending all day in bed, searching for guest list freebies like a heat seeking missile and even starting their own eco-system, culture and vocabulary.
A moment in time that organically appeared, a rite of passage for thousands, an era that lasted for more than a decade. You just have to look at the Facebook groups to see the misty eyed nostalgia that this time evokes amongst middle aged men and women talking about the best time of their lives when life was simpler and when all you had to worry about was the next meal and the next party.
‘Worker’ was always a curious collective noun for a group of young Brits who did nearly everything except work. Their priority was to have fun, workers parties became part of the fabric of San Antonio – free entry, cheaper drinks, worker friendly door staff and DJ’s. A whole culture and micro economy evolved from the freedom that Ibiza gives those willing to immerse themselves. Late nights, even later mornings, a lifestyle that would give your parents nightmares.
A few stayed on the island and settled down like modern day hippes but most shuffled off back to the UK, battered and bruised to shocked parents, friends and partners who couldn’t grasp the carnage that went before.
Workers were a scourge to many and a licence to print money for others but nothing lasts forever. Brexit and Covid changed the rules of the game along with an Ibiza housing shortage that has seen the majority of summer apartments rented annually for better and more stable returns. Ket Castle isn’t a madhouse anymore, it’s now Es Pons, an oasis of calm for private residents.
Things change, evolution is unstoppable but how can we not look back with a knowing nod and a wink on an era that gave us the Sh*t Party and the Peru 2. Shipwrecked, Dirty Rotten Sluts, grimy wristbands, workers club passes, Ket Cove, Space closing and it’s fallout, the Eden back room and after hours parties at Wips….a supermarket. We can also include Star Cafe and then New Star for those of a certain vintage. Daily crises a plenty, you really had to be there to believe it!
Will those days ever return? It’s doubtful as the factors that have rendered them almost extinct won’t be changing any time soon but the Ibiza workers spirit lives on but the modern version actually work for a living yet come together in their spare time to party and chill. An older crowd, a few trustafarians, those who eek a living online while Clockwork Orange have wound back the clock with their Ibiza weekender that emotes of long gone days and pure nostalgia.
Ibiza has changed beyond recognition in a relatively short space of time. It’s still a haven for the free-spirited crowd but the days of the masses having the summer of their lives is something we can look back on with a smile (or a grimace) and for now it’s confined to the history books. As the saying goes…..don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.