The summer season is finally under way after what feels like a lifetime standing on the starting line and it’s been a busy start for Ibiza, there’s a crackle in the air as the island gets back to normal.
The traditional club opening weekend was brought forward by a month by eager club owners and promoters wanting to make up for lost time. The atmosphere has been electric, 2 years of hurt just a distant memory.
For us 80’s children Duran Duran at Ushuaia was pure hedonistic nostalgia and kudos to the International Music Summit for pulling it off and spreading the love across the weekend (and age spectrum) including the now iconic show under lights at the top of Ibiza old town with the famous cathedral and marina as it’s backdrop.
Other clubs have opened their doors too including DC10 and if you were unfortunate enough to travel on a flight the day after there were plenty of casualties indicating that the Ibiza business of pure pleasure is definitely back with a bang.
The not so good news is that even after 2 years of waiting for this moment some of the same old problems have raised their ugly heads as local businesses jostle for position to try and take advantage of the pent up demand for all things Ibiza.
There’s a a continuing housing crisis with a lack of affordable accommodation for seasonal workers with rooms in shared apartments being offered online at 900 euros per month plus bills. These high living costs means that finding staff is becoming more and more difficult especially now that Brexit has ruled out the young British ‘workers’ who used to come over in their thousands.
Car hire prices are off the scale and early season tourists have been greeted by long taxi queues during peak hours. Whether it’s a lack of planning, incompetence or something more sinister it doesn’t look good and marginalises our greatest commodity within minutes of them arriving. Local officials say more seasonal taxi licences will be issued but for now it’s long queues and long waiting times. Not a great first impression.
Meanwhile I have been contacted by a prominent local resident about parking in San Antonio which isn’t getting any easier and finding a genuine parking place is like winning the lottery. The blue zone payment system that’s works so well across the island has been removed meaning that some cars rarely move decreasing the availability of parking which is a major problem. The waste-ground at Ses Variades has been a welcome solution but with some cars being damaged by over exuberant local teenagers many are reticent to park there.
A few years ago I challenged Ibiza’s then environmental councillor about putting a cap on vehicles on the island and was met with blank stares and excuses so unless more parking is forthcoming the problem isn’t going to get any better. Formentera has put a limit on cars so it can be done.
So as usual it’s a mixed bag to kick off the summer but positivity is in the air and it looks like it’s going to be one to remember with high early season demand from tourists after 2 tough years. It may only be May but there’s already a peak season feel to the place. The summer won’t be without its challenges but with a few proactive tweaks the new normal could see records tumbling across the island.