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.

Over 30 and Bored of Clubbing? Ibiza Awaits….

The scenario is this. You’ve been coming to Ibiza since your early 20’s and loved the club scene but you’re now in your 30’s or 40’s and although you still love the odd blow out it’s not the primary focus of your holiday any more. What has Ibiza got to offer?

The great news is that Ibiza is an amazing place for outdoor pursuits, wonderful nature and holistic well being.

The weak-willed will always get sucked back in to the Ibiza scene but if midnight is now your natural cut off point then the White Isle is a fantastic place to spend your holiday pursuing other interests. Try the following.

Nature: Ibiza is blessed with the most amazing natural views so go and see them. From Es Vedra to the Caves of San Miguel to Cap Negret to Atlantis to the Benirras Finger. Immerse yourself in the island nature.

Walking: There’s loads of walks you can do. An audio tour around Ibiza old town, the trail to the Cala Conta watch tower, the blossom trail in San Mateu, a hike uphill to ‘Sa Talaia’, the highest point on the island. Las Salinas to Es Cavallet via the most southerly tip of the island. Get up early and do it while the weather is fresh, a great start to an Ibiza day.

Cycling: The island is becoming a haven for cyclists with its untouched beauty of the north and the lush countryside at the centre. Rent a racing bike or a pushbike and do some exploring, stop off at Can Tixedo in Buscatell for some tasty vegan treats and a cold drink.

Sports: Spain is football Crazy but most sports are available. Cricket, 10-pin bowling, tennis, squash, padel, athletics, horse riding, sailing, water skiing and many more. Make sure you pack your sports kit instead of the party clothes and focus on fitness rather than hangovers.

Gym: The fitness boom hit the island a few years ago so there’s plenty of gyms to choose from. They can be busy in the summer when the beautiful people take over and need somewhere to let off steam but most do day passes so start your mornings with a workout, not a headache.

History and Culture: These aren’t dirty words, Ibiza is rich in culture and and you don’t know the island until you immerse yourself in its history. Only 3 generations ago Ibiza was unbelievably poor with little industry and locals only able to survive by living off the land and sea. Speak to the old ‘payeses’ about their experiences and get under the skin of the Island. Only then will you see the island for what it truly is.

Markets and Shopping: Unlike most European shopping centres that have the same old stores, Ibiza has a great mix of local handicrafts, high end couture, unique souvenirs and mid-range brands. Ibiza Town is the best place to spend some of your heard earned cash on a special item or try one of the markets at San Jordi, San Carlos and Es Cana.

Fine Dining: One of the benefits of getting older is that you have a little more money to treat yourself and Ibiza is blessed with some amazing culinary experiences. Food is a Spanish obsession and it’s still possible to eat well for very little however if his want a splurge then there’s plenty on offer. Try a menu del dia during the week days and book a beach restaurant at weekends. Log on to Menu del Dia Ibiza for more info.

Snorkelling & Diving: Ibiza is not defined by it’s nightlife, it’s defined by it’s coastline and one of the best ways to experience it is with a mask, snorkel and flippers. Cala Gracio and Cala Gracioneta are great place to have a look underwater.

Sunset Drinks: No better way to wind down after a long day seeing the sights than a long drink at sunset. Try a GnT or cocktail at Mint Lounge while watching sun go down and the watching the world go by.

Boating. To truly appreciate the island you need to see it from the water and there’s no better way than to charter a boat for the day. Whether it’s a small self drive vessel or a luxury yacht take a moment to soak up the views as well as the sun. The geology will blow your mind while a new love affair with the Island develops.

Formentera: An experience not to be missed but make sure you plan accordingly to make the most of a day on the jewel of the Med. Get an early ferry, rent bicycles or scooters from the port and discover Ibiza’s sister island and one of the most beautiful places in the world. First a coffee in the church square but Formentera is all about the beaches so reserve a table at a plush restaurant or buy a bocadillo and soak up the rays on one of the white sandy beaches. An unforgettable experience.

BLOW OUT: Just in case you fancy a little blow out BBC Radio 2 has just announced an Ibiza weekender on 29 June – 01 July dedicated to the 80’s generation. Gary Davies will host a special party from The Hard Rock Hotel on Friday evening and then the action switches to San Antonio’s Pikes for 2 evenings full of fun and frolics where you can be amongst like-minded people AND still be in bed by midnight (ish) with a cup of cocoa……

Adiós Club 18-30, it was FUN

Thomas Cook announced this week that it’s looking to offload the infamous Club 18-30 brand and focus on ‘cooler’ holidays.

This announcement won’t mean much to anyone under the age of 25 but for many over the age of 40 and especially those that have worked in the holiday industry, it would have brought about some misty eyed nostalgia.

When it comes to holiday branding Club 18-30 was the forerunner of the ‘does exactly what it says on the tin’ brigade. A club for youngsters who just wanted to party but ‘Club’ as it was affectionately known was more than just a brand, at it’s peak it was an ethos and a movement.

It was the stuff of legends and not always for the right reasons. The 80’s and 90’s were it’s heyday when hundreds of thousand of youngsters were herded around on excursions that mainly included sausages, sangria and sex.

‘Club’ was the living embodiment of the saucy seaside postcard in the Mediterranean sunshine with a perpetual nod and a wink but the real difference were the ‘reps’ that worked for the company. Probably the most dedicated and hard working overseas people you could ever wish to meet. They were almost brainwashed to wear their heart and soul on their sleeves along with that iconic badge on their chests. Many left good jobs to earn peanuts but living and working abroad was too good an opportunity to turn down.

In reality the job wasn’t what they expected, it was a hard slog, propped up by caffeine, junk food and other substances and many reps couldn’t hack it and left within weeks but there were always more willing youngsters ready to step into the theatre of excess.

Before reality TV and social media gave away all the secrets, Club 18-30 could pretty much do what it wanted without any bother. Beach parties, bar crawls, party nights, BBQ’s: You name it, they did it. Large groups of youngsters being shepherded about by reps of similar age but with one major difference: A loud booming voice. The loud voice was always the most important pre-requisite for Club Reps, he or she who shouted loudest usually got the job.

At it’s 90’s peak, Club 18-30 were taking hundreds of thousands of youngsters overseas for the first time to destinations such as Mallorca, Benidorm, Corfu, Rhodes, Turkey and many more. But one destination always took prime position: San Antonio, Ibiza.

San Antonio in the 80’s and 90’s was perfect for Club 18-30, a marriage made in hormone heaven. Lots of small family hotels that were created from the 70’s boom of British demand for cheap holidays in the sunshine. Basic hostelries with little more than a bed, a bog and a window. Club clients didn’t need anymore as they wouldn’t get too much time to sleep. The whole holiday was designed around being out and about, drinking and partying.

Meet in the bar, straight to an excursion, drop off at a bar then straight to a club. The Star Club in San An became Club 18-30’s spiritual late night home, the back bar full of reps on any given night. In bed by 4am, up at 9am. 5 hours sleeps was more than enough for Club Reps.

Then ‘Ibiza Uncovered’ happened. This was the myth buster of all myth busters and suddenly the Island was exposed to the outside world. The clamour for more Ibiza based reality TV brought about ‘Club Reps’ which followed new recruits and ran for 3 years and 36 episodes.

Club 18-30 had always worked on the policy of ‘there’s no such thing as bad publicity’ so it probably seemed like a good idea at the time but it also signalled the beginning of the end.

By the mid-noughties tastes and perceptions were changing and after an initial spike in demand due to the TV exposure the brand began to wane. Low cost airlines were now in full flow and independent holidays were easier to come by. Being herded around wasn’t acceptable any more and camera phones delivered truths rather than myths.

The social media age brought about a sea of change and the hard truth is that the insta-generation wants to be perceived as cool and Club 18-30 isn’t part of the plan for now. Who’s to say that it won’t stage a remarkable comeback but it’s doubtful in a market that decides with its feet and it’s smartphone.

Now it’s all about niche festivals for like minded individuals, beach clubs for the gym-hardened groups of preening wannabes and most importantly the endless search for that perfect profile pic. Sombreros, bucking broncos and as much sangria during the meal simply doesn’t cut it anymore.

After the demise of other ‘yoof’ brands such as Twenty’s, Freestyle and Escapades it looks like it’s also ‘adiós’ to Club 18-30, and with it goes a million memories from a million youngsters who were introduced to the Med by a company that revelled in notoriety and excess. Hedonism has changed to Instagramism but ‘Club’ rightfully deserves its place in the holiday hall of fame, or maybe that should be infamy.

Balearic Cricket Comes to Ibiza

This weekend will see the Balearic Cricket Championship played in Ibiza at San Agustin stadium with games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This year will also be special as it’s the 30th anniversary of the very first tournament, played in Ibiza in 1988.

To add even more spice, the 2018 tournament will be unique after Mallorca Cricket Club pulled out at the last minute so Ibiza have entered 2 teams for the very first time. Mallorca CC lost their ground a few years ago and have struggled to keep the momentum without it. Their withdrawal at the 11th hour sent shockwaves through Balearic Cricket but a contingency was quickly put into place to safeguard the popular round-robin format.

Sam Gooda will lead Ibiza Cricket Club into his 2nd Balearic Cup and his team will start as favourites on home soil. Sam has worked tirelessly for the club and has put together a fine team with Paul Cruttwell from Fusion Satellite as his right hand man. Cruttwell will open the bowling along with Jim Harvey, the owner of Dalt Vila’s quirky Paradise Lost cocktail bar. Gooda was Ibiza’s leading run scorer last year but will hope that temperamental overseas player Johnno Gordon can chip in with a decent knock.

Menorca CC will also be quietly confident of taking home the trophy and will travel with an experienced side with a couple of standout youngsters who can make the difference on the day. Menorca’s captain Simon Cotton, a real estate agent from Stoke, will be hoping to do better than his football club when leading out his side against Ibiza on Friday, aided and abetted by wily Mackem Jeffrey Barker with stalwarts Roy Sturgeon and Andy Tysoe at his side.

Menorca has a beautiful vast grass ground back on their own island, probably the best in Spanish cricket, so will have to quickly adjust to the tight conditions on the artificial pitch at San Agustin.

Finally, the IBZ Renegades has been put together (with myself as Captain) especially for this tournament and will reunite many Ibiza players who no longer live on the island but still retain a great affinity with the club.

Ibiza CC legend Bob ‘the Vicar’ Short will be one to watch out for as he becomes a Renegade and competes in the competition for the first time since 2013. The sexagenarian will be looking to add to his fine record in the tournament which includes 2 victories in 2007 and 2013. In fact the Renegades side will field 6 players from the famous 2007 cup winning side meaning that it’s very much old v new with regards to Ibiza cricket. All rounder Jolyon Swinburn is flying in from New Zealand while the prolific Adam Johnston will open the batting with enigmatic Sam Feasey.

It promises to be a veritable feast of cricket over 3 days, the weather forecast is excellent and although competition on the pitch will be fierce, old friendships will be rekindled and new friendships will be made in the bar after the games over a cold beer. The Balearic Cricket Cup has had some amazing weekends over the last 30 years and this year’s promises to be right up there with the best of them!

Fri 11 May: Ibiza CC v Menorca CC

Sat 12 May: Menorca CC v IBZ Renegades

Sun 13 May: IBZ Renegades v Ibiza CC

All matches will start at 12pm midday at San Agustin Stadium – https://goo.gl/maps/ppUBEKvmRTJ2

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http://www.ibizacricketclub.com

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Cricket in Ibiza