Balearics Must Tackle Other Issues as well as Anti-Social Drinking

The Balearic Government’s new laws designed to crack down on alcohol excess have made front page news around the globe and started off many debates. 

Balearic politicians have decided to target bar crawls, happy hours, ‘balconing’ and party boats in 3 specific geographical areas, namely Magaluf and Arenal in Mallorca and the West End of San Antonio in Ibiza.

It’s no secret that these areas have a reputation for cheap alcohol coupled with a clientele of mainly young British tourists on a limited holiday budget. 

While some will see this as negative press others will see it as an overdue crackdown and many resorts around the world will be watching closely to see whether these new laws could be useful in their own tourist hot spots. 

The frustrating thing from a local perspective is that while the selling of cheap alcohol is undoubtedly an issue there are other problems in these areas such as pickpockets, prostitutes and illegal street selling that seem to be continually overlooked.

Ironically when questioned local politicians say that they are inhibited by existing laws. Double standards? When you live and work in these areas and your teenage kids roam the same summer streets as tourists then you want zero tolerance on the most important issues and excessive alcohol sales isn’t top of the list.

Here in San Antonio bar crawls haven’t been around for years but unscrupulous bar owners offer ridiculously cheap drinks deals to passing youngsters that can only result in one outcome so any new laws against this are welcome in my opinion.

Party boats aren’t a massive issue as most are well controlled after previous unsavoury incidents required them to get their house in order whilst anything that deters youngsters from jumping from one balcony to another can only be a good thing. 

But what will it really mean after the furore has died down? The reality is that laws are only effective if they are implemented with vigour, fairness and stealth and this is where we have previously come unstuck in the Balearics and it’s worth noting that San Antonio already has a shortage of local police officers. 

Ultimately it is local business owners who need to self police to ensure that not only do they protect the reputation of the resort but also the welfare of youngsters, many who are on their first ever holiday abroad.

Getting the balance right is the biggest challenge and anything that focuses on protecting young tourists whilst also trying to change the perception of much maligned resorts should be applauded however the jury is still out as to whether this is a serious initiative or just political rhetoric that will soon be forgotten about.

Written exclusively for the TTG – Read article here

Ibiza & Social Media: The Stats Don’t Lie

Social Media and Ibiza
They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity or as Oscar Wilde once wrote “the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about”.

Social media is a great observatory and a study by the consultancy firm Siblaire (commissioned by Balearic TV station IB3) has revealed that the use of the word ‘Ibiza’ beats all of the other Balearic Islands when it comes to Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

620,000 web messages were analysed between 15 December 2016 and 24 January 2017 revealing which Island is the most talked about online. The results were as follows:

45% Ibiza
42% Mallorca
7.5% Menorca
4.7% Formentera

The different languages used on these web messages also gives a clear indication of the differing dynamics of each of the Balearic Islands.

Mallorca: 37% Spanish 30% English 20% Catalan
Menorca: 47% Sp, 20% Eng 20%, Cat
Ibiza: 63.4% Eng, 26% Sp, 1.6% Cat
Formentera: 55.2% Sp, 25.7% Eng, 4.4% Cat

Unsurprisingly the main topics for Ibiza web chat were tourism, discotheques, music and fun as well as celebrities who come to the island, the events that take place and the best selling song ‘I took a pill in Ibiza’.

Consultants Sibilare explained that even though they thought Ibiza would be prominent it was still a surprise to see the overwhelming results. The firm added that most web chat is spontaneous so it’s a great way of observing what the public are talking about.

Ibiza accounts for 13% of the Balearic population whereas Mallorca accounts for 77%.

Source: Diario de Ibiza


NOTE: This is a localised survey but still an interesting insight into Ibiza’s relationship with social media. 

San Antonio’s West End: “The Situation is Unsustainable”

pic: Daniel Espinosa
Pep Colomar, the President of San Antonio’s West End Association has spent half his life working in one the town’s and Ibiza’s most famous and busiest streets, firstly helping with the family business then taking the reins of the popular Bar Colon.

Now 37 years old, he has witnessed the evolution of San Antonio and remembers a different West End: “For years Germans, Dutch, Scandinavians came … it was very different from now.” Colomar is convinced that the return to that type tourism is possible, “it only takes the will of the people and the town hall to enforce the law”.

Here in an interview with Ibiza daily paper El Periodico he gives his views on the summer season so far.

Q: As we come into the peak season, from your experience, how do you think it’s going?

A: The Season is more or less like last year. This year started earlier and we had a pretty good May and June like last year but unfortunately we still have the same problems as every year: PR’s, illegal street sellers, prostitution, crime and theft.

Q: Last year the change of government occurred during the season but I understand that there are things that haven’t changed?

A: This winter, like every year, we talked with the Town Hall to plan the season. The Illegal PR situation had become a problem, each bar and club were allowed to have a specific number of legal PR’s in certain areas but unfortunately the old rules weren’t followed and the news rules have just aggravated the problem.

Q: How come?

A: The old rules weren’t followed and the numbers were exceeded. The Town Hall said it was difficult to distinguish legal PR’s from illegal PR’s (even though the legal ones wore reflective vests) and said it was difficult to enforce the law. On this basis the Town Hall decided to completely ban ‘dynamic publicity’.  We agreed as long as it was enforced. Now can see that it isn’t being enforced and the unfair competition is brutal. Those who fail to comply with the law have grown and become strong and it has been a huge disadvantage for those who do not have people outside their bars trying to attract customers inside.  Many are falling into despair and desperation because no correct measures are taken or being enforced.

Q: What does the Town Hall say?

A: We have talked with them 3 times since May and their consistent answer is that they are acting to enforce the law but they aren’t doing enough. This failure is causing us many difficulties and problems within the West End Association. There are people who are already saying that they can’t follow the law because their neighbours are ignoring it and they are suffering, it’s a very serious problem. They feel helpless because their neighbours have PR’s, loud music, open doors yet are calm because nothing happens, no police and no formal complaints.

Q: The problem lies in the failure to enforce the law?

A: Yes. If you have a law then you must enforce it. The laws have been passed but it is very difficult to monitor compliance if there are no police officers. We need more police in all areas and is absurd to not have enough. If there are no police on the street it is useless to have a law that penalises bars, the Town Hall should prioritise and tackle the most serious problems first. We have asked that if they can’t enforce the law then at least they should allow dynamic publicity again. Last year we hired private security guards but were told they weren’t allowed to do the work of the police so we asked the Town Hall, as an emergency measure, to let them accompany police officers but they said no.

Q: Is it increasingly urgent to change the San Antonio tourism model?

A: Yes, it’s urgent. The process needs to start so we can fix the things that are wrong. That’s not to say I just want nice families to come to San Antonio and nothing else because you can’t change overnight. If there are still these problems of public order, drugs, prostitution, crime then the model cannot change. First you have to fix all that and then the model will change automatically. It’s absurd to go to a trade fair to sell a San Antonio that does not exist. We must fix the problems first and them the model will change.

Q: How do you make the change?

A: The model change should be encouraged by both sides. The Town Hall enforcing the rules and entrepreneurs working differently, offering a higher quality product. The problem is that if the Town Hall doesn’t do enough then there are many bar owners who out of greed or whatever will continue to work illegally because it’s easier and more profitable but this shouldnt be the case. We are complementary offer. For us, if there is a change in the tourism model them it should be relatively simple to adapt to our business. This year there are 4 bars fully reformed in Calle Santa Agnès. But again, the priority is to end the unfair competition. It all starts with the rules. If you make laws then don’t enforce them you create 2 problems.

Q: So the ball is back in the Town Hall’s court?

A: Aida Alcaraz (Councillor for the Interior) tells us that they are making policing arrangements, but the reality is that the same problems are still here. It’s not enough and the situation has got worse. There is good dialogue with the Town Hall but this in itself is not enough, specific actions are required. I understand that we demand a lot but this is because they do little. Always they argue that their hands are tied by the law but as entrepreneurs we must demand certain things as we pay taxes and they have created rules that have not been met and have in fact had a perverse effect. If you create rules and can’t enforce them then that is making the situation worse as well as committing an injustice. They must be realistic about the strength of the local police, they say there are more agents than ever in San Antonio but the reality is that there are clearly insufficient. In addition agents do jobs that aren’t theirs, they are overwhelmed.

Q: Despite all these obstacles, it is possible to change San Antonio?

A: I think so. Everyone in San Antonio wants better and if everyone pushes in the same direction then the model change is possible. We agree with the rules but when you do not know how to enforce the remedy then it becomes worse than the disease. We understand that the police are overwhelmed but employers also also overwhelmed with a sense of desperation that the rules are not being enforced and some people do exactly what they want. They say complaints for non-compliance will be processed faster but nothing has changed. The situation has reached a point that is unsustainable and changing the tourism model is urgent.

Source: El Periodico

Original interview: in Spanish

‘Geordie Shore’ Filming in San An

Those ‘cheeky’ Geordie Shore reality TV ‘stars’  (and I use the term very loosely) have been spotted in and around San Antonio surreptitiously filming for their new series.

After being refused permission to film in Mallorca it appears the production company have come over to the White Isle (and more specifically San Antonio) in search of some sexy footage to engage their viewers for the new shows that will air on MTV and if rumours are to be believed they are staying on a CAMP SITE in the north of the island! 

Meanwhile on social media Island residents have been almost unanimous in decrying anyone or place that ‘collaborates’ with the series claiming that they highlight the negatives. Some bars have even threatened to sue the producers of Geordie Shore for filming covertly without permission. This has resulted in the filming being very hush hush and mainly on private premises.

San Antonio councillor Aida Alcaraz has had various meetings reminding local establishments that the programme doesn’t have any permission or licence to film in the public domain but admitted they cannot stop it inside private premises. Sra Alcaraz has also reportedly asked the British Consulate to speak to the producers to confirm if they are filming on the streets and if so to stop immediately. 

Even though they say there’s no such thing as bad publicity it’s the latest rejection by island residents and politicians who are tired of TV companies pillaging Ibiza purely for ratings. Last year the Ibiza government banned MTV from filming MTV’s Spanish version called “Ibiza Shore” after a similar outcry.

Ibiza with its beach clubs and vibrant nocturnal scene is gold dust for many reality TV series as it appeals to a similar demographic even though ‘TOWIE’ left the island with their collective tail between their collective legs claiming that they weren’t ‘made to feel welcome’ in Ibiza.

Amnesia Last Minute Schedule Change

The standoff between Amnesia & San Antonio Council has taken another turn with the announcement that the SuperClub has changed its hours for its widely anticipated opening party. 

A statement from the club explains that it has decided to open from 4pm on 28 May and continue until 6am because it has been denied a morning licence and “despite the continuous obstacles and disadvantages….we will fight so that the magic continues in Ibiza and make sure the music never stops” encouraging people to use the hashtag #youwillneverdancealone 

This is part of an ongoing row which has seen the club continually flout the law by closing late and then paying the ensuing fines. Amnesia has had 31 sanctions over the last 2 years paying fines totalling 102,000 euros leading to San Antonio Town Hall’s decision to refuse the extended hours application for its owning party. 

Opening at 4pm is a surprising turn of events but Amnesia was left with no other option under current legislation if it wanted to extend its hours. Mirroring Space’s opening hours model is a risky strategy especially as other opening parties are on the same day however Amnesia has consistently delivered the goods and is rated by many as the best SuperClub opening on the White Isle.

Ibiza Govt Declares War on Illegal Holiday Rentals 


The Ibiza Island Council has confirmed that they are gearing up for a big crackdown on the illegal supply of tourist holiday homes.

With the help of a specialist computer program the Ibiza government say they will be able to keep track of all properties being advertised for rental on the internet and detect the ones that are doing so without a licence and therefore illegally.

The new software comes at a cost 3,000 euros and has been provided by a specialised company. “It is a perfect tool that has been created by people who know a lot in the matter,” said Vicent Torres ‘Benet’ the Island’s Director of Tourism.

The Ibiza government and other pressure groups blame the proliferation of illegal holiday homes for the alarming lack of annual rental accommodation available to residents. Rental platforms such as Airbnb and Holiday Lettings have given Ibiza home owners the opportunity to ‘cash in’ during the peak summer months however this has caused the demand for long term accommodation to reach unprecedented levels. The homeless charity Caritas has also weighed into the debate calling for urgent action citing that some workers with contracts are being forced to pay 500 euros per month to sleep on a balcony.

The island government say that the computer software will become effective ‘in the next 10 days’ to begin sweeping the net in search of properties being offered illegally for holiday rental.  According to Torres, the application will be “very important” to combat the problem. “This program provides so much information that the Tourism Inspectors can now open an investigation without visiting the site which was previously required”.

Those found to be illegally renting their properties face fines from 4,000 to 40,000 euros, depending on the severity of the offence. Legal tourist holiday homes must meet a series of requirements including a certain number of bathrooms as well as other health and safety features.

Source: Diario de Ibiza

Es Vedra Goat Slaughter

 

After almost 25 years the fabled goats of Es Vedra have now been eradicated from the small islet that lies off the west coast of Ibiza. 5 females and 1 male were introduced to Es Vedra in 1992 however the Balearic and Island governments have now decided to get rid of them to “recover the native flora of the rock”. 

After consultation it was decided that the best way was to kill them rather than remove them so yesterday (4 Feb 2016) environmental agents sailed over to the islet and at 8am began shooting all the helpless creatures. By 2pm their grisly task was complete although they will return today to ensure that none were missed in the cull. 

The slain animals will be left on Es Vedra to decompose naturally as it was also deemed too dangerous to remove the carcasses even though this is technically against the law (according to Ley 8/2003 de Sanidad Animal).

Caterina Amengual, Director of Natural Areas and Biodiversity for the Balearic Department of Environment (belonging to the environmentalist coalition ‘MES per Mallorca’) said “it’s a question of priorities and the conservation of ecosystems is a priority. We have an obligation to protect natural areas”. 

The Ibiza Insular Minister of Environment, Miquel Vericad of GUANYEM EIVISSA, congratulated the Balearic Government for the decision to remove the goats commenting “We have a duty to protect our heritage, which makes it unique to Es Vedra and Ibiza.”

Some local residents are very upset about the decision especially as the same government recently proudly announced that the Balearics were ‘anti-bull fighting’. Ibiza residents are well known for their love of all animals so they are decrying this as double standards.

The goats of Es Vedra could be clearly seen from sailing vessels and were part of the myth and aura of the rock. I myself have spent many hours moored around Es Vedra trying to convince friends aboard that the goats actually existed. Sometimes we left without seeing them but many times we were able to spot some of the herd carefully traversing the steep rock face. It’s an extremely sorry end to a story that I often told and always put a smile on my face (especially when I was proved right over the doubters).

The Balearic & Ibiza government have been unequivocal in saying that this was the best course of action in protecting one of Ibiza’s most famous landmarks but a small light has gone out on the mythical rock and you can’t help thinking they have taken the easiest and cheapest option. Delivering death to Es Vedra is not good Karma but the environmental experts know what they are doing after all, don’t they?

Tourism and Terrorism

After the tragic events of the last few weeks it is tourism once again that is the industry to suffer most. It highlights the fickle nature of the business and brings home it’s importance especially when you live on a small island that relies on it.

First of all here’s a quick overview (apologies but it’s needed for context)

1. March 2015 –  terrorists attack the Bardo National Museum in the Tunisian capital city of Tunis with 22 deaths, mostly European tourists.

2. June 2015 – a lone gunman murders 38 tourists in Sousse, Tunisia; 30 of which are British. The hotel is targeted to undermine tourism and because they are considered ‘brothels’ by ISIS.

3. October 2015 – Metrojet flight 7K268 from Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg explodes over the Sinai desert killing all 224 on board, 219 are Russian.

4. November 2015 – the terrible events in Paris unfold with 129 innocent people murdered in cold blood and which need no further detail here.

All this tragic loss of life plus a catastrophic effect on the tourist industries of Egypt and Tunisia which rely on foreign currency. It has also undermined the security measures of these gateways, something from which they may never recover.

In the immediate aftermath of the Paris attacks the companies hit hardest on the stock market were TUI (down 4.1%), British Airways/Iberia owners IAG (down 2.8%) and Thomas Cook (down 4.8%) proving that confidence in travel is the first thing to wane after any terrorist attacks. They will most likely recover as time passes but it shows the fragility of the market in general and it’s constant need to find new destinations and products.

As we have seen after previous incidents the world will keep turning and statistically it’s still the safest time in history to travel. These days people are made of stern stuff and have relatively short memories so the North African disasters will only open up opportunities for other destinations such as the Canary Islands, Cyprus and Malta for those wanting a little winter sun. Even Ibiza might ‘benefit’ from tourists wanting to stay a little closer to home, especially as more winter flights are coming in and 2016 will see Ryanair setting up a ‘base’ on the island.

So in the big scheme of things where does all this leave Ibiza, the ‘party island’ only 2 hours flight away from London? Regardless of whether we can supply the demand for short haul winter city breaks, Ibiza will do what it’s always done: Carry on!

So as our elected politicians talk about a tourist tax and a change of the ‘touristic model’ the events over the last 12 months should, if nothing else, hammer home our island’s 100% reliance on tourism and the fact that we need to cherish it with humility and not take it for granted.

As other destinations have discovered to their cost it can be taken away from you all too easily.

Ibiza’s Winter Tourism Conundrum

  
As our island politicians return from an all-expenses paid trip to London’s World Travel Market the topic of winter tourism has raised its head yet again. 

This has been exasperated by the warm autumn weather that has seen Ibiza reach temperatures of up to 30 degrees in the sun and also the Sharm el-Sheikh tragedy that saw a jetliner bought down (apparently by a bomb) with a large loss of innocent lives. This tragedy along with the Tunisian lone gunman has seen traditional North African destinations become almost no-go zones for tourists leaving the travel market looking for more short haul options for winter destinations.

Even though the opportunity is right in front of us the commercial and political will of the Island suggests that despite the posturing our leaders are content with the status quo of busy summers followed by very quiet winters that allows for a great quality of life. Put simply, they earn enough in the summer so don’t need to open in the winter.

For those not in a privileged position, Ibiza’s unemployment queues get longer in the winter so why can’t the money spent on stemming the flow of poverty be used for creating jobs? The current situation sees many families on the breadline by January. Surely better to invest in people than effectively pay them to do nothing. 

On the island itself the subject of winter tourism is very polarizing with many wanting to carry on with the traditional 6 months on/6 months off and others moaning about the lack of work opportunities.

Those that denounce the idea of winter tourism saying such things as the island ‘needs a rest’ and ‘we love the peace and quiet in the winter’ obviously know very little about it as it’s completely different to the summer with an older more discerning tourism showing interest in local culture and society. 
Many miss the fact that Ibiza is already open for winter tourism but it isn’t doing it very well.
As a destination the island has a whole range of activities from cycling to walking to gastronomy to sightseeing to yoga to relaxing at spas: the spectrum is huge.

Most towns on the island have activities every weekend which are inclusive and fun yet they don’t seem able to advertise and get the message out there to anyone apart from an inner circle who seem to know everything. It’s all very last minute and tourism doesn’t work like that nowadays with forward planning needed to take advantage of lead-in prices.

 
Air Europa and Vueling have more flights, BA now operate a successful program of daily winter flights from London and Ryanair are opening an Ibiza base in March 2016 so as things are looking very rosy for an increased number of winter connections now would appear to be the time to push on. 

Ibiza in winter has the climate, it has the product and it has the location so we urgently need to to extend the tourist season not by making into a Benidorm or a December into August but by making March and November similar to April and October. The problem is that to do that the Island has to be open for business on a bigger and better scale and that right there is the biggest challenge. 

Ibiza Clubs: Then and Now – Guest Blog by Danny Whittle

Danny Whittle: Then and Now

Before I get into detail let me say a few things; yes my grammar is s**t, yes my spelling is s**t and yes I don’t pretend to know it all, so anyone who wants to post about any of those things you have been pre-empted so you don’t need to waste your time, I know all these things already. So last week I decided to respond to a post about the Ibiza clubs closing times, the feedback was pretty amazing but at the same time I believe there are many people posting on social media without past knowledge of certain situations or at the very least a misunderstanding of the balance of this great little island.

I first arrived here to work (I had been on holiday before) in 1995, it could have been 96 but I’m not going to research it as that’s boring. Either way I was doing ‘Renaissance at Ku’ with Manumission. The year after we did Pacha every Wednesday.

The period of 1996 to 2000 is what many people claim to be the ‘Golden Years’. Let me add that in 1998 I moved to running Ministry of Sound at Pacha on Fridays and in 1999 I started the first 22 hour party at Space on Sundays with Darren Hughes, Home@ Space, I’m sure some of you remember it, it was a great party and just got stronger all summer. Pepe and Fritz gave me a beautiful watch as a thank you. I think it was these parties that convinced Space to move from being a daytime club to a night time club, I suspect that happened because as an after hours they were not making the kind of money they could make as a night time venue, this and being forced to put a roof on the famous terrace didn’t help either.

The following January I was offered a full time job at Pacha to run the content side of the club across the week.  I did this for 13 years and I don’t think I’m bragging when I say we did well and Pacha grew from a club that was only busy 2 nights a week to one that was busy for 7 nights a week. Anyway enough about me I just wanted to lay some history down.

  
So 18 years ago most of Ibiza’s clubs only had 1 or 2 nights that were doing great things.

Pacha had Ministry of Sound packing them in and also Renaissance that was probably the most underground thing in any of the big clubs doing ok but hanging on by their nails as there was not a big demand for it, believe it or not Ibiza was never that underground then.

Amnesia had Cream and maybe La Troya or Matinee were doing OK but other than that nothing to write home about. Ku/Privilege were doing Manumission and not much else in the big scheme of things but Manumission was as big as two nights in any other club.

Space had the amazing ‘Space on Sundays’ and the Manumission ‘Carry On’ which, lets be honest, was never about making money but was an incredible party.  Eden had Judge Jules and maybe another good thing but I can’t remember.  Es Paradis had the powerful ‘Clockwork Orange’ and again maybe another thing.

 DC10 at that point didn’t exist, so how lucky are we now that it does.  Sankeys also didn’t exist and yet now they have a good crowd most nights.

But essentially all the clubs had 2 good nights and the rest of the nights were mostly pretty average. Please excuse me if I can’t remember your night especially if it was good but I am trying to give a general overview of the way things were.

For after parties we had the amazing Zenith parties that Roberto and Ernesto did near the airport, they were soon stopped but it’s amazing that 20 years later the same boys are now running what is arguably the biggest night on the island with ‘Music On’, well deserved too.  We also had Escollera, which was amazing and Bora bora that was also flying.

We also had Space open every morning but was not that busy as there was not much demand except on the aforementioned 2 days when it was life changing for the people there.

Most of the other after parties were people putting on villa parties with wigs and fancy dress and nobody was blaming the clubs for closing too early. They just made their own entertainment and it was almost always amazing.

Also there were at that time some great bars like the Rock Bar and Base Bar and many others that worked perfectly and co-existed with the clubs and yet the opening and closing times were pretty much the same as they are now.

What really destroyed the Ibiza Town bars over the last 10 years was the lack of parking and that ugly glass wall, that they have at last put right, and I have to say its now once again a beautiful place to be. I believe the bars along the port should all throw 200 euros each into a pot and do a great marketing campaign through the right magazines and online to promote just how great the bars are in the port.  Now lets move 18 years into the future.

Amnesia works pretty much 7 nights a week, some busier than others and their weekly programming is kind of genre busting, going from Paris Hilton to Marco Carola, Cream to Cocoon and everything in between. That’s how you make a club work 7 nights a week, brilliant programming.

Pacha, again working almost 7 nights a week going from Steve Aoki to Solomun. Again great programming,

Space has some amazing parties with Carl and Richie, El Row and Luciano, although it’s a shame ‘We Love’ didn’t host Sundays alongside Luciano, but that’s just my opinion.

DC10 is amazing, a game changer for Ibiza but at the same time only open 2 nights a week (3 in August) which just goes to show that if you’re not prepared to host different genres its difficult to operate 7 nights a week and we all know DC10 will never compromise on cool and that’s cool too.

Sankeys, opened 4 years ago and managed to pull off what most people would never even try. It’s hard enough to make one night a week work in Ibiza for outside promoters, but to make a nightclub work all week even if some nights are quiet will only have admiration from me.

Zoo project, amazing venue that do great parties. Privilege have SuperMartxe, which by all accounts is really big, I think there are a couple of other nights that are good also however this is the most disappointing venue for me, their potential is incredible and I have my ideas of how this can work but I’m not going to voice them here. After all I have a job.

Eden & Es Paradis, well this is more complicated. I just feel having 2 nightclubs directly across the road from each other was only going to lead to disaster. It’s all about critical mass and once the clubs compete so much that both clubs stop working to a certain level then the clients go elsewhere – Amnesia, Pacha, Ushuaia whatever but basically those 2 clubs cancelled each other out, at that point it also effects San Antonio town. The 2 clubs can’t compete so the punters go to where the content is.

Ocean Beach and Ibiza Rocks, which we also didn’t have 20 years ago, and bars like Mambo and Plastik show that business done properly in San An can work. So in my opinion the owners of Eden and Es Paradis should come together, knock down one of the clubs and build a really cool hotel and a really cool club and split the business (and if they cant afford it get an investor). 33 % of something great will always be better than 100 % of something not working.

Also as we are talking about San An, I have always been a fan, it’s the gateway to Ibiza for young kids and they fall in love with San An and then move on around the island. We have an incredible return of service in Ibiza. I had a young lady working for me in 1998 as a flyerer in San An, she still comes here all these years later and she’s now a Professor of skin cancer at Kings College or somewhere yet still her love affair with Ibiza remains, that’s the power of San An and the power of Ibiza’s attraction.

So I think all the big clubs should support San An and allow, if not insist, that each of their big name DJ’s should do one show a summer in San Antonio, not just a pre-party to help fill their own clubs, but a proper gig in a proper club. That’s about 20 big dates in San An for the right club, we just need the right club, but that will take creativity, which is what Ibiza runs on. Why would the other clubs do that I hear you ask, well because they know ultimately all those people will end up coming to them at a later date anyway, even if it was a year later. It’s all about keeping that youthful gateway open for the island.  Ushuaia is the best thing that has happened to Ibiza in the last ten years. Amazing parties and amazing marketing not only for themselves but also for Ibiza. Even if you don’t like it you can’t deny the strength it brings to the island. Creative and smart. Don’t talk to me about it being only commercial, go to Ants on Saturday or a La Familia party with Nick and Joris, it reminds me of the Space terrace 18 years ago!

Beach Bars, lets talk about them, never really had them 18 years ago, Blue Marlin, amazing, I remember partying with Yela (the owner of Blue Marlin) many years ago at Escollera, that guy has lived it and grafted it, he deserves his success, Jonathan and Olivia with Chiringuito at Es Cavallet and Beachouse in Bossa again deserve their success, Dave Piccioni with Amante, and so many more that we never had before are all doing great things on the island.

The boat parties is a a relatively new concept but people love them and they should exist, they need to be safe and legal but at the same time they are a great addition to Ibiza options.

VIPS, I hate the name. I don’t think they are VIPs they are just a different type of client and to be honest a lot of them are the people who came here during the so called ‘Golden Years’ it’s just now they are not 20 years old anymore they are 38 years old and prefer to have a table. Just because someone has a credit card doesn’t mean they can’t like music and clubbing and its clear that some of the biggest underground nights also have the biggest table clients. In the end the tables are empty unless the dancefloor is full so it’s still all about the dancefloor.

So to finish I just want to say that Ibiza is stronger than ever, with much more on offer. To me the ‘Golden Years’ were more about me being 20 years younger. I see just as many smiles on faces now as I did back then. With regards to the competition between clubs, bars, beach bars, boat parties, hotel venues and so on, well the reality is no matter what your business is if you run it well with good content, good marketing, good customer service you will do well. Nobody should blame other businesses if theirs isn’t working correctly. Also Ibiza summer now starts the end of May and finishes beginning of October, so about a month longer than 18 years ago.

So for me Ibiza even with its faults is better than ever and all the changes, well that’s what Ibiza should be about, it has to be fluid, it has to reinvent every now and again to keep it fresh.


Danny Whittle lives and works in Ibiza. He is a Director at IBZ Entertainment, one of the largest programmers and bookers of artists for nightclubs, events and festivals both in Ibiza and worldwide. He is also one of the founding partners/organisers of the annual ‘International Music Summit (IMS)’ in Ibiza, Los Angeles, Singapore and Shanghai.