As the Ibiza 2020 Club season desperately clings to life amid the Covid 19 pandemic, any slim hope of salvaging a party season, all about evaporated this week, when the Balearic Government in Palma announced mandatory wearing of face masks alongside defined, new laws that spell out in detail what constitutes a fine of up to €600,000 and what doesn’t. Tourists with bookings for Ibiza 2020 were not impressed and local Hotels reported an immediate rise in cancellations. The legislative action re-enforced the Balearic Governments consistent message from the start of the crisis back in March, that it would prioritise the health of its citizens over the health of its economy. While the majority of the clubs accepted that it would be very difficult and risky for them to open this summer, only Amnesia attempted to sidestep Government policy in this area. They had prepared and booked a Covid 19 adapted music program that was ready to go once they received clarity on restrictive laws which they hoped would be eased last week.
Instead, Palma, once again,caught everybody by surprise by hardening the rules not easing them, after a number of indiscretions forced them to take a tough stance on an industry very much out of touch with local sentiment. The chasm of opinion between Spanish and non national residents became glaringly obvious this week when an online poll gave completely opposite results when people were asked if they supported the new rules. The local Spanish population in Ibiza responded with a 70% approval rate for the new regulations, while the same percentage of non nationals, 70%, voted against them commenting that the Balearic Government were idiots, and did not know what they were doing. While some of this is politically motivated, there is a growing cultural movement against the budget, mass tourism product as local resident groups like PROU, which means enough in Catalan grow in popularity. While relations between locals and residents were strained before Covid 19, they have only deteriorated after a number of villa and club parties were held in defiance of health regulations, with a scary outbreak of Covid 19 infection linked to one of them.
So where does this leave the clubbing industry and those who want to party in Ibiza this summer? Not in a very good place I’m afraid, as the clear message emanating from the Spanish side living in Ibiza, is not to come to the island if you are looking to party as they will report any noise pollution to police who can now officially fine people on the spot. This anti party sentiment will only be reinforced after the “debauched” behavior of laddish Tourists in Magaluff on Friday, who rioted after being forced to leave bars early after new 2am closings became law. This incident is bound to have repercussions across Spain, especially in mass Tourism resorts and is one of the main reasons, along with health, why I have cancelled all my trips to Ibiza this summer. For me, the final nail in the coffin occurred last week when local authorities removed all Billboards advertising DJ’s or clubs on the island this summer. For those who know Ibiza, billboards advertising parties and clubs are everywhere and never come down. Im not going to advise anybody what to do with their holiday plans, as I understand how important a holiday is to many people who work and save hard all year to enjoy some carefree fun in the sun and I respect their right to do so and not to wear a mask if they don’t want to.
I’m all for freedom of choice, but also respect the pillar that liberty was granted upon, Democracy, so if the Government of a country I am residing in as a guest, requests me to wear a mask, I will respect that law and comply with it. My style of holiday at the age of 52, is different from that of a 25 year old, so my opinion is more seasoned than others and Ibiza loves youth. But I can now safely say with 72% accuracy, that their won’t be any type of party in Ibiza this summer, that ship has sailed out of port maybe never to return in its old sails. What we are witnessing now in Ibiza, is the birth of a new era of island tourism, that follows in the cultural footprints of the Beatnick, Hippy, Ecstasy and Space generations. 2020 will be remembered as the year Ibiza took time out for update reboot, to clean its cache and optimize its systems for trendy markets in the future. This was a big incentive for the luxury market to remain closed in Ibiza this summer, as they are protecting their clean image brand for next season, which needs protection and testing, especially if more outbreaks occur on a small island with limited resources. So the clear message that this blog is designed to convey, is that there will be no party or club season in Ibiza this infamous 2020 season. If you managed to bag one of those everlasting gobstopper tickets that Amnesia sold, do hold on to it, as they could become a valuable collectors item in time.
Image credit: Oliver Janssen