With the amps well and truly cold in the engine rooms of the Ibiza super clubs, we take a look over the fence to see whats going on in Ibiza clubland, as plans for a new season get underway. While 2015 got off to a slow start, it was a strong performing year for most people with the exception of one or two. There were a few mistakes made, namely the fine mess at Space on Sundays. Ego and self importance, contrived to wreck an island institution in the form of We Love and the people that were responsible for such a cock up, should hang their heads in shame, as the party died a miserable death at Sankeys. Luciano alongside We Love may have worked, even HYTE who were rumoured to be involved in the negotiations, might have added a spark, but what we got was a Luciano show that failed to ignite. I would rate Luciano’s chances of returning to Space on Sundays next season as slim. He has already burnt his bridges at Amnesia after the public social media spat between the pair, so Luciano wont be on everybody’s wish list this Christmas.
Defected is fast becoming the Bed and Breakfast Man man of Ibiza Clubland. Its been touring Ibiza like a hippy in a tent the last number of years and its beginning to smell of old age. I doubt very much it will be back at Amnesia next summer and its needs to find a solid base urgently. The most logical option for Defected would be to partner its successful sister party Glitterbox at Space on Fridays, as its not able to survive on its own these days. Across the road at Ushuaia, I also expect changes next season. There are early rumours that at least one big name will depart the venue, but expect the business model at Ushuaia to evolve again, as it takes ownership of Space in 2017 with a brand new name and concept. Stay tuned to the blog for more details on this emerging story.
Over at the classic Pacha club, Wednesdays are still proving a problem to fix. Guy Gerber should have been given more time to develop but Pacha know their market better than anybody and they will always do with they feel is correct for Pacha. I do expect a few departures from the Pacha fold next year, maybe one to their arch rival Amnesia, so stay tuned to the blog for updates. Licencing issues at Destino are going remain a problem and with a new town council in situ, its not going to get any easier. Same goes for the Amnesia owned, Cova Santa and a growing number of Beach venues who will be kept in closer check next summer.
The success of Privilege will depend on whether or not it can retain its flagship SupermartXe party. Early rumours last year were suggesting a move to Space but Elrow got there first and has established itself at the soon to be revamped club. I expect Do Not Sleep to be signed by another club as the party builds on last years success, so Privilege will need to pull a rabbit out of the hat if it is to have a fighting chance of survival next season. But this is Ibiza, the land of magic and surprises so don’t write off the elder statesman just yet.
Across the road at Amnesia, the hot topic of conversation is the will he stay or will he go, debate surrounding Marco Carola. Amnesia would be foolish to let him walk away as he is the big cash cow for what is a commercial club. Conflicting reports are emerging about his future at Amnesia next season with Ushuaia/Space the club being tipped as his next home. Will his party work in a daytime venue? I don’t think so, it needs to be inside a club at 3am in the morning, so my money is on Carola staying at Amnesia another year and for him to wait for the new concept at Space to be unveiled in 2017. However I do expect a few changes at Amnesia for 2016 as three techno parties did not work. Hyte is expected to remain and be given another chance to prove itself and Sven Vath’s appearance at Pacha may suggest that he would like to see more of the island as he enters the twilight of his career.
I would expect Sankeys to bounce back in 2016 and there is already talk that the club may open early. Es Paradis traditionally had the honour of leading the clubs out onto the pitch mid may, and I always felt there was a niche market for a club to open with the official start of the tourist season on May 1, as there are potential clubbing tourists and stag parties on the island especially with the heavily discounted deals available for Hotels and flights in May. On my Tripadvisor forums I get a fair few people asking about early May club activity in Ibiza so it would be worth a punt for some club to try it and if anybody was to take a risk, it would be David Vincent.
As Playa Den Bossa prices itself out of the market for the average Ryanair punter, San Antonio is making a welcome comeback, so there is hope yet for both Eden and Es Paradis. The exciting news that Pepe Rosello of Space will be returning to the sunset resort, along with the rude health of places like Cafe Mambo, Ibiza Rocks and Ocean Beach Club, will only highlight the fact that San Antonio will be where its happening in the mid to long term future of the island. I expect an exciting new hotel re-vamp for the sunset strip and the development of Cala Gracio by the Matues family will be welcomed, as long as they retain the family ethos of the old Tanit Hotel and not turn into an overpriced wannabe VIP venue. Like many others, I do miss the old Fiesta Hotel concept, its staff and their warm welcome.
I expect island Politics inside and outside the clubs, to be as colorful as ever. As a small island, Ibiza is a fervent cauldron of gossip and innuendo and at times its hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. Its becoming a faster environment, alien to the islands traditional laid back personality. The hippy movement that made Ibiza free and open to the world is becoming a distant memory. There are pockets to be found here and there but its days are numbered as the environment is no longer present for it to survive. How the island copes with the demands of mass tourism is its next biggest challenge. While the rich and famous supported the campaign to stop oil drilling in the Gulf of Valencia, problems closer to home need to be addressed with the same vigor. A strategy outside business interests is required as there is a real danger of commercial overkill.
The little island with a big heart can only take so much and is in danger of sinking under the environmental weight of mass tourism which includes noise pollution. Balance and respect of nature and the environment around us, is the key to a sustainable future and if the island is asked to do only one thing next summer, it should be to promote awareness of its fragile and unique ecosystem to a new generation of visitor who better understands its benefits. That why organisations like Ibiza Preservation Fund need to be promoted more. It is for this reason alone, that I support the debate that the island should not open for winter tourism and be given a chance to recover from the summer excess. I admire the work/life balance that the island promotes and I would hate to see it change, as its an integral part of its unique Ibicenco personality. As a cold, wet and frosty winter descends on us here in Northern Europe, we can but dream and look forward to warm and sunny summer days on the island next summer.
Photo Credits Ibiza – The Other Side