You can’t market the magic that happens in Ibiza. Wrap it up in a trendy package, put it on a shelf and sell it to the masses. Produce it. That is not Ibiza. What makes Ibiza special, is its natural spontaneity through music, as the DJ feeds off the energy from the crowd before him. There is no better feeling in the world for a DJ as he rides that uplifting wave of energy that comes from a hungry dance floor that wants to loose itself in the melody. Feeding it with creative touches – expanding the mind on its wondrous electronic journey. Before the bullshit arrived, before the art of DJing became commercialised, the reason to be a DJ was to preach the music. It was freedom, it had no rules, no boundaries, no image or class distinction – enemies becoming friends where bitterness ends. Music was the great leveler, it was food for the soul. A DJ was not paid much, as the conductor of the orchestra his reward was the respect of his friends and the opportunity to play music that was part of who he was. Like a writer expressing his philosophy with a pen, the DJ wrote through his music. Put a group of like minded people into a room, with a DJ that is free to make music without boundaries, and the seeds for a good party will be sown. Plant those seeds in the fertile ground that is Ibiza and the magic will grow as it attracts electronic talent.
Personally, I have always found that the best parties in Ibiza are the organic ones, with less than 200 people present. That may be a reason for the popularity of the boat parties- there is only so many people you can put on a boat. Add the true essence of the islands identity – the warm, open air beauty of her coastline and the Mediterranean sea, and one starts to click why the boat parties have become so popular. Before the West End of San Antonio became tacky and alcohol fueled, it was a vibrant area of small bars playing live music. A rich cultural mix of styles, that brought together an eclectic group of people. The West End was the islands musical heartbeat. Bars like Graffiti and Nito’s were playing jazz, rock and reggae and the scene got so big, that artist Lluis Guell was commissioned to build Es Paradis in 1974. Ibiza does simple really well. Simple does not need money, in fact money distracts from its natural beauty. That’s why commercialising the true Ibiza magic can never work. What you get is a shiny, plastic substitute, a diet coke version of the real thing. Lots of people like Diet Coke, hence the success of the big clubs there to welcome the clubbing tourist with their style of branding. While not a fan of it, I understand it works for people and respect that everybody is free to make their own decisions in life without being judged.
But Ibiza needs to understand that small is beautiful and connections with people rather than money is where its true identity lies. I feel much of the islands media output is biased towards advertising a commercial industry message. One website in particular, should be promoting more of the real, and less of the commercial. Its not as if the talent is not there to do so. But the lure of money will always divert ones gaze from the beauty of simplicity. There are people in Ibiza that continue to believe passionately in their island and what it should stand for. There are magic moments to be found when those people are allowed to express themselves. Thankfully I have benefited from their company and understand their different vision for the island, which is rooted in their love of it. Sadly those voices are buried beneath a wall of corporate concrete. The island is slowly sinking under the heavy weight of financial transactions and there must be a moment when somebody shouts stop, or Ibiza will become the new Las Vegas.