Ibiza: One Season Too Many? BBC Stories

Ibiza is an island of contrasts… ELECTRONIC MUSIC PLAYS ..from day…to night… I think Ibiza is possibly the most
competitive place in the world. We can’t skip a beat because we have got 100 days to make one year’s money. ..with the challenges it faces on
land and at sea… 35% of posidonia has
disappeared – it’s a lot. It takes hundreds of years
to recover. ..as well as the growing
inequalities between the mega wealthy and the working class that come to visit this island. MUSIC: Yeke
by Sparrow & Barbossa The scene has been very square. It’s weird that no-one has ever
kind of come from our backgrounds to kind of do similar stuff. For five months every summer, over four million people
flood to Ibiza to take their slice of this
tiny island. But 30 years
since it became a tourist hotspot, I want to know how can we begin
to redress the balance in Ibiza? MUSIC: Yeke
by Sparrow & Barbossa And, more importantly, for how much longer can it
cope this way? CHANTING MUSIC: Yeke
by Sparrow & Barbossa So we wanted to start our journey
here, in San Antonio. It’s probably the most common place that Brits come to stay and to party. But it also comes under quite
a bit of criticism for causing trouble
and controversy across Ibiza. San An has undergone a lot
of change over the past few years. Nowadays it’s the glamorous,
Instagramable beach clubs, the day pool parties
and the sunset bars that seem to be thriving. ELECTRONIC MUSIC WITH BEAT But another area
in San Antonio has been hit really hard by regulation
and restrictions, just behind us here, on
San Antonio’s West End strip. A quarter of all the tourists that come to Ibiza are British. CHEERING Boom! And for all the stick that
the West End gets, it’s always been somewhere
affordable for the younger crowd to go out without having to pay the
60 entry prices into the super clubs. # Everybody… # But the last local government
in San Antonio decided to enforce
a 3am ban on the strip, slashing two hours of partying from tourists and businesses. CHEERING It was supposed to make living
conditions for the locals better. And whilst for some this
might be true, others tell us it’s causing
more problems, as thousands flood out
onto the streets every night when the bars close. This one road on an island famous for 24/7 partying now has stricter regulations
and opening hours than venues in the UK. We’ve come to Soul City, it’s one of the oldest
bars on the West End. # On my own… # 90% of businesses in Ibiza rely on what they call the precious 100 days of summer and, like many of the bars and clubs
on this road, the ban has hit them hard. I think to ask people when they’re
on holiday in the Med to leave at three o’clock is just
a wrong thing. People don’t come here on holiday to go to bed at 4am,
they just don’t. Some of them like to stay up all
night and watch the sun come up and carry on until they
literally see the magical yellow ball
in the sky appear. So to ask people to go home at 3am, for me, it was just a wrong,
wrong thing. People, obviously, they are in Ibiza
for a holiday, for a few days, so they are not going to
go to the hotel at three, so they keep asking you, “Where shall I go now?
Where shall I go now?” So they’re just moving around San
Antonio and other areas in Ibiza. Before, all these years ago, I was working normally until five and now we have to close at three, so this is a big change for me because obviously
that affects my salary. It affected our takings a lot. They were the two busy,
very power hours for us. We were one of the bars
at five o’clock in the morning that was still full front to back. How difficult is it
to make ends meet when you are essentially earning your annual
salary in a five-month period? It can be very difficult. Er, I decided two years ago not to
take a night off in the summer, so would do 150 nights in a row
without a day off. But you can’t skip a beat because we have got more or less
100 days to make one year’s money. When we first started, we’d open
on the 1st of May, shut on the 31st of October, open at nine,
close at six in the morning, because it used to be 6am
a long time ago. Now we open in the middle of May,
if we are lucky, probably shut the first week
of October and we trade for four hours now,
not nine. # On my own… # There’s very little employment. Many people rely on government
assistance in the winter. Everyone takes a pay cut, they stop
spending money in other places and cut back on other things, so it kind of has a knock-on
effect on the economy, where we are earning less, so they earn less. The ban was introduced after
complaints about noise and drunk people causing
trouble in the area. SHOUTING And there seems to be
a growing tension. HORN BLOWS Last year, hundreds of locals
took to the streets to protest against what they say has been unlimited, disrespectful and excessive tourism to Ibiza. Viven exclusivament das turisma. APPLAUSE AND CHEERING To put it into context, the Ibiza Preservation Foundation
says that for every Ibiza resident there’s 25 tourists – that’s the second
highest in the whole world. MUSIC: Mi Mujer
by Nicolas Jaar So, some of the locals we’ve
spoken to say that they’re fed up of how much the island is abused and treated by tourists,
particularly. How do you think Ibiza can
find its balance again? I get why people are upset about what it is, but some people have got
a very short memory. Some of those people,
who are retired now, whose children may be saying
these words, their parents did very,
very well a long time ago,
when tourism arrived. MUSIC: Mi Mujer
by Nicolas Jaar Do you think the strip itself as a kind of hotspot has been
targeted unfairly compared to the rest of San Antonio? I do. The reason was we want the people
to be able to sleep better at night, but no-one lives in this street. I think if people are complaining
just about five, so dirty streets,
it’s another solution. Not many people are living here. So, where was the argument? It’s a 150, you know,
metre strip here and if you go 300 metres
to the left or to the right, the bars are allowed to stay open and many people live in those
zones as well. Just cos we’re slightly
smaller than the big boys, I don’t think we should be picked on and I think from top to bottom
it’s a street that’s just a fun place to be. Babe, it’s not Ibiza Weekender. But one venue in San Antonio that was borne from the Spanish
and the British coming together is Cafe Mambo. 25 years on, it remains a strong
and iconic venue on the island. MUSIC: Discoteq
by Mambo Brothers I’ve come to find out why it’s still
such a big part of Ibizan culture in an area that is struggling
in parts. You were born and raised here and your parents had such
a magical moment of kind of coming to the island
and really getting something quite exciting started
here in San Antonio. For Mum and Dad, it’s
the traditional story of a British tourist that
comes to Spain and, you know, a British tourist
goes with Spanish man, they fall in love… ..and here we are today. Basically, my father and mother created this concept
where house music got played… When you were eating.
..when you were eating. Which now sounds obvious, but that didn’t happen back then. MUSIC: Discoteq
by Mambo Brothers My dad is a very charming man and he took care of all the DJs when they came at the beginning. MUSIC: Discoteq
by Mambo Brothers Back then, DJs would be in Ibiza and spend two weeks and they would hang
on the beach at Mambo, order sangria, some food on the
beach and then they would say, “Well, can I play some tunes now?” “Right, yeah.” And that is how it all kind
of started. It was like a hang-out. MUSIC: Discoteq
by Mambo Brothers And Mambo still remains
the hang out it once was… ..to watch some of the biggest
DJs in the world for free before they go on to play
the VIP clubs… ..all under the glow of one of the
best sunsets in the world. What do you think is the secret to
keeping up in a market that is now being flooded with
sunset bars and clubs and venues? We would like to think Mambo’s a
real Ibiza place. It represents what Ibiza is and
should be, you know? Everyone’s welcome, everyone gets treated the same. And even if you don’t buy a beer at
Mambo, you can still have the experience on
the rocks and then… ..and what I say by this, we look
after even the people that come to the rocks because maybe,
in two or three years, when they’re a bit older, they can afford a table at Mambo. We like to believe we’re one of the
first bars in the world to go the social media way,
you know what I mean? The YouTube days, we went very
strong to show the world what we were doing and, showing the
sunsets, showing the DJs. We just loved showing the world what
we do and we love reading the comments. We do read them, by the way. People who message, the people who
have been here. It’s beautiful. What do you think the challenges of
opening a new venue in Ibiza are? I think Ibiza is possibly the most
competitive place in the world. We have super creative people coming
to Ibiza to open venues, we have massive investment
companies, we have big hotel companies,
we have big restaurant chains. And we have, plus, the local people that have been here forever doing
amazing places. So we have all this in Ibiza, so the challenge is huge. Good luck to anyone who wants to
come to Ibiza and open a venue. But competitiveness in Ibiza feels more like a modern day issue. It was also always known as an
island of freedom and inclusivity. It became one of the LGBT hot spots
of the world and grew famous when it started to play a
Balearic version of the house music that was born from working-class
black communities in the United States. But recently the island has come
under criticism for its lack of diversity at the
top. Last year just two of the DJ Mag top 100 artists were black’ But one group of DJs that are
looking to redress this balance are Manchester-based trio Mason
Collective. They played their Ibiza debuts this
summer at Cafe Mambo and the world-famous Amnesia. The boys grew up in Moss Side,
Old Trafford and Altrincham in diverse parts of Manchester. They were raised on old soul,
R&B and grime, but started to get noticed after
their underground, intimate and creative house music
parties. When we first started, especially
when we first started, we weren’t kind of liked. It was just like, “What are these
three dongs doing? “What are they up to? “Are they going to start telling
people how to dress?” Then they were like, “Do this
specific party like this.” It was really bizarre for people to
see at first. You don’t really see that sort of
thing cos… Yeah, we look like three rappers.
Yeah. Like, so many people come up to us,
when we get stopped in the street and asked for a
picture, more so someone will go,
“Oh, are you rappers?” The stereotype of how we look,
how we dress, like, it’s harking back to, obviously, our
parent’s era. It was all about the intimacy of,
like, you’d go to the club, you’d always meet new people,
type thing. And I feel like that’s what we’ve
brought back to Manchester, our hub, where, like, you know,
young creatives, anyone from… ..that works, you know, in social
care or for Selfridges or whatever, do you know what I mean?
Everyone kind of came together and it was kind of one place where
you wouldn’t have, like, egos or anything like that.
Spotlight was on us, so when we did go to different
cities and things, like, even if you just go into parties
just to go and see some DJs play or something
like that, we started to get people coming up
to us, asking, “Oh, are you those guys from
Mason Collective? “Do you do those parties in
Manchester?” And things like that. Growing up, did you feel like you
had role models in the industry? Did you feel, like, you know,
you were represented? Not really. No, nah. In terms of the house scene, I feel
like, within the last ten years, it’s really healthy and great, but
we’ve not necessarily kind of… You know, cos house music came from,
like, you know, the black, kind of, community and originally, like, even in the
last ten years or so, it’s kind of got… Bit stale.
..a bit stale, yeah. People forget that house music was
born in working-class black communities in America and
especially, you know, we’re on an island here, like Ibiza, and so many people are getting
priced out completely that cannot afford to come and kind
of access that music nowadays. Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s, erm… It’s mad, when you think about it,
because obviously it’s something… It’s a shame, it’s a shame. It’s kind of what we’ve tried to
implement into our parties, to not price people out, to not let anyone who wants to come
not be able to come. We want everyone who wants to come
and dance and have fun to come together. It’s weird that no-one’s ever come
from our backgrounds to kind of do similar stuff, almost, because I feel like the scene’s
been very square and… We’re just trying to replicate
everything we’ve done in Manchester and starting to
move it through the UK and is trying to take it globally. Trying to take that Mason party
around the world and show everyone what we’re doing. I’ve got to say, only four Mancs
could sit here in Ibiza as well and bring the rain, so… You’re certainly bringing
Manchester! We’ve brought Manchester with us! When people think of Ibiza, they
always think music and partying, but it’s not just the clubs and the
constant sunshine that pulls people here. It’s got some of the most beautiful,
crystal-clear coves and beaches probably in the whole of the
Mediterranean. People like to spend their days here
swimming and snorkelling, and taking pictures in all of this
beauty. But so few people realise that
that’s thanks to something that’s over 100,000 years old and it literally helps this island
to breathe. So, this stuff is called Posidonia. It’s a plant that is so crucial to
the life of the Mediterranean and the people that live here, but Ibiza has got the worst record
for maintaining it. As you can see, all along the beach
here, the Posidonia is dead that’s washed up on shore. Well, many people don’t know what
Posidonia is and we are amazed because it has a
huge importance to protect biodiversity under the
sea, but also, really, as a sink of CO2 that’s also very, very important. The key also is, thanks to it, the colours that we have in the sea, the beautiful turquoise water that
seems so transparent, it’s also thanks to it because it’s
like a filter, so it really purifies the water. So, it sounds like it’s a really
precious part of Ibiza. It is. But what is happening to it?
What are the problems? Well, there’s two main problems. One is boats because, for years,
we’ve had an increase in the number of boats and the
anchors of these boats really damage Posidonia very,
very badly. These huge anchors taking all the
Posidonia and it’s not a normal plant that
can grow in a year, no, it takes hundreds of years. The second part is sewage. So, having more and more tourists on
the island means that the plant cannot treat the
water as well as they should and so the water that is dumped in
the sea is not as clean as it should, and then that is also
damaging the Posidonia. Third cause is plastics. So, we’re having an increase in the
number of plastics, which is pollution and, of course, it’s bad for animals
and for Posidonia as well. And if we carried on as we were
right now, at the rate the death of Posidonia’s
going, what does the future of Ibiza and
for Monterrey look like? Well, in the past, like, I think
it’s ten years, there’s been 35% of the Posidonia
that has disappeared. That’s a lot. So, if we didn’t have
Posidonia, really, the quality of the water
wouldn’t be the same and we know that many people that
come today would go to other islands, or to other places
in the Mediterranean, so that’s why we think it’s an issue
that is of big importance to everybody and more
and more businesses are also being engaged in finding a
solution. And we’ve learned an astonishing
fact that, on this island of constant
sunshine, only 0.8% of the homes,
businesses and buildings here are using solar energy. But there are some people on the
island who are trying to harness this precious natural resource so
that the next generations can continue to explore the sea without destroying what’s
underneath. Welcome on board, everybody. We are the only 100% electric, eco-friendly charter company in the
Mediterranean. I mean, for us, it was very
passion-driven. We’re sailors and captains and that’s how the project started, sailing together. Actually, this boat was the
original. It used to have fuel-powered engines and then we had one accident,
one time, where we were starting the engine and some fuel leaked out and then it
makes the multicoloured spill in the water, and we felt really
bad about it. Erm, so, we just said, “Let’s get rid of these engines “and do it New Age style.” Step up to the year 2000. And it is quite crazy that, for an island that receives 300 days
of sunshine a year, there’s not more things
that are solar-powered here. Yeah, well, erm… First of all, it’s, like, free, so that could be a very big reason
to do it, and secondly, of course, you’re not contaminating the
beautiful nature that we are all enjoying here. So, just in your own little way,
what solutions do you try and come up with to rebalance Ibiza? Just talking about our charters, for
example, we don’t use any plastic on board. All the drinks and the food that we
source are locally produced, so there’s also no shipping
contamination. Obviously, we don’t contaminate the
sea ourselves with the wind and solar energy. And, by doing all of that,
we are making the people that come onboard much more
conscious of what they are actually doing if
they don’t go with us and they go on another boat trip, or
doing something else on the island. I think sustainability is really a
way of life and, once you adopt that,
people understand that more when they come on the charter to see
the different aspects, if it’s the clothes that you’re
wearing, the food that you serve, the technology that you’re using. I think obviously education is key because so few people even know
these things, so is that something you try
incorporate as well into when people come on your boats? Yeah, well, I think we mostly
believe in leading by example and educating by example because you
can tell people that something is bad,
or that using plastic is bad, or using fuel is bad, but, until you show them the
alternative and make them experience that it’s as good or even better, only then you’re actually making the
switch in their heads. But I always think we have to see
the bottle half full and not half empty because…or else
we’d just be depressed. So, it’s like, “OK, “there are some people that may not
understand the issue yet, “but more and more are understanding “the importance of changing
behaviour.” So, I’m focusing on those. CLAPPING AND CHEERS It really does feel like everybody
is always trying to define Ibiza as their own. You’ve got the hippies that see this
as one of the most spiritual and magnetic places on the whole of
the planet. Then you’ve got the natives that
want to protect the heritage by curbing tourism. Then you’ve got the super-rich that
come here every summer to sail on their super yachts and
party in the VIP clubs. But it really feels as though the
challenges for Ibiza aren’t going to end soon. We’ve obviously got Brexit coming – that’s going to affect
tourism across Europe. There’s the people that are
increasingly getting priced out of here and then there’s the
pollution that’s affecting Ibiza on land and at sea. You really just feel, talking to
people here on the island now, as we’re coming to the end of yet
another intensive season, people are wondering for how long
can this tiny yet precious island carry on this way and for how long
is this actually sustainable? Every year, there’s going to be a
new Ibiza. Croatia’s now going to be the
new Ibiza. But it’s a bit like, “Where’s the
new Paul Gascoigne in football?” There isn’t a new Paul Gascoigne. I know these islands since I was a
baby. I’ve decided to really put my time
and energy to keep as much as we can clean and nice and beautiful for the
next generation of people to enjoy. I feel like God’s put a finger on
Ibiza and said, “You guys are going to be


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *