For The Record: Ibiza's obsession with VIP tourism is out of control

Words by: I Voice
Posted: 10/8/17 14:08

Why Ibiza without dance music is just another here today, gone tomorrow holiday destination

Earlier this week The Sun confirmed something that anyone who’s ever made the mistake of shouting a round of drinks in one of the island's superclubs knows all too well. Raving in Ibiza is far too expensive. And yes it’s almost a balearic cliché to complain about drinks prices on the island. Ibizan clubs have been an expensive affair for a long time. But it’s fair to say in 2017, the island’s obsession with jacked up prices is endangering its dance music scene.

The article in the Sun claims it’s cheaper to rent a private boat with unlimited booze for a day than go clubbing on the island. The numbers, although complicated, don’t lie. The journalist’s group of 18 people paid €82 each to hire two boats for an all expenses day out. That’s cheaper than the average price of €100 for some of the island’s top tier nights and doesn’t take into account the other exorbitant prices clubbers are forced to pay.

Taxis and drinks prices are higher than ever. And in the rush to cater for the island’s VIP clubbers, options for accommodation are increasingly divided between an abundance of overpriced villas or hotels or poorly maintained budget apartments.

Whether you’re a family on holiday or a raver, Ibiza is just not value for money any more. The island was recently ranked among the top twenty most expensive holiday destinations in Europe. And signs of the island’s obsession with VIP tourism are everywhere.

What does that say about the island’s stature as the ‘Go To’ destination for dance music tourism? That position has been rapidly eroding as rave tourist options like Berlin and Croatia have risen in popularity to overshadow Ibiza’s cultural importance in dance music.

Ibiza may have the history. Alfredo at Ku, Grace Jones at Pacha. Hippies playing bongos for poets and mavericks at Bennirás. But for the international raver, festivals like Dekmantel in Amsterdam, Nuits Sonores in Lyon or Exit in Serbia offer more bang for buck.

This year promoters and industry people have whispered to Ibiza Voice about falling attendances. The island’s biggest nights are busy, but all those in between are struggling. Last year we lost Carl Cox at Space and Enter. Who will we lose next year? And what does this mean for the island in years to come? For many locals longing to rid the island of dance music, be aware that the reason many of those VIPs have come to the island in the first place, is dance music.

Ibiza is not Cannes or St Tropez. For the world’s jetset, Ibiza’s popularity is a fad initiated by P Diddy going to DC10 and Paris Hilton playing Amnesia. Amnesia however is nothing without its thousands of ordinary ravers each night who make up the numbers and ARE the party. If those numbers cannot be maintained, neither will the flow of celebrities who come to get loose and be seen at this season’s ‘In’ destination.

The VIP Euro is here today and gone tomorrow. The Clubbing Euro has maintained the island for nearly thirty years. We know which one we’d prefer to bank with.

Paris Hilton at Amnesia, top picture courtesy of Amnesia



Politics Of Dancing
Ralph Lawson