Ibiza Hopes 2008 Will Be A Return To The Island’s Rip-Roaring Past
Ibiza is hoping that 2008, the 20th anniversary of House music’s invasion of the Spanish-owned Balearic island, will invigorate tourism that has dropped in recent years.
Located in the Mediterranean, Ibiza has a legendary reputation as the best global summer party destination. However, after years of roaring business, tourism has been in decline, echoing the drop in dance music sales experienced in many markets.
Figures from Inestur, the Balearic Islands Tourism Authority, show foreign arrivals on Ibiza fell 1.7% annually on average between 2001 and 2007. But, as the 2008 season prepares to kick off, arrivals by air are up 3.4% year-on-year, with arrivals from the United Kingdom (up 49%) and Germany (up 13.4%) leading the way.
The wave of optimism comes at a time when new legislation, aimed at curtailing the non-stop, 24-hour party vibe, has been passed. In January, local authority the Consell Insular de Ibiza passed laws forcing clubs to close between 6 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and making unlicensed “villa parties” illegal.
Initially reaction to the new laws caused an uproar by many of the most popular clubs, but that has settled down recently when many realized that the impact of non-stop beats was causing distress to many of the locals.
Highlights of the 2008 season include Dutch trance icon Tiesto’s first Ibiza residency at Privilege; house music A-listers like Paul Oakenfold, Basement Jaxx and Swedish House Mafia at Pacha; Pete Tong at Eden; and Ministry of Sound and We Love at Space.
Superclub Manumission’s Ibiza Rocks open-air alternative rock shows also return for a fourth year, featuring the Fratellis and the Enemy. Tong’s inaugural International Music Summit, held May 28-30, is another breakthrough for the island, with panels and showcases aimed at reviving the dance music industry.