The Real Ibiza - The Barefoot DJ’s perspective


Super Moderator
written in 2002 but interesting:

The Real Ibiza

The Barefoot DJ’s perspective

As the charter flights begin to pack them in cheap and the airports begin their annual descent to chaos – the Barefoot DJ casts his mind back to 2002 and his first visit to the White Isle commonly known as Ibiza.

I’d never really given Ibiza a second thought as a holiday destination, the lurid tabloid-esque images of Ibiza Uncovered established the island as the devils resort - a place where no sane traveller would set foot without an armada of defence. The commerciality of the island

However there was one aspect that really connected with me – Café Del Mar. Musically I’ve always leant towards to laid back stuff and the compilations compiled by Jose Padilla created a vibe so clear and real that I could almost feel the Ibizan sun on my face as it slowly set on the west of the island.

Having lived and worked abroad, I didn’t want to shatter my memories of the Mediterranean lifestyle – sun, sea, sand, sangria and lazy days. However when friend and fellow promoter Tim Pearson decamped to Ibiza to run a night for Dave Seaman, I jumped at his offer to lead a life of VIP luxury for week.

Leaving a rainy north west was not a problem, and on touching down in Evissa (the local spelling of Ibiza) the warmth of the White Isle accompanied me to the resort of San Antonio – our home for the week. People feel that San Antonio doesn’t represent Ibiza, that it is a Mecca for the 18-30 tourist and clubbers. Away from the West End (a startling replica for many town centres on a Saturday night), San Antonio is a close community with surprises around every corner. The main attraction has to be, however the “Sunset Strip”. A dusty unfinished path leads you to two of the biggest names in Chill Out – Café del Mar and Café Mambo. Despite the new kids on the block – Savannah, Kanya and Coastline, the ‘must meet’ location is still the rocky strip of land facing the ultimate sunset. There is a vibe which seems to connect everyone. It might sound corny and perhaps a cliché but the sun setting brings a harmony amongst us all. Perhaps it awakens our early tribal gatherings as man worshipped the sun for its positive rather than its current negative values.

Staying round the corner at Coastline gave me an opportunity to discover the beauty of living right on the coast. Nipping downstairs to have a dip in the pool first thing, makes a late night easier to bear. Coastline is a development of luxury flats with Fergie and allegedly Robbie Williams as residents (I never saw Robbie, but Fergie and bizarrely Sonia were poolside on a number of occasions.) However the early morning alarm call wasn’t as much fun – the same Ibiza chill-out CD every morning was good at getting you up and away from the flat.

I was fortunate to have Tim as my guide and he kept us extremely busy and entertained. Having hardly landed, he had us out meeting and socialising with the island’s temporary residents – The Workers! Dining with Alex P and Brandon Block is an extremely interesting proposition but dining al-fresco kept my sanity intact. Travelling out into the centre of the island can be a risky business. Dozens of tourists are killed each year through road traffic accidents – many riding pillion on a hired moped. The vision of Evissa being a party island pales into insignificance when you hear of head on collisions at night as people become reckless with their lives.

As an island, Ibiza is extremely beautiful. The Green Party who were in majority power at the time
(wrong information - we wish it was true) have worked hard to preserve the balance of nature. Through various eco-taxes, they were trying to establish a more harmonious existence between the thousands of tourists and future existence of the island. To be honest, I stayed away from some of the tackier resorts but in the main, the island was clean and tidy and relatively peaceful. If you want to get away you need to get up into the north of Ibiza where many communes still exist. The Hippy market at Santa Eulalia has perhaps transgressed into something of a checklist for the “seen that done that” traveller. A real shame because once things become commercialised, they lose their uniqueness.

However one place which perhaps commercialism is allowed is Bora Bora – where you dance on the sand, chill out under the palms as the planes come into land at the airport. They sometimes cut the sound, letting the roar of the jets blast across the dance floor before kicking the bass back in and everyone goes absolutely mental. To see this at 4pm in the afternoon was an experience…

So back to the clubbing! Having VIP status provided some interesting insights to nightlife on the island. Loafing around Ibiza Town got us talking to Andy and Dawn Manumission – the quieter pair of the legendary night club. The other being known for their risqué shows. Dinner with Alex Gold of Xtravaganza was held in a small restaurant up in the hills of Ibiza, where for the first time I became acquainted to the aperitif “Hierbas” – the owner brought out trays of shot glasses to help us “finish the meal in the Ibizan way”. The night was completed by a couple of drinks at two of Ibiza’s “hidden” bars – more because they’re away from the towns and because tourists have to make the effort to explore. KM5 is one the coolest bars around with a certain magic about it. Closely behind it is Underground a laid back bar that looks like its in the middle of nowhere but is actually just off the main Ibiza to San An highway.

Clubs were perhaps in the end not the highlight of the week. However Pacha is probably one the best clubs in the world. With its unique design including a roof terrace, global room and amazing décor, the club left me speechless – even more so after seeing Tom Middleton and Eric Morrillo. Amnesia is a huge club space but apart from the “Airbomb” – a massive dry ice machine that explodes as it drops its icy blast through the club – the atmosphere was fairly dull. Dave Seaman’s night 4:4 was held at El Divino was perhaps the most decadent night as clubbers have to travel across Ibiza harbour by boat to enter the club. A canopied terrace nearly wraps around the whole club. Lounging about here was like being a Miami Vice extra until Dave Seaman begins to play his 80’s Pop Quiz with us.

I will be back as I want to show the island to many more people who, like me, thought it was just a clubbed up version of 18-30 holidays. Yes you can find that, but more importantly there’s a whole other island to explore.

(taken from )
McRackin said:
I’d never really given Ibiza a second thought as a holiday destination, the lurid tabloid-esque images of Ibiza Uncovered established the island as the devils resort - a place where no sane traveller would set foot without an armada of defence. The commerciality of the island


them programmes really have damaged the island repu.tation
did you know that our shoeless friend is registered as a member of the spotlight forum?