Many people are dubbing 2012 the year of change in Ibiza. For so long the world capital of dance, and before that the Spanish playboy's adult playground. Has anything really changed?
The continued success of pop dance, with David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia, Avicii & countless others, taking over dance strongholds like Pacha, and leading the way at Ushuaia. The ongoing Ibiza Rocks transformation of San Antonio, and bass music everywhere. The clubbing scene has seemingly changed beyond recognition.
Whilst flying in over Cala Jondal the thing that really strikes you is the fleet of yachts nestling in the bay. This colonisation of the island by the super rich, celebrities, pop-stars & footballers, is also reflected in mainstream media taking extended glances at fashion, food, hotels & the lifestyles of the rich & famous through an Ibiza lens. From Company mag doing an Ibiza issue to Net a Porter finding & dressing the movers & shakers of the island, it seems Ibiza has hit the mainstream and left behind it's sub-culture status as the underground party capital of the world.
It feels like the big Ibiza stories this summer are all from this glossy end of the market -Groucho pop-ups, P-Diddy having cave parties, new high end concept restaurants where you can watch Seal by the harbour at Lio, or the Mayfair institution Cipriani bringing Little Italy to Ibiza. Somehow, although all very cool, but it doesn't feel like an Ibiza story. Surely, this is St Tropez?? So, there's a thing... About five years ago, all the chat on the island was about the authorities, business and the like wanting to take the island up market. Well, it would appear they have succeeded!
What does all this mean for the dance massive? And really, does it actually matter?
The last two years were characterised by the invasion of pop-dance, bass and indie music. While, the return of house music, fuelled by the underground popularity of the likes of Jamie Jones' Hot Creations label creating a renewed interest in the 4/4 format has meant in some ways, the underground party scene is still alive and very much kicking. Carl Cox's Revolution night has been drawing massive crowds, Sasha's residency @ Ushaiai has kicked on, with Booka Shade burning the house flame that is also in evidence @ DC10.
The questions and debate about change does though all seem a little bit like deja vu. Not so long ago there were constant concerns raised about the dominance of house and techno. Where was the Balearic spirit was the battle cry? Well, it was always there. You just had to look for it!! Island residents like George Evelyn (Nightmares on Wax/DJ Ease), Jon Sa Trinxa and Andy Wilson have kept the balearic spirit alive with their sets at places such as Aura, Sa Trinxa & across the airwaves of Ibiza Sonica. Little beach parties with bongo players, Bonobo & Maxxi Jaxx guest performances & Norman Jay at Sands. The old Ibiza spirit is never far away.
The truth is the island is always changing. For such a small place there is an amazing amount of change. Every year bringing new bars, restaurants, cafes, club nights & ideas to change the world! That surely is the islands biggest strength. It's optimism, enthusiasm and ability to inspire each generation with its unique perspective of summers in the sun.
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