The last week of August in Ibiza and everything
is starting to wind down. The summer rush is finally coming
to an end and the temperatures will (hopefully) start to drop.
It has been another hectic summer on the island, much like
any other, despite initial fears that this season would be
quieter than past years.
This week has seen the start of the fourteenth
Andalucian Fair, which is taking place in the Recinto Ferial
(Ibiza's exhibition and conference centre), near Ibiza Town.
Every year, the Andalucian community living on the island
gather for a week of flamenco music and dancing, accompanied
by Andalucian food and plenty of wine.
The exhibition centre is divided into various
stalls, each with their own music and special decoration.
Local politicians and journalists are asked to choose the
best stall and, every year, the competition to win first prize
becomes more intense. This year, the prize has gone to Hermandad
Rociera (the brotherhood of the patron saint of Andalucia)
from San Antonio.
The fair runs until Sunday 2nd September
and if you would like to sample some Andalucian delicacies
and hear traditional flamenco music, I recommend a visit.
Unlike the Andalucian Fair, one event that
did not get up and running this week was the planned traditional
drum festival on the night of the full moon that takes place
on the beach at Benirras.
These illegal parties have been taking place
for many years, but this year the Guardia Civil (civil guards),
acting on instructions from the Town Hall of San Juan, clamped
down on the event after receiving complaints about the noise
from the neighbours.
The "Friends of Benirras" have
been attempting to hold full moon parties on the beach since
the start of the summer but have not succeeded in out-witting
the Guardia Civil who have baricaded of the area.
The party planned for Tuesday 28th August
to coincide with the "International Drumming for Peace
Day", was cancelled because the "Friends of Benirras"
already knew that the police would not allow the party to
go ahead. Instead, they held protest with hundreds of people
gathering on the beach to take part in a mock funeral ceremony
for one of their bongo drums, symbolizing the death of the
The drum was placed in a black velvet coffin
filled with yellow feathers and carried to its burial site
on the beach. Some of the attendants even dropped a few tears
because, even though their fight to hold these parties goes
on, some believe that this summer will mark the end to all
out-door events, as MTV has found out to their cost this year.
Their festival planned for an open-air venue
(like the past two years at Sa Pedrera, "the quarry"),
was refused permission and, consequently, they were left with
no choice but to stage the event in Privilege discotheque.
This was not a suitable alternative as they had hoped for
20,000 people to attend the festival at San Rafael hippodrome
and, because of the capacity restrictions at Privilege discotheque,
only 4,000 people were able to be present. Why they were refused
permission is still a mystery.
MTV did not panic and, after a lot of work,
they transformed Privilege discotheque into a giant television
studio and presented one of the best events to be staged on
the island in recent years.
The night of Wednesday 29th August saw famous
DJ's such as Carl Cox, Todd Terry, Mauro Picotto, Roger Sanchez
and local DJ's Cesar del Rio and DJ Gee, among many others,
keep the thousands of dance music fans who travel to Ibiza
from all around the world entertained for 12 hours at Privilege
and, a further 12 hours at Space discotheque the next morning
and into the afternoon.
The famous New York DJ Roger Sanchez presented
the festival for MTV, which included live sets from Faithless,
Basement Jaxx and the Italian group Planet Funk. MTV will
be broadcasting the festival to 342 million households around
the world via MTV Networks and, also in the UK on Channel
4 in September.
An increase in the number of American, Canadian,
East European and Australian tourists visiting Ibiza has been
registered over the past two years and this is due, in no
small measure, to people seeing Ibiza for the first time on
It is ironic that in a week when a large
part of London is closed of to traffic as millions of people
converge into Notting Hill for two days of dancing, loud music
and street parades, and most cities in Europe are holding
similar events, for example, "The Love Parade" in
Berlin (2 million people), that a small one-day open-air festival
for 20,000 people and a smaller party for a few thousand hippies
can not be granted permission in Ibiza that, according to
CNN (the worlds largest news broadcaster), is the dance music
capital of Europe.
Talking about streets being closed of to
traffic, the Town Hall in Ibiza has announced that on 22nd
September, Ibiza Town will be closed to all cars. This is
the day recognised throughout Europe as the day when cars
are banned from all main city areas. The purpose is to reduce
contamination and create a better city for everyone, even
though it is only for one day. The Consell Insular (Island
Council) hopes that drivers will use the public transport
on that day and maybe realise that they can live without their