Tuesday 25th September the Diario de Ibiza, the oldest local newspaper
on the island, had front-page banner headlines stating that MTV Europe would
not be holding any more events on the island. On many occasions during the summer
months I reported on this years MTV summer festival and the controversy that
arrived on the island in 1999 to hold an open-air dance music festival at Sa
Pedrera, also known as "The Quarry", just outside San Antonio. The
open-air event was a huge success and, although they had problems with security
and site cleaning, they were able to sort these problems out with the local
council during the wintertime and were granted permission to hold a similar
event at the same venue the following year.
MTV Ibiza 2000 festival was extended to two days, the first day focusing on
dance music and, the second day, on pop music, and even though the second day
was not as well attended as the first day, MTV Europe were still eager to continue
holding festivals on the island.
January this year, the Lord Mayor of San Antonio, Antonio Marí Tur and Richard
Godfrey, Vice-president MTV Networks Europe met to discuss this year’s event.
During the meeting, the Lord Mayor expressed his concern about complaints from
residents close to "The Quarry" and suggested that the Hippodrome
at San Rafael would possibly be a better choice of venue. After Richard Godfrey
had visited the Hippodrome, he agreed with the Lord Mayor and plans were put
into action to stage MTV Ibiza 2001 at this new location. On his return to England,
Richard Godfrey and his team started their preparation for their third Ibiza
festival, booking live acts, Disc-Jockey's, set designers, TV crews, sound and
lighting contractors, stage constructors and the enormous amount of transportation
and back-up needed to stage a huge open-air event.
also arranged with major sponsors Pringles and Durex and, together they put
into operation a huge worldwide advertising campaign, all indicating that San
Rafael Hippodrome was their new venue in Ibiza.
of pounds were spent promoting the MTV Ibiza 2001 festival, which was going
to be part of MTV's 20th birthday celebrations.
was going according to plan when, three weeks before the event, the Lord Mayor
of San Antonio Council refused to grant them a licence.
time, the Lord Mayor of San Antonio blamed the local San Rafael residents for
objecting to the event.
had numerous meetings with officials from the San Antonio Town Hall and the
Consell Insular (Island Council) and even offered six million pesetas as a donation
to the San Rafael church in an attempt to appease the residents of San Rafael
but nothing they could say or do would change Antoni Marí Tur's mind.
was running out for MTV and in a desperate last minute decision they turned
to "Privilege", the largest discotheque on the island and after a
lot of juggling around with their regular nights, Privilege agreed to stage
the night. Although the four thousand people that attended fell far short of
the 20,000 that were expected to attend the open-air event, the evening was
nevertheless a success.
was rife that a company the size of MTV would not return to Ibiza if they were
going to be messed around with and, although I interviewed Richard Godfrey on
the night of the festival (Wednesday 29th August), he would not comment
on the issue but promised me that when he returned to England he would grant
all the Ibicencan press an official interview.
that MTV have had time to think about their plans for the future they are ready
to share their decisions with the Ibicencan people.
first question asked was the question on everyone’s mind, would they be returning
to the island? "After everything that we have had to suffer this summer
in Ibiza, I think that we would like to go somewhere else".
though we are not ruling out Ibiza completely, we are looking at three other
places who would be delighted to have us (Mallorca, Ayia Napa and Portugal?)
and they would be pleased to offer us all the facilities and co-operation that
was lacking in Ibiza".
asked about Antoni Marí Tur's decision not to grant them a licence, Richard
Godfrey responded: "The Lord Mayor and the Consell Insular both told us
that everything would be 'OK'... then, three weeks before the event, they decided
to refuse us the licence. San Antonio Council did not have the decency to inform
us about the complaints from the residents of San Rafael" (if there were
Godfrey added that "MTV still does not know for sure what happened in San
Antonio Council but the 2001 festival turned into a political football that
was passed from one political institution to the next".
Networks Europe have still not worked out exactly how much money they and their
sponsors have lost but the enforced last minute change of plans obviously came
in at a very high price, too high a price to risk the same thing happening next
response, Antoni Mari Tur said: "The right decision was made, it is all
in the past now for me and I want to make it clear that I have absolutely nothing
against MTV Networks Europe".
councillor for Tourism, Josep Marí Ribas, also expressed his opinion: "I
think it is a shame that MTV has decided not to return to Ibiza because this
company always promoted the island in a positive way which was highly beneficial
to the tourist industry but I have to respect the decision made by the Town
Hall of San Antonio".
person who does not respect the decision of Antoni Marí Tur and San Antonio
Council is Jorge Alonso, the director responsible for the island tourist board.
"I am not surprised MTV are not coming back to Ibiza. They were so positive
for the island. For example, images from the last festival were broadcast to
342 million people around the world and this summer we have seen a clear increase
in North American tourism to the island", said Alonso who gives his full
support to MTV.
is a shame that the Consell Insular could not have offered MTV an indoor venue
capable of catering for a larger number of people than Privilege discotheque.
Recinto Ferial (Ibiza's Conference and Exhibition Centre) might have been a
possible venue for MTV in the future, especially now that the government owned
building is going to be extended.
new 'Centre de les Arts' (Arts Centre) is part of a plan to extend the exhibition
and conference centre. The construction of the new building, announced this
week, will occupy 15,000 square metres of land, cost 2,700 million pesetas and
take two years to complete but the finished results should definitely be worth
the time and the money.
architect Luis Gascon explained the details of the new project to local politicians
and the Ibiza Cultural Department this week.
building will contain an auditorium with a capacity of 1,100 people, a library
for 500 people, more exhibition halls, a restaurant and many smaller anterooms
in the three-storey building.
for 650 cars will also be provided next door to the new arts centre.
is concentrating on the cultural side of the island this year and has planned
many exhibitions, theatrical events and musical festivals.
of these festivals is being held this weekend (27th, 28th and
29th September). 'Un món de músiques' (A world of music) is taking
place in different locations around the island and, being promoted by the Consell
Insular, offering Ibiza residents a taste of different music styles from around
Thursday 27th, a group of musicians from Scotland called 'Shooglenifty'
opened the music festival at Sa Punta d'es Molí around the bay of San Antonio
with an inspired performance of traditional Scottish music adding a unique personal
festival will continue until Saturday 29th with live performances
by Leyond and Nayim Alal, two women from the Sahara Desert who want to teach
their culture through dancing, poetry and percussion, the Orchestre National
from Barbés (France) who will present traditional rhythms of Africa, amongst
MTV style dance music will not be included.