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Local News in Ibiza

Local News
by Louise Wright

MTV Ibiza Festival

Ibiza Local News

To start this weeks edition of Local News I am going to update you on the MTV Ibiza festival, an issue that is being talked about a lot this summer. The decision to hold the music festival in San Rafael's discotheque Privilege on Wednesday 29th August comes after the licence applications to stage the concert in the outdoor venue of San Rafael Hippodrome was denied. p

MTV, one of the biggest broadcasting companies in the world, planned to hold their annual festival at the Hippodrome after being informed by the local authorities that a third year at sa Pedrera, "the quarry" used by MTV in 1999 and 2000 was out of the question.

San Rafael residents' complaints, police and fire services disapproval along with the local politicians' objections meant that MTV faced many problems trying to obtain the necessary licence and permits for the festival.

Privilege, the largest club in the world with a legal capacity of 4,000 people, seemed to be the best alternative after the San Antonio officials and the Consell Insular (Island Council) made it clear that the event would not be taking place in any of their open-air installations.

Polly Stevens, communications manager for MTV Networks Europe, assured me that "the number of tickets that will be put on sale for the event has not been decided because we still do not know how much space the stages and sets are going to occupy. Privilege will be in charge of informing us on how many people we can legally fit into the club".

MTV is making the most of their new location by totally transforming the club making sure that the event is one of the most memorable the island has ever seen.

Tickets for the festival that includes live performances from leading dance groups Faithless and Basement Jaxx are available at MTV's San Antonio office in Calle San Antonio N°1 for 8,500 pesetas. Wednesday night will definitely be a night to remember at Privilege.

More boats and more cars have invaded the island in the past week. The port officials (Autoridad Portuaria) are demanding licence that will permit them to build more moorings for private yachts for next year. The port has registered a record number of yachts moored in the Ibiza marina this summer.

"A lot more people own private yachts because the economical situation has improved over the years. People spend their money on leisure and boats are their first choice", according to Bartomeu Bestard, the president of the Asociacion de Instalaciones Nauticas de Baleares (Nautical Installations Association of the Balearics).

The port officials (Autoridad Portuaria) have also revealed that the number of cars arriving in Ibiza has increased in 26% in comparison to last year. 40,000 vehicles passed through the port between January and July of this year. It is only normal that traffic jams have been a big problem considering the traffic increase.

Parking has also been a big problem this year, especially in the main towns, where cars have even been parking on the footpaths. The public car parks have also had their problems. The Policia Local (local police) arrested a man on Monday 20th August accused of demanding money from everyone that wanted to park his or her vehicle in a public car park. Francisco F. F., a 20 year old born in Mallorca, was found with 43,570 pesetas, mostly in one hundred peseta coins, that the police believe he obtained from charging people to park in a public place.

Most of these men spend their day in a public place with the excuse of directing the cars where to park, then ask for money. If they are refused they tend to get violent and they could even damage your car. No one should have to pay to park in free public car park so, hopefully after this first arrest, the police will be clamping down on this illegal activity.

The Policia Local (local police) are having their own share of problems this year after denouncing the poor conditions of the San Antonio police station. The lord mayor of San Antonio, Antoni Marí Tur, assured the police that three million pesetas has been set aside to renovate the installations. Although Enrique Gomez Lama, active member of the Policia Local, believes that this amount "will not be enough. The walls are cracked, our men have nowhere to get showered and changed and the place is full of cockroaches and other insects".

The policemen now fear that the Town Hall will not come up with the money for this year and, if this is the case, the local policemen are prepared to take drastic measures. "We will get changed outside the police station so that everyone can see us in our underwear. Maybe then they will realise that we have had enough".

More developments in Ibiza this week include the presentation of a new construction team that will be active from September this year. The new team, funded by the Ibiza Town Hall, will cater with all small roadwork problems such as burst pipes or new underground installations in a maximum of 72 hours.

The Town Hall, who has put up 25,000,000 pesetas for funding, believes that three days will be enough to fix all minor problems.

The residents will be able to contact the new roadwork's brigade through a telephone hotline set-up by the Town Hall.

Moving on to other news, the only English school on the island, Morna Valley, is planning to renovate their building after the Conselleria d'Educacio (Cabinet of Education) denounced the school earlier this year as being "gravely deficient in stability and security".

The owners of the Morna Valley School are planning to spend 91 million pesetas on the new project. An administrative office, a main reception area, two buildings with three classrooms each, a special area for a children nursery and a sports centre will be the result if the planning permission is granted.

It is all up to the Comision Insular de Urbanismo (Building Developments Commission) and whether they declare that the educational centre is of general interest to the local public. If the licence is granted, the Morna Valley School will be able to teach just over 100 students under 11 years old, following the English curriculum.

You may have noticed that the streets of Ibiza have been inundated with Harley Davidson motorbikes over the past weekend. And, no they are not Hells Angels, just the annual Harley Custom reunion that each year chooses Ibiza as their meeting place.

A total of 600 bikes met at the camping of Cala Bassa for a weekend full of games, paella and plenty of beer.

Another event in Ibiza this week has been the various performances given by the Ballet from the National Opera of Kiev in the Can Ventosa auditorium. The Ibiza cultural centre was full for the two performances given by the talented group. On Sunday night they opened with "Swan Lake" and then on Monday night with the famous "Nutcracker Suite" featuring music from Tchaikovsky. Both performances were a huge success managing to sell all of the tickets that were on sale.

The richest girl in the world, Athina Onassis, returned to Ibiza for her annual holiday in the sun this week. Athina will be 18 years old in January when she will receive her inheritance of 450,000 million pesetas left to her by her mother Christina Onassis. Her father Thierry Roussel is also on the island with his daughter enjoying the Mediterranean sun. The family has visited Ibiza for many years; they own a summer home in the Cala Jondal area.

Athina Onassis visit will probably not be to next year when the young multimillionairess will have already inherited her fortune.

For a change, the international newspapers are not just reporting on the drugs, the strikes or any other negative aspects about Ibiza. It has been the German newspapers, Berlin Morgenpost and Die Welt, that have reported about Ibiza in positive way this week.

The Ibicencan fashion delegation Adlib made their front covers after their spectacular collaboration in the Berlin fashion show "Big Q", also known as the Coral Fashion Show.

The annual show invited three fashion labels, French designer Thierry Mugler, Pompoos new collection and the 18 different designs from Adlib.

This was Ibiza and Formentera's chance to make it big in the fashion world, especially as the Berlin fashion parade was witnessed by more than 200,000 spectators and more than 300 journalists and photographers from all over the world.

I am writing this in anticipation of San Bartolome night on Friday 24th August. The night when San Antonio becomes alive with people from all over the island, crowding into the town to witness the best firework display of the summer festive season. I have not missed the fireworks for the past 15 years and every year the display improves. I know that this year's pyrotechnics will not disappoint so I am of to join the crowds.

Louise Wright