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Portfolio > On Location (Overseas) > Ibiza                                                                                     Click on an image below to reveal enlarged version

Ibiza

 

Ibiza is a Spanish island in the Mediterranean Sea off the eastern coast of Spain. It is 150 kilometres (93 miles) from the city of Valencia. It is the third largest of the Balearic Islands, an autonomous community of Spain. Its largest settlements are Ibiza Town (Catalan: Vila d'Eivissa, or simply Vila), Santa Eulària des Riu, and Sant Antoni de Portmany. Its highest point, called Sa Talaiassa (or Sa Talaia), is 475 metres (1,558 feet) above sea level. Ibiza has become well known for its association with nightlifeelectronic dance music and for the summer club scene, all of which attract large numbers of tourists. The island's government and the Spanish Tourist Office have worked toward promoting more family-oriented tourism. Ibiza is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ibiza and the nearby island of Formentera to its south are called the Pine Islands, or "Pityuses". 

Though primarily known for its party scene, large portions of the island are registered as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. A notable example includes the Renaissance walls of the old town of Ibiza City, which were awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status in 1999. They are one of the world's few Renaissance walls that were not demolished, and part of the medieval wall is still visible. There are some Ibizan cultural sites, such as the remains of the first Phoenician settlement at Sa Caleta. Other sites are still under threat from the developers, such as Ses Feixes Wetlands, but this site has now been recognised as a threatened environment, and it is expected that steps will be taken to preserve this wetland. The oceanic plant Posidonia oceanica is also part of UNESCO's World Heritage. Ibiza is a rock island covering an area of 572.56 square kilometres (221.07 sq mi), almost six times smaller than Majorca, but over five times larger than Mykonos (in the Greek Isles) or 10 times larger than Manhattan in New York City.

 

 

Ibiza is the larger of a group of the western Balearic archipelago called the Pityusic Islands (Pitiusas) or "Pine Islands" composed of itself and Formentera. The Balearic island chain includes over 50 islands, many of which are uninhabited. The highest point of the island is Sa Talaiassa, also known as Sa Talaia or Sa Talaia de Sant Josep at 475 metres (1,558 ft).

Nightlife

Ibiza is considered to be a popular tourist destination, especially due to its well-known and at times riotous nightclub-based nightlife centred on two areas: Ibiza Town, the island's capital on the southern shore and Sant Antoni to the west. Nightlife in Ibiza has undergone several changes since the island's opening to international tourism in the late 1950s. Origins of today's club culture may be traced back to the hippie gatherings held during the 1960s and 1970s. During these, people of various nationalities sharing the hippie ethos would regroup, talk, play music and occasionally take drugs. These would most often happen on beaches during the day, with nude bathing a common sight, and in rented country estates in the evenings or at nights. Apart from this confidential scene, which nevertheless attracted many foreigners to the island, local venues during the 1960s consisted mostly of bars, which would be the meeting points for Ibicencos, ex-pats, seafarers and tourists. The Estrella bar on the port and La Tierra in the old city of Eivissa were favourites.

During the 1970s, a decade that saw the emergence of the contemporary nightclub, several places opened and made a lasting impact on Ibiza's nightlife. Four of these original clubs are still in operation today: PachaPrivilege (formerly Ku)Amnesia and Es Paradís. These four clubs mainly defined nightlife on the White Island, which has evolved and developed from several distinctive elements: open-air parties (Es Paradis, Privilege, Amnesia), held in isolated places, eventually old fincas (Pacha, Amnesia), that mixed in nudity and costume party (Es Paradis, Privilege, Pacha) and enabled people from various backgrounds to blend (all). The hippie ethos served as a common factor that infused all these venues and catalyzed the experience of a certain kind of freedom, accentuated by the holiday nature of most of the stays on the White Island. During the 1980s, the music played in these clubs gained in reputation and became known as Balearic beat, a precursor of the British acid house scene. As rave parties blossomed all over Europe, a DJ-driven club culture took hold of Ibizenca nightlife. It was at that time that Space opened, thanks to Pepe Rosello, which found a niche in the after-hour parties. The club would close at 06:00 and open again at 07:00, when all the other clubs were still closed, enabling party-goers to flock from the other clubs to Space and continue dancing in broad daylight.

 

At the end of the 1990s, the after-hour parties took firm root on the island. In 1999, the Circoloco parties made their debut at DC10, with some of the original elements of Ibiza nightlife at the forefront.

In recent years, during the summer, top producers and DJs in dance music come to the island and play at the various clubs, in between touring to other international destinations. Some of the most famous DJs run their own weekly nights around the island. Many of these DJs use Ibiza as an outlet for presenting new songs within the housetrance and techno genres of electronic dance music. The island has achieved fame as a cultural centre for house and trance in particular, with its name often being used as a partial metonym for the particular flavour of electronic music originating there, much like Goa in India.

Since 2005, the live music event Ibiza Rocks has changed perceptions of the Ibiza party landscape. Bands such as Arctic MonkeysKasabianThe Prodigy and the Kaiser Chiefs have played in the courtyard of the Ibiza Rocks Hotel. The season traditionally begins at the end of May, where Opening Parties take place at Ibiza's clubs over the course of a three-week period. Opening Parties normally coincide with the culmination of the International Music Summit, a three-day conference which has taken place on the island every year since 2008. Closing Parties signal the end of the clubbing season, taking place at the end of September and into the first two weeks of October. Nearly all of Ibiza's clubs remain shut during the winter until reopening the following summer. A typical schedule for clubbers going to Ibiza includes waking at noon, early evening naps, late night clubbing, and "disco sunrises". Due to Ibiza's notable tolerance towards the misbehaviour of young adult tourists, it has acquired the sobriquet "Gomorrah of the Med". Also well known is Café del Mar, a long-standing bar where many tourists traditionally view the sunset made famous by José Padilla, who has released more than a dozen eponymous album compilations of ambient music played at the location. That and other bars nearby have become an increasingly popular venue for club pre-parties after sunset, hosting popular DJ performers, such as Patrick ToppingCarl Cox and Green Velvet.

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