10 WAYS IBIZA WILL CHANGE IN 2019
Ibiza: to say that it made for interesting viewing in 2018 would be the understatement of the century. Commercially, this summer’s Balearic dance season was disappointing. Musically, however, it will be remembered as one of the most inspiring on record. With so many moving parts in play, next summer’s plots and subplots will be even more intriguing. If you’re curious to know how 2019 will play out, read on.
Ibiza’s mass of new noise and licensing regulations over the last five years was intended to help the island’s resident population achieve a better standard of living. Which makes sense, after all, Ibiza is more than just the summer home of the electronic music scene – it’s also home to thousands of families trying to live normal lives in a tourist hotspot. Nevertheless, the new legislation is so restrictive to trade that if all the new laws were actually enforced the island would likely suffer the biggest economic crisis in its history. There’s no doubt the new regulations were composed with the best of intentions, but as we’ve seen this summer, the economy has been adversely affected. With tourism numbers and club attendances now in decline, people are getting extremely nervous. And it’s not just the English promoters and the Italian DJs, but also the local business owners. In 2019, anticipate a push back, as the notion that killing the economy isn’t the best way to help the local population is finally embraced.
We prophesied the rise of Ibiza’s daytime economy back in 2016, and in the next few years we fully expect the daytime market to overtake the island’s more traditional post-midnight economy. Astonishing as it is, 10 years ago Ushuaïa, Destino and Ocean Beach didn’t exist, while Ibiza Rocks Hotel and Cova Santaweren’t being utilised as electronic dance music venues. Today, these outdoor, daytime clubs are locked into a period of growth, while the afterdark economy becomes less important with every passing season. Indeed, Ibiza’s daytime economy has been on a massive surge for the best part of a decade, yet until now partying outdoors always felt like an addendum to partying after dark. Next summer expect the day to dominate the night, with parties at Ushuaïa, Ibiza Rocks and Ocean Beach outgunning the post-midnight rave scene.
Back in the ’90s, whenever Ibiza suffered a dip year, the clubbers of the era would migrate towards the big nights. In other words, Manumission, Cream and Clockwork Orange got busier, while the smaller nights stood empty. With next summer expected to be another tough year for Ibiza’s post-midnight venues, those ravers who do choose to party after dark will choose to stick to what they know. Which is why, in 2019, you should anticipate the likes of Resistance, elrow and Black Coffee standing out against the milieu of a troubled market.
Themed hotels are most definitely a growth industry here in Ibiza. A slew of concept driven hotels opened this summer, including the flamingo pink Paradiso Ibiza Art Hotel in San Antonio Bay and the mojito-flavoured Cubanito Ibiza Suitesnear Cala Gracio beach. You’ll also find another new destination hotel, called te Wi-Ki-Woo, situated at the very end of the Sunset Strip in San Antonio town. And don’t forget the aptly named Tropicana Hotel in Playa d’en Bossa, which resembles a psychedelic vision from Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Expect even more 4 star makeovers next summer, as Ibiza’s basic hotels seek to remarket their image to a more affluent clientele base who are prepared to pay extra for Instagram ready backdrops.
EDM music has been on the decline for at least three or four years. The genre is no longer considered the primary gateway onto the world’s best dancefloors as the young clubbers who embraced the movement at its inception point have long since matured. In Ibiza, the EDM sound still draws a crowd, largely thanks its European clientele base, but even so the long-term prognosis here is one of decline. Rather than go down with the ship, the captains of the EDM movement are already seeking out new horizons. David Guetta could be heard dropping tunes by Adriatique and Maceo Plex this summer. He also joined Solardo for a surprise b2b at Hï. Expect the great EDM rebrand to move into high gear in 2019 as the custodians of the genre continue to realign their output to a marketplace that no longer cares for their wares.