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SAN ANTONIO RISING
Andy McKay, Founder, Ibiza Rocks
When I was in my early 20s, photos of yourself looking battered at 4am were badges of honor and they just aren’t any more. What people want now are photos of them at 4pm looking great, preferably hanging with famous people. The culture has shifted and as a response what we’ve found is the daytime economy in Ibiza is just getting bigger and bigger in terms of entertainment.
What you’re seeing now is nightclubs here are less important than they were 10 years ago. The post-midnight economy is less important than it was 10 years ago. It started off with the Ibiza Rocks slot of 7pm-midnight and that has hugely transformed the game. But what we’re now seeing is the ‘new slot’ (something Ocean Beach have done very successfully for a while) and it’s all about the pool parties. 1pm-9pm, before you go out for dinner, where you’re in your shorts or bikinis…
When I walked into the first Craig David TS5 Pool Party last year I was standing there and I turned to a journalist next to me and said, ‘I’ve just seen the future of Ibiza, this is the next ten years of this island. This is not just about Craig David or this hotel, this is about where Ibiza moves next.’
The last time I had that moment was in 2005 when I was watching Pete Doherty play guitar outdoors with Babyshambles at what is no the Ibiza Rocks Bar. I remember having this epiphany realising that I was in San Antonio having a cool moment. Back then Ibiza wasn’t cool and I just looked at the audience and thought, ‘this is possibly the coolest place on the planet at this moment. How the fuck did changing the soundtrack achieve that?’ Everyone was wearing skinny jeans and I realised the future of Ibiza Rocks was outdoors – we’ve never done an indoor concert since.
The original Ibiza Rocks shows were at 4am in the back room at Manumission and we were trying to fit into club culture. From us going outdoors 12 years ago, the economy of the island completely transformed and the, and the catalyst to all that was Pete Doherty playing guitar in a beach bar.
Looking at Craig David last year was the biggest single moment I’ve felt on this island since then in terms of where the island goes next. That’s why it’s so exciting. We do a lot of left field things at Ibiza Rocks Hotel and will continue to do so but the sum of what we’re doing now is very much in the mainstream of what the Ibiza audience wants, you know, an Elrow Pool Party for instance! They are probably the biggest promoter in the world at the moment and one of the most successful promoters on the island. Having an Elrow pool party in the center of San Antonio is quite a sea change for the town. There has been such a snobbery about San Antonio – there’s almost a sadomasochism of the older generation trying to kill off the very thing that they need to survive as a scene.
I’ve always felt quite passionately that the key and the gateway to the island is San Antonio and it is in everybody’s interests for San Antonio to be healthy. I’ve always had a drive that healthy scene needs to have a balance and there is an unhealthily low amount of twenty-somethings and an unhealthily high amount of 40+. The balance is off-kilter and Ibiza Rocks’ brief is trying to keep that that balance on the island – where people can be proud to be young. The ultimate aim of Ibiza Rocks Hotel is to be the best hotel in the world if you’re in your mid-40s because you shouldn’t be here as a hotel guest.
There aren’t many places in Ibiza that can offer the daytime pool party experience. A new time slot if driving a new agenda and that’s going to be the change. I think the impact will be that in the daytime, Ibiza will increasingly become a place for people from outside San Antonio to visit. You get a little bit of that with Café del Mar or Mambo or our Sol House Mixed By Ibiza Rocks, but central San Antonio is going to start to attract people again based on daytime pool party culture and that will really help redefine it’s image. I think it will redefine the shopping, the cafes, and so on. I’m not sure where the night-time will go yet but I think the night-time of Ibiza will only benefit from what the daytime drives. The night-time will get better but this new San Antonio will be driven pre-midnight, probably pre-10pm. It’ll be healthy hours and that’s what I find exciting. So really, what you’ll find is that in terms of the economy on the island, the next five years in Ibiza will be centered around San Antonio.