So when this week, as the news unfolded about yet another senseless tragedy involving guns and innocent bystanders in a public place – this time where they had come together, namely, to dance – I felt a sense of fear start to spread throughout the community here on the island. It started – as do so many things – with social media. Ibiza could be next. Why aren’t there metal detectors in the clubs? Customs control isn’t strong enough at the airport. The clubs are unsafe. They don’t have enough exits. Our police aren’t equipped to cope with a state of emergency. We don’t want to be in crowded spaces or overpopulated areas anymore. We’re not safe. And the list went on.
This has got to stop. I beg and implore all the keyboard warriors out there to stop complaining about what could happen, and to get out into the real world and do everything in your power to ensure we are as safe as possible in Ibiza. Be safe, of course. Be cautious. Pay attention to your surroundings. Speak to local politicians, club managers and police officers if you have positive ideas that could make a difference and prevent future danger. But don’t let fear inhibit you from enjoying life to the fullest. The most important thing right now – and not just in Ibiza, I mean everywhere in the world – is that we keep on dancing. We cannot stop going to our favourite clubs, listening to our favourite music, spending time with our friends, and going out to have fun because of what might happen. Dancing is something that brings us together – no matter what colour, race, religion or sexuality – and we can’t allow the Orlando massacre to stop us from doing that. A world where we all dance alone in our bedrooms watching DJs stream live on Facebook doesn’t sound so appealing now, does it?
In a blog last February, I wrote: When I think about a world where people can be killed as they go about their daily editorial meeting or while shopping for groceries, I feel physically sick. I can’t understand what compels one human being to act in such a barbaric manner towards another. It absolutely astounds me. Sadly, now I can add dancing to that list. Yes, it hits close to home, but no, it didn’t happen to us. It happened at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. It happened in a country where a different culture (and policy) allows people to buy guns. A country where a handful of homegrown extremists deem it acceptable to dole out punishment to complete strangers due to their beliefs or opinions. A country whose own president can’t reform gun laws due to an outdated constitutional law… even though he so very clearly wants to. During his term as president, Obama has had to give a whopping total of 15 speeches honouring those killed in mass shootings. But that’s another story…
We are not in America. We are here in Ibiza, where over the past 60 or more years, the island has welcomed one and all to her fair shores with an ethos of live and let live. Gay, straight, Muslim, hippy, crazy cat ladies, families… Human beings, all of us (plus our furry friends). And just like anywhere else in the world, today our island is made up of many varied communities – the dance music community, the gay community, the Muslim community, the wellness community and so many more. But it’s time to stop labelling. We are one. In the face of adversity, we have to be. We need to be. We certainly don’t have to agree on everything or have the same beliefs. But we do need to respect our differences. Live and (most importantly) let live. We don’t know what the future holds, but the only way to face it is together. I posted another blog last June – at exactly this time of year, as Gay Pride was commencing on the island for the first time – entitled Love Wins. The gay community (and all others that support them) was celebrating the fact the Supreme Court of the United States of America had finally legalised gay marriage. Fast forward to 2016, and love certainly did not win on Sunday night, as the LGBT community of Orlando were savagely attacked while doing what they loved. Love was penalised. Love suffered. Love was lost. But I have faith that love will prevail. Because it has to. It needs to. Love trumps fear. Love conquers all. Love is all we need. Photos courtesy of Ibiza’s clubbing havens – Pacha, Space and Ushuaia.