What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word Ibiza? Is it music? Parties? Beaches? Sunshine? Friends? Holidays? All of the above? For most people around the world, the image of the white isle is glamorous and glitzy; fun and fabulous; bohemian and luxurious. And for the most part, that is indeed what life can be like here. But scratch beneath the surface and you’ll find – like any hip global destination – some darker undercurrents. Some well reported, others swept under the rug, such as homelessness, which is definitely not something associated with this beautiful, magical island. Until last week, I was extremely unaware of how serious the issue is in Ibiza – possibly because, well, it doesn’t cross my path in day-to-day life, perhaps because I had been unaware (out of sight, out of mind), or maybe because it just doesn’t ever get talked about. So how did the topic finally come my way? I was having a lovely Sunday roast at Pikes last Sunday when I met a warm-hearted soul named Selina Ingram, who was in the process of launching an initiative called Music Supper Club to raise money for Ibiza’s homeless, launching with a special fundraising dinner in the same location on Thursday.
If you’re anything like me (and I am confessing this honestly with my hands in the air right now), I often daydream about doing lovely things for charity, helping the less fortunate or volunteering for a worthy cause. But… in the end, I don’t (aside from the odd raffle ticket or charity dinner). I have some amazing friends who do and I really admire them for it. Selina Ingram is one such amazing person – selflessly feeding around 30 homeless people (which is the tip of the iceberg) on a daily basis, out of the kindness of her own heart. Her own experiences have allowed her to see inside this increasing problem on the island, and gave her inspiration to launch Music Supper Club, which is a way regular people, like you and me, who would like to help in a small way, can come together and make a big difference. So what is Music Supper Club? It’s a pop-up event at Pikes, where Selina and her team of volunteers take over the kitchen for the night, three-course menu that takes you on a global spice trail while some of the island’s best DJs and entertainers donate their time to entertain guests. Forget notions of stuffy, traditional supper clubs: this was a good old fashioned Ibiza knees up, in one of the island’s most authentic party destinations, with 25-percent of all proceeds going towards Ibiza’s homeless. The beauty of it is, if you like eating, drinking and dancing, you don’t even have to change your lifestyle for even a minute.
With that in mind – plus the plight of the community of homeless people Selina told me who are living in tin sheds and chicken coops in between two bastions of decadence, Pacha and Destino – I booked myself onto a table at the event. For just 50€, we received a welcome cocktail, kindly donated by the good folk at Absolut, the aforementioned three-course menu (and let me tell you, it including the best damn jerk chicken I have tasted this side of Notting Hill Carnival – I would have paid double!) plus a lovely glass of dessert wine. This is what I call a win/win situation. Dinner with your friends, amazing food and you get the bonus feelgood buzz of doing something good for others. Just to set the scene… we arrived as the sun was going down over Pikes. It’s truly a magical hour on the hills there in San Antonio as the sky changes above changes dramatically in a swirl of psychedelic colours. Speaking of psychedelic, sitar player Devanagari was setting the scene for diners with his beautiful, sometimes haunting music. A little bit exotic – a taste of things to come, no pun intended of course. The tables were filled with the who’s who of Ibiza big business, which made me feel happy. It meant perhaps I wasn’t the only one who had been running about life being so ‘busy’ and unaware of the problem, and who was happy to find a little way in which to help, that could easily slot into their lifestyles. A round of applause for the guests please…
Selina herself was bobbing back and forth between tables, often with a tear in her eye, as she was touched at the turnout, and the offers for additional donations and services for the homeless in question. She took us into the Bwell Chillout Zone, where holistic therapies were on offer for a charitable donation, including acupuncture and a Chi machine, which promised to oxygenate all your muscles and organs – 15 minutes on the machine is all you need for the equivalent of a full day’s oxygen apparently. It was so zen in there I made plans to go back later for a post-dinner nap! Pretty trays of cocktails in jam jars were being sent to each table as they took their order. The set menu included delicious options for vegans and vegetarians as well as the staunch meat eaters like myself, and the smell of sizzling spices permeated the air and made my mouth water in anticipation of things to come. Taste buds were not disappointed, with the aforementioned mind-blowing jerk chicken, a lamb khari and chapel minced angus beef kebabs. I may have also stolen a few of the vegetarian Halloumi chapals… and found myself scooping seconds (and thirds) of Selina’s ‘magic potatoes’ – delicious crispy spuds fried with red pepper, garlic, red onion and a zingy Scotch bonnet! I may have had tears of sweat under my eyes from the spice factor afterwards, but I can’t say they didn’t warn me!
The event was operating under a zero waste policy, which meant any leftovers on diner’s plate were being scraped into a big bucket to be donated to the animals at MOJIS the next day (feeding bellies, not bins according to Selina) – a lovely finishing touch, when you consider how unconsciously wasteful so many of us can be when it comes to finishing three courses. There were certainly no leftover desserts however – after one bite of that habanero cinnamon chocolate brownie with tequila cream, I would have gone around to every table and fought any animals for the leftovers myself! Ainsley May provided the dinner time beats, then later on, the action moved inside to Freddie’s Suite, where Acid Mondays and Deep City Soul kept the crowd dancing til the early hours (and all donated their time for free). There are two more Music Supper Clubs planned at Pikes this summer, July 27 (that’s very soon folks! Book your tables now so you don’t miss out) and September 7, operating under the same ethos and with Selina at the helm. Selina also has more fundraising initiatives in the works, and hopes the Pikes dinner is the start of something big.
We don’t have to be one of the Selinas of the world to make a difference (though I imagine, the more the merrier). As she explained to me, the art of giving is not about time or money (though of course, they would be helpful). It’s about an abundance of humanity. If we all pitch in and do our little bit, amazing things can happen as a result. And if we can laugh, eat, drink and dance in the process, well, doesn’t that sound like a wonderful way to be? Photography by Ibiza Photography