No matter where you go on the island (except maybe the village of San Agustin, where time will forever stand still), there’s a buzz in the air – along with the smell of fresh paint. People are happy. People are excited. Life is good. I remember (oh, here we go, I can almost hear you think!) back when May was a quiet month in Ibiza. Around ten years ago, you wouldn’t have found a beach club open – let alone one packed with thousands of people celebrating its opening as was the case at Blue Marlin last weekend. You wouldn’t need to make a reservation at any of the chiringuitos who were slowly starting to open for the pre-summer weekend trade – now, it’s an absolute must to ensure you get seated, as they’re already open and full to the rafters seven days a week!
I remember going to Pacha (often every night, back in the day!) during the pre-season when there were no bells or whistles, just resident DJs. Granted, they were great DJs, but in 2017 the May line-ups actually rival half the nights held in the summer. I remember when clubbing line-ups weren’t announced until after the opening parties had taken place. I remember when billboards didn’t go up until the night before the party started (oh wait – I think this is still the case! I’ve seen quite a few Space billboards lingering around – ahh, the nostalgia). Back in the day, seasonal workers didn’t start until the end of May (always around the Space opening date) and would get to spend endless long days on the deserted beaches before hitting Pacha by night. I’ve got fond memories of friends crashing on the sofa because so many Ibiza hotels weren’t even open at this time of year – now they’re not only open, they’re fully booked. I remember when people who owned boats hadn’t put them ‘in the water’ yet, I remember when there were no direct flights, and I even remember when there were no taxi queues. Wow – those really were the days! What I really remember of my formative years in Ibiza is that the pre-season was a carefully guarded secret. Locals knew it (obvs), and some season workers knew it and those really clued-up Ibiza lovers knew it and would make the huge full-day effort to fly to Ibiza via Barcelona, Madrid or Mallorca from whichever major city they were connecting from. That’s just what I remember. There are plenty of people here who remember way back before that.
Those days are gone. But you know what? I don’t miss them (after all, I know they’ve just shifted to April). It’s just a different story now. Ibiza is on the world stage and our secret is out! You know why the island is so busy at this time of year? Because it’s FREAKING AMAZING! The sun is shining, the weather is sweet. You can get a tan, you can swim (if you’re brave!), you can charter a boat, you can tuck into fresh seafood (or whatever else your heart – or stomach – desires) on the beach by day, and under the stars (albeit with a big heater) by night. You can dance ‘til dawn seven nights a week. You can meet amazing people from all over the world. Life is good. You just have to be prepared for a little forward planning so you don’t miss out on any of it!