Ibiza clubbing: BLOND:ISH – Taking action
If there’s one issue currently resonating on global consciousness, it’s the topic of single-use plastics. More than ever in the past year there’s been a growing awareness about the damage human habits are inflicting on the environment. Images of vast swathes of plastics floating atop oceans and birds entangled in plastic waste has left a lasting impression on the planet and thankfully, a desire to stop the process in its tracks. That sentiment has been felt deeply in Ibiza, where multiple movements are attempting to instigate change and DJs like BLOND:ISH are using their public platform to positively inform opinion.
“This is something we need to take action on really soon,” explains Vivi-Ann Bakos, one half of the Canadian duo. “Awareness is what we should have had ten years ago but now we need to be putting solutions in place.” Talking openly and honestly about the problem is one way to make a difference but this pair went one better, organising and leading a beach clean on Playa d’en Bossa in collaboration with the Ibiza Preservation Fund and BEACHOUSE Ibiza. “It’s about everybody taking little steps to create awareness,” affirms Anstascia D’Elene. “That’s why the beach clean was amazing. Lots of people came out and supported.”
That Vivi-Ann and Anstascia made the decision to become spokespeople of sorts isn’t surprising. They spend huge amounts of time touring some of the world’s most beautiful places, independently splitting their lives between Ibiza, Barcelona and Tulum. In fact, it was an experience in Mexico that initially led them to step up. “There was one day when we went to Sian Ka’an, a long stretch of beach that’s also a nature reserve,” explains Anstascia. “We were walking along – just us and nature – and all of a sudden we noticed that the beach was just covered in plastic that was being washed in from the Caribbean Sea. It was completely shocking to me. No one sees this and it just makes you want to cry because fixing that is so overwhelming.”
Tulum, too, was where they both began to develop a stronger sense of personal spirituality – embracing the scene in the coastal Mexican town that explores holistic therapy in the form of things like sound healing or medicinal ayahuasca ceremonies – experiences which in turn helped them forge a deeper connection with the universe. “We’re not spiritual DJs,” says Vivi-Ann. “But we try to balance our crazy lives and once you’ve started on the path, it’s like a rabbit hole. There’s no going back! You realise that everything is connected, and once you have that awareness you’re plugged in and you start noticing everything.” Anstascia continues: “It’s an organic process. Times are changing and everyone’s opening up.”
This attitude is visible all across the world, especially at free-spirited community gatherings like Burning Man in the States and parties like WooMooN at Cova Santa in Ibiza, where BLOND:ISH hold a residency. At events like this, challenging boundaries and probing a higher level of consciousness is encouraged. “WooMooN was the first party to really bring an amazing hippie vibe to the island in recent years. It’s very innovative,” says Anstascia. “They showed an attention to detail that was missing from other clubs,” adds Vivi-Ann. “A lot of them were just following a formula but we’re all moving into the feminine – the whole world is, and music follows that.”
A shift towards a more collective female consciousness can mean many things – movement, creation, reconnection – in a personal and global sense. In terms of the planet we live on, perhaps that translates to taking action to protect the environment, on whatever level you can. “In the clubbing industry, everybody needs to come together to do something about plastic usage. Sustainable raving has to come from DJs and club owners – let’s change what you offer your consumers,” says Anstascia. “I’ve made a masterplan about how to bridge the gap,” continues Vivi-Ann. “Every DJ wants to get involved so we’re offering solutions and the team behind that to put it in place. We’ll give them access to eco-friendly straws and water and all these other things that are so important right now.”
While BLOND:ISH are now important players in the quest for the island’s preservation, it wasn’t all that long ago that Vivi-Ann and Anastascia were visiting Ibiza for the first time. Vivi-Ann had come from Italy in 2005, where she was DJing at the time and rolled straight into Circoloco at DC-10. Anstascia meanwhile, arrived as a tourist with friends in 2006. After a few days having the time of her life on the island, she sat on Playa d’en Bossa and decided there and then that she wanted to be a DJ, manifesting the thought in the moment. In August 2018, she was back on Ibiza’s longest stretch of sand, this time as a DJ, diligently clearing plastic, quietly giving thanks. Karma is a continuous cycle, and now it’s our turn to give back.