Archive for February, 2009

Ibiza News – New traffic regulations

February 28th, 2009

After completion of construction and the official certification by the authorities responsible, the maximum speed on the main motorway from Ibiza town to San Antonio will stay at 80 kilometres per hour. This announcement was made by Antoni Armengol (Social Democrats, PSOE), the general director of the Balearic Islands Ministry of Construction. This means that the regional government has rejected Ibiza’s Island Council’s formal request to increase the speed limit to 100 km/h.

Island Council spokesperson Marga Torres (PSOE) said that with their request the council was simply addressing a concern expressed by the Spanish traffic authority, Direccion General de Trafico (DGT). Torres explained that the regular administrative channels required that the Island Council make the request. The Island Council itself, however, has no interest in having the speed limit raised at the moment. Ms. Torres further said, “We have absolutely no problem with the rejection of the proposal.”

Mr. Armengol explained his refusal of a higher limit on the four lane motorway for “constructional and legal reasons”. An increased speed limit is not compatible with the underlying norms used for construction. “Apart from that, a higher speed limit would mean more carbon dioxide emissions and more noise,” he added. All across Europe, and not just in Spain, there has been a trend over past years towards a reduction in speed limits.

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Ibiza News – Green Flag for Santa Eulalia

February 27th, 2009

The environmental organisation “Aenor” has awarded the ‘Green Flag’ for outstanding urban beaches to Santa Eulalia in Ibiza at the tourism expo in Madrid. The flag is now fluttering on the beach in the town centre and at the beach near the river’s mouth. The award considers overall tidiness, safety and infrastructure.

The flag, which is almost like a knightly accolade for beaches, was accepted by Antonio Pico (commissioner for the coast) and Carmen Ferrer (head of tourism).

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Ibiza News – Harbour expansion – Authorities approve project

February 27th, 2009

After months of difficult negotiations the Balearic Islands regional government, Ibiza’s Island Council, Ibiza town’s city government and the Balearic Islands harbour authorities have approved a final project for harbour expansion. According to information provided by the president of the harbour authority, Francesc Triay, they have decided upon a slightly modified version of the original plan. Critics of the plan for construction near ‘es Botafoch’ had described it as oversized, and it appears concessions have been made to allay these fears. Triay said he expects construction to start in autumn and that it will probably cost about 81 million euros.

The expansion, which has been planned for years, has as its primary goal the removal of the large ferry and transport ships from Ibiza town’s inner harbour to an area between Marina Botafoch and the es Botafoch lighthouse. The authorities hope this will lead to a revitalisation of Ibiza town’s historic fishing quarter. “It will greatly increase the quality of life in the neighbourhood when people can take an undisturbed walk down the promenade,” believes Ibiza town’s mayor Lurdes Costa (PSOE). On the other hand, ferry operators have been requesting more space for years in order to provide their customers with appropriate services, including modern access ramps and gastronomy.

The first construction phase, which the harbour authorities say could take up to 31 months, sees the creation of a 63,000 square metre area and two docking piers. The original plans called for 80,000 square metres. Mr. Triay said, “We reduced it to avoid drawing out the negotiations even longer.” However, they appear to be happy with the new plan. He further stated, “Service for ferry passengers will improve considerably with the project.” Additionally, cruise ships and leisure yachts will profit from the restructuring in the new plan and the improvement in space created in the inner harbour.

Mr. Triay also explained that neither the Ses Feixes swamplands nor the s’Illa Plana housing area would be threatened by the harbour project. Triay said, “The access to the new pier will not compromise Ses Feixes and there will be no tunnel constructed beneath s’Illa Plana.” – specifically sending a message to environmentalists and the left-leaning coalition partner of the Social Democrats on the Island Council and Ibiza town’s city hall, the regional Eivissa per Canvi (ExC) party.

Island Council president Xico Tarres (PSOE) fleshed the statement out further, declaring that traffic for the new harbour would be routed along the current Avenida 8 d’Agost, as it meets all of the structural requirements for the increase in traffic. He added, “And if that should not be the case then we will find a different solution.”

The Ibicencan Social Democrats went for it alone in approving this project, which did not sit well with their coalition partner ExC. Just a few months earlier the ExC had submitted their own expansion project that was rejected by all of the decision makers in Madrid, Palma and Ibiza. “We are very upset at how the Social Democrats have conducted themselves,” said ExC spokesperson Josep Maria Gari. However, during a specially called party conference there was no mention of ending the coalition. Mr. Gari further said, “The harbour project was very important for us, however we must appreciate that we can only help shape the island’s future by continuing our work within government.”

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Ibiza NOW Magazine 25th Anniversary

February 25th, 2009

We don’t normally put up the editorials from Ibiza NOW Magazine but as it’s our 25th anniversary this year we’re making an exception. This is the editorial for the March edition which comes out this coming weekend.

Dear Reader,

This year the IbizaNOW celebrates its 25th anniversary – a remarkable achievement for an English language ex-pat magazine. In fact we’re not aware of an older one anywhere else in the world, and certainly not one of equivalent quality.

The roots of the magazine extend so far back into the mists of time that we’re not exactly sure of the exact date of birth in 1984 of this distinguished old lady of a magazine! The earliest records we have consist of copies of Issue Numbers 13 to 16 of what was then called the ‘Ibiza Forecast’.

It’s issue No. 16 that gives us the best clue when it refers to its sister publication, the IbizaNOW, being a joint sponsor in the classical concert series at the Teatro Pereyra in 1985. We continue to investigate, but in the meantime would welcome any pictures or stories from that period in time to decorate the articles we plan to run this year celebrating the magazine’s significant anniversary.

What makes us proud is that our office has become something of a large extended family over the years. The majority of the team have been here for a long time and do not see their work as a job, but more as a passion where everybody does their part to create something new every month – and to strive to make it even better.

More than thirty people work in our team, which is quite a lot in a microcosm like Ibiza. When we all meet up nine countries are represented. Yet we all speak the same language – that of Ibiza. Our thoughts turn on the island, the people living here, its history and, most of all, we care about the future of the islands. For a long time Ibiza and Formentera were islands of isolated groups. The Ibicencan and Formenterans on the one side, the newcomers who found a second home here and of course the holidaymakers who come to have a few of the loveliest days of their year here.

For a long, long time, the islanders-by-choice were considered by the locals rather like a group of holidaymakers. This makes sense, as we foreigners brought with us big changes in the traditional culture and way of life on the islands. Some call it progress, which normally happens gradually over the course of years. It is logical that the long-established families on the islands moved closer together, but not without remaining open. Economically, of course, but also personally. Open and friendly.

Naturally tradition is being preserved in large areas on the islands and kept alive. Which is important, because otherwise they, and we, would lose a piece of their identity, character and a large part of their charm. It is both a blessing and sometimes even a bit of a curse at the same time. Visits to the authorities, construction permits – it’s a real ‘dream’, but this is probably true for anybody living in a foreign country. It could be much worse.

We are also proud of the fact that over time the office has built up such a good rapport with people here, including political representatives. Mutual respect, consideration and communication are excellent. It is definitely a co-operation within which more and more productive exchange is possible. Twenty-five years of IbizaNOW, twenty-five years acting as a link between peoples and cultures. It’s been (and remains) a wonderful time.

Many thanks go to you, our readers. Thanks to the team and thanks to our business and advertising partners. You all have made IbizaNOW grow over the years, and for that we cannot thank you enough. Here’s to the next twenty-five!

yours, Thomas Abholte and the IbizaNOW team

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Tonights Ibiza sunset

February 24th, 2009

One of the team is off to London tonight to catch up with their 101 year old nan, the cure one off gig and old work friends. We’ve pre-scheduled blogs for the next few days.

photo posted from my iPhone

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An Ibiza afternoon with Chas Smash of Madness

February 24th, 2009

madnessCathal Smyth is one of the collective known to music lovers as ‘Madness’, the UK Ska band of the 2-Tone era that dominated the British charts during the first half of the 80’s. Cathal, or Chas Smash as he’s better known, recently hit the local news by inspiring a donation from the people of Carlisle to the islands’ ‘Ibiza and Formentera Association for children with Special Needs’ (APNEEF).

This extraordinary and generous act came about because Stephen Dunn, stadium announcer at Carlisle United and a loyal Madness fan, contacted Cathal to ask if it would be possible to do a Carlisle specific voiceover to the song ‘One Step Beyond’, which the club always played when the team ran out onto the pitch for a game.

apneef, ibizaThe upshot was that Cathal re-recorded the opening sequence of lyrics to include a reference to Carlisle United, but asked the club to make a donation to APNEEF instead of paying him. As aficionados of both football and music we needed to know more about this benevolent act, so we made contact through Jill Canney, one of APNEEF’s major fundraisers. It was she who had first made Cathal aware of the disadvantaged children helped by APNEEF.

She did so by talking him into performing an exclusive acoustic set at their annual charity fundraiser, the Butterfly Ball. Nonetheless, she and the kids of APNEEF were blown away when a giant toy box arrived from Carlisle…

We meet him at Foodism in Santa Gertrudis for afternoon tea and as soon as introductory vetting is out of the way he invites us back to his place to see what he’s currently up to. On the way back he confesses that he’s got no previous special connection with Carlisle United, or football in general, but the opportunity to help APNEEF was irresistable. Meanwhile he cranks up the car stereo to show us his new dub step project. There are no vocals on this recording as his partner in the project, ‘Master Krook’, doesn’t arrive until next week, so he fills in with his own rendition as we drive back to his finca, wondering whether we’re unwittingly participating in one of those old Madness videos…

liberty of norton folgateThe new tunes whilst still retaining the feel of Madness, a rawness of delivery that evokes that north London ska sensation, are enhanced by an undercurrent of Brixton dub to remind you of the mix that is London.

Once inside the finca he introduces us to the ‘soon to be released’ new Madness album ‘The Liberty of Norton Folgate’. We’re watching it on an HD screen and can’t decide whether it’s a video of a Victorian stage show at the Hackney Empire, a documentary of the last 130 years of the district of Norton Folgate, or the evolution of music in the same district over a similar time period.

We conclude that the best plan would be to give it to Boris Johnson as leftfield advertising for the capital now under his stewardship – it’s a brilliant, and currently apt, advert for London and the strength and versatility of its downtrodden people.

cathal smyth aka chas smashWe discuss the future, in light of the fact that this thirty year old band are now planning a world tour. The impression is that it won’t be every night of the year, as Cathal has clearly settled into Ibiza this past year and is looking forward to the arrival of his children tomorrow.

We share family experiences and find similarities. He split from his wife of 28 years just four years ago and is going through the experience in a way that anyone who’s tried it will sympathise with. He’s got his head down and he’s doing what he does best – working on the music.

He plays us a few more songs, as yet unrecorded, on the guitar then takes us through to the adjacent studio where he plonks himself down at a grand piano and spills music from the heart that almost makes me weep. So far he’s shown us four new projects that are ‘works in progress’ and each and all are stunning in their own context.

The man of Madness we may recall from the early 80’s is not just a proficient musician and the foremost exponent of the London-Irish school of thought on the island, but also flat out ‘on it!’ – he’s far from retired…

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Ibiza bars – fact and figures

February 23rd, 2009

bars on ibizaAccording to figures released today there are 939 bars and cafes on Ibiza. With a population of 124,036 people that means there is 1 bar or cafe for every 132 people – compared to the national spanish average of 1 for every 456 people.

In Formentera this rises even more with 1 bar or cafe for every 103.9 people.

Cafes on Ibiza have 25,472 seats and bars 26,936 while in Formentera there are 1,718 and 2,433 respectively.

There are also 848 restaurants – one for every 146 inhabitants and they have a total of 66,525 seats – one seat for every 2 people !

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International Music Summit 2009, Ibiza – First details

February 23rd, 2009

We can reveal the first details about the International Music Summit 2009 in Ibiza:

  • Techno Pioneer Richie Hawtin To Keynote
  • Speakers include:
    • Owners Of The World’s Biggest Dance Brands – Sonar, Bestival (Rob da Bank), Creamfields (James Barton), Pacha, F**k Me I’m Famous (Cathy Guetta), Wall Of Sound
    • Managers And Agents Of The Biggest Global Dance Producers, DJs And Artists Inc. Simian Mobile Disco, Underworld, Mark Ronson, Little Boots, Paul Oakenfold, Royksopp, Moby, Carl Cox, Mylo

The first line-up of artists and industry panellists for the second International Music Summit was today announced. Returning to the dance capital of the world, Ibiza, the essential high-profile music gathering takes place May 27-29 at the island’s luxurious new five-star Gran Hotel. After the success of 2008’s inaugural event, IMS has swiftly eclipsed other music conferences to establish itself as the single most important destination for the global dance industry, artists and executives, to do business.

internationa music summit, IbizaThe keynote interview will be with pioneering techno artist Richie Hawtin, who will take part in an hour long discussion with IMS content curator Ben Turner. Hawtin, a global ambassador for underground music, has been at the top of his game for over 15 years, with his Berlin based M-nus record label is at the forefront of the futuristic underground sound, and he remains one of the most-in demand DJs in the world and hugely revered by both his peers and club goers alike.

Hawtin states: “I heard great reports about the first IMS, and as this is a critical time for the industry and the world at large, this intimate gathering feels more important now than ever before. I am excited to share my experiences and vision for the future with the leaders of the genre. “

With many dance music luminaries stating they’d done more deals in three days at last year’s summit than in ten year’s of attending other dance conferences, this year they’ll have the opportunity to do some good as well, as IMS has partnered with the Hepatitis C Trust and their ‘Get Tested! Mission. The Mission will involve industry folk being sponsored to travel to Ibiza via any means possible (other than plane or car!) to reduce the carbon emissions footprint of the music industry whilst raising awareness and funds for the Hepatitis C Trust. So if you fancy having fun travelling through France and Spain with like-minded people make sure you sign-up and get on-board this ground-breaking challenge whether it be by bike or bus, scooter or skateboard!

Proving the event’s heavyweight status within the dance music community the owners of the industry’s leading brands such as Sonar, Bestival, Creamfields, F**k Me I’m Famous, Pacha and Wall Of Sound are all confirmed to take part in the IMS: 09 panels, keynotes and presidential-style debates, with many more to be announced soon. Representing the artists’ interests we’ll hear from the managers and bookers of today’s biggest dance stars. Former MD of Island Records Marc Marot will be explaining why he chose a rock music approach to managing Paul Oakenfold, whilst David Enthoven of management company IE, will be talking about how they have transformed the traditional approach to management through their work with Robbie Williams, Simian Mobile Disco, Sia and Little Boots. Other speakers will include live bookers for the likes of Mark Ronson, Underworld, Moby, Mylo and Royksopp.

Looking into the vital importance of sync deals today four of the world’s leading music supervisors will a present special synch panel, with Jason Bentley from KCRW overseeing a debate with PJ Bloom, Jason Alexander and Sanne Hagelsten. Between them this quartet are responsible for placing music in some of the biggest American network TV shows including CSI and Entourage.

pete tongIMS partner and BBC Radio 1 DJ Pete Tong states: “We’re delighted to get back to business with the second International Music Summit in Ibiza. Last year was a revelation, an incredible gathering of big thinkers, with deals being done on the spot, and a feeling of all wanting to take our genre to a new level. “

Finally, the IMS are proud to announce that Ibiza’s local government, the Consell Insular d’Eivissa, are co-sponsors of the IMS: 09 event, sending a strong message of support and approval to the electronic gathering. The Consell have kindly provided IMS with a stunning location in Ibiza’s Dalt Vila. This famous UNESCO World Heritage site will set the spectacular backdrop for the IMS: 09 Grande Finale, as the first international dance event of its kind to take place within the historic Moorish walls of the old town which overlooks the Mediterranean. Tickets are included free of charge with all IMS delegate badges, however, a limited number of tickets will be available for purchase (details TBC). Acts will be announced shortly for this special event.

Francisco Medina Vicente, Secretario General Tecnico de Presidencia of the Consell Insular d’Eivissa, says “The Consell d’Eivissa offer our most sincere congratulations for the success obtained in the first edition of the International Music Summit in 2008. We have received a lot of reactions from the first initiative, so innovative in our island of Ibiza, as a result of the large national and international media attention, and how well it has been embraced. For this reason, the Consell d’Eivissa wishes you new success in the second edition and offers our support for the event.”

The closing event will feature a stellar line-up of electronic music talent to signal the end of the three day event and marking the opening of the Ibiza season. Pioneer, key partner in the first IMS, will return with their innovative and entertaining showcases. Sol also return as sponsors for a second year, along with new local partners Sonica FM radio and Ibiza-Voice (exclusive online).

Confirmed Speakers For IMS:09 (with many more to be announced) Include:

- Richie Hawtin, Artist, M-nus, Germany
– Pete Tong, Artist, BBC Radio 1 / Wonderland, UK
– Rob da Bank, Artist, Bestival / Sunday Best, BBC Radio 1, UK
– Matt Edwards, Artist, Radioslave / Rekids, Germany
– Enric Palau, Sonar, Spain
– Mark Grotefeld, Pioneer Europe, UK
– Sander Kleinenberg, Artist, Holland
– James Barton, Cream, UK
– Mark Jones, Wall of Sound, UK
– Marc Marot, SEG International (Manager – Paul Oakenfold), UK
– David Enthoven, IE Music (Manager – Robbie Williams, Sia), UK
– Cathy Guetta, F**k Me I’m Famous, Paris
– Michael Weiss, Nervous Records, USA
– Eric Harle, D.E.F. Management (Manager – Moby, Mylo, Royksopp), UK
– Cris Hearn, Primary Talent (Agent – Mark Ronson, Underworld, Rob da Bank)
– PJ Bloom, Neophonic / Music Supervisor, USA
– Sanne Hagelsten, Zync Music / Music Supervisor, USA
– Jason Alexander, Hit the Ground Running / Music Supervisor, USA
– Martin Gontad, 2 Net Productions / Creamfields Argentina, Argentina
– Jason Bentley, KCRW, USA
– Henry Semmence, Absolute Marketing, UK
– Olga Heijns, Unmanageable Artists (Manager – Roger Sanchez), Holland
– Danny Whittle, Pacha, Spain
– Oli Isaacs, This Is Music (Manager – Simian Mobile Disco, Little Boots), UK
– John Niven, Author, Kill Your Friends
– Jose Cadahia, Sinnamon, Spain
– Lynn Cosgrave, Safehouse Management (Manager Carl Cox, Yousef), UK
– Tim Binns, New State, UK
– Kurosh Nasseri, Nasseri Music Business Solutions, USA
– Samuel Guetta, Ibiza-Voice, Spain
– Bobby Simms, Pop Shop, UK
– Steve Hulme, Pacha Recordings, Spain
– Neil DeGuzman, Little Mountain Productions, Holland
– Stephen Kempner, Sheridans, UK

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Ibiza NOW Magazine – preview of the March edition

February 22nd, 2009

Ibiza NOW Magazine for March has gone to the printers so here’s a preview of the March edition cover and contents pages.

We have an exclusive interview with Cathyl Smyth (aka Chas Smash) of Madness who now lives here on Ibiza. We’ve put together a month by month guide of Ibiza’s fiestas, a photo guide showing Ibiza in bloom, all about Ibiza’s bees and an interview with Pepa Mari – the head of Ibiza tourism as well as the usual features.

ibiza now magazine

Click on the images below for a larger version

March 2009 contents

March 2009 contents

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International Music Summit 2009 – first details tomorrow

February 22nd, 2009

Check back here tomorrow morning from 9am GMT when we will be able to reveal the first details, lineup and keynote speaker for this years International Music summit here on Ibiza…

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