Ian Kennedy feet tapping at Malanga Cafe, Ibiza
It’s been a weird year. In Ibiza, everyone who lives here – surviving, thriving, growing, learning, or rock-bottoming – begins each new year with one eye on the coming summer season. To mention ‘black-eyes’, would be a patronising punch line for this obvious fact; the truth is that we actually LIVE in Ibiza. And, as a disclaimer for this possibly crude face-pie, let’s be honest – the amount of money that people across the world have spent on their respective, and respected, hedonistic pursuits, adventures, vanity parades and down-right caning sessions, is immense. I, personally, could have quite easily spent £10,000 between my first holiday here and the year I moved here, 11 years. Last summer, in keeping with the steady and lucrative rise of a VIP service industry, every Friday night at a number of clubs, there would have been at least 5 tables dropping that cash. In truth, one of those VIP tables never really costs less than a few grand. Every night. So our lives as Ibiza residents has had to adapt to that in the first place, leading to the predictable gold rush, and this summer are experiencing a strange and thought-provoking situation. We are SO lucky. We really appreciate that, across the Ibiza population, and are also reeling from the sudden change. We have all earned our stripes, well… the generality of that comment was intended to be encouraging and respectful, rather than ignorant. Ibiza, though impressively resistant to the recent corona virus outbreak, is far from immune from the ‘cunt’. But in the main, the wholesome and genuinely Balearic pursuits and spirit pervade through everyone here. We want you all back, we can’t wait, and hope you have a positive life changing experience when you’re here.
One shining light was the recent re-opening of FONOTECA’s spiritual home, Malanga Café. Affected as all night clubs are, by the restrictions and constantly shifting polices apparently designed to ‘protect’ us, the collateral damage cuts far deeper. In losing our personal freedoms, we are subsequently losing all of the things that bring us together – a fundamental human need, and has been assumed as a ‘right’. What has rightfully stamped its identity on the chronicles of Ibiza music history, Malanga Café went from concept to institution rapido; and I couldn’t think of a more suitable compliment for Enrique, Juan and Omar. Three music lovers and pioneering DJs, opening its doors for FREE, virtually every night of the week, and inviting DJs, selectors and live musicians to host nights of the kind of diversity and quality, that in my time in Ibiza I’ve never seen it done better.
I was invited to play on Saturday XXX for a seated ‘crowd’. Though these recent rules make it impossible for the bar to generate the energy needed to attract more people to the dance-floor and bar; and that’s their business after-all. But the night was great. It was a change, to see tables on the dance-floor, but I think it works.