Ibiza Journal: Goodbye to the island’s party scene

[Feel it yet? Matinee attendees; the party closes tonight]

Part of an occasional weekend series about Ibiza.

It’s Saturday, about 10:37 p.m. — early here on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza, famous for its celebrity-flecked nightlife. Although it’s now October, well past the summer season, the streets outside the Croissant-Show cafe where I’m sitting are full of people, strolling beneath hand-painted pennants hung above the narrow streets. There is a live arts event unfolding in the small plaza before me. I am reminded of the warm evenings Sparky and I spent earlier this summer.

Tonight is the closing party for Matinee, one of the island’s biggest, best-attended weekly dance events. Held at the giant nightclub Space in the Playa d’en Bossa area, Matinee is one of three such closing parties this week — the summer’s last drug-induced gasp before Kate Moss (left) and the rest of the yachting crowd shifts to winter hideaways.

Calling them parties and nightclubs is not entirely accurate. They are very large, professionally produced events staged in mammoth entertainment complexes — the musical equivalent of an adult amusement park. They often carry racy themes, like the F*** Me I’m Famous event produced by a Parisian couple.

Matinee’s Space venue, for example, covers several hundred thousand square feet on two levels. There are two or three dance floors, with the biggest accommodating thousands of dancers. Scantily-clad dancers shimmy on small stages. A gift shop hawks T-shirts. And there’s a requisite chill space for party-goers on too much E and K.

The pricey parties are big lures for young people from Britain, Germany and other EU nations who spend week-long vacations here. But they’ve also saddled Ibiza with a reputation for excess when, summer after summer, young visitors die in drug-related accidents. A 25-year-old Scottish man was the ninth holidaymaker to die this season when he was found in his hotel room late last month.

An evening at Matinee tonight would not be cheap. Tickets are around $75 U.S., unless you get a really good deal. And drinks start at $12 for a small carbonated water. Those lofty prices didn’t go over so well this year, when global economic problems cast a long shadow: The Paris Hilton waiting game ended this summer with fortunes pinned on a late-season cruise ship carrying 2,000 gay men.

Fortunately, my friend Sandra and I were with her friend Marco, an Italian who makes a living here hanging event posters, when we attended one of the other big closing parties this week: La Troya.

Marco is club-connected, so we were swept in Wednesday night by the Armani model-looking security guards, and didn’t pay a dime for our drinks. It was fun. But I’m 51, and I’m fairly certainly I was one of the oldest people there. Still, I may go to Matinee tonight: This summer has been a time to revisit my crazier youth.

Please post your thoughts in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

12 Responses to “Ibiza Journal: Goodbye to the island’s party scene”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Why shiould we care? this is the Gannett blog!!!!

  2. mr. whig Says:

    I know, I know, you think the whole world revolves around the United States! Not anymore.

    I care. Well, I’m real jealous, but I still care. It’s a lot more fun than being in the States, I’d imagine.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I so need to retire. Jim, you’re makin’ me jealous.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I care. Love the Ibiza dispatches and I hope like hell you went to Matinee. You only live once!

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I agree on why should we care. If I wanted to read about thatstuff I’d go to an appropriate blog. What’s happened to this blog?

  6. Anonymous Says:

    8:12 AM
    Your comment is so very like the many comments readers post on the Gannett news sites, don’t you think? Seems they go there, hoping to read news.

    At least Jim was upfront and told everyone he’d occasionaly include personal information. It’s your choice, then, if you want to continue coming here, knowing that you may well see something that’s seemingly not related to Gannett.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    8:12 – occasionaly including personal information is a far cry from a full page of crap. I’m sure Jim hug out with all the mega-rich celebs. But that is really TMI when this is the GAnnett blog, don’t you think? I must say you are creative to get in a Gannett dig on a totally irrelevant topic.

    It’s not that I come hear to read news but I at least expect to read about the blog’s subject.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    What’s TMI?

  9. Jim Hopkins Says:

    TMI = too much information

  10. Anonymous Says:

    11:13 AM
    Let me try to say this a different way.

    You hold some kind of notion about what should appear on gannettblog. If you go to the blog and see something that falls outside your expectations, you get all pissy and start attacking other people.

    Well, I don’t think you’re any different from the Gannett news readers who go to the sites with the expectation they’ll see news. Imagine how difficult it is for many of them to adjust to finding advertorial, personal staff blogs and photo galleries.

  11. Anonymous Says:


    You didn’t say anything any differently. And I’m not “pissy” as you say. If anything you’re being pissy. By the way, how in the world did I attack anyone? I think you’re just a little bit too whiney and if you think that’s an attack on your then your are lame as well as whiney.

    Now I think I’ll go read Paris Hilton’s blog to find out what really happened in Ibiza. At least I won’t have to read about Gannett.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    8:18 PM
    I’d say it’s the Gannett readers who post to the forums who are the whiners, and rightly so. Seems they want news, and they gripe when they don’t get it—just the same way it seems you’re griping about this blog not meeting your expectations.

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