Dance music executives have spoken to Music Week about the impact of the summer shutdown in Ibiza.
While Ibiza Rocks is able to stage its Poolside Sessions with a reduced capacity and strict safety measures, indoor clubs above 300-capacity are not permitted to open by the authorities.
Ben Turner, co-founder of IMS and the Association For Electronic Music, said it was vital that the island’s clubs put safety first this year.
“Ibiza will always bounce back, it is resilient, it is deep-rooted in the lifestyle of millions of people around the world,” he said. “You can see this by the demand in people who are happy to still go to the island with the clubs closed.
“Perhaps now people can see beyond the clubs and DJs, and realise that it was the magical mix of the island’s stunning landscape, food and beaches that is as much the reason people go back year after year. Yes, it’s devastating for our sector, but it can bounce back and we’re very focused on making 2021 as positive and innovative as possible.”
Anton Powers, DJ, artist manager and Warner Records A&R manager, agreed that normal clubbing on the island is not an option this year.
“They need to be strict,” he said. “If a second wave happened on the island, then it could have serious implications. Thousands of tourists, without a big infrastructure in terms of airports and hospitals to cope with a serious pandemic, would have far more damaging consequences than a 'carry on as normal' summer.”
While the major clubs have been forced to close, there are hopes that some DJs will be able to play on the island this summer. Major airlines are operating flights to Ibiza.
“A number of super clubs have already come out to confirm there will be no activity inside their clubs this summer, and I expect this to continue,” said Defected MD Wez Saunders. “However, it is very possible that outdoor activities may go ahead with restricted capacity and experience.
“With that said, you must remember that with restaurants and beaches open, Ibiza is still an incredible holiday destination and we would still very much recommend it. We will be there at some point, just without the clubbing experience.”
It’s devastating for our sector, but Ibiza can bounce back
Under the current rules, some limited activity can happen with the island’s dance scene, including smaller and outdoor venues with strict social distancing measures in place.
“I’m sure we will see the bars and smaller venues open, while for the bigger capacity, super clubs it’s going to be very hard for them, I hope they can come back even stronger in 2021,” said Powers. “Ibiza is a special and unique island and maybe the smaller number of people that do travel this summer can explore everything it has to offer away from the nightlife.”
Turner predicted that the shutdown could also have an influence on dance music.
“I hope we see emotional, tortured sounds and innovation reflective of the greatest soul-searching moment in modern history,” he said. “I’m a fan of melancholic electronic music, so I hope to be inspired.”
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