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In Defence of Ibiza

A response to the Mixmag article “Is Ibiza Really Worth The Money?”

Below is Spotlight's response to Mixmag's article: "Is Ibiza Really Worth The Money?"

Mixmag, we find many of your pros and cons misdirected and misinformed. Ibiza has a dubious reputation in the eyes of many and whilst we know its faults better than most, we also know the myriad of incredible experiences it has to offer without squeezing you dry. We deplore Croatia and Vegas comparisons because Ibiza is unique. We appreciate it's not a cheap destination and, like anywhere else popular, attracts a few unsavoury characters - but with a little guidance and aptitude for adventure you can get fantastic value for your money and experiences you will never forget. The White Isle must be defended! So here's our response, point by point.

Is Ibiza Really Worth The Money…

MIXMAG | No: Inside most clubs, the going rate for a 300ml bottle of water is €10. That's not even enough to keep a goldfish alive.

Whilst we'd like to point out water is only a fiver in DC-10, we must acknowledge this one to be mostly true. Tap water is not recommended for drinking in Ibiza and you will end up forking out a bit for the bottled stuff in the clubs. Soz.

MIXMAG | Yes: The food is reasonably priced, considering most of it is grown locally. Go to David's in San Antonio for the infamous pizza, get a local grill at Cafeteria Parador, hit The Hippodromo at Hipodrom De Sant Rafel, where the restaurant is brilliant and you can watch the horse racing. Place a bet, and if you're lucky you could be leaving with cash and a full stomach.

David's in San An is your best shot? Try Comidas San Juan or Los Pasajeros for real Spanish food in traditional Ibiza Town venues at half the price of a David's pizza. Or grab a Casa Thai meal deal in San An and get a three course Thai dinner and drink for 11.50€. Or how about an Ibiza Rocks chicken pitta meal deal and drink for a tenner? Cheap food is everywhere.

MIXMAG | No: Nowadays, if you're a baller, you go to Vegas to see the stadium name DJs, but with more casinos and strippers.

The Vegas/Ibiza comparison drives us insane. If the point of Ibiza was stadium DJs, money-spending and strippers we'd have left long ago. Besides, if I was a financial baller, I would much rather splash out on a beautiful villa, personal luxury boat out on the med and a dinner in the medieval fortress of Dalt Vila.

MIXMAG | Yes: Book in advance and the flights can still be dirt cheap. At the time of press, flights for early September were still under £100. And that would be going at the right time for the banging closing parties.

Hear hear.

MIXMAG | No: With the changing tide of Ibiza politics, people with cash to splash are given a true holiday. The normal people, who don't wipe their ass with euros, are left fighting for dancing space in front of the VIP rope. Why scramble over a pile of bodies when you could dance on board a boat on the Adriatic Sea or in an expansive Nevada desert?

Whilst some clubs are VIP-heavy, there are plenty that aren't at all. Amnesia tucks its VIPs conveniently away on the balcony, so the entire main dance floor in both massive rooms is for the regular punters - same deal for Sankeys. Even Ushuaïa has responded to feedback and moved half its VIP section from the front of the pool to a purpose built section at the back, leaving the nosebleed section free for the regular ravers. And what do you have against dancing on board a boat on the Mediterranean eh? Boat parties in Ibiza are plentiful, reasonably priced and often include entry to the superclubs.

MIXMAG | Yes: If you like salt, you can get it for free near Salinas beach. There's also a decent sunset on the salt flats. If you're really broke, get bags of the free salt and sell it on as something else. Worth a try, right? Right?!

We'd say spectacular is a more apt description of the Salinas sunsets. Meanwhile, try that business plan and prepare for half the island's tourists to go Liam Neeson on your salty ass: "... I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you."

MIXMAG | No: The cheap vodka there makes you feel odd.

But the local spirit, hierbas, makes you feel amazing – and you'll get a free chupito (shot) of it after every Spanish meal.

MIXMAG | Yes: The taxis are still just about cheaper than New York or London.

Taxi prices are reasonable and both daytime and disco bus services run all summer. There are also free bus services offered by many of the clubs, plus shuttle services transporting you between parties when you buy combination tickets.

MIXMAG | No: For those doing a full season, the rent in some areas can be up to €2,000 per month for a two bed. That's worse than London rental prices.

Rent prices are climbing, but you can still find a nice two bed apartment in San Antonio for around 1000€, and if you go for year round rental, your rent price is usually halved. Prices for summer must be quite high as for seven months of the year, many of these apartments will stand empty.

MIXMAG | Yes: Sure, buying water in the club is a pisstake. But get pre-club booze at your local Spar. And, in the clubs, generally a glass of prosecco or shot of Hierbas is cheaper than water. More reason to get boozy.

We quite agree. Bartenders in the clubs also free pour, so you will get the equivalent of at least a double shot in every drink you buy.

MIXMAG | No: Croatia is better and cheaper. Festivals like Dimensions, Unknown, Garden Festival, Hideout and Outlook offer a greater variety of music, cheaper drinks, and fewer dickheads.

Let's end this Croatia comparison now! Nothing against the place, but it's a totally different beast. Croatia offers a selection of brilliant festivals – Ibiza offers a dense, non-stop clubbing schedule with residencies from the biggest promoters and DJs in the dance music world all on one tiny stretch of Balearic island. The Croatia scene is new and blossoming, Ibiza has a unique clubbing, holiday and party history which has developed since the 1960s. Put the rave shoes away and you'll also discover a beautiful island, full of weird and wonderful characters. Croatia is in a fantastic place at the moment, but one that can't last forever, as it will undoubtedly be discovered and altered by big businesses looking to capitalise on the growing tourist scene. Did you know the Pacha franchise is in the process of building a Pacha nightclub on Croatia's Zrce beach? Any popular holiday destination responds to the demands and changes of the whole world - Croatia is not immune.

MIXMAG | Yes: It's a huge piece of clubbing history. If Ibiza was in a museum, it would be worth millions.

Agreed, but Ibiza doesn't only exist in the "hey-day" of the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s... history is still being made.

MIXMAG | No: Even the cool DJs only play to the people who can afford the entry.

Say what!? Not aware of the free beach parties? Luciano, Guy Gerber, Solomun, tINI all play regular free beach parties this summer, whilst you can also hear brilliant underground DJs for an entry price of only 30€ at venues like Sankeys and even Ants at Ushuaïa. And then there are the after parties… you won't catch Sven Väth making you pay for a Cocoon afters…

MIXMAG | Yes: Yeah, ticket prices are hefty. But just put that aside for one moment. The line-ups are the fact you're in some of the best clubs in the world. The in-club dancers and shows can be worth the ticket price alone. Sadly the sex shows and bizarre tomfoolery in Manumission are a distant memory, but there is certainly enough to keep your eye interested. Put it in context, tickets for Cirque Du Soleil would be similar. In Ibiza there's just less hula hoops and more drugs.

You want hula hoops and kinky sh**? Privilege has you covered. Parties like SupermartXé recall the Manumission days with some very cheeky performances over the summer and a huge amount of crazy production and acrobatics. Ibiza Rocks House at Pacha also gets very creative on the entertainment front and Space's Elrow is basically an elephant in a skirt shy of a real circus experience.

MIXMAG | No: The locals still don't seem to really appreciate the value we bring to the island's economy. So let's go somewhere that actually likes tourists.

Ibicenco locals are pretty tolerant and appreciative of tourists considering the yearly damage to the environment, embarrassing drunken spectacle and unnecessary arse-cheek that the less considerate tourists bring to the island. It's tourists who should be more appreciative of Ibiza and its inhabitants, not the other way around.

MIXMAG | Yes: No matter how many times you go to the island it always produces one of those moments money can't buy (and it's never the anticipated 'expensive' one.)

Hear hear!

We hope that answers some questions and dispels false rumours. Hey Mixmag - give Spotlight a shout next time you're in Ibiza and we'll show you how to party on a shoestring. Unless you'd rather just go to the strippers in Vegas…