For years it was known as the “Gomorrah of the Med” – a paradise island of unparalleled hedonism where clubbers could behave as badly as they liked on the streets of San Antonio.
But Ibiza’s reputation rapidly improved when indie music invaded, bringing an altogether more calm clientele to the sun-kissed shores of the White Island. Now the promoter who helped cement Ibiza’s reputation as one of the summer’s best live music venues with “Ibiza Rocks” is hoping to do the same for nearby Mallorca.
Andy McKay, an Ibiza mainstay who has pioneered guitar music in his venues over the past five years, is currently putting the finishing touches to a major “Mallorca Rocks” hotel complex in Magaluf which will host many of the indie bands playing in Ibiza this year.
Speaking to The Independent today he said: “We invaded Ibiza with a guitar and we hope to do the same with Mallorca. As a tourist destination Mallorca is much more representative of UK youth culture than Ibiza which, because it was such a clubbing mecca, was initially quite difficult to break into. It’s a logical step to try and bring the Ibiza Rocks label to Mallorca.”
The opening of the hotel now means that bands and artists such as The Kooks, Calvin Harris, Dizzee Rascal and Pendulum will play sets in both Ibiza and Mallorca this summer. Other acts that have also been confirmed for Ibiza include The Prodigy, who were announced yesterday as the headline act, and Florence and the Machine.
Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke will also play his first ever live solo set in Ibiza this summer after the group split to follow their own individual projects.
Whether the 18-25 crowd heading to Mallorca this summer will be as enamoured of indie music as Ibiza’s regulars remains to be seen, but McKay is confident that guitar music will catch on.
“The tickets for Mallorca Rocks have only been on sale for a month and they’ve already overtaken Ibiza,” he said. “And Ibiza’s up 59 per cent on last year so far.”
McKay also hopes that an influx of indie fans will help provide Magaluf with a balance to the more drunken revellers that often crowd into the resort bars each summer.
“Magaluf has a lot of the problems that San Antonio had a few years back,” he said. “Ibiza Rocks has helped to change the nature of youth culture out there. Perhaps the same could happen in Mallorca?”
Ibiza Rocks first took off in 2005 when McKay invited guitar bands such as Dirty Pretty Things and Kasabian to play live sets in Manumission, an iconic club night that was founded by McKay and his brother. Manumission, which was famous for its live sex shows, topless dancers and high wire acrobats, stopped running last year. The Ibiza Rocks brand has continued to go from strength to strength.
As well as hosting live gigs, McKay has built Ibiza Rocks into a full tour operator where music fans can book flights and stay in designated hotels where the gigs are played. It has also attracted the likes of celebrities such as Kate Moss landing Ibiza squarely within the A-list celebrity circuit.