Is Radio 1 Good for San Antonio Ibiza?

BBC Radio 1 in Ibiza

BBC Radio 1 in Ibiza

A hotly contested issue by locals, workers and visitors alike here are my thoughts on the subject of Radio 1 sunset strip event in San Antonio.

Radio 1 celebrated 20 years of broadcasting from the white isle this year with many different events across the island. Most are being held in purpose built venues suitable for large crowds with all the facilities in place such as sufficient security, toilets, medical provisions,etc.

The free advertising this generates for the island is difficult to put into a monetary value but it is easy to say that Ibiza could not afford it if it had to pay to reach an audience of this size. Added in the fact that it is on BBC Radio 1 where you simply cannot buy advertising it is impossible to quantify.

However, with the island apparently trying to change its image, is advertising to a younger audience (15 – 29 Radio 1 remit) really what the island needs? Do they need more of this age group visiting?

If you speak to locals and even spend time within the West End it is this age group who seem to have little or no self control and they seem to be the ones that cause the majority of the problems, so does Ibiza want a more mature (not old) tourist who understands when its time to stop drinking, who know what bins are and who know what toilets are and use them accordingly and has that little extra money to spend.

I digress, one large change this year to the Radio 1 lineup was a CLOSED event on the Sunset Strip in San Antonio based around Cafe Mambo. Tickets were originally by ballot which we applied for and duly “won” a pair. We attended the ticket exchange with our proof of age queued for an hour and got our wristbands. (as much as we couldn’t go for the whole evening I wanted to see for myself what this event was about) and to enjoy Radio 1 in Ibiza.

It also gave me the opportunity to look at the layout prior to the event taking place(from a purely technical point of view) and I was shocked at the disregard for the Ibizan coastline with the stage and tv screen towers being erected directly on the rocks with no protection or matting being put on the rocks for the build area. Most of my concerns in regards to this are deeply technical but to say in my qualified opinion (5 years experience of stage building & event management) it was inconsiderate, and likely to be destructive to the environment.

Site build area and structures where built directly onto the rocks with no protection for the coast

The site build area and structures where built directly onto the rocks with no protection for the coast

The placement of the stage was opposite Mambo’s steps meaning that personally, as an event organiser it would give me concerns about crowd movement and flow, not only on the steps but also across the rocks especially as they are so uneven and the event ran after dark.

I was pleased to see that the event team had brought in extra toilet facilities, additional medical cover with one medical center within the event and one just outside, additional security and even had the Guardia Civil posted outside in two separate places (who we saw being used at one point).

On the evening of the event we went down, gave our children ice-creams at a cafe beside the entrance (they are 11 and 17) so we could have a quick look. Upon entry ALL liquids be they water or alcohol were removed from everyone. The price for a bottle of water inside worked out at 6 euros which i believe is dangerously over priced especially as we all know that the area before sunset is extremely hot and doubly so for those visiting from the UK.

Since posting this article we have been told free water was made available but have only had one person confirm this to us thus far.

Water at 6 euros in such a hot environment is over priced, you cannot price peoples welfare like this.

Water at 6 euros in such a hot environment is over priced, you cannot price peoples welfare like this.

With in a few meters inside the event we saw children, and I don’t mean one or two we saw at least 15 in an event which was for an over 18 audience. I brought this to the attention of a prominent local and got laughed at saying he had brought 10 with him. It seems one rule for one and another rule for others and these are the people trying to improve the town.

We walked along shocked at the prices for drinks which were on a par with the super clubs of the island, however, this event was not a super club style event it was a celebration of 20 years of Radio 1 and not an event to rip off the unknowing public.

We had a good look round and apart from my technical concerns as mentioned above, I am genuinely amazed as I write this that I have not heard of any serious injuries happening on the site.

Dangerous use of crowd barrier and shows the confined space for the crowd below the steps of Mambo

Dangerous use of crowd barrier and shows the confined space for the crowd below the steps of Mambo on uneven rocks

The increased music volume compared to normal from that area of the town was evident and it was meant to be the same as any other night. Again I had no way of monitoring this but I very much doubt the event, Radio 1 or the council had a professional monitoring crew on site to ensure the limits were not broken.

Upon leaving the event wristbands were cut off and shortly afterward we were approached by official member of “Sunset Strip Staff” T-shirt who was selling the wristbands for ten euros each. He had approximately 25 wristbands and confirmed that the bands were free up until 6pm but after that time they had been told to charge for them. This further sullied the event in our opinion as a BBC Licence fee payer and goes against all publicity from the BBC itself about the event being free.

This morning after the event I walked down to see what the aftermath was. All the sound / lighting / cabling had been removed and to be fair the rocks were fairly clean, however, the cafes along the promenade were washing their frontages and decks off and pushing the cigarette butts and plastic straws directly onto the rocks beside the sea and we also spotting several used NOS canisters.

The pollution from these is more evidence of the disregard of the coast of Ibiza and yes it may be a small point but it will have an environmental impact if not then picked up by the cafes after washing the debris on to the rocks.

The small debris washed from the promanade onto the rocks beside the sea

The small debris washed from the promanade onto the rocks beside the sea

As much as I agree it is a great event for the town I find the actual implementation of the event to be poor from a technical, safety and environmental side. This was BBC Radio 1 who should be held to the highest possible standards as they are at any other event they do. Just because they are in Ibiza shouldn’t mean they can run rough shot over its coastline and residents.

The jury is still out on whether advertising to such a young audience will actually help the town it will just encourage more youngsters to come and bring with them their associated problems. Some people say that it is these youngsters however, that return older and wiser and with more money, but again, the jury is still out on this.

I did take up my concerns with a local San Antonio politician earlier in the week who was very accommodating and invited us in to the Council Offices. Despite our language barrier, he acknowledged my concerns and we had an in depth discussion about the issues of this event on the town.

I have also contacted Radio 1 directly with my issues and I will be contacting others to ensure that if an event like this is planned again for San Antonio that the standards are raised in all areas and that lessons are learned.

Yes I am a whinging foreigner but in my deep passion for this town and area it is time for San Antonio to step up take responsibility… To improve and not to let money allow anyone to do what they like before a serious incident happens which forces changes. There was a better way to run this event from day one but it seems the demands from Radio 1 and Cafe Mambo drove it, not safety and environmental concerns.

And to Radio 1 you truly have lost the spirit of Ibiza in the 20 years you have been coming and is the price of a good radio and red button show more important than the island of Ibiza itself?


  • As much as I also love the island, it pains me to see how this area in particular has been completely ruined over the last 10-15 years.

    I can remember what it was like before Cafe Mambo and Savannah existed, when the Cafe Del Mar was the only place really along that strip, the huge monstrosity built alongside was just a dusty car park, plus it how much safer it was, you could always get a decent spot for the sunset either up on the CDM terrace, or on the rocks without worrying about falling over broken glass or the foul stench emanating from the beach..

    Now it’s all about pre-parties, kids off their heads, pumped-up youths showing off their tattoos, shall I go on?

    The ‘Balearic Spirit’ which brought many of us originally to the island has been replaced by something which couldn’t be more further removed..

    Sorry your fears seem to be justified!!

  • Enrique Lopez-Dufour

    La solución que se propone en este articulo, con respecto a la edad del turismo que quiere Ibiza, es errónea (bajo mi punto de vista). Debemos concienciar a los turistas, desde antes de que vengan, en cuanto llegan, mientras están aquí… Es uno de los sitios del mundo en que en los 4 meses de junio-julio-agosto-setiembre se mueve mas dinero (cash) del mundo, la mafia de todo el mundo está aquí. Concienciemos a la gente que venga, que sepan donde vienen, que sepan que no están en su casa, que tengan en cuenta que hay gente que vive y trabaja en Ibiza (muchas veces la escusa para hacer ruido a altas horas es ”esto es Ibiza”), ¡vienen con esa idea! ¿por que? por que es lo que se dice ahí. No saben donde vienen, y les roban, les drogan con cosas que no son lo que dicen ser, experimentan con ellos…
    Un cartel en la puerta de todos los hoteles, hostales, apartamentos, en los paneles públicos, hasta en la puerta de su habitación, (para que cuando vuelvan hechos caldo… ¡que lo sigan teniendo presente!), y no hablo de ”enjoy and respect”, hablo de una nueva iniciativa que la explique el recepcionista que les hace el check-in en su lugar de alojamiento y les deje bien claro que el que se pase un pelo, recibirá la cuenta (que es otro tema, hay que cambiar la ley para que se ajuste a nuestras circunstancias). Ibiza puede ser increíble, en muchísimos sentidos (aunque desgraciadamente solo uno es famoso), y también puede ser la peor experiencia de tu vida. Pobres irresponsables, que no se respetan ni a si mismos, aquellos que acaban borrachos y drogados de no saben ni que… en la calle durmiendo, en medio de la acera, solo les quedan unos calzoncillos, por que les han robado hasta la dignidad. Concienciar, ¡no excluir!

    The solution proposed in this article, with respect to age tourism that wants Ibiza is wrong (in my view). We must educate tourists before they come, when they arrive, while you’re here … It’s one of the places in the world that in the four months from June-July-August-September more money moves (cash) world The mafia is everywhere here. Raise awareness among the people to come, they know where they come from, they know they are not at home, having in mind that there are people who live and work in Ibiza (often the excuse to make noise late is “this is Ibiza “), come with that idea! why? that is what is said there. They do not know where they come from, and robbed, drugged them with things that are not what they claim to be, experience with them …
    A sign on the door of all hotels, hostels, apartments, public panels, up to the door of his room, (so that when facts become broth … they continue to have this!), And do not speak of “enjoy and respect “, I talk about a new initiative that explains the receptionist that makes them check in at your accommodation and they make it clear that a hair pass, you receive the bill (which is another issue, we should changing the law to fit our circumstances). Ibiza can be amazing, in many ways (though unfortunately only one is known), and can also be the worst experience of your life. Irresponsible poor, not even respect themselves, those who have just drunk and drugged … do not even know that sleeping on the street, in the middle of the sidewalk, they are only underpants, because to have stolen dignity. Awareness, not exclude!

  • Stop moaning, what a load of weep

  • Tristán, se ve que tienes algo en contra de los chicos de mambo, es increíble que ataques a los de mambo y que no mires lo que pasa en el ocean beach rompiendo todas las reglas en el pikes con fiestas hasta las 7 de la mañana drogas ect…en el Ibiza rocks molestando a los vecinos hasta las 2 de la mañana con autobuses llevándose los clientes al sunkeys.. pero claro ellos te pagan la publicidad no???? vergonzoso que ocultes cosas y ataques otras…a que paso los viernes en café del mar con música a tope de music on esos tampoco lo dices verdad…. deberías callarte y realmente si quieres defender a la isla ataca a todos y no solo a los que te interesan… se que no lo vas a publicar pero al menos que te quede constancia. de que das vergüenza con tus comentarios y con tus actitudes, ocultando las drogas y los problemas de otros y sacando tu maldad contra los que intentan hacer las cosas medianamente bien, que también se equivoca pero intentan mantener una línea de calidad y futuro invirtiendo en san Antonio y no llevándose los beneficios a Inglaterra.

    Tristan, is that you have something against guys mambo, it’s amazing that attacks on mambo and not look at what happens in the ocean beach breaking all the rules in the pikes with parties until 7am drugs ect … in the Ibiza rocks bothering the neighbors until 2 in the morning with buses taking guests to sunkeys .. but of course they will not pay advertising ???? shameful attacks that hide things and others … to step Friday in seaside cafe with loud music of music on these neither speak the truth …. you should shut up and really if you want to defend the island and not attacks all only those that appeal to you … I know you will not publish it but at least you the record. that give shame with your comments and your attitudes, hiding drugs and other problems and taking your malice against those who try to do things fairly well, which also wrong but try to maintain a line
      quality and future by investing in San Antonio and not taking the benefits to England.

    • Gracias por sus comentarios.

      No tengo nada contra Mambos y como crees que hacen mucho bien para la ciudad, sin embargo éste caso me siento dejar que el centro de la ciudad y, como he publicado aquí fue una oportunidad perdida.

      En sus puntos específicos He estado en Ibiza Rocks varias veces con mis hijos y nunca he observado que se vayan después de la medianoche o las han escuchado durante su estancia unas pocas calles de distancia en muchas ocasiones.

      Sólo he caminado más allá de la playa del océano y sin visitar personalmente no puedo comentar sobre sus reclamaciones. Lo mismo con Pikes hotel.

      En cuanto a los autobuses que toman las personas a Sankeys si ofrecen una noche de fiesta que San Antonio no puede entonces la gente va a viajar a otra parte de la misma a medida que viajan a Amnesia, Pachá, etc.

      Sí, hay un problema de las drogas y el abuso del alcohol en la ciudad y en Ibiza, ya que está al otro lado del mundo que he mencionado en varios artículos, pero eso es un problema social que todos estamos enfrentando mundo ancho y molestando a los establecimientos individuales es injusta sea que en Ibiza o en otro lugar.

      Creo que estoy defendiendo la isla, señalando las cosas que podría haber sido hecho mucho mejor en este evento para mejorarla en el futuro para todos ya sean locales, visitantes y turistas.

      No me pagan por cualquier persona a escribir este sitio y todos los comentarios son mías.

      Thank you for your comments.
      I have nothing against Mambos and as you believe they do a lot of good for the town, however this one event I feel let the town down and as I posted here it was a missed opportunity,
      On your specific points I have been to Ibiza rocks several times with my children and have never observed them go past midnight or have heard them when staying a few streets away on many occasions.
      I have only ever walked past Ocean beach and without personally visiting cannot comment on your claims. The same with pikes hotel.
      As far as buses taking people to Sankeys if they offer a night out that San Antonio cannot then people will travel elsewhere the same as they travel to Amnesia, Pasha etc
      Yes there is a drugs and alcohol abuse problem in the town and across Ibiza as there is across the world which I have mentioned in several articles but that is a social problem we are all facing world wide and picking on individual establishments is unfair be they in Ibiza or elsewhere.
      I believe I am defending the island by pointing out things which could of been done much better at this event to improve it for the future for all be they local, visitors and tourists.
      I am not paid by anyone to write this the site and all comments are my own.

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