With a new political party in power will the start time for parties in Ibiza change yet again? (And does it matter?)
It's somewhat of a paradox that a place as famed for tolerance as Ibiza finds itself so often the subject of "draconian" legislation centered around the time when clubs can open and close. Bad news is nearly always a better headline. In 2008 a new law was implemented that left the clubbing timetable officially alive between 4:30 PM and 7:00 AM. (A measly 14-and-a-half hours!) Previously, the rule had simply been that clubs had to close for two hours within every 24 hour period. We Love's original guise, Home, famously ran a 22 hour party on Sundays at Space, starting at 8 in the morning and finishing at 6 the following day. Those were the days when many people then decamped straight to DC-10 for their Monday morning session. Space, Monday aside, was essentially an afterhours club with parties starting at 8 AM and running until the afternoon. Night events weren't even on the agenda.
What was perhaps more sorely missed, however, was the simple flexibility for non-afterhour clubs to close whenever they wanted. Manumission would continue till 9 or 10 when the sun streamed through the large windows of Ku (Privilege). These days 7 AM just never seems to be enough. (Perception is everything: Given the ability to close whenever they liked, most venues would still probably find 7 AM an appropriate time to close.)
While the motives for the most recent limitation of the clubbing timetable have been discussed at length, there have always been valid reasons why totally unlimited clubbing possibility isn't at all in keeping with the spirit of the island. Fabric or Ministry having a 24 hour licence and deciding to make use of it on a Bank Holiday weekend is very different from having huge daily parties that kick out thousands of clubbers on to the streets just as children are going to school or others to work. Ibiza is a free and tolerant place, a virtue that extends way beyond clubbers on a seven day holiday.
After recent local elections that saw a change in power, Ibiza's leading daily newspaper (Diario De Ibiza) reported this week that the new Councils of the island would be putting the idea of extending the clubbing timetable on the agenda, with a 12 PM opening time now seemingly a strong possibility. But to blame the "authorities"—often a nameless, faceless bad guy in these discussions—always seemed to miss the point anyway. Interestingly, it has more to do with the dynamic between the key clubs themselves than any office-based, political influence. Who do you think is calling in all of those complaints about a club not closing on time? It's well documented that the clubs regularly denounce (make a formal legal complaint) each other for all sorts of issues, such as licence breaches, noise pollution or going over the legal capacity.
There is always going to be a balance struck on this issue—and it is an easy political score for incoming politicians or desperate mayors. But it remains the case that any (perceived or real) attempt to quell clubbing in Ibiza will only resort in new and different ways of partying...inside or outside of the rules.