Nits de Tànit Festival

A cultural festival ‘Nits de Tànit’ is currently underway in Ibiza Town, organised by the Consell d’Eivissa with support from the Institut d’estudis Baleàrics. Eight quality performances will take place over the summer in the first edition of this festival. It features dance, theatre, opera and circus, in various shows designed for both residents and visitors.
June 28th: ‘The Golden Ass’, theatre company ‘El Brujo’ (Madrid)
July 4th: Concert with Joan Pons, baritone (Balearics)
July 19th: Concert from ‘Los Chicos del Coro’ (Lyon, France)
August 23rd: ‘Sfera’, circus, dance and theatre from Teatrapo (Extremadura)
August 30th: ‘Aeternum’, dance (extreme flamenco fusion) by Los Vivancos (Madrid)
September 13th: ‘From Bach to Radiohead’, concert with violinist Ara Malikian
September 27th: ‘For the love of Lorca’, AMC Productions (Ibiza)
All events start at 10pm and are held in the courtyard of the Universitat de les Illes Balears (UIB), Carrer Calvari, 1, Ciutat d’Eivissa, except for Los Vivancos on August 30th, which is at the Muelle de Pescadores. Ticket prices vary and can be bought from the Consell Insular d’Eivissa or from the Sa Nostra Sala, on Carrer Aragó, at least 2 hours before the performance.

The night of San Juan in Figueretas

The fiesta of San Juan (or St John) is celebrated in many parts of Ibiza. Festivities begin on the night of June 23rd with bonfires being lit in squares and on beaches, with music and dancing being an essential feature. The magical stroke of midnight marks the time to engage in the ritual of purification through fire. According to tradition everyone should throw something old into the bonfire, or a piece of paper on which you have written everything you would like to change. As it burns in the flames you then jump three times in succession. In some places leaping over bonfires is the thing to do. Some choose to purify themselves by bathing in the sea.
Figueretes usually puts on a good show for San Juan, and this year was no exception. It all takes place on and around the beach. A bar was selling food and drinks, DJs played dance music and lots of people came out to watch the spectacle – lots of locals but tourists as well. People gathered in small groups, danced on the sand, children played and ran in and out of the sea and people watched from their balconies. At midnight, the first firework sounded, signalling in the new day and the beginning of the firework display from the beach, which was fantastic. Some watched from the beach with candles, some stood or bathed in the sea and many more watched from the promenade. Shortly afterwards the bonfire was lit on the beach, bursting into life as the firecrackers placed inside it caught light and shot out noisily into the night sky. Burning ferociously, the fire was quickly too hot to stand near and many retreated further away. People could be seen throwing things into the flames and some made attempts to jump over the embers as it began to die down. The music and celebrations continued on until 2am, with many people making the most of the warm evening having their own candlelit gatherings or dancing the night away on the sand.
If you haven’t experienced the night of San Juan before, make sure you put the date into your calendar for next year. For me, it’s one of the highlights of the year. Who needs November 5th when you can watch a firework display standing in the sea with a drink in your hand and watch the mesmerising flames from the bonfire with sand between your toes?

Ai Carai Festival

This last Saturday 21st of June was the second edition of the Ai Carai Dia de la Musica in San Carlos. From 3pm in the afternoon until late at night, there were live music performances on the nine different stages that were set all around the town. It was a great day/evening in which you could listen to a great variety of styles – Cuban Music, Rockabilly, Reggae, Pop-Rock, Psycodelic-Folk, Soul, Funk, Jazz, Coral singers, Afro-Brazilian Batucada, African Percussion, Trance-Rock, Power-Rock, Indian Classical Music, Mandingo Mali Music, Alternative-Grunge-Rock, Caribbean Music, Cumbia, Beach-Funk, Flamenco-Fusion, and even a Human Beat Box – and languages – there were artists singing in English, Spanish and Ibicenco. I thought it was very clever how they named the stages: Do, Re, Mi, Fa, La, Le Sacré Coeur (on church premises), Shhh! (the theatre stage) and Teental Stage, after the Teental Festival in San Juan, which gave the Ai Carai Productions group the idea of the San Carlos Festival.
I got to see many performances, but I have a soft spot for David’s voice and his acoustic reggae style. He shared the stage Claudia and made the crowd go crazy. Romero y Otras Hierbas were a lovely discovery for me with their particular Flamenco-Fusion. And I loved Safro’s West African percussion, they were on the ground, surrounded by the crowd, making everyone dance.
There were many artisan stalls all around town and some of the local bars and restaurants offered food and drinks from extra bars they set up in front of their doors. The pizzeria was making vegetable crepes outside and one of the restaurants had a coconut-chilly bar in front of its terrace. It was a good day for the economy of these places.
The Ai Carai productions made a little magazine so people could find out how the festival came to life and, after reading it, I think Salvador Llosa from the Santa Eulalia Town Hall deserves a special thank you for his support of this event. Last year he convinced the Town Hall in Santa Eulalia this would be good for the community and San Carlos didn’t let him down. Last year’s festival had around 4000 visitors, this year it was estimated more people would assist.
It was lovely to walk around and see people of all ages and classes, parents with their children, peluts (what the Ibicenco call Rastas), the people from town… all having a great time together! I loved the way people turned round to apologize if you accidentally bumped into someone, instead of getting aggressive like I’ve seen happen at other big music gatherings.
The San Carlos green area, next to the Church, was full of groups of people resting on the grass Woodstock style, surrounded by stages and stalls. Amazing to see that, after so many people had been sitting and walking on it, it was still in perfect condition.
The Santa Eulalia Local police were there to control traffic and help if any problems happened – I have to say they were a bit bored in this respect. They have a tough job, especially at big concentrations like this one, and I believe they deserve to be thanked sometimes, we do tend to forget they are there to help not only fine you when you don’t park properly!
The new detour road was also opened for the Festival. It has been built so you can avoid the ever-so-dangerous turn next to Bar Anita and, strangely enough for Ibiza, it was finished on time!


Festival of Dance and Opera

Last week we mentioned the annual festival of dance and opera ‘Eivissa en Do Major’ (‘Eivissa in Do Major’), which has a series of dance, opera and music performances held in various locations of Dalt Vila on June 27th and 29th and July 3rd, 5th and 7th. For details see the Agenda on the Diario’s website:

Summer Music Festivals

Ibiza isn’t all about electronic music and big clubs. There are many other music events on all the time. This summer, the Recinto Ferial in Ibiza will be having a double Roots Festival featuring Calle 13 from Colombia, D’Callaos from Barcelona with their Nu Flamenco, Bohemian Betyards bringing Balkan Music from Hungria, and Los Chimichurris from Formentera, with some DJs like Al Varo and Eli Rojas, and theatre performances, on the 15th of July. The second part of the Roots Festival will take place on the August 20th and will bring Alpha Blondy and the Solar System, considered today’s major Reggae singer.
Moving up north of the island, this Thursday Las Dalias will have the visit of Muchachito y Sus Compadres, in Ibiza for the first time. And on the 27th of July, the Ibiza Reggae Festival will take place also at Las Dalias in Sant Carlos. This will be the second edition of the festival which will have three stages around the lovely gardens.