Ibiza Residents Protest As Restrictive Music Laws Damage Businesses And Tourism
A campaign has launched to protest a strict anti-noise law in Ibiza which prevents music being played outside above 65 decibels. The law has negatively affected many Ibiza residents who rely on Ibiza’s music culture for their livelihoods. Within a week of its launch, Musica Si En Ibiza (Yes To Music In Ibiza), an Ibizan community Facebook group, has seen two protest videos go viral across Ibiza. The videos have been shared by DJs, musicians, promoters, well known Ibiza bars and restaurants as well as other residents concerned about the impact of the legislation. A groundswell of support against the anti-noise law is rapidly growing in the Ibizan community, where music and dancing are viewed as vital to the culture and prosperity of the island.
The legislation was brought in by the authorities in San Jose in July last year, apparently after receiving noise complaints from local residents, and impacts popular tourist destinations including San Antonio, Playa d’en Bossa (and its hugely popular beach clubs), Salinas, Cala Bassa, Cala Jondal and more. Ibiza’s iconic beach parties are effectively over and the Ibiza soundtrack that was an integral part of every visitor’s holiday is gone. The effects are now being felt with tourism numbers hit, local businesses struggling and, in some cases, being forced to close.
The viral video provides a statement which Ibiza residents can share; an impassioned plea to allow the music to be turned up and played outside, both day and night. It states that the individuals living in Ibiza believe in rules and regulations, as well as respect and tolerance, but do not agree with the criminalisation and persecution of music. This video has been viewed over 23,000 times so far and shared widely, over 600 times, among the Ibiza community and beyond.
A second viral video compares the 65 decibels noise level allowed for music with those of everyday life on the island, for example, traffic noise at 70 decibels, an aeroplane landing at 110 decibels, a vacuum cleaner at 80 decibels, or simple background conversation also at 65 decibels. The video protests that ‘it’s music, not noise’ and asks for intelligent, tailored regulation, not persecution. The video has now been viewed over 31,000 times and shared over 600 times so far, with the message spreading fast.
Venues have been forced to install noise limiters and the law has been rigorously enforced in certain areas, although some venues – such as Ushuaia – appear to be immune, sparking further questions about the motivation behind the new legislation.
Another law was introduced at the end of 2017 which established Special Acoustic Protection Zones, in particular the West End of San Antonio, and ordered a curfew of 3am for venues which were previously open until 5am, with open air terraces having to shut down at 12am. This has effectively ended any prospect of late night venues in this area which rely on tourism, remaining viable in the long-term.
The viral response to the videos from Musica Si En Ibiza is indicative of the anger and division the new anti-music legislation has created. With the “it’s music, not noise” and “yes to music” slogans gaining momentum, a storm appears to be heading to the beaches of Ibiza.
For further information visit: www.facebook.com/IbizaMusicaSi