Silent Night? Ibiza tunes out

The iconic party of Ibiza may well be coming to an end. Tough new regulations mean that bars and clubs are having to keep the noise down for the first time, as limiters have been installed in an effort to keep the volume under control.

Music in open air areas is being capped to 65 decibels (Db), which is under the average sound of traffic noise which is 70 Db and a normal house stereo at maximum volume is usually 100Db.

Andreas Simon, a member of community group ‘Musica Sí’ that has been set up to fight against the changes, spoke to the BBC.

Mr Simon says the authorities’ blanket approach to regulation isn’t working. “What we ask for is a specific solution for every venue. [If] one venue has no neighbours, it can have louder music.

“The government here wants to make people understand that music is noise. Music is not noise, music is a part of the culture. There has to be a reasonable solution because without music, this island is dead.”

Last year 3.2 million tourists visited Ibiza and over 30% of jobs in the Balearics come from tourism alone.

However, many locals are now looking to move to mainland Spain as they don’t believe the island is a place they want to continue to live on or a healthy enough environment to bring up a family in. An increased police presence would bring a much needed sense of security to the island for both the locals and the tourists, and Ibiza has asked the new government in Madrid for permission to spend more on basic public services and employ more police officers.

The future of the party island hangs in the precarious challenge of finding a balance between tourists and residents. Without one, there isn’t the other and so a fair, equal deal must be agreed upon and soon, because despite its prolific reputation, party life in Ibiza could very quickly and very easily become ‘old fashioned’.

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