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Ibiza clubs remain closed as Spain enters phase 3

The world-famous nightclubs of Ibiza will remain closed for the foreseeable future, even after being granted permission to reopen by the Spanish government, local authorities have announced.

‘Phase three’ of Spain’s post-coronavirus reopening plan began on Monday (8 June), with clubs and bars allowed to reopen at a third of their capacity and with a maximum of 80 guests. This follows phase two – under which capacities were limited to 50 people indoors and 400 outdoors – which ran from 25 May to 8 June, and during which a number of live events, including several open-air concerts, took place.

However, under Spain’s federal decentralised, quasi-federal structure, the country’s various autonomous communities are entitled to set their own timetable for restarting live entertainment. In the Balearic Islands, which include Ibiza, clubs such as Pacha, Amnesia, Hï Ibiza, O Beach and Privilege will remain closed for the time being, according to Balearic president Francina Armengol.

“We are not in a position to allow nightlife. It is not a priority”

In a press conference on Sunday, Armengol told reporters that in order to “guarantee safety at all times”, venues in Ibiza, Majorca, Minorca and Formentera will stay closed, further delaying the start of the traditional Ibiza season, which transforms the island into a party mecca throughout the summer.

“We are not in a position to allow nightlife; it is not a priority,” she said, adding that the spike in Covid-19 reinfections in other countries (ie South Korea) has been caused by the reopening of leisure and entertainment, and the “celebration of holidays”. “We will not take any wrong steps,” she explained.

Summer tourism is worth more than €750 to Ibiza. The island will welcome back its first foreign tourists this month as part of a trial scheme for nearly 11,000 Germans.

 


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Police find millions of euros in Ibiza club raids

Spanish authorities have found millions of euros in cash at Pacha and Ushuaïa after raiding the Ibiza superclubs as part of a tax fraud investigation.

Local newspaper Diario de Ibiza reports that about 40 officials from the Tax Agency (Agencia Tributaria), some armed with submachine guns and accompanied by police, burst into the clubs yesterday and discovered “several million euros”. A spokesman for the agency is quoted as saying: “We will now check if the amount of money corresponds to what the companies state in their accounts.”

“We will now check tif the amount of money corresponds to what the companies state in their accounts”

The raids came as part of Operation Chopin, a nationwide crackdown on alleged tax fraud in the nightlife industry. Just over two months ago police searched Space and Privilege following the discovery of €2m in cash in Amnesia, much of it stashed in hidden compartments in the walls.

Earlier this week it was reported in Spanish media that Pacha Group, which operates the chain of clubs, is up for sale.

 


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First Dance Music Conference set for Dubai

Dubai is to get its first dance music conference, courtesy of events and management company Blue Leaf.

Taking place on 21 and 22 April at the confusingly named Pacha Ibiza Dubai nightclub (from hereon in ‘Pacha Dubai’), the Dance Music Conference (DMC) will feature debates and workshops by dance music industry experts and a music festival including both international and local DJs.

Panels highlights are ‘The trials and tribulations of holding a successful dance event’, ‘The power of social media and the magic of marketing’ and a Q&A with club owners and managers including representatives from Pacha Dubai, Shibuya and Billionaire Mansion, while performers include EDX, Toolroom Records’ Mark Knight, Sister Bliss (pictured), Prok & Fitch and PACO.

Tickets cost Dh800 for the whole conference (£153) and are available from the Dance Music Conference website.