January had just begun and José Luis Benítez , manager of Ocio de Ibiza, the group of the main discotheques on the island, told this newspaper that they would surely bring forward their openings to April. Neither the president of Palladium, Abel Matutes, took it seriously. But on the weekend of April 29 to May 1, several opened in a chain. Thousands of tourists attended that historic opening, the earliest in recent history: “And a success,” Benítez points out now, almost five months later. So much so that the disks are already asking themselves the following question: What if we were to do it again in 2023?
The season “has been spectacular, very good. All the venues have already managed to match the numbers of 2019”, admits the manager of Ocio de Ibiza, who considers that one of the secrets of this success, in addition to the desire to dance that their customers had, was “lengthen the season. It was a success “.
” If an experiment works, and as we always talk about trying to extend the seasons, why not repeat it”
And “a good experiment” that could be repeated in a year’s time: “We are considering opening again soon in 2023, we are studying it because it has worked. It is still too early to know what we will do, however. We have to check if the dates of Easter suit us [in 2023 it will fall from Sunday, April 2 to Sunday, April 9, seven days earlier than in 2022]. But if an experiment works, and as we always talk about trying to lengthen the seasons, why not repeat it. It would be positive. But we have to look at the calendar,” explains Benítez.
Easter Week 2022 (which was held in the second week of April) went great for tourism interests: “After those holidays, there were seven days of stoppage and then the openings began,” he recalls. “That added to the fact that entrepreneurs were eager to get the machinery up and running again.”
It remains to be seen whether this desire will continue in 2023, especially after this long and exhausting summer. Almost all the discotheques opened their doors that distant month of April, hence in some they begin to wish that this eternal season ends: “I don’t know to what extent it is getting long for us because of the amount of people who have come and because of the heat it has been. All that ends up exhausting you. We are looking forward to stopping in October and taking stock”.
More expensive tickets
What is clear, warns Benítez, is that although this year has been fabulous, it has not been so much as “to recover what was lost in 2020 and 2021. There were those who thought that, since we were doing so well, maybe we would make up for those two bad seasons. That will no longer be possible, there are losses”. The manager explains that it is difficult for them to surpass the records of years like 2019 because they have “limited growth, there comes a time when there is no more”. Perhaps there is, he points out, some improvement compared to three seasons ago because they will work more than usual, as the season has lengthened: “But if you compare identical periods of both years, we are equal”.
He admits that, yes, ticket prices “have gone up in some cases”, because having “the best djs in the world in Ibiza every week costs money. It also costs them more to come, so the tickets have increased a little, around 5% and 10% in some venues”.
Regarding their staff, they have had no problems to fill them: “Our sector is well paid. And the workers have an important extra, the tips. That’s why they tend to be very loyal and keep coming back. Few stores have had problems in this regard this year.” Even the security staff was increased: “The reason is that we didn’t know what would happen with the pandemic, there was some uncertainty. We didn’t know how people would behave in a room full of people”.
The closures, which will begin shortly, “will not last beyond October”. “Now,” he adds, “the cascading closings begin, which will end in the second and third week of that month. He foresees “a few less” customers than in the openings: “We depend on the weather. People are booking less in advance now.”