Ibiza Abandoned, a DJ’s tale: From good times and tan lines to empty clubs and hospital scrubs (and back again?)


DJ Paul Reynolds

Much like the rest of the known universe, Ibiza has joined us all in lock-down, Getintothis’ Paul Dulac caught up with Space, Ushuaïa and Hï Ibiza resident DJ Paul Reynolds to see what’s going down. 

Ibiza is synonymous with dance music and club culture.

Since the 1970s its nightlife has grown increasingly famous (and infamous) as the clubbing capital of the world.

This has, of course, shaped the island’s culture and economics with club based tourism accounting for a huge proportion of its overall income.

Nowhere on earth has escaped the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and Ibiza is no exception.

The International Music Summit 2020 has been postponed and will now be an online-only event.

The Ibizan tourist board has effectively cancelled all tourism to the island until the end of July with a tweet from Darius Syrossian translating the government document confirming that “August (will be) at 25% and September at 50% capacity of last year but NOT for English because of the late lockdown (in the UK)”.

An Ibizan Minister has stated that, whilst the government is confident the situation may have stabilised by 2021, the future success of Ibiza will depend on economic recovery.

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With its economy revolving around tourism and its tourism revolving around what can essentially be described in lock-down lingo as large scale social gatherings, 2020 is shaping up to be a struggle for The White Isle and the effects are undoubtedly going to ripple on for years to come.

We asked renowned resident DJ Paul Reynolds what it’s like living in Ibiza during lock-down and what he thinks the future holds when the restrictions are lifted and the club doors re-open once more.

Paul Reynolds started his career behind the decks in the clubs in the North of England before figuring out the car transport services for his vehicle and moving to Ibiza 15 years ago where he became resident for the legendary Space.

He was the last DJ to play on the famous Sunset terrace with a wildly acclaimed marathon 8 hour set.

Reynolds can now be found serving as a resident at the world-famous Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel and Hï Ibiza as well as being co-owner of Melon Bomb which has residencies at Pikes Ibiza and Glitterbox

Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel

According to Paul, Ibiza is super quiet and has been like a ghost town since early March; “It has been surreal when going out on the streets but health is everything so we have all done what was needed.”

Ibiza has just moved into Phase 2 of the lock-down which means that residents can finally leave their homes after being in complete lock-down for 10 weeks.

One hour of exercise is now permitted per day and restaurants are open under strict social distancing rules including compulsory masks and gloves.

Paul says there was a slight rush for essentials like pasta and loo roll at the start of lock-down but Islanders are respectful of each other and the situation they’re going through so shopping has not been an issue at all.

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On a day to day basis, Paul has been kept busy with his little boy Henri who is fast approaching 2 and is keeping Paul and his wife Faye on their toes. He says “In a strange way, I have loved the lock-down its been nice to not be travelling away every weekend and spending quality time with my family is priceless“.

Ibizan tourism has been non-existent so far in 2020, the clubs would have been holding their opening parties in May so yes, the island has been affected massively by the pandemic but Paul assures us “Ibiza will be ready with open arms when the world is healed to once again throw the best parties anyone could imagine.”

Paul has been live-streaming every weekend for himself and Glitterbox keeping his thirst quenched for being on the decks and his fans dancing around their living rooms, which is likely to be as close to Ibiza as most of them will get this year; “It’s been amazing in some way contributing to keeping people’s spirits up once a week!”

“It just hasn’t been great for my liver with the amount of Tequila we have consumed but never the less, it’s has been lots of fun.”

We asked Paul if he thought the 2020 season was a total write-off; “Who’s to say at the minute. I think there will be a season albeit on a much smaller scale. I think when people are allowed to travel it will take time for their confidence to return but I can tell you when the powers-that-be allow us and the time is right, there will be no better place on earth to be than Ibiza!”

Apart from the impact on the 2020 tourism season, there will undoubtedly be longer-term economic effects.

“I think this all depends on how quickly they find a vaccine and how economically damaged the world is after this, along with everywhere else Culture and tourism will suffer but we will find ways to adjust make the most out of life in this unique situation we are all in, we have to it’s the only way to move forward”, says Paul.

“Without a doubt there will be a lot of businesses and people affected by the situation it’s up to us to find ways of keeping it and ourselves afloat through these difficult times but life moves on and we will at some point be back on track one way or another.”

BJ Paul Reynolds in Ibiza

Finally, we asked Paul if he thought there might be any silver linings to this rather sizeable grey cloud.

“For sure, the world is getting a chance to breathe again and hopefully reset a little making us all realize that nothing else matters in life accept for love and health and possibly a baby sitter here and there.”

So with a little luck and some of Paul’s positivity, a currently dormant La Isla Blanca will spring back to life and once more take up its mantel as a beacon of positive vibes.

So let’s hope that, even though 2020 will be burnt into history for all the wrong reasons, 2021 will be equally memorable for all the right ones.

You can follow Paul’s exploits and listen to his weekly live-streamed DJ sets on his Facebook page.





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