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Does hippy Ibiza actually still exist?

In search of the island's original spirit

  • Words: Johnny Lee | Image: Marc de Groot
  • 12 July 2017
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Right now, the psychedelic atmosphere at WooMooN at Cova Santa is generating rave reviews. “There’s a movement of music that goes hand in hand with the so called hippie crowd,” says WooMooN regular YokoO. “Rather than steroids and high heels, the crowds at WooMooN are far more enticing to watch, draped in cottons and tassles and hemp, smiling at each other, open and warm, expressing their love and dancing with happiness. They are free spirits, loving, conscious, caring, healthy party goers. At such events these beautiful qualities are expressed, as opposed to some of the bigger commercial events out there, where people tend to be more ego driven and self-destructive. But at the same time, the old true hippies have mostly left Ibiza now. Most of them couldn’t afford the rates that are being charged for accommodation, food, drinks, or even the cover charge to get into a party. So heralds the age of the champagne hippie. Youth that adopt the bohemian appearance, yet upon scratching the surface of their temporary tattoos, you find money, but nothing very substantial in comparison. Even so, to those with open hearts, I know Ibiza definitely has something magical to offer.”

When we spoke to Cream promoter Nick Ferguson, he also mentioned the rise of the champagne hippie. “Hippie Ibiza vanished many years ago when Ibiza became mainstream, commercialised and turned into a money-making machine and a brand. There’s no doubt that you can still find little pockets on the island where the history of hippie culture still exists – Benirras on Sundays is a good example. But I do think Ibiza is full of rich hippies, multimillionaires. They like to pretend they’re hippies and live a hippie lifestyle, but they live up in the hills in the most incredible villas and send their children to the most expensive schools. I think it’s all quite contradictory.”

Francesca Lombardo’s outlook is not dissimilar to Nick’s. “Hippy Ibiza still exists,” she says, “but not as much as before. I believe hippies have changed anyway. The hippies that used to dress in loose, cheap, hippie clothes, taking psychedelics, listening to trance music, embracing sex and partying, have now fused with a generation who are not hippies at heart. It’s a new generation of hippie wannabees. But whether I prefer the old Ibiza or the new one it is not relevant; it is what it is and everything needs to change and evolve in life.”

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