I was sat on my terrace this week contemplating that it was August and normally this would be the worst month of the season. Not in a bad way but in Pirates we’d be doing around 10 shows a week. The weather would be boiling hot and I’d be tired after my early morning radio breakfast shows and late night shows at the theatre. Also I would be a stranger to my family who I’d only see on fleeting occasions. But I would live off of the buzz of being busy. Fast forward twelve months and what a difference. I am still doing the radio but as you know the show isn’t open so my days and nights are my own. It’s a really strange feeling and whilst it’s great to spend some quality time with the family, I’m not one to sit around. If I’m honest I’d prefer to be working and it’s still very frustrating not being able to work at Pirates or to have been given the chance to.
With that in mind I visited the organiser of the concerts in Port Adriano on Thursday as there seemed to be some negative social media feedback on them being able to have concerts this year in the port. Whilst I at first found it frustrating to see, I knew that if they were able to organise something like this they would do it to the best of their ability and within the protocols they were given. I had been in the port on Saturday evening picking up a pizza after watching my team Arsenal win the FA Cup. It was good to see it so busy and like a normal night in August. I know the businesses in the port were also pleased with the opportunity to make some money. Back to Thursday and I was shown the arena which was still set up from Saturday’s show and was impressed with what I saw and heard. They were given a capacity of 1,000 people. All bookings were given designated seats for their group, these were then socially distanced from the next. When booking online the organisers called to check to see that all the people in the group were from the same social bubble. Everyone was asked to wear masks although they didn’t have to wear them whilst drinking. Drinks were served at the seats by waiters and waitresses. There was no dancing and you could only move around if you were going to the toilets. People were asked to arrive at specific times to avoid there being too many people at the entrances at the same time. All in all a successful night enjoyed by 750 people as they had decided to sell less than the capacity to avoid any problems. You could say a good trial for things to move forward in other areas.
I said to the organiser that my beef wasn’t with him as he had proved to me that it was possible to do. But we at Pirates wanted that same opportunity. You don’t have a show and a business that runs for 35 years if you don’t know what you are doing. That’s the frustrating part of this whole season and I know we’re not the only ones. We’ve been dragged into this “excessive tourism” law when in reality we didn’t need to be. I note that permission has now been given to the organisers of “Mallorca Live” for concerts in August and September which happens to be on the same road as Pirates. Once again my understanding is that they have a capacity of 1,000 and will have to adhere to the same rules as those in Port Adriano.
I hope that the organisers will get this right because it will no doubt help all of us going forward. But I’m going to say it again, why are we not being given the same opportunity? You might say the concerts are outside and Pirates is inside. We always knew that we would probably have to work at a reduced capacity we just needed to know what that number was. Everyone would need to wear masks and there would be a need to socially distance different groups. Remember that virtually every person that has travelled to Mallorca has arrived on an aeroplane. You couldn’t get much closer to that many people.
The other problem we are dealing with is what the Government call “Excessive Tourism” and that they don’t want that kind of holidaymaker.
I looked up the word “excessive” to see its actual meaning. The Oxford English Dictionary says “More than is necessary, normal, or desirable.”
I think we all have at one time, especially when we were younger had “more than is necessary” so does that make us all bad people?
On Tuesday I interviewed the World famous DJ Judge Jules. For almost three decades he has led the way in the world of dance music. Since kicking off his career behind the decks in 1987, he has ticked every box, as a DJ, producer, promoter, A&R, radio presenter, taste-maker and, more recently, a music specialist lawyer. I’ve been lucky enough to interview him on a few occasions and I’m always impressed by his views on pretty much any subject.
He is about to embark on doing four socially distanced gigs around the UK. Where a group of people from the same social bubble will be put in a squared off area and allowed to dance in that area only. They’ll be waiter served their drinks and will only be allowed to move if they want to go to the toilet. So very similar to what we saw here on Saturday in Port Adriano except dancing will be allowed.
We also talked about the future of the nightlife and clubbing scene both here and in Ibiza. I’ve taken out a couple of the many interesting things he said.
“It remains to be seen if the Balearic Government see that the Club culture is part of the tourism of excess and if they do then Ibiza will have a major problem on their hands.”
“I urge the Balearic Government to go out and see what other countries and tourist destinations are offering before they start making judgements on what they have.”
“The Youth market have a much greater spending capacity than families. They don’t have mortgages, kids, school fees etc. whereas the under 25’s have much more money to spend.”
It was a fascinating interview but as we drew to a close he said something that I hadn’t really thought of before. But when I thought about it during my 30 years here it’s true and the Government are prepared to throw that all away.
“Most of my friends had been to Magaluf in their teenage years. They loved it so much you could fast forward five years and they were coming back and staying in a four or five star hotel. Fast forward another five or ten years they were renting villas with their families and all of a sudden they are the clientele that the Government wants. You need to give people a taste of what your tourism product is at a relatively early age and hope that it ignites that blue touch paper. They then become bonded and emotionally attached to that location for the rest of their lives.”
You can watch the full interview on the Radio News Hub You Tube channel it is also on my personal Facebook page.
If there was to be a group of people to look at a way to move Magaluf forward then I’d have Judge Jules on it every day.
I’ll repeat what I said two weeks ago, set the rules, make people accountable for their actions, police the resort properly and you might just be surprised that you’ve got a resort that appeals to all. Not only that you’re still offering the opportunity for the resort to survive for another 50 years.
Take care everyone and enjoy your weekend!
Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online atwww.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance!
Follow him on Twitter @DadTaxi1 & Instagram @dad.taxi or feel free to email him at email@example.com