Festival Club: Ibiza’s first club
We are in Ibiza. The island wasn’t always the party hotspot it is today. It wasn’t until the late 1960s that it became a tourist destination, with hotels, restaurants and clubs popping up everywhere.
In 1969, construction began on this once-lively club. Such a restricted location meant that the owners of the venue were required to build an access road in order to reach the structure, which officially opened its doors in 1972.
In any case, back in the early 1970s, tourists were satisfied with being transported around the island by buses: whenever a tour guide took them around the island, this almost always meant a trip up into the hills by San Josep for an evening of celebrations at Festival Club.
It included an amphitheater which hosted performance art, a huge music venue at the very peak and in between, it featured a variety of bars and a restaurant which had several rows of concrete tables lined up like contours up the slope of the hill.
While there, people watched shows and dined, and even watched fake bull fights in the mock bull fighting ring.
It was the 1970s oil crisis that took a toll on Ibiza: losses began to mount up and airfares began to suddenly increase.
As a result, foreign holidays for tourists soon decreased and fewer tourists began visiting the island. The Festival Club, robbed of its steady stream of bussed-in patrons, closed its doors in 1974, after just two years of being in operation.
Several attempts were made to reopen the venue, but to no avail, and it has since been left abandoned with nature slowly reclaiming the site back.
Today it is just a crumbling reminder of what once was.
Over the decades, graffitis have transformed the abandoned club into a sort canvas for their work.
Today, you can still see the large terraced restaurant, the amphitheater, and the bar area next to the main entrance. Behind the entrance area, there are also some gutted cars, which might be shoved over the crag.
One popular story is that Bob Marley played here and although we cannot categorically say he didn’t visit the Festival Club, he definitely did not hold a concert here as his first visit to the island was in 1978, when the site was already abandoned and probably somewhat forgotten….