If you’re heading to Ibiza for the very first time, eager to discover if reality lives up to the hype, then like it or not you’re an ‘Ibiza Virgin’.
Jennifer Eric was one of those Ibiza Virgins when she was offered a job on the island, a position she used ‘to study the extremes of the nightlife industry, inside out, from within the belly of the beast.’
Addicted caught up with Jennifer, who has written the book ‘Ibiza Virgin’, in which she shares her crazy summer spent working in one of the island’s top clubs.
Her expectations of the island and the reality were quite far apart: ‘people are people wherever you go, and work doesn’t change much wherever you are as long as you have a good head on your shoulders and both feet on the ground. In one season, I made what feels like life-long friends, which was amazing.’
Jennifer worked in Ibiza during a time of change, when the local government clamped down on party culture by restricting club’s opening hours and forcing Space to bring their terrace indoors. Jennifer compares this era to an army occupation. ‘There are a lot of new restrictions that I do not think are very good for Ibiza nor good for the businesses that the people on the island thrive on and live off all year round.
‘Ibiza is a hedonistic paradise: it should not be modeled after other commercial summer hot spots. Ibiza has a soul and a life of her own. This should be respected.’
On a more positive note, Jennifer also experienced many unforgettable moments in Ibiza: ‘There were so many highlights for me, from dancing with my feet in the sand, goosebumps watching the sunset accompanied by the drummers at Benirras, to having sangria in the moonlight at a private birthday party on Salinas beach.’
But first and foremost, the biggest highlight for Jennifer was learning to love house music ‘thanks to the amazing music by David Piccioni every Sunday – I was all hip hop before that and would even leave a club when they started playing house!’
When asked if she would do the whole thing again, Jennifer was unsure: ‘As I work hard all year, Ibiza is is best as a place for me to relax. Everyone thinks I’m insane when I say that, as they need another vacation when leaving the island.’
She continued: ‘When in Ibiza, I have everything you would need when on vacation: sun, sea, tranquility, good food, good company and fun. But I also have the most amazing nightlife if needed – having been in the industry for a good 15 years now, it’s an addiction – although I’ve spent months on the island only going out once or twice.’
‘I also have absolute and total freedom. I can wear exactly what I want, including nothing, and nobody cares. That is quite the breath of fresh air, now that I live in the UAE and I used to live in Paris where men will harass you as soon as you show a bit of leg. Men are not pushy or inappropriate; everyone addresses you, but they don’t harass you, they let you just be. There is this live and let live atmosphere that is very soothing and unique. Paradise. Santa Ibiza!’