BARCELONA — A song about taking drugs in Ibiza has become a smash hit in Europe and the United States, annoying the Spanish holiday island, which is desperate to ditch its reputation for debauchery.
The remix by Norwegian duo Seeb of US singer Michael Posner’s “I took a pill in Ibiza” was top of Britain’s singles chart this week and also among the top 10 in the Billboard singles chart in the US.
The video for the remix has been viewed over 58 million times on YouTube.
The lyrics, which include the line “you don’t want to be high like me,” describe Posner’s comedown after taking drugs at a party on the Mediterranean island, whose turquoise waters and packed nightclubs have made it one of Europe’s top beach destinations.
The video for the remix shows a young man whose head morphs into a giant cardboard mask after he swallows a pill at a nightclub. He is then seen surrounded by revellers who dance, take drugs, throw up and have sex in the bathroom of the nightclub.
“We have invited the author of this song to discover Ibiza because we have much more to offer besides the nightlife which is known worldwide,” the island’s tourism director, Vicent Ferrer, told AFP.
“We have museums, beaches, culture, gastronomy, we have a wide offer but unfortunately we have been typecast this way. Unfortunately someone who wants to consume pills or alcohol can be found in any tourist destination, the fact that it is only us who are pigeonholed does not seem fair.”
A former haven for hippies, Ibiza has become an electronic music mecca which is home to several sprawling nightclubs like Privilege and Amnesia that draw top DJs from around the world. It is often listed in guides as a “party capital.”
Last year, US television station MTV dropped plans to film a reality TV show, which would follow the boose-fueled exploits of a group of young people who share a house on the island after the project ran into fierce opposition from local officials.
Ibiza authorities were so worried about the negative impact the show might have on tourism they called for businesses on the island to boycott production of the show.
Just over 2.5 million people — a third of them British — visited Ibiza and the neighboring island of Formentera last year, according to regional government figures. — AFP