Abandoned and lost.
“Please, does anyone got directions or coordinates for the ruins of the Club Festival as I really wanna check it out next week”, was a question I read on an Ibiza forum.
This was the reply from somebody: “I know exactly how to get there, but I cannot just tell you on here. It is a geocache, so posting directions would spoil all that fun. But more importantly: for this place to stay what it is it has to remain somewhat secret”.
Geocaching: Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. If you take something from the geocache (or “cache”), leave something of equal or greater value.
In the book Secret Walks South from Rob Smith at one of the hikes I found the story of the not to miss Festival Club. “In 1969 work started on the Festival Club, a huge open-air music venue in the forested hills east of Sant Josep. It opened in 1972, but it was destined to fail as the 1973 fuel crisis caused air fares to rise and tourism on the island took a temporary dip. Thirty years on it has almost reclaimed by nature: trees grow in what was small amphitheatre. It is an eerie place, decorated with decades of graffiti that made it resemble an impromptu gallery dedicated to street art”. Hike #09.
Without having seen pictures I was immediately intrigued, but the hike went from the church of Sant Josep to the church of Sant Agusti des Vedra, all things we had already seen driving by car.
I don’t like to do hikes that you can also do by car, so I thought I could figure out the location by reading the map and directions. So on Friday PJ and I went on our way by car, but no way we could find the ruins!
Back home my brother-in-law Johan said: “Why don’t you use Google maps?”
Ah, different generation, I had not thought of that. By that time I also found pictures of the Festival Club on Internet and I definitely wanted to go there.
Saturday afternoon, after Johan finished working, we took off. Johan put the location in his telephone and the navigation system told us exactly where to go. How easy is that?
The first thing we saw were arches and lots of graffiti art. From the arches we could see the rolling hills and an overgrown amphitheatre which hosted performance art and even mock bull fights, a large music venue at the top and in between there were several bars and a restaurant with rows of concrete tables lining the slope of the hill like contours.
The venue closed in 1974 after only two seasons in operation and never re-opened despite being on the market for many years.
Vandals have wrecked some of the infrastructure but the majority of the major structural damage is being done by nature. Pine trees are growing up through the concrete all over the site and their roots are slowly tearing the place apart. I love witnessing how nature is reclaiming the site with the spectacular scenic views and lots of graffiti art.
After the visit we drove to the chapel of Sa Capelleta d’en Serra. We had to do a little climbing for that to 393 meters.
And had some spectaculair views over Ibiza.
The chapel was built by the Ibizian Vicent Serra after the war in Algiers. He had promised that if he would live the war, he would built a hermitage . The Christ ceramic interior was also sculpted by Vicent Serra. The chapel was blessed on May 29, 1919, but Vicent died of an heart attack five days before that. The chapel is still a pilgrimage.