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One of the Ibiza’s original ravers says laws will never stop party-goers taking drugs | Ents & Arts News

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One of the founding members of Ibiza’s party scene says no amount of legislation will stop party-goers taking drugs.

“I don’t think you can control these things,” said former party promoter Wayne Anthony. He arrived in Ibiza in 1988 and began setting up club nights and raves in some of the island’s most iconic venues.

In the years that followed, the sleepy Spanish island turned into a raver’s haven of clubbing and hedonism, with party drugs like ecstasy commonly found.

“What Ibiza represented was this beautiful, hot island which was visually stunning and we knew you could party there quite legally,” said Wayne.

“You didn’t have to look over your shoulder. You could just be as free as you possibly could be.”

That freedom came with a price. Along with the lavish clubs, all-day-benders and hot Spanish sun came drug cartels and crime.

Wayne Anthony in Ibiza. Pic: Sky UK
Wayne Anthony in Ibiza. Pic: Sky UK

Their increasing hold on Ibiza is the subject of a new documentary series by Sky.

Ibiza Narcos explores how the island transformed into one the world’s most vibrant party capitals, “fuelled by a dangerous and lucrative drugs trade which drew as many criminals to its shores as it did party animals”.

Wayne, one of the contributors to the documentary, spoke to Sky News ahead of its release.

“I’m not going to sit here and say the cartels aren’t there. They are all there and they’ve been there from the ’90s,” said Wayne. But he said most people tried to ignore the organised crime going on around them.

According to Wayne, clubbers usually took the approach of: “‘Give me 10 E’s [ecstasy tablets] and just f*** off,’ type thing, ‘I don’t want to know what your life is’.”

Behind the scenes of the filming of Ibiza Narcos with Wayne Anthony. Pic: Sky UK
Behind the scenes of the filming of Ibiza Narcos with Wayne Anthony. Pic: Sky UK

Hallucinating giant spiders

Although he described the Balearic island as the “motherland”, it was eventually a bad experience with drugs that convinced Wayne it was time to leave Ibiza.

He’d been partying for days when he realised he’d taken too many drugs.

“I was phoning people in London [saying]: ‘I’m f***ing out of my mind. What can I do?'” he said.

A friend told him to drink cough medicine, dangerous advice that he now says could have killed him.

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“I saw the worst hallucination I’ve ever seen in all of my life. I ended up locking myself in the villa with all the shutters down. [I was] in one room with a baseball bat, with things all mounted at the door to stop giant spiders getting into the room.”

When he sobered up, he realised he had “come to the end” of his party life on the island.

“I never looked back. I never took another drug. I got away from the club world.”

‘I don’t think you’re going to be able to stop it’

Despite his life-changing experience, he doesn’t think criminalising drugs is a good idea – or particularly effective.

“If you’re old enough to vote for who’s going to be a world leader, if you’re old enough to put your name down on debt for 25 years, I feel like you should be old enough to govern what you put inside your own body, you know?” said Wayne.

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When asked if he thought stronger laws may have stopped drugs taking such a hold in Ibiza, he said they wouldn’t have.

“When you have these movements that are driven by music, that are driven by art, that are driven by fashion and drugs are a part of it, whatever you put up, whatever boundaries, whatever laws, I don’t think you’re going to be able to stop it.”

Ibiza Narcos is streaming on Sky Documentaries from 7 July.

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