Gareth McConnell – Ibiza Index (Nothing is Ever the Same as They Said it Was)

“Ibiza is the island well known for its summer club parties which attract large numbers of tourists, but the island and the Spanish Tourist Office have been working to promote more family-oriented tourism, although some doubt the island’s professional ability to attract more affluent tourism, in part due to a lack of hospitality standards and service. Ibiza is also home to the legendary “port” in Ibiza Town, a popular stop for many tourists and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”



Dean Ibbotson, 2005

I first went to Ibiza in 1993, I went searching for the Balearic dream, my own personal Summer of Love. I left 6 weeks later with no money, no shoes and no passport. In 2002 I returned with a camera to photograph young people who had come to the island with similar aspirations to my youthful self i.e to go to clubs and get as wrecked as possible; or as Erich Fromm might suggest, seeking to banish existential isolation by joining a mass congregation for an orgiastic ritual of drug taking and dancing. For the next ten years (with the exception of 2008) I returned each summer in search of the devotees, the kids who show up in May and stay until all the clubs have finally closed in October. The kids that live to party.


Alexandra Hardie, 2011




Nick Long, 2009




Gemma Downey, 2005




Joe Wright, 2006




Olivia Gibson, 2011




Liam Selkirk, 2010




Charmian Hill, 2006




Ria Raphael, 2011




Gemma Charters, 2006


The other 80 images of young Ibiza fans and other interesting projects on Gareth McConnell’s website.
Gareth was born in Northern Ireland 1972 and he lives and works in London. His career has many solo and group exhibitions, two monographs, lectures and talks, teaching classes, residencies and awards and other very interesting things that you can discover here.