It is exactly 40 years ago that the hippie era was at its zenith. On 15th August 1969 the Woodstock festival of peace and love began and for the next three days 32 artists and 500,000 visitors celebrated in the rain and mud. “Make love, not war” was the essential message. This feeling of life, this tolerance in the hearts, the belief of the good in people, a life without constraints, taboos and violence – that’s what we know today as the definition of the life of the hippies. Above all stands nature, and being able to live happily with the simplicity of things.
In the 70’s Ibiza and Formentera became centres of the hippie movement in Europe. But where have all the hippies gone and what’s left from the original hippie spirit? We spoke to Susanna and Eveline who came to Ibiza in … .from Germany and have been living on the island since then.
What’s the hippie’s philosophy of life?
EVELINE: Primarily it consists of two things: freedom and love!
What was the life of the hippies like in the 70’s in Ibiza?
SUSANNA: We all lived in a brotherhood-like spirit and everybody was part of a big family communal family. The idea of togetherness was very strong.
EVELINE: The young people in the 70’s politically and spiritually were really advanced, much more than today. In Spain it was the time after Franco’s death when a whole generation enjoyed the new freedom they were missing before.
How did you spend your days in the 70’s and how was the life in the island at this time?
SUSANNA: Basically hanging around, enjoying nature and being thankful to God. There were great parties everywhere and every day something unexpected happened. Also we met with friends, and we just lived for the moment and worked on ourselves to become more conscious.
EVELINE: At that time I was working a lot. I used to run a shop for designer clothes, and every winter I created a new collection for my own label, so most of the time I was very busy. Life was so wonderful, and the nature was mainly untouched, but still there was a lot to be done, and to make a living.
What did you like so much of Ibiza that made you stay here?
SUSANNA: It was the liberty and solidarity between the people.
EVELINE: Ibiza was and still is a paradise with a special energy and very friendly people. Of course also the good weather in Ibiza makes the island attractive, and the fantastic sea.
Have the ideals of the hippies changed since then?
SUSANNA: Many of our ideals dissolved, and there are only few members of this movement left. People should become again more aware of these ideals: freedom from falseness and bondage, seeking truth and love through knowledge.
EVELINE: It was the capitalistic system and new norms and prohibitions on the island which made the hippies adapt to them and forced them to cut down their previous ideals.
How would you recognize a hippie, and is there something typical „hippie“ left in the Ibiza of today?
SUSANNA: Don’t think that you will find hippies on some of the so called pseudo-„hippie markets“ where they are selling cheap crap from China. The hippies who still live in the island live a rather secluded life. And some of us of course are really old now.
EVELINE: Hippies love nature above everything! Then and now they all have a strong ecological attitude. The spirit of the hippies of my generation lives in our children. Also they have to adapt to modern life but we as parents hope that they stick on these essential ideals of peace, love and solidarity. In Ibiza there are still some hippie communities, and we have really good parties in private houses which can not be compared to anything else.
There still some places in Ibiza where you can feel the spirit of the hippies: Las Dalias and Anita’s Bar in San Carlos, Eco in San Joan, Benirras beach and Aguas Blancas in the North, the ecological centre Casita Verde, the Saturday’s flea market in Sant Jordi and many shops where they are selling hippie style-inspired fashion.
Famous for their atmosphere of the 60’s and 70’s also are the Flower Power parties at Pacha (next party: Sunday, 13th September). We spoke with the organiser and resident DJ Piti Urgell about the hippie spirit at Pacha and how he sees the hippie culture today:
What’s the special thing why people should come to the Flower Power parties at Pacha and how much have the parties changed throughout the last years?
PITI: Since the Flower Power parties have a strong tradition since about 30 years now the special thing that it is they are just different, happy and kind of innocent. And I think also because it is the only event in Ibiza where different music is played than just bum bum. Mainly colourful people are coming to the parties. I call them little angels. The music nowadays must be more exciting because society has less patience to dance to quieter rhythms and people are less aware of emotional songs like in previous years.
Are there “real” hippies coming to the Flower Power parties nowadays? Or is it more the tourists who like to catch the spirit?
PITI: The Flower Power party is not just for hippies. My idea is that people get mixed up in the music from the 60’s, pop, soul, and rock, underground and psychedelic. The term Flower Power comes from San Francisco and the hippies there, but I see Flower Power in all the music from the 60’s. The exhibitors and their stands from Las Dalias and the Indian decoration style pull the true hippies of the island to the party.
Do you wish back the times of free love, peace, solidarity and happiness amongst the people?
PITI: This philosophy could not succeed because it was eaten up by materialism. It was the times when people started to make things that never have been made before. That was very attractive, and only a few participated in these movements and practices. But the key for me was the music that was created with heart and genius. The rest is philosophy and society, manufactured by the passing of time and out from the positive and negative of being human. If you allow me I would summarize these times as coined by the “music of the geniuses\\\" of the 60\\\'s.
We, the young people who are spending their summers in Ibiza to work here or those who chose to live here all-year round are - in a way - the modern new hippies. Many of us come here during the season not to become rich but rather to get a piece of life quality, freedom and tolerance which we can not find in our home countries. In Ibiza until today the people are still free to masquerade as a tiger or elephant, and no one looks critically at the sight of two men or two women kissing. The free expression of personality is what makes Ibiza so attractive whether for a short visit or a longer stay.If you want to know more about the life of the hippies in Ibiza we recommend the documentary “Hippies Forever” (2005), directed by Carlos Moro, featuring some great personalities from the island such as Yanny Levkoff, Selim, Noelle and Carlos the shaman, check it out on www.tu.tv.