Gen Z Party Culture: Ibiza

The Evolution of Party Culture: Less Booze, Just as Much Fun

When you think of Ibiza, what springs to mind? For most, it’s excessive drinking, party culture and recreational drug use. But, Gen Z is about to change that perception. 

With the rise of the ‘that girl’ image and a focus on mental and physical well-being, Gen Z has started shifting the landscape away from reckless partying to a more conscious attitude. And, where better to observe this transition than on Europe’s most famous party isle; Ibiza?

Since the 1930s, Ibiza has been the go-to place for non-conforming revellers looking to replace the humdrum with the electrifying. And in the 80s, the island established itself as a worldwide party destination home to some of the world’s most successful DJs and superclubs. 

Ibiza

Ibiza © Pixabay

But, alongside the excitement of Ibiza’s new spot on the global party scene came a reputation. Tourists began to forget the picturesque appeal of the Spanish island’s idyllic beaches and calmer resorts and began to associate the area with incautious behaviour. 

Not everyone saw this as a negative, as thousands of young tourists began to head to the island for that reason exactly. And, while many millennials still hold this same attitude to partying, the younger generation is throwing away binge drinking and replacing it with smoothie bowls and iced coffee. 

In a study conducted by University College London, in 10 years, the number of 16 to 24-year-olds who abstain from alcohol increased from 18% of the Gen Z population to 29%. So, with almost a third of young people turning their backs on drinking culture, it’s no surprise that Ibiza has sprung up with an array of health-focused cafes, stricter rules on alcohol consumption and regained its reputation as one of the most beautiful locations in Europe.

But, what’s most interesting about this shift in culture is that it hasn’t extended to clubbing habits. Take some of the island’s most popular venues Hï Ibiza and Ushuaïa for example. Head to one of their world-famous events, such as this summer’s Calvin Harris Ushuaïa residency or David Guetta’s weekly appearances at Hï Ibiza, and you’ll find sold-out crowds rife with those belonging to the Zoomer generation. The only difference? They’re more conscious. 

Party Culture at Ushuaia Ibiza

Party Culture at Ushuaia Ibiza © Bethan Harper

Amongst the crowd at Calvin Harris’ awe-inspiring set are Gen Zs partying just as hard as everyone else. They haven’t stopped attending these events, they’re just taking more care. 

Let’s be honest, Gen Z grew up with the sounds of Calvin Harris and David Guetta pumping in their ears. So, is it any surprise they’re equally as motivated to fly out to party islands and visit clubs like Ushuaïa as the rave-seeking millennials? Of course not. 

But, why the shift? Well, there are a few reasons. Firstly, is the environment Gen Z grew up in. Many of Gen Z’s spent their childhood living throughout a global recession as well as through the technology boom. So, not only are they programmed to be frugal, but they’ve also always had the internet and social media at their fingertips. As a result, they’ve been influenced by more than just their family and social circles. 

People online are also freer to pass judgement on unhealthy behaviour. This could definitely explain why binge drinking is being thrown to the curb because if there’s one thing Gen Z can’t stand, it’s being judged. 

So, will you arrive in Ibiza only to find half-empty clubs filled only with 30-year-old millennials? Definitely not. But, have Gen Z introduced a more health-conscious attitude to party culture? You can bet on it.