By Humphrey Carter

THE British music impresario and businessman who has literally spent the past two years rocking Ibiza with a unique tourism and entertainment product is poised to do the same to Magalluf and Majorca next summer.

Andy McKay, the director of the Ibiza Rocks brand which now includes a hugely popular live music hotel in San Antonio, a theme restaurant and line of Ibiza Rocks clothing, returns to Majorca today for another round of meetings. And last night he told the Bulletin that the doors of Mallorca Rocks Hotel will open in Magalluf in May and that he has high hopes for the brand here on the island.

McKay has been involved in the club and live music industry in Ibiza for the past 15 years. Five years ago he set up Ibiza Rocks to attract a different type of music to the dance sounds that Ibiza had become famous for and synonymous with. “It had all become a bit stayed. Ibiza was the summer dance capital of the world but it was not catering for the wider market,” he explained last night. And two years ago, he opened the Ibiza Rocks Hotel which has quickly become the biggest youth hotel on the island, offering flexible travel packages and putting guests at the epicentre of the action for the weekly live gigs. It was also short listed for ‘Best Overseas Festival' at this years' UK Festival Awards. “No body is really catering for the youth market, by which I mean 18 to 25. I saw the gap in Ibiza and I have since seen that the gap extends all over the Mediterranean. The concept of the hotel is to offer live music by top bands and affordable accommodation in locations next to the beach. There are not many hotels where you can watch some of the best bands in the world from your balcony,” he said.

“We've had great support from the local community and the authorities in Ibiza and we hope we get the same response in Majorca. “We've actually helped improve the image of San Antoni and the locals are coming back. We've done our best to get involved with the local community and we offer resident discounts for the concerts. One of the reasons we booked the band Keane was for the local Spanish market which loves the group,” he added. “We're also starting to attract models and film stars to the resort for the concerts. “And, the neighbours don't complain. Apart from the fact we invest seriously in the latest sound technology, the concerts finish at 11.30pm,” Mckay said. “I know we're in the middle of a recession but our growth figures this summer were much higher than the recession figures. The hotel was full all summer and we've enjoyed near triple digit growth in the restaurant and clothing line. So, I'm really excited about opening in Majorca,” he said. “But obviously, there's always a risk involved.” The 328- bedroom hotel will next summer host five or six concerts by major top bands.

“In Ibiza now, were bringing a number of breakthrough bands and cutting edge DJ's down as well but I think we're going to stick to the original format for the first year in Majorca and just have around five major acts,” he said.

Bands like the Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian, Dizzee Rascal and Vampire Weekend have played the Ibiza Rocks Hotel and it is also the headquarters for Radio One when they do there summer broadcasts from the island.


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