LAS DALIAS IS THE ULTIMATE HIPPY MARKET

 

On the day of the patron Saint San Carlos, the 4th of November 1954, the farmer-come-carpenter, Joan Mari, opened a venue that would become legend in Ibiza…the opening party of his roadside bar with a dancehall in the backroom attracted all the peasants of the area and the till chimed to the tune of 6,600 pesetas of the day (some 40 of today)…drinks cost 1 peseta and brand-name drinks 2 pesetas…an important event of massive social impact!
During the 50s, Las Dalias was the representative dancehall for the local population for weddings, baptisms, communions and Christmas… such was the success that the priest of San Carlos started projecting cinema to compete for the souls of his flock against the booze, dance and sins of the flesh that so entertained them…
In the 60s, tourism "en masse" started appearing on the island and Joan, ever eager to adapt to modern times, contacted the pioneer tour operators and started offering barbeque/shows with live Flamenco in the garden with all the chicken you could eat and all the Sangria and champagne you could drink for only 125 pesetas (0.75). The success was enormous, inciting him to build a restaurant-cellar to expand into the food business.
Imitators did not take long to appear, and the barbeque business moved south, closer to the nucleus of the hotel trade. Las Dalias fell into a period of silence…
In the 70s, with the appearance of hippies and their market in Es Cana, there was a sudden increase in popularity  with the "after-market" parties on Wednesdays that the "hairy ones" (as they were called by the natives). These were improvised jam sessions with anonymous participants amongst which you could often find world-class names that came and went without being identified. On one occasion, upon visiting the isle to play the bullring, Bob Marley and his entourage who were lodged in a country house in San Carlos, stopped by for dinner. Was there an improvised session in the garden? Who knows….nobody kept records…


At the beginning of the 80s, there was a generational shift in command and Joan passed authority onto his son Juanito, then 23, who immediately got to work… In 1984, Juanito established contact with the recently built "Mediterranean Studios", which changed hands several times including owners like the members of Judas Priest and for a longer period, Spanish-Argentinean radio DJ Vicente "Mariscal" Romero. Many of the groups that recorded there used to celebrate a goodbye concert in Las Dalias.  In this manner,  the stage of the hall saw the likes of members of UB40, Stan Webb or Nina Hagen. Spanish artists that played included Banzai, Barón Rojo, Gato Perez, Medina Azahara, La Frontera, Rebeldes, Obus, Barricada, etc.
In parallel, many international artists visiting Ibiza, started to appear.
Amongst the audience to concerts in Las Dalias like Brian May (Queen), Ron Wood (Rolling Stones), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Mike Oldfield, Bob Geldof, etc.
Another phenomenon of 1984 was the appearance of a theatre group of British residents under the name "Theatre Trust". This charity organization (collecting funds for the prevention of Cancer) started with a first montage of "Oliver Twist" run by Nina Van Palandt. They offered a ten day run in January and sold out every day!!
But the "gold medal" of the 80s was the creation, on a cold Valentines day of 1985, of the market which started with 5 stalls and a handful of visitors. It grew over these past 20 years into a collection of some 200 stalls and 20.000 people passing through on the busy August Saturdays!!
With the fire that burnt down Mediterraneo Studio in 1989, silence once more descended upon Las Dalias…
After a quiet beginning of the 90s, in 1997 the appearance of musician Chris Gonzalez marked the rebirth of live concerts. There was a series of Tribute concerts covering big historical names of Rock (Elvis, Rolling Stones, John Lennon, Bob Marley, Creedence Clearwater Revival, David Bowie, Police, etc) which worked as workshops for local musicians, creating massive parties. Along with these, there have been concerts by figures like Nina Hagen, Paul Collins, Lee Rocker, Javier Vargas, Loquillo, Carlos Segarra, Coque Malla, Charlie García, etc.
The last few years have brought us weekly events like the Namasté party, an amazing party with the true Ibiza hippy spirit, Trance events, Art Exhibitions and even a new Night Market (see events).


In 2004, Las Dalias celebrated it's 50th birthday with large montages to commemorate these last  5 decades…