A childhood spent in a bohemian family home with no electricity, playing acoustic guitar with Marianne Faithfull and Damien Rice in a crumbling stately home in the Irish countryside, jamming in the back room of a pub whilst his mother recited poetry next door…it’s easy to see how the free spirited Justin Manville found his way to Ibiza. It has only been three years since the musician and his young family arrived to the island, three short years in which he has quietly made the real music scene his own thanks to his achingly beautiful World Unplugged events. Word of mouth gatherings set in stunning campo locations where music and art becomes one under the flicker of candlelight.
“Whatever we can do to connect on a soul and heart level, we do,” Manville smiles as we sit in the early summer sunshine. “I know Ibiza is known for its DJs, but the island lends itself much better to singers and songwriters, to real instruments being played in intimate surroundings to real music lovers. That to me is what Ibiza is really about.”
With a ‘family’ of 50 musicians dropping in to play whenever invited, an evening at World Unplugged begins at a meeting point before the convoy heads into the night to a secret location. Caves, forest clearings, almond mills, even people’s houses have been some of the venues to date, where live painting and performances from the likes of Theater of the Ancients accompany the acoustic soundtrack. “We have to be so careful who we ask to perform as the atmosphere at World Unplugged is like nothing else. It is a total transfixed silence with the artist having to be able to lift the crowd as well as bringing them back down. It’s a magical thing to behold.
With names such as Dan Elliot, Max Buskohl, Alice Phoebe, Alain Clark and Lettice Rowbottom all regularly appearing, this summer World Unplugged will be organizing five events on the island. There is also the small matter of their bespoke October festival in the UK plus random dates around Europe to seek out. “We are so proud of what we have already achieved” concludes Manville. “But we know we have only just started our journey.”
For more information www.worldunplugged.com