I got the call in January. I won’t go into much detail. A certain ‘Mr T’ asked if I could report on a special event – a celebration of sorts.
The conversation was brief, but loud. My end was quiet. The other side? Deafening.
Despite all the applause and booms, I made out a sentence or two: £4 million, Ibiza, MVF’s 10th birthday. Apparently some targets were smashed. Just like my eardrums.
The excitement was tangible, though. And the countdown to my Ibiza 2019 report had begun.
May 16th, 2019. I arrived in north London’s Kentish Town, mid afternoon. I hung around the station. The place was quiet - until about 4pm.
I heard an excited rabble in the distance. It grew louder. Gangs of what looked like CRM, Publishing, OPS, CCN, C-Suite, amongst others, flooded into the local station. The adjacent Co-Op was emptied within a few minutes.
Rallied on the train were my 19.50 Luton comrades. The rest of MVF were sent south to the 20.50 from Gatwick, or to the 20.05 from Stansted. I heard the latter were saved by an army of Ubers. Turns out Greater Anglia isn’t so great. At the airport, spirits were high. Spirits on the plane? In low supply.
It was late. The hotel check-in queue was long. Very long. And the local bar was bursting at the seams. It seemed like a good place to kill time.
I joined the merry crowd in some amber liquids. But the snake of customers slithering inside the Hotel Playasol Mare Nostrum glistened in the moon, catching my eye. I took myself to bed. Hours before, I’d be given an itinerary for the next day, all of which required physical exertion.
The morning started with some yoga. The perfect day for it. The not-so-secret location in the woods was serene – nothing but the sound of gentle waves caressed my ears. Caressing turned to biting...we were under attack. The swarm of mosquitoes forced us to the beach for refuge, but the wind had other ideas. Goodbye yoga mats. Hello sand in eyes.
A bike ride was also planned. Eight cyclists. Four hour’s sleep. 100km. “I’ve seen better mixes on a Stinky’s playlist” a local man claimed. The less said of the bike ride the better – but despite planning the ambitious excursion himself, a certain Senior Engineer needed a taxi home.
There was frisbee on the beach afterwards. I’m no ecologist, but I know Ibiza is rife in three species: geckos, turtles...Hen Do’s. Flocks of women inebriated interrupted intermittently.
The hike to Torre De Ses Portes was my last hope for success. And fail me it did not. Preconceptions of the island’s clubbing nature were put to one side. This was an odyssey of rock, water and ice creams. Some brave souls even took the plunge. Theoretically and literally.
From five friends in a basement to an Ibizan hotel rooftop celebration. That’s the MVF story; ten years of winning in nine ways.
It’s party time. And what a party it was - the amount of Instagram posts would testify. Flowing champagne, a sunset of deep glorious violet, Dua Lipa’s One Kiss. It had it all.
Speeches, usually a soiree’s kryptonite, had no such effect here. The CEO’s halftime rallying talk was the perfect length. The mingling resumed. This was collaboration at its grooviest.
The night was a success. Business ideas were exchanged, relationships were built, courageous dance moves were made.
By the pool it was a sorry sight. Eyes were bleary. The sky was dreary. But there was still much to explore on this final day.
Another hike was planned. Albeit with fewer participants this time. You can guess why. Others even ventured to the Old Town for a taste of the quiet Ibizan life.
Nevertheless, enough courage was mustered by everyone else for the afternoon’s beach club party. It was here the morale grew higher. Prospects of early morning flights couldn’t even stop the party.
The sun began to set on the evening. So too on the 2019 MVF Ibiza weekend. Before I went to bed, I pondered. Yes there were parties, but it was a wholesome weekend. Teams were brought together, and it was a celebration worthy of any milestone.