New York Times examines Pacha Ibiza’s resistance to mainstream DJ culture in wake of Las Vegas’ rising popularity
While Las Vegas has successfully entrapped the meteoric rise of dance music popularity, the White Island has been left to come up with new business strategies to attract global audiences. The New York Times analyzes Ibiza’s legendary 40-year-old club, Pacha, in the wake of America’s music renaissance, touching on the ballooning costs associated with DJs and how to counteract the movement. The article centers around José and Ricardo Urgell, the 75 and 65-year-old brothers who have owned the venue since its humble disco beginnings.
“The DJs wanted more money to play less,” said José Urgell, “It was an abuse. We had to come up with a new plan because the old one was going to explode.”
Tiësto is skipping Ibiza all together this season for the first time in 10 summers, citing his residence at Hakkasan and Wet Republic Las Vegas as his vocal point for the year, but Pacha owners chafed celebrity DJ culture as the reason. Begging the question, have we already whipped past the days when clubs weren’t ruled by money? With the arrival of Cirque du Soleil’s Light along with Hakkasan, the competitive culture has inflated fees to capture lucrative residencies.
While it’s easy to complain about rising fees, the sharp rise in revenues must also be analyzed. The article states Pacha Ibiza grossed more than 30 million euros (about $40 million) last summer, compared to 7 million in 1999. It paid some acts 100,000 euros (roughly $130,000) a night, yielding revenues up the three times that amount.
Pacha’s owners have decided enough is enough when it comes to superstar DJs and have taken on a new approach. First by firing their longtime music director, then by seeing the departure of residents such as Erick Morillo, Tiësto, Luciano and Pete Tong. Instead they want to recapture the spirit of Ibiza’s yesteryear by reinstating their monthly classic rock n’ roll “Flower Power” party and bringing in more underground acts like Israeli, Guy Gerber.
“I was trying to create a night to bring back Ibiza like it used to be 30 years go,” Urgells, the Pacha owner said, “I want to freak people out”
via: The New York Times