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Interview | Creative producer Doumi tells the story of El Baile

How Pacha's new Thursday party came to be from one of Ibiza's most creative minds.

Announcement season was a funny one in 2022. As the summer party schedules were being announced, exciting new projects and familiar old friends revealed their plans.

While our trusted Party Calendar began to be populated, a noticeable gap emerged on Thursday nights at Pacha.

What appeared was something entirely new and conceptual that mines the rich heritage of Ibiza's oldest club, whilst being both retro and futuristic. El Baile is a totally new party for 2022 which remains quintessentially close to the essence of what Pacha means.

The name is a direct reference to the book El Baile (The Dance), which charts the early years of Pacha's illustrious history, from its origin in 1966 in Sitges, through to Barcelona, Ibiza and Madrid in the 90s.

The collectable also serves as a chronicle of the evolution of dance music throughout this period.

We sat down with Doumi, the party's creative genius and force behind Ibizan outdoor daytime parties such as Woomoon and Storytellers, to find out what's in store when he moves the party inside at night.

Interview | Doumi tells the story of El Baile

Your parties are very individual in concept, both within each club and in the clubbing world generally. What impetus do you have to keep trying new things?

"I'm not too comfortable with making a party exclusive. Generally, parties aren't very inclusive nowadays, which is what I want to change. El Baile is a party when you get the high heel and the barefoot together - that's what makes it a nice party. Inclusivity.

If you dress up in the theme, then you will get free admission.

The second El Baile party was dedicated to dancing for peace. We had Nastia and other Ukrainian performers. We worked alongside her foundation. Profits from limited edition T-shirts will be donated."

El Baile certainly attracts a broad social spectrum and is also very accessible for Ibiza prices, with pre-sale tickets starting at a very reasonable €33.

You've always had a fascination with storytelling. From the little we've experienced already, El Baile is a very immersive, narrative-driven party. And you've taken a lot of inspiration from Pacha's 25th anniversary book?

"I went back to this book, which I know is very important to Ricardo Urgell (Pacha founder). El Baile is a book that has been in my room since I was a little kid. Imagine a Pandora's box where all the elements of dance will come from."

"Basically, we create a journey from the very beginnings of El Baile. I started to think, if I'm going to do the whole journey of El Baile, why get stuck in one era?

Music is constantly moving, advancing through every generation from the '60s, '70s, '80s - it's been linked to many different social movements: the psychedelic movement, political movements... This was reflected in the way people dressed."

And it all comes back to 'the dance'?

"We're coming from the beginning of creation. There has always been music. All cultures, all religions, they all talk about how there were words, how there was sound.

Then you go back to Ibiza's beginning. Ibiza is called 'the island of Bes', after the Phoenician god. He's the god of celebration and dance. So, I'm plotting this journey of how we will go through the timeline of music and how we will dance in the future."

"I want to interpret how we're going to dance in 2222.

The first thing that came to me was that in 2222 we're going to be guided and not managed. Right now, I feel that humanity is being managed. We're ruled by men. In the future, I envision us being guided by women. This is the first statement that El Baile makes."

This is the 'higher feminine energy' mentioned in the press release?

"I'm really keen to push home this point. The music industry is a very masculine one. If I want to do a party that is happy, colourful and amazing, I need to have a feminine energy. That doesn't mean only women - to me femininity doesn't necessarily mean a gender.

It's going to be predominantly contemporary happy music. Music that isn't too dark.

We've pretty much confirmed our whole line-up of summer. It's 70 percent women, which is not an easy task. We're bringing back Sarah Main, who was a resident of Pacha when I was a kid."

"We're aiming for a friendly atmosphere through higher feminine sounds. Equal is the statement we want to make.

At any given party, there's never going to be less than 50 percent women on the line-up. It's been super tough, but I think it's important coming from Pacha. Line-ups are dominated by men in this industry.

I predict that by 2222, it will be the other way around. I want this to be a revolution."

And not only feminine, but there will also be lots of collaboration with the LGBTQI+ community?

"Yes, we have a strong LGBTQI+ presence. Inis Rowe, the first transgender model to have done the cover of Vogue and Playboy, is our hostess. She has over one million followers on Instagram.

The drag queen Solange, who you may recognise as working with Bob Sinclar, will be putting on some really crazy shows in the Pacha restaurant. We're also working with Chloé Caillet and her girlfriend Ana Sting in the Funky Room."

"No phones will be allowed inside. The line-ups here will sometimes not be announced. It's going to be like coming into the unknown. Maybe you come with your boyfriend, maybe you leave him outside, who knows? Playfulness will be encouraged, hence the no phone policy.

Sa Majesté, the most famous sex shop in Ibiza, will be involved too."

How long has this all been in the pipeline? You kept us all waiting a long time before announcing! It must have taken a lot of planning.

"We started this project in April. Usually the process would take about a year, but we've done it in two months! We're a team of ninjas and we're all ready to do this. I don't think many promoters have ever made this much effort with a party before. This is more like a circus show.

We have 54 performers per night!"

Like the other parties you promote, Woomoon and Storytellers, there's a strong interactive element. It isn't only about the music.

"Every night will have a script. I'll be working with the DJs so that everything goes together seamlessly. There will be transitions, like skits, between each one.

The immersive experience itself is perhaps more important than any of the DJs. Everything is being carefully curated: music, costume, performance. The whole experience. Everything you see will be something that hasn't been done before.

It's not a hippy party in the strictest sense. More like a glamorous Pacha party of old. It will distinguish itself from Woomoon or Storytellers."

"We're calling the main room the dancership. We're bringing it to another level - like you're walking into the future. We've got a disco ball UFO at the entrance. A UFO with a dancer going round the club.

Disco balls will be planets made by Acoudar studio, one of the most important Spanish designers. We're going to take it back to the Pelos Locos (crazy hair), which was a Pacha party when I was young. Attendees can get hair decoration for free.

Then on the terrace we're doing Calle de la Virgen. We're putting a cool hippy market on the terrace with talks and film screenings. We'll also be showcasing local artists, not DJs, but singers and instrumentalists, and there will be a chill out area."

"The original designer of Pacha's posters will be signing copies from 1989. There will also be a vinyl pop-up store.

We're also going to rechristen the Pachacha room 'Bailearic'. We'll work with different promoters each week, people who are from Ibiza: Ibiza Sonica Radio, Ibiza Pure Life. For me, it's fundamental they fill this role."

It's regularly said that Doumi is a personality who embraces his inner child. Listening to him enthuse about the El Bail project, whilst sitting cross-legged on the floor flicking through the pages of his childhood book only strengthened that impression.

Having been to several Thursdays at Pacha since the launch, we can confirm that an innocent, childlike sense of wonder is definitely something you experience when you walk into the Dancership.

El Baile returns for its fourth edition tonight, when Jan Blomqvist (live) and Kaz James join resident Sarah Main. Coming up later in the programme, there's more bold bookings in form of Kim Ann Foxman, LP Giobbi, Skin (from Skunk Anansie) and plenty more surprises in store.

Head below to see line-ups so far and find those effeminate tickets.

PHOTOGRAPHY | by Peter Young and Raul Sanchez

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