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How was it for you? - Summer debrief + 2006 preview

Hit this for quotes from reps of Ibiza's squabbling clubs.

Contrary to popular belief, Ibiza is NOT an island where parties spring up in the street and you can snort lines off the pavement.

from http://www.eivissa.orgThere is a clear demarcation between zones for liberal behaviour and others. As elsewhere in the world, the fiercely contested battlefront is in the meeting rooms of local government. This is where the licensing regulations which stipulate what can happen and when are formulated. In 2004 there was a widely publicised crack down on smaller venues like the Dc10 hangar and beach club Bora Bora.

But in 2005 it was the turn of Ibiza’s disco godfathers to take a hit.

Oft-considered a law unto themselves, the Asociación de Discotecas de Ibiza comprising of seven self-branded "legal" discos, rather carelessly bled two members, Pacha and Es Paradis, leaving Space, Privilege, El Divino, Amnesia and Eden (whose representative, Paquita Cardona, inherited the chairperson’s crown).

It was, Pacha’s Danny Whittle concedes, a "political" start to the season. However he disputes the suggestion there was a valid basis to the accusation of poaching, in this case of Defected from the mini-don El Div.

Did Pacha sign a contract saying they wouldn’t take a night previously at one of the other clubs?

Danny Whittle: "No. People don’t mind mentioning that people have signed this and signed that but not at all." 

Free trade and consumer choice got a boost with the arrival of mainland Spain nighterie chain, Penelope, just 100 metres down from Pacha, Av. Ocho de Agosto.

Danny acknowledges the success of the new venture but is a little sniffy about its appeal:

"It seems to be doing what they want it to do. There’s lots of locals in there, it’s free to get in. It’s a different kind of thing to what we do. Ibiza is the clubbing capital of the world, with enough clubbing space for 50,000 people. The biggest night club in the world is up the road, there’s Space which is s’posed to be the best nightclub in the world, Pacha, Amnesia, these kind of venues that blow your mind, that’s what I’d be looking for. Penelope reminds me of a city style nightclub that we all get in London, Birmingham or Barcelona or wherever. I think if you come to Ibiza you would be looking for something a little more special."

Avda. Ocho de Agosto, outside Penelope 30.09.05

Avda. Ocho de Agosto, outside Penelope 30.09.05

Someone who would probably disagree is the MD of the franchise who researched the competition by attending Pacha’s VIP surrounded by bodyguards and bitches.

Penelope, Pacha, Privilege and Amnesia were particularly affected by the enforcement of 6am closing time in September. Members of Ibiza’s constabulary fanned out across the island to ensure this curfew was actually adhered to and there were many tears before bed time from disappointed clubbers expecting a post-dawn climax.

The authorities talked tough but representatives from Amnesia, Privilege and Pacha insist the six o'clock argument has not yet been won.

"It depends how the discussion ends," says Manuel Lopez, Privilege’s director of operations. "I think that the government should not just look at the clubs but also at all the bars and illegal parties and try to find a fair regulation for all of us. We will see next year."

Manumission closing @ Privilege - September 19, 2005

Manumission closing @ Privilege - September 19, 2005

Señor Lopez’s sentiments were echoed by Nacho Capella from Amnesia, and Mr Whittle.

Danny Whittle: "I think what they really need is that happy medium which is probably seven o’clock. Definitely no later that 7.30. Or you get a fine that is worth getting fined for. Not some 100€ pittance that’s a law left from a hundred years ago. If you’re putting people’s lives at risk on the way to school then it’s a 50,000€ fine. Keep it tight that way, rather than closing everybody super early."

Space’s timetable expansion to include night time gigs is unlikely to be affected, as the standard closing time for We Love Space on Sundays, Carl Cox’s Tuesday night boomer, La Comunidad’s Fridays and Steve Lawler’s new Viva night was 6am anyway. Isaac Hidalgo from Eden expressed similar views.

Andrea Pelino from Circo Loco at Dc10 tells us that in September they delayed their opening time till 8am and this is the plan for 2006.

Timo Maas billboard - 2005

Timo Maas billboard - 2005

Bucking this trend, Bora Bora got an extra few hours. Their terrace sound system was switched off at midnight, as usual, at which time the menagerie were herded into the glass-plated box next door.

The police, whose presence at Bora Bora closings in particular was so loyal you’d think they’d been sent a handwritten invitation, were not grabbing kids off the beach and going through their pockets like in 2005.

Cops made their presence felt at Dc10 though, especially at the opening and closing. However the heavy-handed policing, while unpleasant to experience, does have several advantages. One, weapons are less likely to be smuggled in. Two, people who carry weapons, large quantities of cash and drugs will face a greater chance of apprehension, and three the feeling you get when you’re through the doors is akin to that experienced Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant when he looked to the west and his spirit was crying for leaving.

Andrea told us in terms of numbers it was Circo Loco’s "best" year yet and he was particularly happy with the music.

System of Survival, Marc Houle, Matt John, Pier Bucci, Andrea Ferlin, Demos, Dj Red, Giancarlino, Guido Schneider, Jamie Jones, Kikko Messina were just some of the fresh heads added to the line up.

"We were thinking a lot about the closing line up," he told us last week. "We wanted the best of all underground djs."

Some have equated Circo Loco’s search for non "commercial" jocks with cheaper, more desperate ones. Ex-resident Jo Mills would probably fall into that category, as she (and manager Charlie Chester) fell out with Circo Loco management over remuneration.

Ahh, filthy lucre – the love which dare not speak its name. Obviously in Ibiza there is no open audit of accounts, like publicly listed companies, but if there were a Fortune 500 for clubs, Ibiza’s venues would surely feature highly.

This year the White Isle consolidated its reputation as a mass market destination.

from http://www.aena.es

According to Aena.es, passenger numbers through the airport are up a few per cent for each month in comparison with 2004, with over a million and a half having visited Ibiza already in 2005. This doesn’t include the half a million or so who arrive by boat. Recent hotel occupancy figures, as reported by the local papers, are also up approximately two per cent on last year. Attendance at the clubs has been similarly solid.

Fritz Pangratz from Space: "Sundays always we have a turnover between five and eight thousand, Carl Cox also a turnover from three thousand to five thousand. Matinée has been in the figures of Carl Cox."

Matinée @ Space - 2005

Matinée @ Space - 2005

From anecdotal evidence the big mover in 2005 was Amnesia.

Nacho Capella says numbers for Cocoon on Mondays were a grand up on last year, and 7,500 attended the closing. When we rang he was pleased to say Frankfurt impresario and dj Sven Väth had signed the deal for 2006. Also reportedly putting their names on the dotted line were reps of La Troya, Cream, People from Ibiza, and Made In Italy, who pulled in 4,500 on a good Friday.

How many at Amnesia closing?

Nacho Capella: "Over 10,000. Our parties next year are mostly the same. Only thing different will be bigger djs coming to play, like Danny Tenaglia maybe."

We also asked Danny Whittle if everybody was returning to lucrative bosom of Pacha.

Defected @ Pacha - August 30, 2005

Defected @ Pacha - August 30, 2005

Danny Whittle: "Pretty much so. I’m not sure to what level some of them may come back from their own commitments or whatever but I think I can say Roger’s definitely back, Defected’s definitely back, Erick is definitely back, Tong is definitely back. Def Mix are cool, Deep Dish wanna come back again Thursday nights, Ministry wants to come back, Renaissance wants to come back. It’s all looking right it’s just a case with some of them maybe it won’t be so many, maybe it’ll be more."

Isaac from Eden continued the theme of continuity:

"Practically the same line up that last year with one or two big surprises - we like surprises."

How did the new nights – Dusted, Sipat & Tim Westwood – go?

Isaac Hidalgo: "Dusted started slow due to the Dusted music having never been played before in San Antonio. But across the season had been increasing the interest of our customers due the amazing quality of their djs. This is the first time that this kind of very cool quality music its played in San An. It was really good in the funky room with Jo Mills. Sipat is focused on the local and international crowd and to be honest we didn’t expect a great season for that but we were surprised about the response from local young people. Regarding Westwood, I can only say that was amazing. I never saw before 2,000 people (mainly women) dancing to this hip-hop and r&b sexy music. He is an incredible showman that makes the dancefloor very hot."

Manuel from Privilege said it was too early for him to confirm anything but "of course you can be sure that there will be Manumission again and the other successful nights as well. Our best nights were Manumission, Meganite and Pasion de Ibiza. Apart from that the opening, closing and the Faithless gig were very, very good."

Will Johnston, Bora Bora:

Bora Bora - July, 2005

Bora Bora - July, 2005

"Saturdays was my favourite day of the week because it's always really good when the Matinée crowd come down. Lots of fun crazy people, silly gay boys, and sexy girls. Sunday is generally pretty good, Tuesdays were great 'cause you get all the funny people coming down from the Carry On. Fridays have been a very consistent day for good parties and mostly Wednesday has been quite good. Aside from that each day can be different from week to week and month to month.

Herr Pangratz liked "all" of his 2005 promoters: "At the moment we do not considerate a big change in the club."

Ditto Circo Loco, and that includes their stealth bomber, Timo Maas, on Wednesday nights in August.

2005 AWARDS BIT

Sadly missed: the very pretty La Diosa in Santa Getrudis, the Sunday Best beach parties

Keeping a low profile in 2005: Blue Marlin, Underground

Cucaracha award goes to: every free party in a house or beach or car or bar or wherever

CONFIRMED DATES FOR 2006

Circo Loco @ Dc10 - January 1

Eden opening – Saturday June 3

Space opening – Sunday June 4

Circo Loco @ Dc10 opening – Monday June 5