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Ibiza Big Guns Unite

Ibiza Big Guns Unite

DJmag reports on the decision by Ibiza's seven big clubs to stop competing with one another...

Everyone from hardcore ravers to clubbing dabblers had Ibiza top of their summer 'to do' list in the late 1990s.

Now the number of visitors has fallen as Ibiza battles with likes of Miami, Buenos Aries and Bangkok as a major destination for jet-setting clubbers.

In an attempt to bring the numbers back up, the seven main clubs on the island including Pacha, Space and Amnesia have decided to collaborate instead of compete.
Ibiza Disco Mafia

The Ibiza United magazine is being used to attract a more upmarket clientele


Ibiza United is a project set up by the big seven to promote the island together.

The launch of the promotion saw the clubs jointly host a night at London's Pacha, which featured some of their residents playing together.

But the collaboration has also been fiercely criticised as actually being an attempt to raise Ibiza's profile by ridding the island of its loyal clubbers and trying to attract a whole new clientele.

Ibiza Disco Mafia

"Ibiza United? - Bullshit" - DJ Gee

'Stab in the back'

Gee Moore was resident at the legendary Bora Bora bar on the island for seven years, until it was shut down last summer. He thinks the move is a stab in the back to loyal clubbers.

He says: "What's wrong with their current clientele? Are they saying they're not happy with the people who, for the last ten years have been paying ten euros for a bottle of water? People even have Pacha tattoos. I just see them saying" We are P. Diddy" and "oh Paris Hilton was at our hotel.

"They have visions of grandeur and for the people they are trying to get rid of it's a real stab in the back."


Ben Turner, from Graphite Media, the company responsible for the Ibiza United magazine, thinks the move is a necessary step to put Ibiza in the clubbers spotlight again.

He says: "It's no secret that the mbers of visitors to the island has been decreasing. The main clubs, which are the reason that most of us went to Ibiza in the first place, have managed to work together and their work will benefit the island in many, many ways."

The move hasn't gone down well with promoters who have already been pushed out of the Ibiza picture, though.

Bora Bora's Gee thinks Ibiza's main clubs aren't as united as they would like people to think and are trying to force other promoters out of the island.

He says: "There's one club that is using all the other clubs for its own needs, it wants to become the number one supreme club. Ibiza United? Bullshit, we all know it's Pacha and Space on their own and it'll last five minutes. Two specific clubs went out to close DC10 and there was a rumour they would go after the rest of us."

Licensing Laws

Matt Priest has been Exec Producer of Dance Music at BBC Radio 1 for almost four years, he disagrees that the big clubs want complete control of the island's clubbing.

He says: "These aren't bully-boy tactics by the main clubs. Ibiza like everywhere else has its licensing laws and has to comply with the government."

Alex Picazo Arias owns Ibiza's Guarana bar, he thinks that any promoter operating within the law has no need to worry.

He says: "I am not much into the politics of how they try to rule the thing, I am just taking care that my small club is perfectly legal with all the licenses and permission to run correctly. The association runs after everybody without licenses and in one way I think this is how it should be.

"A lot of owners didn't care about the licenses before developing their business, so normally they have permission for a small 'cafeteria' for 50 people, and they fill up with 600 people with banging house music, I mean, it's great! But it's not legal."

Power and Dominance

Graphite's Ben Turner believes that a monopoly by the big clubs on the island will have a positive affect on Ibiza's tourism.

He says: "Yes, these clubs have huge power and dominance on the island, they always have done and always will. But strategically, it's an intelligent and essential move to finally represent to the travel industry that the Ibiza music industry can work in harmony with the island's tourist board."

Certainly, recent reports like the shock closure of Bora Bora and Radio 1's decision to scrap their weekender set tongues wagging about Ibiza losing it's position as the world's clubbing capital.

But Radio 1's Matt Priest says that dropping the weekender doesn't mean 'no more Ibiza' on the station, far from it. "Ibiza is still massively important to us, we are just putting it alongside some new stuff to freshen things up," he says.

"We are looking at having Pete Tong at Cafe Mambo again and a Radio 1 big event - in keeping with the scale of the Radio 1 weekender."

Whichever side you choose to agree with, thousands of us will still be making the clubbing pilgrimage to the island again this summer, as we're convinced that ultimately politics can't stop the party.