Its the hot, news story doing the rounds in Ibiza right now. When asked during an interview with Be@Tv if he was planning on building a new Space, Cox stated ” Yes it’s going to happen, there is no doubt about that”. The statement had both the international and local press intrigued and many media outlets covered the story. So are there any foundations to this, or is Carl just seeking publicity for himself and the Resistance music brand which he is an ambassador for. Actions speak louder than words, so let’s examine the possibility of a new Space concept being built in Ibiza.
After its 27 year mission, to discover new music and boldly go where no club had gone before, Space and its Captain, Pepe Rosello, were decommissioned by the Matutes group, owners of the island that Space was built on. Rosello and his loyal first officer, Carl Cox, along with their crew, were left without a ship to navigate the shark infested waters of Ibiza Clubland. The deal Rosello did with the Matutes Group to depart Space was most likely a pirate one, as business in Ibiza, especially between the locals, has its own intricacies built on codes of practice between rival families. Abel Matutes, the old Don of the Matutes Group who some of his business competitors consider, “more cunning than a Fox that’s just been appointed Professor of cunning at Oxford University”, would have ensured that competition to his Hi and Ushuaia brands, was kept offshore. Just recently Matutes won a legal case to obtain full ownership of Privilege and push out its majority shareholder Jose Maria Etxaniz, a skillful piece of maneuvering executed in classic Ibicenco style.
So in the space of two years, the Matutes group has jettisoned two big competitors overboard. The group is both politically and commercially savvy, and in my opinion, they would have ensured that Pepe Rosello could not open a new Space elsewhere on the island. Who owns the rights to the Space trading name in Ibiza right now, is the crux of the matter. When we first published the rumour about new owners of Space back in 2013, whispers that this was a done deal from 2010 accompanied them, along with talk regarding ownership of the Space trading name in Ibiza. In the Be at Tv interview, Cox alluded to the “Space ideal” and this is where I feel the best opportunity lies for Space to be reborn on the island. It may not have the Space branding outside its door, but it could have the Space ethos and concept inside the venue.
Cox is correct in his assertion that it has to be a new build, but it won’t be easy to get permission to open a new club, so what options are available to them. As a much loved son of San Antonio, the town where Pepe Rosello and Carl Cox first cut their teeth in the Balearic nightclub business, I feel there would be plenty of goodwill and financial backing to support both men in their mission to bring back the musical and independant ethos of Space, but they will need the right political winds and conditions in their sails to do so. The town is currently in the process of cleaning up the West End, as it envisages a smarter development plan for its future tourism model there. Already Pepe has floated the idea of bringing Space back to San Antonio at Reco del Sol, a project that never got off the ground, primarily due to a successfully organised lobby by influential neighbours in the residential area surrounding the Hotel.
I’m only guessing here, but not too far from Es Paradis and Eden there are two sizable plots of empty land which have served as car parks. While one is currently active, the other is silent, just sitting there with a long chain serving as a gate. That area with its famous sunset horizon, has two superclubs and many bars surrounding it so it would be easier to build there. It would need to be bespoke and crafted, but with Cox and Rosello, two icons of the industry as its main architects, it would have a fighting chance in San Antonio. With the recent birth of a new movement, Musicia, to promote music as a cultural symbol of Ibiza in a tolerant and respectful way, the timing could be right for change and a new perspective on musical culture in Ibiza, as Space and all that it stood for, simply cannot be forgotten.