In a recent report from the normally respected Resident Advisor publication, it was claimed that the reason Ricardo Urgell owner of Pacha wants to sell his iconic cherried brand is because he can not “stomach the Matutes family”. It was claimed that the information came from sources “close to the Pacha group” probably the ones hanging around the toilets as this story needs to be flushed down one. Rumours were indeed circulating that Pacha was on the market and a Chinese consortium were involved in negotiations involving a ballpark €600m figure. But I would think the reasons for a possible sale, have nothing to do with the Matutes family.
In my 20 years visiting the island, I don ́t think I have ever seen one negative comment publicly exchanged between the Matutes and Urgell families. While there will be a competitive rivalry, I have always been under the impression that both families respected each other with no bad blood between them. In my opinion the reason for the sale is that Ricardo Urgell is at retirement age and his family of two sons and one daughter, may not be interested in running Pacha, which is now much different from the club their father created in Barcelona in the early seventies. Mr Urgell may also feel that the original concept of Pacha has been consumed by commercialism and a changed way of partying. The “Love Generation” of the Hippy era which nurtured the original Pacha Ibiza has been replaced by a digital generation swayed by marketing and high paid celebrity DJ ́s.
Ricardo and Piti Urgell have both gone on record to state that they find it difficult to relate to the current clubbing scene in Ibiza. It ́s a generation gap that cannot be bridged and instead of continuing in a loveless relationship, they have taken the decision to walk away and sell to somebody that can deal with the logistics, licences and resources required to manage a big brand. But do we want Pacha to be sold to a foreign consortium? I don ́t think so and I believe it’s important that Pacha remains rooted into the island’s social fabric and that it ́s an Ibicenco family that make the decisions going forward. I feel Ricardo Urgell thinks this way too and if the Matutes family come knocking on his door, he may be inclined to sell it to them, as it would remain under Spanish and Ibicenco direction. They say time discloses all and with two iconic clubs about to change ownership, it is indeed, a momentous year for Ibiza clubland.