Its not that long ago that we were in the middle of the famous Ibiza v’s Las Vegas debate which hit the international headlines after Pacha kicked out a number of overpaid DJ’s booked by its ex-music director Danny Whittle. Negative articles towards Ibiza were published in the New York Times and there was an industry spin led by DJ’s like Tiesto and Pete Tong that was promoting Las Vegas as the new Ibiza. However that spin failed to gain traction and Tong was quick to return to the Ibiza camp, landing himself a job as musical consultant to the Ushuaia group, which own The Hard Rock franchise and the deeds to Space nightclub. In an August article entitled “Ibiza Evolution” published in the new Ushuaia magazine, iUMAG, Tong under the “Pied Piper Of Dance” alias stated, “I always get asked here in the US, is Vegas the new Ibiza and my new answer is “Ibiza is the new Vegas”. His old answer was that Las Vegas was the new Ibiza so what changed his mind?
Unlike Tiesto, Tong did not burn all his bridges when he crossed over from Ibiza to America and Ushuaia were happy to associate with an honored member of the realm responsible for over 38% of the tourist market in Ibiza. It was a good move for Tong too, as Ushuaia is a stylish and professional organisation attracting celebrity and a wealthy clientele. Tong is also working on a regular return to Ibiza’s most prestigious and classic club, Pacha, where he performed three successful gigs last summer. Tong understands that the Ibiza brand remains very influential, especially in the electronic genre, and offers him the best opportunity to remain relevant as a DJ in modern dance culture. At 54 years of age he is not getting any younger but his ear and judgement remains sound. To be on top of ones brief a commentator has to be in touch with the grass roots and Tong’s new opinion of Ibiza should serve the island well.