Ibiza is an island that attracts creativity with its unique energy, landscape and light. The clubbing industry in Ibiza has grown from a fundamental hippy desire to dance and have fun, to a multi-billion euro business today. In the early 90’s, after the clubs were forced to build roofs to limit noise pollution, commercialism started to grow and the clubbing industry that we know now, was born. Ibiza pioneered the Balearic House scene thanks in the main to people like Jose Padilla and Alfredo, whose freestyle music influenced the masses who traveled from dreary Europe to experience the unique freedom that the island nurtured. The explosion of the E Generation that influenced Danny Rampling and Paul Oakenfold at Amnesia, led to an industry that has become one of the most influential schools in Electronic music. Ibiza is full of creative talent, below are listed some of the most influential people in the industry today.
Abel Matutes Jnr
The sole male heir to the vast Matutes family fortune founded in Banking, Hotels, Shipping and Real Estate. The 37 year old Ibicenco is General Director of the Paladium Group and he has three sisters, one of them, Estrella Matutes, like her father, is involved in politics. They own large tracts of Playa Den Bossa and much of the ambition and drive to upgrade the area into a luxury resort for upmarket clients, comes from Abel Jnr. While Able Matutes Juan relied on the traditional 3* and 4* family hotel market, Able Jnr is looking to expand into the 5* market. He convinced his father to invest €30 million into the Ushuaia project which was successful but a similar investment in Hard Rock Hotel will take more time to evaluate. His €300 million corporate project for Ibiza is big and with Space, Ushuaia and Privilege all under the control of the Matutes Group, his Spanish influence on the clubbing sector will be important in the islands future development.
Nearing 80 years of age, the old Don of Pacha still has a big say on what goes on in Ibiza. The Matutes and the Urgell families would have mutual respect for each other, as both conduct their business in the traditional Ibicenco style, that has insulated the island from outside forces for the past 50 years. Owner of Lio, Pacha, Destino and Pacha Hotel, along with a number of other interests, Ricardo Urgell’s legacy will be the classic Pacha brand which was founded in the hippy ethos of free love and partying. While he has publicly stated his dislike for paying DJ’s large fees, he continues to employ David Guetta at €3.2m a season and Solomun and Steve Aoki are rumoured to be charging in the region of €2 million each. Pacha still commands local respect in Ibiza and the club reflects an image that the locals are proud of.
Co Founder of the legendary Manumission Party at Privilege and later the Ibiza Rocks concept in 2004, the 43 year old Leeds University graduate, would be regarded as the most influential and respected Englishmen in Ibiza. He introduced the Club flyer commissioning concept to Ibiza which is still in use today. He has always conducted his business in a style that is part of the islands culture and shook hands with the Matutes family on the Mallorca Rocks deal in 2010. With a sharp business mind he continues to innovate and his Ibiza Rocks House concept has freshened up the scene away from the big clubs. Considered a safe pair of hands, Andy’s understanding of how the island works has positioned him at the front of British culture in Ibiza. Firmly rooted into the islands community, his vision for the future will be followed with interest.
Sankeys owner David Vincent has always been a person with his finger firmly on the pulse of the British clubbing market. The pied piper of Ibiza, other clubs are now starting to follow his lead. With a sound musical pedigree, his main asset is his confidence in his own judgement, which allows him to be creative and change things when required. The youngest club owner in Ibiza at 43, he is the same age as Andy McKay and the two worked alongside each other in the halcyon days of the Manchester dance scene in the early 90’s. His impressive CV includes the Hacienda, Sankeys, Tribal Sessions and Pacha, where he and Avi Kogan pioneered the Billboard marketing concept in 97. Sankeys Ibiza provides a platform for new artists to breakthrough on the island. A canny operator, David Vincent stock continues to rise in Ibiza where he will remain an influential figure for years to come.
Artistic director and partner at Ushuaia with Abel Matutes Jnr, the Frenchman is responsible for much of the style and production that has established Ushuaia as one of the islands premier venues over the last 5 years. It attracts a celebrity crowd and all the major international EDM acts. Pissenem has been to the forefront of the slick Ushuaia style creating a blend of French and Spanish flair that is both confident and artistic. The Pissenem created Ants party, has been a showcase for his talents both musically and artistically. Into the future, Yann Pissenem will ensure that Ibiza leads the way with cutting edge production and innovative style.
Martin Ferrer Jnr.
The son of Amnesia owner, Martin Ferrer, is better known to clubbers as the DJ Mar T. He is the music director at Amnesia and has been very influential in establishing the old hippy venue as the islands premier club musically. As part of Sven Vath’s early Cocoon line-up, he understands the trendy minimal techno scene better than anybody on the island. With his DJ background, he has built up an impressive program of parties at Amnesia and it is no coincidence that his club is musically superior to the rest. With the future of Privilege in doubt, Amnesia should consolidate its position at the top for a number of seasons to come and it will be Mar T’s direction that will drive its future.
A founder of the iconic underground venue DC10, Alex Peligrino, has been at the forefront of the Minimal Techno genre in Europe. The legendary Monday daytime party, Circo Loco, launched the careers of some of the best DJ’s in the genre like Luciano, Jamie Jones and Marco Carola. Along with his brother Antonio, the Italians continue to promote the best underground venue in Ibiza, if not the world. They set the tone that the rest of the island follows, and from a musical perspective, the DC10 experience, adds a lot of relevance to brand Ibiza.
The founder and caretaker of the classic Cafe Mambo brand that continues to grow outside the island. With substantial property interests in Ibiza, including a number of well known bars and restaurants, Javier has ensured that San Antonio retains some class. Cafe Mambo is a brand born of Ibiza and offers a quality product in a Mediterranean clubbing environment that capitalises on the islands stunning sunsets. Everything about Mambo is quality, there are no shortcuts taken and the next generation of the Anadon family, Alan and Christian, aka The Mambo Brothers, look set to continue their fathers tradition of genuine Ibicenco hospitality. Cafe Mambo is now an Ibiza institution and reflects what is good about San Antonio.
The British DJ continues to be an influential musical figure on the island. With his roots in House music which were honed in the early days of the Space Terrace, Cox has been a legend on the Ibiza scene and his parties have lasted the test of time and continue to attract the crowds to Space. His absence from the Opening parties at Space for the last two years have been noticeable, such is the energy he brings to his sets. No DJ in the world plays Ibiza better than Carl Cox, as he truly understands the musical heartbeat of the island. Ibiza without Carl Cox would not be the same, as he has created many happy memories for clubbers wherever he plays and long may his influence last.
The Frenchman is regarded as the worlds #1 Celebrity DJ and Ibiza can lay claim to some of his success. A hugely influential producer, Guetta built the early stages of his career in Ibiza. He has always recognised the influence that brand Ibiza brings to dance music and has professionally crafted his career around it. The glory days of his FMIF party at Pacha, was the hottest ticket on the island, earning the club massive revenue in the VIP market. The Spanish love his French style and he remains the #1 Celebrity DJ on the island and continues to influence the affluent EDM market at Ushuaia and Pacha and beyond on nearly every chart in the World.