Ibiza Summer 2013's nearly over, what next?

Words by: I Voice
Posted: 25/9/13 10:59

Ibiza 2013 marketing research... It’s official – Ibiza season 2013 is nearly over. We have only a few more closings ahead, and then the island will plunge into a rightful hibernation. Before making plans (and building castles in the sky) for the next summer it’s a good idea to make a quick unbiased analysis of the foregone months and assess our gains and losses.

Without beating around the bush, we need to admit that too many parties going on simultaneously in too many venues resulted in a big mess. The phenomenon of one and the same DJs playing absolutely everywhere killed diversity of the island’s nightlife and blurred the identity of many club brands.

It looks pretty much as if promoters and club owners neglected to do any marketing research before the season at all and started acting relying only on their own hopes and ambitions, not on impartial forecasts. How many of them were eventually satisfied with the outcome? Very few lucky ones.

This season developed on a weird rhythm. June was a dead month, except for the vibrant opening week. July had a slow start but finally propelled us into the proper Ibiza summer heat. August performed well in the beginning, but there was some kind of a downturn during its second half. Things got considerably better and livelier in September, but only on the underground front – for example, we’ve never seen DC10 being that busy in Autumn. On the contrary, the biggest parties with commercial sound (such as F*** Me I’m Famous at Pacha or Matinee at Amnesia) are rounding off the season earlier than expected – but it doesn’t mean that “wrong” music is the only source of all troubles.

Many new discos and beach clubs started late this year and due to bad organization failed to establish themselves on the island. We wrote a lot about Eden and Booom – in spite of heavy investments and decent line-ups, these venues never really took off. What’s more, we can’t remember a season when so many parties had to close earlier or were simply cancelled: Get Physical, Next Wave and The Arena at Vista Club, Nervo Nation at Ushuaia Tower, all events at Moma and Santos…

Just for your information, here is a table of common sound pressure levels in decibels (Sound Pressure Level)
   Just for your information,
   Here is a table of common sound pressure levels in decibels (Sound Pressure Level)
Let’s not continue this sad list. Promoters tried to bite off more than they could chew and created a lose-lose situation where no one actually benefitted, but many had to admit defeat. It was quite obvious from the very beginning that the configuration of the island’s nightlife became unsustainable, but rules of logic and smart strategies are just not meant for Ibiza: what seems to be business here often turns out to be just a personal ego affair.

Ibiza people firmly state that 2013 wasn’t really a good season. Too much competition was going on with lots of petty fight and pressure. As a result, small businesses, such as bar and shops, were doing not so well.

It shouldn’t be forgotten that we are on an isle where the letter of the law isn’t applied in the same way to everybody: the smaller, the more prone you are to end up closed or being controlled. 

Amazingly enough, in September we have seen some beach bar parties closed due to a non-observance of the maximum legally authorized noise level of 65dB – but the same rule never prevents venues like Ushuaia play their music really loud. Obviously, different venues have different scales of decibels.


What are Ibiza club owners and promoters going to do next year, we wonder?What are Ibiza club owners and promoters going to do next year, we wonder? We hope not to see again such a party overkill that we had this summer. The promoters from the majority of the super clubs and also some hotels and beach bars will have to brainstorm a bit more thoroughly this winter considering their 2014 programme. If they asked us for advice, this is the message that we would like to convey to them first and foremost:

Guys, if you want to do better in 2014, stop chasing after the easy buck. Do some market research in advance and try to offer quality instead of quantity. Now it’s more urgent than ever to keep your identity and be innovative. Instead of pursuing the “A-list DJs only line-up” format, try to offer some diversity.

This summer the same DJs have been rinsed in most of the venues perpetually, which might be ok for the artists themselves and their agencies, as well as for clubs who profit from sharing DJs flight costs and sometime fees. However, at the end of the day your party and your club will finish with losing their identity and punters’ loyalty. 

Now clubbers often have an option of visiting a party with three A-list DJs in the line-up instead of going to three events of a smaller scale, so maybe it’s your venue that will end up neglected next.

Ibiza promoters and club owners! Be realistic on drink prices, be more responsible about water cost and smarter about overcrowding. You have totally forgotten lately that there is no shame to get a 80%-90% capacity in your party – on the contrary, the event will only benefit from this and will surely have a better vibe than a 150% overcrowded one. For example, this year Cocoon produced a much cooler impression just because they didn’t overcrowd their night – thumbs up!

Stop wasting your energy in denouncing each other or playing dirty tricks on your competitors. Use your resources to be the best and unique. Be creative, put some effort into elaborating a good image, art work and concept for your party – in this aspect summer 2013 was pretty lame.

Relax don't do it / When you want to go to it Regarding one particular enterprise, namely the Matutes’ one, we can be sure that they will go on in the same direction – or, to be more precise, in all the directions, that’s why it is called expansion. Next year they open a Hard Rock Hotel (ex-Club Don Toni and Hotel Don Toni merged into one complex), and for sure they are already conceiving some “VIP rock concerts” there.

The project looks pompous and suicidal at the same time: the launch of Ushuaia Tower created “autocompetition” between the two parts of Ushuaia, and now the third venue will do its bit and bring even more rivalry to the enterprise. Will the owners finally try to think better and be more realistic this time?

Alas, some lessons are not yet learnt, even though they are crucially important. We do not want to see people being put in hospital or die after being attacked by a member of the security staff. It happened 2 years ago in Ushuaia and repeated once again this year –if you aren’t aware yet, a security guy at Blue Marlin pushed a guest of the venue so hard that the latter fell down, hit his head against the floor, lapsed into a coma and had to be admitted to the intensive care unit..

It should be remembered that punters are not just numbers – they are real people. So treat them as human beings please, teach your security team not only provide safety but be polite and smile to people. Contract real professionals, not mongoloid monkeys. You hire securities to protect your clients from assaults, attacks and emergencies – but not to beat them, cripple them and destroy their lives. How many victims do you need to realize it?

This summer Ibiza hit the headlines all over the world as the island of drug dealing – will it become internationally renowned next year as the island where bouncers kill the clients of the venues?

All in all, what will the word “Ibiza” mean in the next ten years? How will the island look? What kind of people will be living here? Ibiza is going through a pivotal moment, and we do hope that the currents trends will change in the nearest future. Shall we expect more and more dirty tricks and aggressive competition from all the players involved? Or will we see the long-awaited better organization and quality concepts? We can only wonder…

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