By Scott T. Sterling
For many EDM fans, the island of Ibiza is the ultimate party mecca. Situated of the eastern coast of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea, it’s famous for hosting some of the biggest club events in the world, attracting hordes of tourists who flock to the island to take in the biggest DJ names in the game playing parties 24 hours a day.
According to those very same marquee DJs, however, the Ibiza experience has become far too expensive for the average EDM fan to enjoy, with exorbitant ticket prices and VIP amenities turning the legendary island into just another playground for the rich and famous (Ibiza is where actor Orlando Bloom recently took a swing at Justin Bieber as Leonardo DiCaprio cheered him on).
“It was more of a tastemaker, a musical discovery, than it is now,” DJ Steve Angello, former member of the Swedish House Mafia told BBC Newsbeat. “Now it is about selling tickets and big names, it has become what it is everywhere else. The mystique of Ibiza isn’t there any more.”
The way the party promoters tell it, the high price of Ibiza nightlife is a necessary evil to present A-list DJs and synapse-firing productions seven days a week throughout the summer.
“It is as expensive as any other holiday destination that has to make it’s money in a small window when the tourists are here,” explained Steve Hulme, the musical director for popular Ibiza club, Pacha. “There is no real desire from the clubs just to up the charges as much as we can, there’s a cost versus income and a basic profit that needs to be made. So the ticket prices are not ‘Let’s charge X amount for X amounts’. Everything is calculated on a needs must, we have major costs of running the businesses we have here.”
Even pioneering DJ Paul Oakenfold, who despite feeling like the Ibiza party scene is “ripping us off,” concedes that fans ultimately get what they pay for when they hit the island.
“If you go and see (popular British soccer team) Manchester United and it is full of stars, and every season you want your club to buy the best players, then you’ve got to pay the ticket to go and see them,” he opined.
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Pacha’s Hulme adds that the uptick in prices for Ibiza nightlife came as the scene shifted away from the overall experience and toward big-name, superstar DJs.
“In years gone by, when I first started coming to Ibiza, I’d come to Pacha and not care who was playing. Ibiza was like this for years and years and years,” he explained. “Then as DJs became pop stars, the whole game changed. The masses wanted to come and they wanted to see a pop star. You can’t just open the door now with a resident [DJ]. We’d love to but we can’t.”