We Love’s Mark Broadbent on Ibiza VIPs, EDM and Marauding Poor (interview)
“I will state categorically here that I am not expecting the poor to rise up against the rich on the island this summer, Jonty, but I’m equally not sure what effect this dreadful situation will have on us either.”
Chatting to Skrufff this week on the eve of his sure-to-be roadblocked opening party of We Love at Space (June 9, featuring James Zabiela, Carl Craig, Bicep, Alfredo et al- http://welove-music.com) usually gloriously outspoken Ibiza club promoter Mark Broadbent admits he’s for once somewhat tongue-tied about the implications of Spain’s economic crisis for it’s seemingly recession proof island.
“I am really in no position to talk about this as like an ostrich I’ve had my head in the sand and am not fully aware of what is going on,” Mark confesses.
“This is indicative of island life, we pretty much live in a bubble and I’m both happy and sad to say that we are very insulated from not only the reality of the current financial situation but reality itself,” he muses.
Asking him, however, about Sven Vath’s recent assertions at Ibiza music conference IMS that ‘there’s currently a VIP obsession with the underground’ and what that might mean for We Love, he’s quick to revert to blunt speaking, no nonsense Northerner mode.
“I don’t think that the so-called VIPs I presume he’s referring to would like the actual underground myself,” he suggests. “They might like what they consider to be the underground but that’s not what WE do on Ibiza, is it?”
“Real VIP’s i.e people who go clubbing for the music and to have a good time no matter what their social or economic standing are always welcome at We Love . . . these people pay our wages so are very important to us,” he stresses.
“But if your talking about VIPs as in the drug dealers, gangsters and their whores who pay to stand behind a rope away from the crowd excluded rather than included then they are not an important part of what we do and we do not welcome them, by programming the music that they like, as a general rule.”
Sven Vath also said that Ibiza prices are now too high: do you agree?
“Outside of the clubs I personally pay a fair amount for what I consume, it is more expensive than the mainland but this is an island economy and thus different issues apply across the board,’ he points out.
“The clubs charge high prices because their running costs are extremely high and they have a three month window of opportunity in which to make money to employ staff and take care of business for a 12 month period.
“There is also an island tax for anything that is imported from the mainland to help protect local business. If you want to live in the lap of luxury it costs. There is only so much to go around and everybody wants a piece.”
Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): It seems like lots more change is happening on Ibiza this year than for MANY years: from your perspective: how much of a game changing year is it?
We Love (Mark Broadbent): “Well we will have to wait and see but for sure there is a lot of competition this summer so some are going to fall by the wayside. I think that we will do okay if everybody around us plays ball and doesn’t start comping everything (offering free complimentary tickets/ admission). It is very difficult for us now as we are one of the last promotion teams running our own night on the island.
Most nights are now taken care of in-house by the clubs with a ‘booker’ taking care of the bookings, so the clubs get all the door money and the bar money and pay a wage to the ‘booker’ for their services. We, on the other hand, take a percentage of the door and take on all the risks financially ourselves so this means we have very little room for manoeuvre when it comes to comping tickets and handing out free invites. This is the biggest game changer on Ibiza.”
Skrufff: What are the key changes you’ve introduced for We Love this season?
We Love (Mark Broadbent): “Space have been very good with us and after having spoken about the issue of comping I just mentioned we have been able to reduce our door price to make us more competitive within the market place not only within the venue and the other nights there like Carl and Richie nights which we were always more expensive than but also the other nights on the island. This year we will be 20€ cheaper than we were previously, making us the best value premium night on the island.
That is the main key change if you like but as always there have been huge improvements to the venue, lighting, sound, new staffing systems to reduce time spent queuing for entrance and drinks once inside. Space take care of things and ensure the customer has the best possible nightclub experience for their hard earned cash.”
Skrufff: How much attention are you paying to the rise of EDM? Any chance we’ll see the likes of Hardwell and Afrojack ever gracing your line-ups?
We Love (Mark Broadbent): “EDM doesn’t just mean Hardball and Afrotack and artists of their ilk, right?!? Of course I would never book this type of DJ as they are not representative of what we do but all the acts I book are termed as playing EDM in America and I’m sure the term will take over on this side of the water too. I know that at this year’s IMS conference most people we know were referring to what they do as EDM so the Americans (with the money) knew what they were talking about. A shit term like . . . electronic dance musi . . . .doh ! fucking idiots.”
Skrufff: How concerned are you about all the super-rich investors pouring money into Ibiza and turning it into more of a 5 star island?
We Love (Mark Broadbent): “My friend and confidant Ryan O Gorman summed up best what we (the island lovers) think about this in an interview yesterday so i’ll let his words speak for me here if that’s okay -
I’d like the Swedish House Mafia to fuck off, they can takeAvicii with them too. I’d like this ridiculous VIP culture to swallow itself, it;s a vulgar unsustainable vacuous parasite on the Island that is benefitting a very select few. They are pricing out decent people from the Island and killing the authenticity and culture here.
I don’t have a problem with big money being here, those people generally aren’t the ones you see in the VIP, it’s normally the dregs of the celebrity scene and desperately aspirational people who will spend everything they have to stand behind a rope. It’s very soulless and I think there are plenty of other places that offer this kind of shite. Ibiza’s cultural history, music and party scene however are totally unique, we should embrace that. (Ibiza-voice: http://www.ibiza-voice.com/story/news/5100 )
Skrufff: is We Love ever up for sale if the price is right?
We Love (Mark Broadbent): “Yes of course. How much you got? Make me an offer.”
Skrufff: Have you had any more encounters with jellyfish?
We Love (Mark Broadbent): “They have all been killed it seems! I’ve not seen one for years now which although nice in one respect is also a little worrying as I suspect lots of cooler and tastier things eat them or are reliant on them for something.”
Skrufff: Anything else to add?
We Love (Mark Broadbent): “Yeah. Ibiza changes every year but ultimately it always remains the same. Come and find out for yourselves, find your own corner of Ibiza, make some friends return year after year and help me buy a boat!”
We Love opens this weekend (June 9) and is every Sunday at Space (until the end of September).
Jonty Skrufff: https://twitter.com/djjontyskrufff