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Pacha 2013 Season Preview

A big year of change for Pacha Ibiza. Here's the full season preview including exclusive line up & tickets release, as well as an interview with Pacha's new programming director and DJ booker.

This year's changes at Pacha Ibiza have already been thematised widely in the media; but, once again, we thought it was best to talk to the club directly to find out what's what. I met up with Steve Hulme, a name that might sound new to the wider public but, as you'll find out, he's no newcomer at all. Obviously we weren't the only ones knocking on his doors lately to get an interview, but not only did Steve patiently reply to all our questions, as a bonus we can now reveal exclusively this year's Pacha season line ups and kick off pre-sale for all Pacha events 2013.

Hi Steve! After all the changes in the Pacha management, can you shed a light on who does what at Pacha Ibiza now? What has your personal involvement been with Pacha prior to taking on this role?

"Hi Stivi. It's probably easiest if I start with myself. I always used to be the guy in the background from when I started in the dance music industry in 1989. Back in the North of England, I put on some of the first super club events in Leeds. At the Corn Exchange, we did L' America and had DJs like David Morales, Masters At Work and Todd Terry all playing, which was a massive line up for that era! I then worked in the house music industry for a very long time, running record labels in the UK and releasing countless house music compilations with about every big house DJ. I then moved to New York and ran Subliminal Records for 7 years. That was between 1999 and 2006, when Erick Morillo was at his absolute peak of his career. During that time, while preparing Subliminal at Pacha Ibiza, I met Danny Whittle. Over the course of the years we became good friends and when I wanted to come back to Europe, he offered me to take over Pacha Recordings. That's how I entered the Pacha group and for the last 7 years I ran the Pacha record label as well as the multimedia department."

"Now, when Danny left, it was internally decided to create a team that runs Pacha Ibiza together. As I've known the scene and the DJs for a long time and I know about programming as well, it was the quite the logical thing that I became programming director and talent booker. The sons and the daughter of Pacha owner Ricardo Urgell are more involved now and we've got Tallyn Planells (ex Privilege manager) who, together with Francisco Ferrer, takes care about the whole look, the image and promotion of Pacha."

Before we have a detailed look into this season, do you want to explain why so much of the weekly programming changed? Do you think this change towards the perceivably cooler DJs will benefit the club?

"First of all, I think the whole idea of people that Pacha completely changed from one side to the other is a bit exaggerated. If you look at the music as such, we haven't changed that much compared to last year. What we've really done is tweaked things to be more up to date with the way the scene evolves. You can't deny the fact that the masses gravitate towards the cool deep and tech sounds. But at the same time you've got an absolutely massive fan base for the more mainstream electro/progressive sound."

"The changes that we made at Pacha this year are made by our choice. The exception to that was probably Luciano and his Cadenza Vagabundos, who we would have loved to keep. He's an absolutely great artist, but he unfortunately couldn't commit to more than 8 dates at Pacha this summer. We run a 20 week season and we're always looking for full season residencies, so in the end we just had to accept this situation and let him go."

"We have to embrace the changes that are happening on the island, so we wanted to have a musically different night on a Wednesday. At the same time, I've tried very hard to keep Erick Morillo in the club, giving him a lot of Saturday night shows. I think he would absolutely have smashed it on Saturdays, but we couldn't get on an agreement with that."

"Defected, over the last few years changed from funky soulful music into a more deep house sound and got quite similar to what we used to have on Fridays and Sundays. But to us, Saturday night clubbing, should be a big sound and a very fun-based night. We didn't want Defected to change their sound obviously, but we still wanted a musical change on Saturdays."

"As for Pete Tong, we wanted Fridays to become more constant and authentic in terms of the music. While he had great guests all season, the musical line wasn't that clear sometimes when you had Laurent Garnier one Friday and Alesso the next. They're all great artists, but we wanted to become more in tune with the public and provide a distinct groove for the night."

OK, now let's have a look at the whole Pacha 2013 week then...

"Let's do it. We start with a musically epic night on Mondays. With EPICA, we'll have one of our high power, high-energy, hands-in-the-air nights at Pacha. So we'll have all this big new stars like Bingo Players, Dada Life, Hard Rock Sofa, Chuckie, Dirty Dutch and Swanky Tunes. Those guys all have an incredible energy and have a huge following!"

EPICA line ups & tickets

On Tuesdays you do Flower Power on a weekly basis this summer. Is having it every week not running the risk of it losing its unique authentic vibe?

"I don't think so. We did it 11 times last year and it worked great and apart from that, the public in Ibiza changes every week! It's also just very cool to have a night on a weekly basis that's so different from everything else."

FLOWER POWER line ups & tickets

Wednesdays - surely the night with the most awkward name, but one of your new nights and I personally think probably the most exciting one?

"Aah you know, Guy Gerber is a proper artist, he's so creative and crazy in a good way! We're thrilled with his Wisdom Of The Glove night, I can't wait to see it. He's gonna play every Wednesday but two this summer and he'll be doing lots of back to back sessions with his guests. Speaking of guests, he's chosen a lot of artists who really deserve that title: Four Tet, Benoit & Sergio, John Talabot, Mathew Dear, Mathew Jonson, Lee Burridge, Shaun Reeves and dOP."

WISDOM OF GLOVE line ups & tickets

Thursdays...was it difficult to keep David and Cathy Guetta at Pacha?

"Not at all. It was actually the first deal we've done for this summer and that was back in November! Cathy was already looking at different dresses and show elements with Francisco in winter. Working with them is really easy, as much as they're stars, they're not divas at all and we have a great relationship. He's used to playing shows for 10'000 - 20'000 people so, for his standards, David Guetta's shows at Pacha are like an intimate gig and he loves it."

F*** ME I'M FAMOUS line ups & tickets

What can you tell us about Friday nights?

"With INSANE, we wanted to have a really authentic night that's on the pulse of things and John Digweed and Fritz Kalkbrenner are massively involved in this night. John Digweed has evolved his style in a beautiful way over the last years and is a big authority in deep tech music. His radio show is one of the most listened worldwide and we're excited to have him for 12 dates this summer. With Frith Kalkbrenner, everyone knows his brother Paul of course, but when you look deeper into the music, Fritz has always been around Paul's music and he's another real artist. His latest album is selling extremely well and when he sings live, his show just gets to another level. Fritz will play 8 times and I can't wait to hear his voice in Pacha! Apart from those two main protagonists, we've added great guests like Steve Lawler, DJ Sneak, Umek, Monika Kruse, Derrick Carter, Terry Francis, Joris Voorn, Nic Fanciulli Coyu and Uner to those insane line ups."

INSANE line ups & tickets

Pure Pacha is back, but a bit different and on Saturdays this year...

"As previously said, we wanted to have a really energetic Saturday night. So we'll present classics of that genre like Bob Sinclair, Martin Solveig and Armand Van Helden on one hand, plus new big names like Hardwell and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike."

PURE PACHA line ups & tickets

Last, but definitely not least, Sunday is all about Solomun and his guests. Solomun requested to play in the middle of the room. We've just seen him doing exactly that this past Saturday at his fantastic pre-season gig. Will it stay the same throughout the summer?

"First of all, we're really proud to have him as literally every club wanted to have Solomun this year. He played for us four times last summer and everyone loved it. In regards to where he plays, he said he wants to be in the middle of the action, so we've built a custom DJ booth that's very low and puts him directly in front of the VIP, which means he has the dancefloor right in front of him and the VIP in the back. We've tested it this weekend, it worked a treat and of course we'll do it this way all summer!"

SOLOMUN+1 line ups & tickets

Speaking of DJ booths, the new one that came on last year seemed to disappear towards the end of the season, what's the situation this year?

"We're using the classic Pacha DJ booth again, but we've remodeled and extended it. It's bigger now and goes more towards to the right as you come into the main room. We've also taken two of the pillars out of the dancefloor which opens up the whole area, so the dancefloor right in front of the DJ booth is going to be much more like a proper dancefloor. Then we've put bigger LEDs behind the booth and also changed the lighting a bit so the DJ is a bit more illuminated if he wants."

What else has has changed at the club for this season?

"Last year, we brought in a new sound system, which we've now further improved for this year. Then we've worked on the lighting as well of course. There's a few other modifications coming up for this summer which I can't tell you about yet though...*grins*"

What do you think of the general public and media response to your changes. Are people 'getting it?'

"When we published the line up during the Miami Winter Music Conference, the industry was very positive about it. The general consensus was that it's all very streamlined, nicely balanced and with a very good concept behind it. Publicly, we'll see how it goes of course! But if you look at the final line ups, it is the artists people want to see in the respective genres. All our artists are headliners in all the major festivals worldwide. So will the public like it? Well, they've supported them for years globally so why shouldn't they do the same in Ibiza?"

Then there's obviously also this article from the New York Times. Is there anything you want to comment? What's Pacha's official answer in regard to this surely unfortunate statement made by Piti? Do you think electronic music really hasn't evolved?

"That comment was made and there is no point hiding from it, but I for one do not know in which context and under what circumstances this statement was made. Of course electronic music has evolved. Massively. As does any other genre of music. If you look at artists and producers like Guy Gerber and Ejeca, it's obvious it's evolved! They're using the latest technology to a maximum and what they achieve with it is simply amazing. If you compare Chuck Berry to Oasis, you'll also notice a huge difference and it's the same if you compare early electronic music with the sound of today."

How do you treat the situation with BOMBA being a new neighbour now?

"We think that having more cool venues in our area is great - it will bring more people in the area! Due to some false reports, people think there is a battle going on between the two venues which is just not true. On a personal level, Danny and I are very good friends, he was even at my wedding. We're all grown up boys, there is no drama at all and we don't harbour any negative feelings towards what's happening."

What do you expect of this season? And what about Pacha are you most proud of?

"I am convinced that Ibiza as a whole will have a fantastic season. All the news things happening on the island are amazing and we're excited to open Destino this summer. With the current climate in the world, people want to get quality for their money. And that's what you get on the island. People trust Ibiza."

"As for Pacha, people trust us as well. They know they'll have a great night at Pacha and if you have a look at the programme now, you can see we've done our homework! What we're proud of? Pacha is still a family run business and has never been sold. Also, if you see how the area that's around Pacha has evolved, from having absolutely nothing around Pacha to being a bubbling place with lots of trendy places, we're proud to have made a big contribution towards this progress. Also, some of the artists wouldn't be what they are today without Pacha. Seeing both those evolutions does make us proud. We want the island to prosper."

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