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Sankeys Ibiza 2013 Season Preview

A detailed insight into what's planned at Sankeys this summer - we spoke to David Vincent to get the lowdown.

To any Ibiza and music lover it is pure joy to see how Sankeys evolved into being a fixture of the Ibiza clubbing scene in merely two years time. Sankeys Ibiza's story began in 2011, with a much discussed first season and a few Ibiza lessons learnt the hard way.

But all the experiences from 2011 were taken on board and in 2012 a much improved Sankeys appeared for its second season on the island. Focusing on putting three weekly nights on a really good level in 2012, Sankeys made its presence felt by providing the platform for Solomun and his Dyinamic crew to unfold on Ibiza, becoming the new home to Steve Lawler and his VIVa Warriors and producing its home grown Carnival night as the third winner of the summer.

Now that the club has released its full weekly programme for 2013, Spotlight's Stivi caught up with the man behind all things Sankeys, David Vincent, to chat in detail about Sankeys 2013 - and beyond.

Hi David, good to see you back on the island! To start off things, if you compare running Sankeys Ibiza to running Sankeys Manchester, what opportunities and influences have you encountered that differ from one to the other?

"In Ibiza I can definitely be more creative. The reason behind this is the fact it's a season on the island; it's a few months only and it's a bit like putting together a festival. You book all the artists, get all your staff for the summer and can really be creative with it. In the time when the clubs in Ibiza are shut, you get a good period when you can think about how you want to do things next year, and then there's the whole build up to the next season."

"Whereas, when you've got a club in England 12 months a year on a weekly basis, you become a cog within a mechanism. You're constantly trying to educate and simply don't have the time to say, "stop, let's look at what happened last season and this is what we want to do next season." Also, if you're running a club year in year out, you're constantly solving problems week after week which numbs your creativity. And if you can't solve those problems quickly, you start to lose numbers and this then might get a spiral effect. In Ibiza you have the whole winter to properly think about everything. In our first season in 2011 we probably had a million problems, last year we made it down to maybe 50 problems and now we could go through all of them and see how we can make it better. Everything starts at zero again at the start of a new Ibiza season. I'm a very creative person and I just think Ibiza is the right place for me to express my creativity, because I've got time to reflect about things and concepts."

"Obviously though, the advantage in having the club in Manchester is that it's musically totally on the pulse of things and Manchester as a city is one of, if not the most musically educated city in the world. It gives us the opportunity to test out stuff and to discover what could work on the island. So we kind of know what's incubating to explode before the other clubs do; as they're shut down in winter, they don't have that testing ground we have on a weekly basis."

Now, let's have a look at the weekly line up of Sankeys Ibiza this summer, seven nights a week this year. The week starts off with Hypercolour on Mondays...

"Like all the brands at Sankeys besides FUSE, we've developed them and brought them to the island. Hypercolur just won DJ Mag's best British label award and they really deserved it. They definitely got the music and a great roster of artists such as Huxley, Mosca, George FitzGerald, Eats Everything, Groove Armada, Maya Jane Coles - it's quality! What I saw is that it would be a good move for Sankeys to get involved there and help to develop their label into a more of a party format. That's what we're strong at and Sankeys is the perfect size for them to start off. Of course you've got other strong nights on a Monday as well, but things change on the island. I mean, 10 years ago, who would have thought that Manumission would disappear? I just think that, musically, Hypercolour are very much on the pulse right now, all the young Brits love it. They definitely could surprise a few people this summer and I think they're going to be one of the next big labels."

Hypercolour Lineup + Tickets

Diynamic is back on Tuesdays. It's great to see the label back at Sankeys! How hard was it to get them again for this year?

"Basically, both parties wanted to work together. Neon Nights was born at Sankeys. Originally, when I had approached Solomun for a gig in 2012, he said he wanted to do a one-off label showcase and I then went like "well, if you do a showcase, then let's do a proper weekly residency" and it went from there. Now, of course another venue could take over Neon Nights, but could they really recreate that special intimate vibe we have in the basement anywhere else on the island? The basement is a very magical room because of the low height of the DJ booth; there is an amazing communication between the DJ and the clubber wich creates an electric atmosphere. This is one of the reasons Dyinamic and their artists didn't want to leave this room and of course they loved the friendly crowd the club attracted. Of course there was a bit of negotiations, but it was mostly speculations of other people who thought we wouldn't be able to hold on to the artists to be honest. You know, of course we can't offer the same financially as any of the big clubs, but we offer so much more in other ways which the big clubs can never give. The Sankeys Ibiza Basement makes ordinary DJs good, good DJs great, and great DJs gods. So we wanted to make a statement that we can hold our artists if we want, it just wasn't right to let Dyinamic go this year as we both have another great chapter together between us."

Diynamic Lineup + Tickets

FUSE on Wednesdays...

"...is the only night at Sankeys that didn't start at Sankeys. The first ever FUSE event in Ibiza was held at the old original Ushuaïa and they've done some other events on the island since then, but they've supported us since day one. Last year we did a few one-offs with them which went really well and I feel this year could be their year - both for Enzo Siragusa as an artist and FUSE as a label, the fusic sound could literally take over the island this summer. Their label as well as their sublabel Infuse are working very well, they've got a lot of tracks being released this year, so with all that, and their link-ups with tINI & The Gang beach parties beforehand will make Wednesdays a must do at Sankeys."

FUSE Lineup + Tickets

And then the US boys come to Ibiza with Dirtybird on Thursdays. Claude Von Stroke is not a newcomer on the island at all, but we haven't seen that many US labels on the island lately...

"With Dirtybird, I heard on the grapevine that they wanted to do some one-offs. I then convinced them to do a full weekly residency. It's actually much harder to pull off one-offs on the island than a full residency. Because once you have your full PR team and the whole marketing together, you can build up the hype and get some real momentum. If it's only one party you start at zero again after the party and it's much harder to get a big hype for just one party anyway. The showcases Dirtybird did in the UK were all sold out events weeks in advance and they're doing really well globally. Then they have some very successful artists on the label such as Eats Everything, Catz 'n' Dogz and Justin Martin. Then I believe Claude Von Stroke has a new album coming out this summer. There is a big buzz about them this year; they've got some really good collaborations with other labels, so I expect them to have great line ups and a successful first season, and even though we haven't announced any artistic content yet, ticket sales are doing well already."

Dirtybird Lineup + Tickets

We're approaching the weekend with Flying Circus on Fridays. They've been doing great stuff on a global scale lately, I think that's going to be an interesting night at Sankeys...

"We had a few ideas for Fridays and Flying Circus was another label that wanted to host some one-offs. In the end all fell into place and here they are. Look at the party they did in Miami, that was ridiculous! They throw around 50 events a year all over the world and what I'm saying now is a very controversial thing to say, but if there ever was a party that could be compared to Circoloco, then it is them. I personally think they can be the next Circoloco and they really remind me of that really special vibe and image of DC10's earlier days. They've got amazing acts on rotation such as dOP, Benoit & Sergio, Hot Since 82 and people like Carl Craig, Martin Buttrich and all that..."

"In terms of local following, we lost something at the club when Monza ended. We worked hard over the winter with our parties to rebuild this with great success, but Flying Circus could bring back even more of that local following, I think it will go down really well with the locals. Their artist roster, artwork and concept is just amazing."

Flying Circus Lineup + Tickets

Carnival is back on Saturdays, the only night apart from Diynamic on Tuesdays that hasn't changed compared to last summer. It's your home made night and it was a big one last year, so...

"Well yeah, to the surprise of quite a lot of people, Carnival was the busiest night at Sankeys last summer, and Carnival's line ups this year are really really good. I'm sure you've already heard about the Finnebassen thing, we've signed him for a lot of shows this summer. He is already being touted by many industry and press alike as the next artist to explode at Sankeys. But then we've got another kid coming on, his name's William Kouam Djoko, a young Dutch guy, and he'll be another one to watch out for as other artists such as Matt Tolfrey and Eats Everything have all said recently. The industry is comparing him to Seth Troxler, so it's definitely going to be interesting to see how he'll go down. Then we've got other artists like Alexis Raphael plus a few of the classics such as DJ Sneak, Cajmere, MK, Todd Terry. Plus we now have the new concept of Carnival Cities where we associate with different clubs from different cities, for example Be As One from Tel Aviv, clubs from Tokyo, Air Amsterdam, D-Edge from Brasil, Mulletover, WetYourSelf and Fabric from London, the Junk club guys from Southhampton, Bugged Out! and so forth... we'll have showcases from all of those labels that probably wouldn't have the chance to be seen in Ibiza without us."

Carnival Lineup + Tickets

Last but not least, VIVa is also back at Sankeys, but has changed day and is now on Sundays. Why the change? And what do you expect for it this summer?

"Steve Lawler wanted to do it on a Sunday. He thought it would be better for the night to go forward to do it on a Sunday. So that was his decision and we respected that because he's such a legend and he knows Ibiza as well as anyone on the island. VIVa had a fantastic season during the winter with their international VIVa Warriors events. All their UK events including the one at Sankeys Manchester were a massive success and I just think that VIVa Warriors now has gone beyond being about the DJ - and that's good for them. Because now, people go to VIVa Warriors because it's a party. Of course, they know it's good, they know Steve's gonna play and there's going to be some good guests, but people are now going to VIVa Warriors to put on a headband, get dressed up and have some proper fun! So in a way it's like the Dyinamic Neon Nights were last summer with the neon paint. You know, clubbing is about escapism and VIVa Warriors gives you that, just lose it on the dancefloor. This year there will be fewer guest DJs because we found that some of them didn't work that well, but that will give people like Darius Syrossian a chance to play more like a main set. He had a fantastic summer last year and I think he'll gonna have an amazing season in 2013! VIVa is getting more consistent with their residents playing a bigger role and Steve will probably also end up playing longer stets this summer which is just great as he is really on fire right now."

VIVA Warriors Lineup + Tickets

Ok, now if you had to pick one, which night are you most excited about this year?

"I can't, I just can't! I mean, I'm excited about all of them, the new ones as well as the established ones as we literally do have the SEVEN WONDERS OF SANKEYS IBIZA this summer. But if there is one I'm maybe most intrigued about, it's Flying Circus, because I'm just super curious to see how this will go down here."

You have some really cool residencies and parties at the club this year, how do you appeal to the artists and parties to commit to the club every week for a whole season? What are the club's USPs?

"Me! *laughs* My persuasive character is probably an important factor as I just don't let them say no *grins*. Seriously though, I always had long conversations with all my partners and eventually could convince them to do proper residencies instead of one-offs to give you an example. Our USP is surely the size of our venue, it's just perfect for a new label or a night to set foot on Ibizan soil. If they start off with 600-700 people attending, it's not a failure, but a success. If they try to do it in another club in Ibiza and get the same number of people it would be a disaster."

"And I think that our Basement is the best room for any DJ on the whole island. The position of the DJ booth is just perfect and all the DJs absolutely love it. It is a DJs DJs room as it is music focused. It's no secret that the basement was one of the reasons that defined Solomun in Ibiza which in turn helped him propel his career further globally. As you know, the terrace at DC-10 is that room where DJs really got noticed and now I feel our Basement is that new place. Plus, we're adding more sound to the room this year as well. If a DJ nowadays has a good summer residency in the Basement at Sankeys Ibiza, it could define their careers and the artist will definitely benefit from this on a global level afterwards."

Right, now the weekly programme is out. The next step should be all the line ups, when can we expect them?

"Obviously it's a lot of work to book all the artists, alone for Carnival we're booking over 100 DJs for example, but we hope to announce the Carnival line ups in the next few days. And after that we'll release one brand line up every week or two."

At the moment there are still early bird tickets available priced at 20€ at Ibiza Spotlight. How much are they going to be once the line ups are out?

"I think they'll go up to 25€ at the next stage probably, and then to 30€ finally, but we haven't decided yet about this."

Over the last two seasons we've seen the club physically change. What's happening at the club this year?

"Well first off, each room is getting a more rounded feel to it this summer with a better sound and lighting system, all throughout the club. Then talking about the art side of things, we'll have some great graffitis in the club made from Belin (www.belin.es) who some regard as the spanish banksy and I feel this will really suit the club. The Box - which changes its name to the LAB (L.A.B. = lighting acoustic bureau), our most experimental room, gets a makeover and gets completely soundproofed with an amazing new soundsystem by Anthem Systems from New York. It can then also work as a completely independent club/room with a separate entrance this summer."

Obviously what it comes down to is quality music, but how important do you feel social media has been to Sankeys Ibiza's increasing popularity?

"I think it's absolutely crucial. It's so important to be able to communicate with your fans. The Finnebassen residency thing only happened through our social media channels, where we got such a great feedback from our fans about him. We can ask them who they wanna see and we can interact directly with our crowd."

What else do we need to know about Sankeys 2013, be it Ibiza or elsewhere?

"There's a lot of things going on actually! Sankeys Manchester is closing down indefinitely for the first time in 7 years. Who knows what will happen in the future with the club. We'll have one last big session on 6th May. and tickets for that one sold out in 5 hours! During the summer, I want to be able to focus 100% on Ibiza this season, so I'll give it my full attention. I really feel it could be our year this year and I am determined for Sankeys Ibiza to be regarded as one of the best clubs in the world, like we achieved with Manchester. In order to achieve this, I need all my staff from the Manchester club and more importantly, some of my production, and I cannot keep both clubs open at the same time as it is impossible for me to manage properly."

"Also, we'll have our own Sankeys radio station which will feature live streaming and prerecorded mixes 24/7', we'll have a Sankeys App soon as well which the radio will be available on, as well as being able to access all the latest Sankeys news, listings and photo galleries. It will be fully interactive within the club as we are opening wifi to our customers to use the app on so you can take pictures with your friends and share them with home straight away and most importantly you will also get any secret party announcements sent straight to your phone while you're still inside the club. Our Spektrum bar is probably going to be open during the day. In terms of more international news, we're looking to open Sankeys New York in mid-July if everything goes according to plan and there is a chance that this winter, Sankeys Miami will open as well."

Last, but not least, let's think outside the box. How do you think the Ibiza 2013 season is generally shapening up?

"If everyone says last year was the year of change, then this is the year of more change! *laughs* There's such a lot of new stuff happening on the island you know, Ushuaïa Towers, Destino and obviously Bomba. It's going to be such an interesting season with so many new places appearing! I think that, because last year's new stuff like ENTER., Music On and our shows at Sankeys worked so well, the island benefits from the first real buzz in years this summer. Now we've got all these new venues opening up this year and I think this is gonna bring a lot of new people and new energy to the island. Bomba will be one to watch especially and I congratulate my friend Danny Whittle on it, it's going to be amazing! All those changes aside - one thing is never going to change: Ibiza is the perfect island for pure escapism. There just never will be another place like Ibiza."

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