“Not everybody understands house music. It’s a spiritual thing, a body thing, a soul thing.” went the vocal on the Eddie Amador house classic. And, as anyone who has been to Ibiza will attest, it is almost certainly, a ‘Pacha thing’.
First opening way back in the hedonistic days of the early seventies, Pacha has long supported the house scene in all its various forms; this year, boasting resident parties like Renaissance, Defected, Subliminal, Pete Tong's Pure Pacha, Sander Kleinenberg's Everybody and of course, long-running Saturday residency Def Mix.
Just two weeks into the Ibiza 2005 season and this summer already looks like being another huge success for Pacha; Def Mix resident and icon, Frankie Knuckles having this to say about last weekend’s Opening Party,
“It was a great opening night much to my surprise. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect considering we opened a week or two earlier than normal but it was magnificent! Plenty of tourist and weekend revelers but also plenty of locals. Especially women…such lovely women. Just an overall very delightful crowd. My whole set was a peak for me. I just hated to have to leave so early. The crowd really hung onto everything I played. Which made for an easy night for me to play but a difficult one to leave behind.”
Clearly Pacha's ongoing success is no fluke and, in the fickle world of the dance music and club industry, is both the result of some devoted house heads and clued-up business minds. Enter Mark Netto, who by day frequents Pacha’s offices as its Programming Director and come sunset or sunrise is likely to be found behind the decks at the Pacha club supporting any one of a number of international DJs.
An integral part of the Pacha set-up since the year 2000, RA checked in with Mark Netto to find out a little more about what goes on behind the scenes at one of the most revered clubs on Ibiza and also the planet.
Pacha's Brand Director Danny Whittle marshals the troops in what is obviously a very successful formula. Can you explain the remaining management and creative structure at Pacha?
Basically the brand encompasses many different elements. We have a record label, booking agency, restaurant, hotel, nightclubs, franchises to mention a few. Each of the departments have able managers, which have understand the ethos of the brand, and apply that ethos to each department. Yet, Pacha is still a family business, so everything falls under their umbrella..
You are an integral part of the Pacha Ibiza set up. When and how did you first become involved with Pacha? Tell us about your typical day during both the peak and off-peak seasons.
My first involvement with Pacha, was as a chap that helped hang decorations for Renaissance in 1997. The year after I returned to Pacha as a Ministry of Sound worker. I joined full time in 2000 under the impression I was going to be running a bar on the terrace and behold….I started doing parties..
Off Season: In the office for 10am to 2pm. Long lunch and Siesta. Office again from 4.30pm to 8pm. Disco in Ibiza or on tour on the weekends..Nice and easy…
Peak Season: Office from 4.30 to 8.30. Dinner. Disco midnight to 8am. Sleep. Office. Dinner. Disco. Sleep. Office. Dinner. Disco. Sleep. Office. Dinner. Disco. Sleep. Office. Dinner. Disco.
There are a number of Pacha franchises around the world. Is Ibiza still the spiritual home of the brand? Are there any further expansion plans for the next 12 months?
Ibiza is more than the spiritual home. It is the mother ship..The rate of expansion in the last few years has been huge. We have offers from capital cities in all the continents. For us the challenge is trying to maintain the Pacha ethos in our new venues.
Pacha is hosting a number of parties this Ibiza Summer, can you tell us more about the planning process that goes into the scheduling of these nights. Do some parties/brands/DJs work better on different nights of the week?
The planning starts before we have completed the past season. We try to consider all the variables required. From the day of the week to the genre of house or what the competition are doing. We promote all the nights of the week ourselves, so we need to really consider our weekly programming and keep our lineup dynamic.
Which parties are you most excited about this season?
Honestly, I am always most excited about by the new things. So Defected should be cool, Defmix has some wicked new guests this summer..and I am looking forward to seeing how Sundays go with Sander Kleinenberg.
It has been written in some corners of the press that Ibiza has lost its creative edge and enchanting spark. Have you noticed any real changes in recent years?
I have noticed that Ibiza has become more creative and enchanting of late. It may be more taxing to find the enchantment, but that makes it even more rewarding. Ibiza is full of magic, and if the press feel that Ibiza has lost it’s creative edge, they should stay in their corner.
We arrive for a night at Pacha and see yourself in the booth. What should we expect to hear blaring out of the system at impressive decibel levels?
It depends what day of the week it is…
For Ibiza virgins, about to lose their cherry this year why should they put Pacha in their party plans? What 3 things should they definitely bring with them to the island?
If anyone comes to Ibiza and does not go to Pacha, all their friends will tease them for not going to Pacha.
3 things to bring to Ibiza: Money. Music. Nothing else really.
DefMix will again call Pacha their home for this their seventh year and have some cracking line-ups to boot. Which of their party line-ups holds the most significance for you?
David and Frankie together.
From the very beginning Pacha has always stood for stylish hedonism, freedom of expression and the true spirit of Ibiza. What is the craziest thing you've seen on the dancefloor at Pacha?
Pelos Locos. Hairstyling on the dancefloor…or perhaps the Phantom of the Opera.
Sum up in one sentence what we can expect from Pacha Ibiza this year.
The chickens are restless…