Monday, 13 September 2010

Mark Broadbent: We Love at Space, Ibiza

Last summer I managed to blag a gig over at Space in Ibiza under the pretence that it was my birthday. We took a gang over with us and had such a blast they asked to come back and do it again (this Sunday, September 19th, since you asked). Over the past few years I'd noticed that Space have started incorporating a lot of the less obvious acts into their line-ups and this summer they had youngsters PBR Streetgang as residents, alongside booking loads of leftfield DJs, and old hands like Ian Dewhirst have told us that they've never had so much interest from Ibizan bookers as they have this year. So we thought we'd ask Mark Broadbent, who does the bookings for We Love, what was going on in the White Isle.

How has it been this summer in Ibiza? How has the recession affected the island? 

This summer seems to have been far better than last year and not just for the clubs either which is great news. I live in Ibiza town and last year it was a sad sight indeed to see the restaurants half empty and closed by early September. But this year July and August have been mostly amazing and September is looking pretty good. Fingers crossed we are starting to see the first signs of economic re-growth. 

Things seem to be starting to open up a little bit in Ibiza in the past year or so with what you've been doing and also parties like Nightmare on Wax George's at Aura. Is that something you think will get bigger?
I hope so, I mean we have always strived to bring different things to the table with our bookings but as you rightly suggest the past couple of years have seen us reaching that little bit futher. We are very lucky to have six arenas in which to programme acts and this has allowed us to experiment with different genres and we have now got to the point where if you don’t like whats going on in one room, you can check out one of the others where there’s bound to find something you will like. We also have a slightly older and more musically clued up crowd who have grown with us over the past twelve years, which obviously helps a lot.

Ibiza seems even more obsessed with house than anywhere else I go. Do you think it's true and, if so, why?
The modern history of the island has been built on the foundations of house music in its different forms, its music that is common to all the people of Europe. Music we can all understand, if you like, although as you suggest in the previous question there are changes afoot with promoters looking to include different styles in their programing. However, I don’t feel that Ibiza is on its own with an obsession of house, it's pretty much the soundtrack to saturday night/the weekend wherever you go if you spend it in nightclubs (I use the term house music very liberally of course!) 

If you could book any DJ from any era, what would your dream line-up be and where would you get them to play? 
It would be very difficult for me to suggest one defining “dream line-up” not only would it upset the acts i didn’t list but this is pretty much what I do over the whole summer, anyway. There are, of course, a few that I’ve missed – Larry Levan, John Peel, for example, who I’d have loved to have had on. Every year I go on my travels and think about what has worked, try and understand what it is that people liked about the acts and then include others that are a reference point or moving in a similar direction the following year. If I just booked acts that I like (i.e. my dream line-up) I’d most probably be stood there with another 200 people in a venue big enough for 5,000 so I obviously have to think about our customers’ tastes. But I only book acts that I think are great at what they do even if it is not necessarily my own personal taste. It's all about finding the right balance. 

Is there anywhere else in the world you'd love to take We Love to? 
It's more about working with people who we like than a country to be honest but having said that it would be nice to do a winter season in the snow somewhere. 

How do you think the Spanish view the Brit invasion of the island? 
Different people have different opinions but for the most part we are looked on as an important piece of the jigsaw I think. I mean the British tourists make up something like 60% of the tourists visiting Ibiza every summer so you do the maths! 

What music do you listen to at home? 
All sorts, dependent on the time of day and my mood at that particular time. We have a very old four-storey house with sound-systems on all four levels so there is very often wildly different music on each level. My wife Sarah also gets the occasional say in what we listen to although that’s generally some spoken word on Radio 4 or some old indie/rockabilly stuff. Current faves for the last six months include – The Books, Forest Swords, Caribou, Four Tet, The Alps, Baris K, Bottin, Capac, Jonathan Richman, Soul Lichfield, Sparklehorse, Yo La Tengo, Gonjasufi, Actress, D.I.R.T.Y. Soundsystem podcasts, Burning Spear, Desmond Dekker, Bernie Connor’s podcast, Gilles peterson, Phat Phil Cooper, Toro y Moi, Kirstin Hersh, Oddisee, Nath Family, Jarvis Cocker on 6Music, Carl Craig. 

It must be bonkers during the summer season with very little time to rest. What do you do for the rest of the year? 
It's not a hard job to be honest, we have a great team that have been with us for some years now so the promotion is a well-oiled machine. I make sure that I get time to reflect on how things are going during the summer months, try not to get too sucked into the constant club/bar/club/bar/club circut that I was once very involved in. We have younger people on the team who are far better equipped to do this now! Having said that there is always a bittersweet feeling on finishing the summer season and it's good to get away from the island. Myself and Sarah my wife and partner – alongside Darren Hughes – in the business always take at least two months off around December to travel. We go to places as far away from the vibe of Ibiza in the summer months as possible, last year was Nicaragua and this year we are off to Bangladesh and the Andaman islands for a couple of months.

1 comment:

ruairi said...

I hope you know about Broadbent's summer mix, listen here.