Can a Season In Ibiza Help Your DJ Career?
If you’re contemplating a season in Ibiza, Point Blank can help you kickstart your trip with our new two-week Ibiza course. Held at Can Blau Music School, nestled in an idyllic village near San Jose, you will be taught the fundamentals of music production and DJing by our expert instructors and provided with a host of exclusive networking opportunities. This course can give you a real head start when it comes to working in Ibiza over the summer, with students having the opportunity to play at our closing parties, held at the Ocean Drive Hotel and Hotel Pacha, (yes – that Pacha!).
Can Blau – the home of Point Blank Ibiza
Living in Ibiza for five months sounds like a dream come true for many people. The main clubbing season runs from May through to October each year where thousands flock to the island looking to work, and the occasional party. But if you’re a DJ determined on taking your career to the next level, can a season in Ibiza enhance your chances of success? Danny Savage, an event promoter, DJ and entrepreneur from Yorkshire thinks so, as he shares his story with Point Blank on moving to the Spanish island in 2007.
‘It was May 2007. I’d only just set up my first club night, ‘Filth’ in Wakefield. It was a hard decision to leave, but I’d been talking about it for years until eventually, I plucked up the courage to go through with it. I sold almost everything I owned at a car boot sale (including my prized Adidas Classics collection!) I even threw away my collection of old mix tapes, which still haunts me to this day. It was a fresh start with new opportunities in sight, and obviously loads of sunshine and fun times ahead.’
Reasons why hosting an event can launch your DJ career
‘My plan was to go to Ibiza and network the hell out of it – being omnipresent – meeting everyone I could in order to improve my club night and chances of success as a DJ. Like many, I wanted to go out there and DJ straight away but I quickly discovered this wasn’t easy. My girlfriend at the time and I had to sleep on a lilo on a mate’s balcony for a week until we found a place of our own to stay. I got my first job as a ticket seller for The Zoo Project in San Antonio. Selling tickets to holidaymakers wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do, but I had to start somewhere.
The Zoo Project
I was pretty good at selling on the street, but I spent all my days walking around the dirty streets of San Antonio stopping people and pitching to them, it was quite demoralising. Then one night I was back at our apartment on my laptop. A mate in Leeds messaged me on Facebook saying he was flying over this week and could he have a load of discount Zoo Project tickets? There was a tidy €150 profit in it for me. Nice and easy! It got me thinking there could be a future in this after all. So I decided to post a status asking who was coming over to Ibiza that summer, and I got a whole load of replies with dates. Then I started planning a calendar on who was coming on what dates so I could sell them tickets, it was as simple as just messaging them the week before to make sure they were coming to the Zoo. Most of them were in large groups, which was certainly happy days for my bank balance!
What started as a tedious, exhausting job ended up pocketing me over €1000 per week. I even managed to fund a party back in the UK and fly back for it during the summer! By then I’d built up an extensive network of connections in Ibiza: I was on the guestlist for any party I wanted, having got to know many of the key promoters working on the island, fueled by my idea of being omnipresent (everywhere, always!). I even started building an email database of contacts that I’d met on the Island, planning for the following summer. I was the top ticket seller out of a team of 60. I’d had amazing summer and met a load of new friends and made new connections. I’d still not managed to bag a DJ set at any of the big clubs, though!’
The second summer in Ibiza
‘During the winter I worked hard turning my club night ‘Filth’ into what was to become a Leeds clubbing institution. I kept in touch with the Zoo Project guys and even co-promoted a few parties back in the UK with them. The following summer I was offered my own ticket-selling team, my own arena at the Zoo Project and 15% shares in the brand. I was buzzing: I’d only been promoting for a year and here I was with my own arena in Ibiza, managing my own teams of promotional staff. To top it off, me and a few mates decided to rent a pimp villa for the summer, right on the sea front. The infamous ‘Filth Villa’ was born.
The opening party at The Filth Villa
As you can imagine, life was amazing. I began DJing all over the island at small venues, private parties, West End bars, the super clubs of Space, Eden, Es Paradise; I even got a gig playing in the toilets at Manumission! It was all good fun and I met so many contacts from all over the world. We had regular villa parties where world-famous DJs would play from a window looking out onto our pool. Midway through the summer however, the Zoo Project arrangement went a little sour when one of my ticket selling managers stole €2500 of ticket money. He ran off back to the UK and I parted company with the Zoo. Ibiza is amazing, but there’s still some dodgy characters over there and even good people can get themselves into sticky situations due to the lifestyle and pressure of earning money to survive the summer.
Instead of working for Zoo Project I decided to hire the Zoo from the venue owner and throw my own mini-festival. I called it ‘I Love Leeds Festival’. I brought together all my DJ friends & promoters from the Leeds club scene and promoted this on Facebook whilst living in Ibiza. It was targeted purely to Leeds clubbers, but the Leeds scene was that good back then that there were people from all over the world attending. It was mental! One of the best parties I’ve ever hosted. I sold over 1000 tickets and people in Leeds still talk about it now, 9 years on.
Danny Savage at the controls
Off the back of my Festival, I was asked to host a room for Carl Cox at Space. Playing at Space was a lifelong dream so to host a whole room with all my mates playing for Carl Cox was mind-blowing. To end another amazing summer, we had our final Filth Villa party of the year. We had a ‘Neverland’ theme with fire breathers and fireworks on the roof. It was talked about all over the Island, so much so that 50 Guardia Civil raided us and closed the party down. I spent another three years living in Ibiza, including two winters. I even ran my club nights back in the UK from my laptop at the Filth Villa in Ibiza all winter.
Closing at The Filth Villa
So did Ibiza improve my career as a DJ? Yes. Most definitely. I owe a lot of my success to my time in Ibiza. I’ve played at some of the best clubs and festivals in the world through the contacts I’d built up from the island I call my second home.’
Is a season right for me?
‘As you can see above I made the most of my trip to Ibiza. My idea of relentless networking most certainly worked. That was always my aim and it helped to improve my career significantly. If you’re considering going out there my advice is to take my approach. See it as a networking opportunity. Go there, be sociable, meet as many people as you can and make sure you’ve got the talent that matches your enthusiasm. You just never know what doors it might open.’
Ushuaia – an official supporter of Point Blank Ibiza
If a season in Ibiza sounds attractive to you, Point Blank’s brand new Ibiza school can help you hit the ground running. Our two-week Ibiza DJ/Producer course will lay the foundations for your burgeoning music career and our special guest masterclasses will set you in good stead moving forwards. We will also be hosting networking events, providing students with the opportunity to perform at the Ocean Drive hotel and Hotel Pacha. This is the perfect way to start your season in Ibiza, warming you up for the rest of the Summer! To book a course, contact one of our course advisors here.
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