Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Why Las Vegas and not Ibiza is where superstar DJs want to be

Playing in clubs like Pacha for €100,000 is not enough for many

Welcome to the pleasuredome: inside new Las Vegas club Light

Fri, Apr 12, 2013, 09:43


Some pieces of career guidance advice never go out of fashion. Reading Jessica Pressler’s excellent profile in GQ magazine of globetrotting Swedish producer Avicii and a New York Times’ piece on changing times at Ibiza superclub Pacha reminds you that there is still plenty of cash in the DJ business. Perhaps there needs to be a DJDojo as well as a CoderDojo movement in Irish schools?

Anyone wondering what happenened to the superstar DJ who ruled the roost a decade ago in Europe needs only to look to America to see where he – and it’s usually “he” – has ended up. The Stateside EDM revolution of the last couple of years has lifted many boats, with DJ fees in particular heading skywards yet again.

It means that Las Vegas and not Ibiza is where DJs want to play because the fees they can command for playing a gig in that city are huge. For instance, the bulk of the action in the Avicii piece (the Swedish DJ is highly annoyed at the piece, which is always a good sign) takes place in Sin City.

Pacha’s Piti Urgell believes that “the DJs wanted more money to play less” and hence the exodus to the Nevada desert to play new clubs like Light, Wet Republic and Hakkasan. The 100,000 euro some acts were getting for a few hours work at Pacha just wasn’t enough anymore.

This summer, the Ibiza club will rely on David Guetta and relative newcomer Guy Gerber to fly the Pacha flag, having sid goodbye to regulars Erick Morillo, Tiesto, Luciano and Pete Tong. The dance industry believes the Urgell family who run Pacha are nuts. It will be interesting to see who’s still standing when the music stops.