The knock-on effect of Ibiza’s club scene has been huge; Oakenfold, Walker, Rampling and Holloway brought the island’s mix of Chicago House and Balearic music back to the UK, while tourists from Europe Flock to it and feel the freedom. “Pacha was always there,” says Tong, but during this period it started to “fading into the background a little bit,” especially “compared to the edgier, buzzier clubs like Manumission and Space.”
The millennium marked a renaissance for Pacha, however: Eric Murillo joined the lineup, Paul Oakenfold had a night, and Tong then took over with Pure Pacha for a ten-year residency. “Pacha is almost the most glamorous, the most Spanish, the most Latin,” he said. “Cosmopolitan, elegant. You have Hollywood glamor and Spanish royal heritage in the ’70s and ‘s . I wanted to bring back the tradition, the feeling of dressing up, the original spirit of Pacha.”
By the 2010s, Pacha moved more into the EDM scene and became a franchise, opening clubs in New York, London and several other cities. “It became a mess,” recalls Pacha’s art director, Jessica McCarthy Capaz. “It’s not just a matter of cherry marks, it’s about content, operations and service. Some of the new Pacha clubs are doing well, like Buenos Aires is great, while others are not so good.” Via 80, the new ownership decided to close the franchise. Capaz himself wanted to take Pacha in another direction, leaving behind the EDM big room sound, “Back to basics, Pacha was known for house music—and Solomon, Dixon, and Bob Sinclair brought back those more organic, warm, sexy sounds. “
This June marks the 50th anniversary of the club and the one that defined the club’s culture and style. At the 2010 opening party Solomon headlined the new DJ booth to bring the room to capacity, the installation was to update the space and swap out the raised podium above the dance floor for a central A table club, in the middle of the crowd and the action. The VIP area is spacious, with burly waiters in black T-shirts carrying champagne bottles and sparklers emblazoned with the club’s famous logo. Tickets aren’t cheap, but as Ferrer points out, the DJ has jacked up the prices; plus, there’s the new sound system above the dance floor and its intricate but impressive architectural design. In the VIP room, you’re paying for that “Mediterranean hospitality,” he added, as always on opening night, and he seemed to know everyone.