YOU WANT THIS PARTY STARTED, RIGHT?
The evolution of ticketing

By Canela Fernández, Photography by Paulina Kural September 2016 MUSIC Read in PDF format N12/2016
YOU WANT THIS PARTY STARTED, RIGHT? IT’S NEVER BEEN EASY TO FILL A CLUB IN IBIZA, EVER SINCE THE DAYS OF THE POSTER WARS…

“Sometimes it was like a scene from the Wild West,” cackles Marco Grippia, Ibiza’s oldest poster boy who has been sellotaping his way around the island since 1987. “At first it was just the Polica Municipal you would have problems with if they caught you putting them up illegally. They’d confiscate your posters and give the club a huge fine, but then the British promoters arrived and things turned nasty. We’d be ripping each other’s posters down when nobody was looking and if we bumped into each other in a bar, chairs would be flying out the window.” The competition in Ibiza still lives on. Each day a club brand is up against ten different parties – plus there’s the rivalry with other nights at their own venue. “The game of promoting is constantly changing but relies on the same principles,” says Cream’s Nick Ferguson. “Create and deliver a product or event that will attract your target audience and market it to them. Many promoters still panic if ticket sales are low and flood the streets with wristband deals ranging from free entry, two for one, some even offering free drinks - but this takes away all value, sends a clear signal your event is struggling and deters outlets selling your tickets.” But while the importance of street promotion is still vital, social media and the internet have changed everything. “In the late ‘90s and early 2000s, clubbers coming to the island had no real idea who was playing or what parties were around until they arrived,” admits Gigi Urso, the promoter of Afterlife which has been one of the major success stories this season at Space with Tale Of Us. “Now people are programming their holidays based on when their favourite party or DJ is on, so as promoters our job starts in January.” And while the internet has revolutionised promotion with social marketing, Facebook and Snapchat and will soon be using virtual reality content to bring the experience of their events to consumers who can’t be there in person, there is also the argument that the future still lies on your mobile phone. “On the one hand we’ve moved on incredibly,” says IMS’s Ben Turner. “On the other we’re still using old-school promoting methods just married to modern technological developments and behavioural patterns. I think Ibiza has been stuck in the dark ages when it comes to promoting and has hardly moved on at all, but I sense a huge sea change once mobile roaming charges are dropped. The island still has a terrible Wi-Fi problem which even people who pay the top rates on the most advanced smartphones can’t comprehend or decipher. But once roaming charges go and connectivity improves, online ticket sales will rocket, pre-sales will increase dramatically, online booking of VIP tables will explode and suddenly Ibiza will be in line with capitals of culture around the world.” 

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