Space Ibiza Down Under

Posted on December 14, 2012

Paul Strange has been living and working in Australia for over a decade, starting off promoting parties at some of the cities bigger clubs before launching his own brand Paul Strange Presents. His love of electronic dance music was born on the terrace of Space nightclub in Ibiza so it’s only fitting that Paul should be the driving force behind the Space Ibiza Festival in Sydney, we caught up with him as he puts the finishing touches to the New Years day event…

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What inspired the Space Ibiza hook up for New Year?
Stepping onto the Space Ibiza Terrace for the first time back in 1996 catapulted my life into a completely different direction. That terrace really inspired me; it was the music, the vibe, the people, it’s hard to describe but I know a lot of people have felt the same from it, that’s why it became legendary. At that time I was a semi professional footballer in Scotland, was into the music a bit but after that I was hooked on house music, which became my passion. I decided to take a punt and work a season in the football off-season and never looked back. I ended up doing five summer seasons from it and learning the ropes in the world of events, nightclubs and promotions from the best in the world. I came over to Sydney in the Ibiza off-season back in 2000 and instantly knew this was the place for me. I was promoting the big venues such as Home, Tank and Arthouse but I wanted to bring that Space Ibiza vibe to Sydney and New Year is massive here as it’s the middle of summer. It made sense to host Space parties here at New Year and hopefully inspire and introduce a whole new generation of people to house music and make a difference in their lives.

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This is your fourth year of the event, what lessons have you learned from the last three?
You learn from your mistakes and also try and improve year to year. We have always tried to stay true to the Ibiza vibe and Space Ibiza brand and music policy but also at the same time tweaking it somewhat to fit into the Sydney market place. All the team are passionate about the Space brand and every year we want to improve on the last party and make it better, that’s what drives us. Seeing the changes and improvements to the Island of Ibiza itself from when I first went shows how things evolve and how you can improve year to year. Do the best job we can and keep the essence of the party is the key I think.

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What can we expect from this years party?
This year we really focused on nailing a line-up that is reflective of the current Space and Ibiza sound and vibe. We have had such an amazing response to the line-up, which is very pleasing. We also want to raise the bar with the production and have some special additions and surprises coming in to change it up from last year. With the last four parties, we have had amazing feedback and now people trust us and the brand in Sydney to deliver quality, from the headliners to the music played and from the production to the performers. Even the strong Ibiza styled promotion we do makes a big impact down here and people know to expect great things from the event every time its on, which is reflected by us completely selling out the tickets a couple days before the event.

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How much of an impact does Ibiza have down under?
When I first arrived in Australia 12 years ago, Aussies seemed to have more of a negative attitude towards Ibiza. I think a lot had to do with the Ibiza Uncovered shows, which didn’t shine the right light on the Island from an outsiders point of view, it made it looks tacky and certainly did not capture the essence of the island. I think you need to experience it and do it right, know the right people and make the right decisions on where to go etc to understand it. With more Aussies going over there on holidays nowadays and also with the online boom and the rise of websites like Essentialibiza.com, people can see pictures and experience for themselves how amazing Ibiza is. There now seems to be an influx of Ibiza branded parties, with the likes of Pacha, Circo Loco and Cocoon Heroes having good success, each pushing their own vibe for what they are known for in Ibiza. Hopefully Sydney can become the off season place to go after the Ibiza season and continue is growth in the electronic music world market.

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