The Ibiza scandal that's rocked the clubbing world

The Ibiza scandal that’s rocked the clubbing world

World exclusive! An open letter from a friend of the We Love family…


It was the press announcenement that stopped the clubbing world in it’s tracks. Sure we had all been hearing the rumours for months that Space were starting a new Sunday party that was using the words We Love in the title, but did we really believe it? The same name as the brand that legendary promoter Darren Hughes had owned for over a decade and had used for his parties at Space for years? Surely not? And then the press release dropped with Space owner and founder Pepe Roselló confirming the news…”Without doubt our Sunday party could only have one name and purpose: We Love Space”.

This week at DMCWORLD towers we received an anonymous letter concerning a story that looks set to run and run…

There has been much ado in the music press this week about the return of We Love to Space to see out their long standing Sunday party for the final year of the club before they close their doors and hand over the keys to the new landlords, Ushuaia owners, the Matutes organisation. Many of this week’s article titles indicate the return of We Love to Space after a brief departure to Sankeys last year and feature images from the legendary Ibiza promoters halcyon days. What all of the articles fail to mention is that none of the promoters or DJ’s of We Love are actually involved in the events, rather the Director of Space has made the controversial decision to use a name they allegedly trademarked many years ago to promote this year’s weekly Sunday events.

After a turbulent couple of years for the brand, We Love Space 2016 is not so much the straw that broke the camels back, rather the brutal cynical boot that kicked it’s teeth in. It’s with tragic irony that the name that stood for family, togetherness and the embodied spirit of acid house has been hijacked to front yet another faceless corporate event in Ibiza. The very thing that distinguished We Love was that it was one of the last true independent promoters in Ibiza. We Love was a collection of people above a brand name, it is ultimately the loose regard for the brand name that sealed it’s current fate.

Anyone who was a regular at the club, anyone who graced the decks or anyone who worked within the We Love family will know what I’m talking about but for those that don’t, let me try to explain why this years We Love Space is a very different animal. We Love stood for something. We Love had ideals and integrity, these are all very lofty concepts for what was essentially a party but you have to look back into the very history of UK clubbing and it’s relationship with Ibiza to understand why this is relevant. In 1992 a young trio of Darren Hughes, James Barton and Andy Carroll set about creating a place to party for friends and family. Andy was already an established DJ on the Liverpool acid house scene and after various encounters with James at Liverpool’s seminal raves at venues such as Quadrant park and The State, they began collaborating on events. These experiences formed the embryonic stages of what would become the worlds first super club brand, enter friend and newly incorporated partner Darren Hughes and the world witnessed the birth of Cream.

Cream soon grew to over 3000 people per week and by 1995 they had made their first tentative steps into the world of Balearic clubbing, holding what would become one of the largest and longest running nights on the island. In 1998 Creamfields was launched and would become the blueprint for modern dance festivals. Darren Hughes parted ways with Cream in 1999 to set up Home, citing differences in musical programming  and the direction of events as a reason for the split. Darren would go on to set up the ill fated Home London and the more successful Home Sydney. This was also the first and only year of Home at Space, the pre-curser to We Love. Promoted in it’s inaugural year by none other than Danny Whittle, it was the first 22 hour club event in Ibiza, a scaled down music festival of international artists that would take Space’s beloved Sunday slot into what would become a new era of clubbing in Ibiza.

As we welcomed in a new millennium our two protagonists enter the story of We Love. Extended family members and newly weds Mark and Sarah Broadbent return from running Home in Sydney. Having spent previous years working as part of the Cream team in Ibiza they were familiar with the island however it was misadventure and a twist of fate that originally landed them in on the Island and it was this unforeseen path that would shape things to come. Having met as teenagers in their home town of Huddersfield they were enthusiastic participants in the punk and later acid house scenes in Huddersfield and Leeds, frequenting nights like Back To Basics, however promoting events was never originally part of their plan, it was circumstance that set these cogs in motion. This is relevant because Marks eclectic musical background would go on to shape the diversity of the programming of We Love, the close family ties would define how the company operated and Mark and Sarah’s first love, travel and their many years in India would shape their outlook on how they collected the menagerie of characters that constituted WE LOVE SPACE.

Mark and Sarah would learn the essence of what promoting a really good party was about from Darren, it’s the same thing that turned Darren, James and Andy’s party for friends and family into the biggest and most respected club brand in the world and it’s something that lies at the heart of any party that has ever made a difference. It’s about authenticity, it’s about conveying the experience by example, by living it and inviting others to experience it with you and no matter how big your party grows as long as you have that nucleus of passion, creativity, hedonism and warmth that radiates outwards though everyone who makes that party happen. This was what made parties like Manumission great, it was the foundations of Circo Loco and perhaps the last of Ibiza’s independent promoters to embrace this ethos, Zoo Project. It’s the palpable difference between a party that is organised by the collective of people who LOVE what they are doing and a party that is contrived purely to sell tickets. You could say it’s a sign of the times but ultimately it boils down to poor taste. Space, Amnesia and KU, these are the clubs that defined Ibiza, each of them have a rich history that have mapped out the course of clubbing and electronic music, that Space choose to dig up and parade the legacy of We Love without a hint of any of the people who made that party is not in keeping with the club built in the image of one man’s dream, Pepe Rosello’s utopian vision of a place where people could be free to dance and express themselves without prejudges of sexuality, race or age, a place for happy people in the morning. It was the inevitable encroachment of the corporate behemoth of Ushuaia that ultimately sealed Space’s faith so it’s with that same tragic irony that has marked an ignominious end to a partnership that saw almost a decade and a half of incredible parties together. Perhaps all people need is a name, only time will tell…