Time to resort to Plan Be… The new party venue shaking things up in Ibiza
The Ibiza season is already beginning to kick off, with some of the preliminary opening parties already happening this week, and more scheduled for the next couple of weeks. One of the island’s newest and most exciting venues, Plan Be, opens its doors this week, joining the ranks of Ibiza’s clubbing hall of fame with a slightly different tact – attempting to take things back to the simple, hedonistic days when clubbing was simply about having a good time with like-minded people, no matter what their background. The outdoor venue has lots in store this season, and promises to be a very different experience from some of the big clubs that appear to be increasingly focused on attracting rich, “VIPs” as opposed to every day clubgoers. I spoke exclusively to Sam Dean, director of Plan Be, about the new venue…
Firstly, can you introduce the team behind Plan Be… what are your histories?
Sure, my name is Sam Dean I am the Director of the venue, I have been recruited by the owner to help make his vision come to life. I put together a few really cool parties at the venue last year when it was a very different setting with the help of my uncle Andy Dean and this year it has become a full blown new project which I am extremely excited to be a part of. Beyond a few bits of event management my personal experience wouldn’t necessarily pre-determine me for a job role such as this. That said Andy my uncle has taken on a consultancy role in the project and with his 20+ years in the music industry and promoting the infamous ‘Boilerhouse’ parties in the early 90’s he is the perfect person to help bounce ideas off. Also there is Ira Leyshon who has formed a really important part of the core team, Ira has been part of the Ibiza scene since 2000 and has great connections and friendships with the current industry leaders and artists which is a massive strong point when trying to create something on this stage. The main concept architect behind the venue is Ronald Hooft, a well-renowned architect from Amsterdam who has a long history of developing hospitality venues, clubs and restaurants there. They have all really done an amazing job turning the owner’s vision into the reality that is Plan Be.
When and why did the idea for Plan Be first come about?
Well it was the brainchild of one of the previous owners of the venue, which used to be called Novum – a really high end restaurant with some of the best food on the island. The venue was amazing and the food second to none but for the concept is now so overused and commonplace especially in Ibiza and it was time for something unique.
With the rise in the commerciality of the electronic music and the brand that is Ibiza, the prices and style of venue’s seem to be going only one way and that is up, to cater for VIP’s and big spending clients. Yet all we hear on the news is about austerity measure and recession. Ibiza, being at the centre of electronic music, has the world watching and should set some sort of example. In these times of austerity people should not feel as though they cannot afford to party. A good party is not determined by how much money the partygoers have, in fact if there is a massive divide within the party between those who have and those who have not, you are creating instant separation and tension, elements which should not be at a good party at all!
How did you go about making the dream a reality?
Well obviously it was not easy, Ibiza is a very special place and an extremely close knit community so you have to be sure to involve everybody. The local community around the venue are extremely important so for us ensuring that what we do here does not impact negatively in anyway was imperative. You cannot have a party for the people if it means your neighbours are suffering from noise pollution! We have invested heavily in the best international and local sound engineers and concept architects to ensure that there will be extremely minimal sound pollution escaping the venue. For us that was our number one priority, beyond that we wanted to ensure that all of the material used within the venue was recovered, recycled or re-conditioned. The renovation of the venue has been finished with minimal use of ‘new’ materials, a fact we are very proud of.
How did you find the location? Can you describe it for me…
As I said the financial backer of the project was one of the previous owners of the venue before and that lead us to the situation we are in now. The venue itself has an amazing inside club space with a new outdoor terrace which the majority of the investment has been spent on. The original concept idea was Mad Max, ‘industrial decay’ and it has been pulled off very well without being offensive or over the top. There is a great fusion between living and industrial, we have shipping containers contrasted with amazing palm trees.
I think we had the same difficulties as everyone else, no more no less, but of course it hasn’t been easy to get here. More than a few sleepless nights and last-minute changes as well as the ever evolving deadlines which seem to move and change quicker than the tide here in Spain!
How long did it take from conceiving the idea to getting to the point where it became a reality?
A decision was made at the end of last year to move in this direction with this project and really from January it has been full steam ahead. From then it has evolved from concept to reality at a pretty steady pace! Obviously with the last few days it seeming like it wouldn’t be ready on time, but this is Ibiza and it would not be right if we were comfortably ahead of schedule!
What’s the ethos behind Plan Be?
Democracy. We love democracy in all aspects so for us to make that system work in a party environment, in Ibiza, is completely unique and gives us an opportunity to carve out our own little space on this amazing island.
Why open a club in Ibiza and not somewhere else in the world, where it might be a little bit easier to do it?
We have a desire as a team to achieve something great and that can never be easy wherever you do it. Ibiza could be seen as a difficult place to do something like this because of the competition, but, that would be completely overlooking the massive captive audience that this island has. In fact you could argue that Ibiza is one of the easiest places in the world to throw parties. People come here with a predetermination to party and party non-stop the whole time they are here.
What is Plan Be’s main selling point? What separates it from other clubs on the white island?
Everyone is equal and it seems in this approach we are alone. You cannot buy status at Plan Be. All of the new venues on the island are aimed predominantly towards the VIP market which creates a divide between the have and have nots. Beyond that, our venue itself is like nothing else on the island at all, it is very raw and stripped back kind of like a warehouse party but without the warehouse.
What’s your opinion on the current state of Ibiza? What are the negatives/positives?
Ibiza is an amazing place with an amazing energy, it is always evolving sometimes it may feel like it is going too far in one direction but then somehow it always manages to correct itself. For us although we do not provide a VIP area we are not saying this is a bad thing at all, in fact some of these things are really nice to go to now and again. I think the growth in outdoor events is a massive plus for the island, also ironically it seems the current financial crisis being felt across the world and more so in Europe is actually helping the island. People are spending their resources more carefully, it is a lot harder to come by money at the moment so when you spend it you have to make sure you get every penny’s worth. So now when people decide to spend on a party they make sure they party hard!
What can punters look forward to over the coming season at Plan Be? Describe the Plan Be experience…
It’s about carefree parties. The original hedonistic style of Ibiza – ALL are welcome. We will at our peak be hosting two regular weekly events. Fridays will start from the 22nd June through to the first Friday in October. Tuesdays will also start from the first week in July. We will be collaborating with a few really big brands from the island and from elsewhere in Europe some really exciting stuff which we cannot announce yet.
This year Ibiza seems to have finally opened up a bit more than previous years, why do you think this has happened?
I think it is partly to do with a top down approach from the government, the fact is Ibiza produces a massive amount of revenue for the national purse and the more activity there is here the more money moves towards the government in taxes etc. Maybe this is behind the apparent relaxation in the rules although all will be revealed in the season to come.
Any predictions for the season this year? Any clubs/nights (apart from Plan Be) we should check out?
For us there are so many exciting things, it seemed a bit like football transfer season over the winter with all the artists moving clubs. I mean Richie Hawtin moving to Space to team up with Kehakuma is very big news, then you have Jamie Jones taking up a residency at DC10 on Thursdays which makes that an extremely strong night. Also the Ibiza 123 festival is going to be amazing for the island a real fusion of music tastes with the famous Cafe Mambo sunset as the background it’s going to be one to remember for sure!
What does the future hold for 1) Plan Be and 2) Ibiza itself?
1) For us as our first season it is an extremely exciting time for sure, we have wait and see how things pan out. Year one is about establishing a destination and making a statement so we will give everything we have to make that happen. Beyond that our focus is to establish ourselves as a permanent fixture in the Ibiza landscape.
2) For me Ibiza’s future is always bright, it may be going through a little more of a commercial time right now but that is not necessarily a bad thing. I am just excited to see how it evolves itself it always has a way of remaining credible and inviting.
For more information on Plan Be, head over to their Facebook page HERE.Tagged in: clubs, dance music, Ibiza, Party, Plan Be, Sam Dean, summer
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