“Our role is that of coordinator”
It was a great surprise when, during this year’s second International Music Summit from 26th-28th May the Island Council made clear overtures to the music industry. Even president Xico Tarres took it upon himself to deliver some very friendly words to the music professionals at the summit.
Among participants the term Cluster soon started making the rounds, a term from the Island Council that is supposed to be forward-looking for moving the musical heritage of Ibiza into the future. We asked Francisco Medina, the coordinator on the Island Council what exactly this Cluster is.
IbizaNOW: What exactly is this Cluster? Is it a political project from the Island Council?
Francisco Medina: No, it has very little to do with politics. It is much more an initiative of the Island Council with the goal of unifying the private music industry under one roof in order to encourage development of innovative projects. Moving into the future Ibiza should remain a worldwide term for modern music development. We will be using the term Ibiza Music Island as a trademark.
IbizaNOW: At whom is this initiative targeted?
Francisco Medina: Principally at everyone who is interested in contributing to the future of electronic music on Ibiza. We especially hope to attract innovative people, musicians, producers, as well as managers and club operators.
IbizaNOW: That sounds good, but how will it be accomplished? Just a few years ago an association of club operators collapsed because they could not reach agreements with each other.
Francisco Medina: First an association has to be formed, the Agrupacion Empresarial Innovadora – that will happen shortly and all of the participants should be integrated into this group. The Island Council’s job will be to act as a coordinator between the members, but any decisions will have to be made by the private members and enterprises.
IbizaNOW: Does Ibiza need a Cluster?
Francisco Medina: We want to reposition Ibiza on the world map of modern music and we have to do something to accomplish that. We want to attract the most competent people to Ibiza. Over the long term the island will benefit. Let’s be frank, this industry branch is enormously important for tourism and thus for the island’s economy.
IbizaNOW: Up until now the Island Council was more likely to make headlines by reigning in the clubs and party tourism. Has there been a change in thinking on the Island Council?
Francisco Medina: No, these two topics have nothing to do with one another. If the Island Council is working on forming a Cluster that does not mean that we will be granting the clubs more permissive opening hours, not by a long shot. Nightlife on Ibiza was ruled by chaos for quite a long time, everyone was doing what he wanted, it couldn’t continue that way. The fact that we brought some order into that sector does not stand in contradiction of our desire to soon have a worldwide leading research centre here. That is just one example of our plans.
IbizaNOW: Are there enough creative and willing people on Ibiza ready to fill this Cluster project with life and content?
Francisco Medina: No. We will doubtlessly need to attract people from other places from around the country and internationally, especially in the area of technology.
IbizaNOW: What will Ibiza be providing?
Francisco Medina: We have the bestequipped clubs in the world here. On the other hand, they are not being used for the majority of the year. But that means that members of the Cluster could use these spaces and their superb technology for the development of new trends.
IbizaNOW: How will the Cluster be financed? With public money?
Francisco Medina: Our programme will receive subsidies from the Spanish Ministry for Industry, Trade and Tourism, which will naturally not be enough. The Island Council will refrain from providing any aid for the simple reason that there is hardly any money available, but the idea is that private industry identifies with this project and contributes accordingly. We on the Island Council mainly see ourselves in the role of coordinator.
IbizaNOW: When will the Asociacion start its work?
Francisco Medina: First it has to be formed. Then initial meetings and talks with interested parties are necessary. It should all occur as quickly as possible. We want to put together a festival of modern music for next year already.
IbizaNOW: What do you understand to be modern music? Is it the music that they play in the big clubs?
Francisco Medina: As I said, the members of the Cluster will make these decisions. We will be staying on the sidelines as much as possible. It will be their job to define what the term modern music means.
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