How to get big DJ gigs on the island of Ibiza
How to get your own DJ gig in Ibiza!
The biggest dream for any upcoming artist is to get a DJ gig in Ibiza, it’s the most famous destination for dance music in the whole world, and so a milestone performance for any DJs career. DJs from all over the world descend on the island for party season from May to October every year, packing out thousands of bars and clubs and entertaining the islands 7 million annual visitors. At London Sound Academy we are always asked how break into the scene and how to get a DJ gig in Ibiza. To answer your calls for help we’re lifting the lid on how to get your own DJ gigs on the white isle! Here's a little video from our Ibiza Tour to get you in the mood!
Don’t believe the Hype - It’s not as hard as you think!
Do you think Ibiza is the hardest place to get a DJ gig? Think again. At LSA we’ve been running an annual Ibiza Tour for four years in a row taking an average of 50 LSA alumni to the island for one whirlwind week of DJ gigs in party paradise! We know all about how to source DJ gigs in Ibiza and we can tell you it’s not as hard you’re led to believe.
There are thousands of bars and clubs of all sizes in Ibiza, all competing to get customers from the 7 million annual tourists coming to Ibiza every year. Being the party capital, what hotel, bar or club would be complete without a DJ? Exactly, there are plenty of opportunities at all levels for DJs to get their own gigs and DJ in Ibiza simply because of the sheer number of places to DJ. Read on to find out where you can fit in.
Types Of DJ Gigs You'll Find In Ibiza
Ibiza is full of super-clubs like Amnesia, Pacha, Ushuaïa, Sankeys, Privilege, Hï Ibiza, Es Paradis & Eden. These clubs are extremely expensive to get into, with tickets anywhere up to €100, but these are the kind of clubs that book huge headliners like Carl Cox, Martin Garrix or Hannah Wants. To get to that level you obviously have to be a famous producer, but don’t worry there may still be a chance for you to DJ at a super-club in Ibiza.
On the LSA Ibiza Tour we often get gigs in super-clubs where there are warm-up slots in the main room or a club with multiple rooms, allowing us to host one of the smaller ones. We’ve secured gigs at Amnesia, Sankeys, Es Paradis and Eden. The best way to think about this kind of gig is to figure out what the club could gain from you playing there. This is the music business and these kind of clubs are not going to show you any compassion for your quest to be a DJ, the language they speak is €€€. Approach them with something which is going to benefit them. Mostly the main benefit for a super-club will be to bring in an audience early-doors, before the main customers arrive. Having a busy club early helps them generate a buzz on the dance floor and to make some money on the bar. If you can gather a large enough crowd you could get your foot in the door this way.
There are numerous smaller clubs in Ibiza in all the major towns, San Antonio and Playa D’en Bossa have the highest concentration. These clubs are in cut-throat competition with each other to get the tourists through the doors. Your way in here is to prove to them you can get the dance floor going early, because if there is a street full of clubs people will gravitate towards the club with the busiest dance floor and the rest could remain empty all night. You can achieve this by playing the perfect music for the gig or by making sure you have a following who will come and fill that room early on. There are also plenty of chances here to run your own promotions so if you have a large crowd with you why not approach them and run your own club night? You might be given a chance and either get a flat fee, a cut of the bar take or even the door money.
On the flip side of the night the after-hours is often a time where a club can benefit from a few extra people. If you can prove to a club manager you can bring a crowd from the bigger clubs to the afterparty you can often score some DJ sets this way.
The are numerous Boat Party operators in Ibiza, the biggest being the official LSA partner Pukka Up. They normally operate by selling a wristband ticket which would get you entry to the boat party and a club afterwards. They normally play commercial music and attract a younger audience. If you want to play on a boat party you’ll need to prove you can play a commercial set which would ignite the dance floor, there is no room for your DJ ego here, make sure you prepare a mixtape with a mix of classic tracks, party anthems and floor fillers. You can then approach them to ask for a slot and if they like your mix they may book you. Boat party DJs often play for the whole season, so you might not be able to get a slot unless you’re there for the whole summer. This gig is all about building a relationship with the organisers and delivering the perfect set every time, win them over and you could be playing your favourite tunes to the sunset in Ibiza year on year.
Bar gigs are the easiest DJ gigs to get in Ibiza. You can simply walk into one of the hundreds of bars in the island and talk to the manager about playing. Make sure you do your research and check what music is suitable, for a bar it’s often commercial. You can impress them if you can bring a crowd but sometimes it’s not necessary and they will just be happy to have someone play. If you’re good you can try and negotiate a fee with them. Some bars might not have the best equipment so sometimes it’s advantageous to take your own with you, this could also be seen as a plus point for the bar manager because it saves them an added expense.
Many hotels are resorts in their own right, Ushuaïa and official LSA partner Ibiza Rocks being prime examples. They often have multiple bars, pools and DJ decks dotted all over the grounds. They will have uber tight music policies. Expect to play swanky background music, suitable for rich clientele who are there to relax, unless you’re at Ibiza Rocks then you can go all out with the bangers! To get in here you will have to show the hotel that you are presentable, reliable and you’ll bow down to their music policies. This is a hard gig to get but in the right hotel can pay very nicely and be a low-stress gig. Hotels like to look trendy and fashionable so they will expect you and your style to reflect that, you’ll need to dress to impress for this kind of gig. Present your interest in a sophisticated way, make sure you have a luxurious business card, press pack, biography and references from other establishments or corporate partners.
There are many hotels who host pool parties across the island, from budget hotels to big chains and resorts. You can often get a set by the pool by just approaching the management and showing an interest. They want someone who is going to stick to their music policy, often commercial, and who is going to be reliable and keep their hotel guests entertained. It’s a benefit that you bring some people with you to buy drinks by the pool and help make the atmosphere right. Relatively easy gigs to get.
Ibiza is gradually becoming more and more expensive as it takes control as the party capital for the rich and famous. The island is dotted with super villas, mega yachts and various swanky venues. If you establish yourself on the higher-end of the market with hotel gigs and posher venues you can often work your way into the islands elite society. Just like at the hotel gigs your looks will play a big part here, you’d be expected to look fabulous and behave accordingly. If you fancy yourself as a socialite these gigs could be the ones for you. Network to get them, go to all the parties, go to the opening of an envelope if you have to! If you’re seen in all the right places you can work your foot in the door and start pitching for gigs.
After a hard night partying Ibiza clubbers often like to chill by pool in one of the islands famous beach clubs like Ocean Beach Club or Blue Marlin. They are more than mere pool parties and often attract celebrity clients who like to sip champagne and listen to music in sumptuous surroundings. You’ll need to work your way into the scene to be able to get some of these gigs, this often means spending a season working in Ibiza rather than just a cheeky week away on the island. The only way to work into a scene is to be involved, so make sure you visit the clubs and get to know the promoters on a personal level. Show them support in order to get them to notice you.
Ibiza Party Towns
Ibiza is an island of just 132,000 people but in the summertime it balloons to over a million people. There are two main party towns, San Antonio and Playa D’en Bossa but you shouldn’t overlook the other towns when trying to establish yourself as a DJ in Ibiza. Here’s a quick break-down of the main districts.
This is the biggest party town on the island and hosts historic super clubs Eden and Es Paradis alongside many bars, clubs and beach clubs. There are numerous chances to DJ here and along with Playa D’en Bossa you’ll find this an easier resort to target. We suggest you go in the daytime and speak to the managers at every single bar and club you walk past with your business card and a laptop or phone to show them your music style, bio etc. Each time you visit a bar improve on your pitch and remember to focus on what it’s in it for the venue.
Playa D’en Bossa
The second largest party district on the island Playa D’en Bossa has rivalled San Antonio is recent years for numbers of revellers. You’ll find many late night bars and clubs, easy pickings for a new DJ on the scene. Go bar to bar and talk to the managers and ask for a trial set.
This is the capital town of the island where a lot of the full time residents live, it also houses the biggest harbour on the island. Here you will find unique bars and clubs with a distinctly Spanish feel. There are also lots of glamorous hotels in the area with rooftop bars where DJs play chill-out music and ambient music for high net worth clientele. There are still many bars here often overlooked by the most DJs visiting the island so it’s worth a visit as there is less competition for DJ gigs.
Santa Eulalia, Figueretas & Talamanca
These are the more family-led towns in Ibiza but here you will also find many bars, clubs and beach clubs. Sometimes these clubs actually pay much better than the clubs in San Antonio and Playa D’en Bossa because there is simply fewer DJs here pitching for work. This could be your way to get regular DJ gigs which would fund your stay in Ibiza. Often these venues will ask for a DJ to work full time, five nights a week but expect the music to be commercial, family friendly music.