Space owner Pepe Roselló is a living legend. One of the most jovial (and powerful) men in dance music today, DJ Mag Ibiza has the chance to meet up with the famous club-owner for a quick chat, to talk saying goodbye, lessons learned, and some of Pepe’s favourite memories from Space...
Hi Pepe, we’re all very sad to see Space go! Why is now the right time to say goodbye?
“Well, this is a very tough question. When you start a project like Space you never imagine it will end — it could go on forever. All of us here felt completely integrated with the crowd, with the artists, with the energy of the club.
It’s been a dream every single day to run Space and to be part of this — it’s hard to imagine it ever ending. But I’m so happy to say that our story will remain long after we’re gone — I feel full of emotion just thinking about what has happened here. “I really think that everywhere in this building — a place that looks pretty normal from the outside — everywhere inside these walls is stamped with history. It’s never going to be the right time to close, but things happen for a reason.”
In retrospect, is there anything you would have done differently?
“I’ve always followed my heart when it comes to the club, I’ve always followed my own objectives. I’ve always thought about the crowd, that’s my number one objective — to make them happy.
I think this was very different to other clubs, especially in Ibiza — we always listened to what our customers wanted. We were very detail-focused here at Space, we were always at one with the people on the floor. The only thing I’ve ever wanted was to create a strong team at Space — from the staff, to the crowd, to the artists, to the management. And I think we really achieved that over the last 27 years, so no, there’s nothing I would change.”
Why do you think Space has captured the imagination of so many clubbers around the world?
“I think because we’ve always been very authentic. We’ve never been fake. I think we’ve made people feel part of a community — this is the secret of Space. We always offered a different product to a lot of other nightclubs. For example, we always offered breakfast.
We always had coffee, croissants, pastries — you name it — for free! And we always offered it at 10am — I mean, we don’t want to compete with the hotel buffet [laughs]. This is the difference, we’ve always really cared about our customers.”DJ Mag Ibiza sits down with the famous club-owner and dance music mainstay, to talk through some of Pepe Roselló’s favourite iconic images from the last 27 years of Space Ibiza...
Check out Pepe's scrapbook of images from Space's history below and scroll through 16 amazing images from Space's Closing Fiesta last weekend here.
“This is me, with Monika Kruse, Josh Wink and Heidi. They all played with Carl Cox on a Tuesday night at Space for his Music Is Revolution party. I was there with them and we made this beautiful picture. Each of them are such great DJs, and a very important part of Space’s story.”
“I think this is on the same night — this is me with Naomi Campbell and Puff Daddy. We went together to this night and they absolutely loved it. I have to say, though — we’ve had many celebrities in this club over the years but we never treated them differently. It’s important to me that they breathe and live with the rest of the crowd. We don’t pretend with them, we don’t give them special attention. Of course, we want them to be safe, but we’re not overly worried about them.
“We’ve never advertised Space as a club that was devoted to VIPs — if anything, I’m against that attitude. The crowd should be dancing, whether it’s VIPs, whether it’s normal people — it makes no difference to me. When the VIPs are dancing and sweating together with the rest of the crowd, that’s when the magic happens. In a nightclub, there should be no difference between the rich and the poor.”
“Wow, this is a wonderful memory for me! When I had my 75th birthday, my friends bought me a show in the club as a birthday gift. It was brought into the main room and it was completely pitch-black. They blindfolded me and led me to sit in a chair. Next, they laid three things out in front of me and took off the blindfold. First, a rose. Second, a glass of red wine. Third, a speaker singing my favourite opera song. And finally, Dita Von Teese came out onto the stage and made a show especially for me. It was a joy for the senses — this will always be a very special moment in my life.”
“This was a party we used to have many years ago at Space. We had dancers suspended on swings all around the room. They used to paint their bodies to reflect the theme of the night. We used to run it every Thursday and it was very popular at that time — although perhaps a little dangerous for the dancers [laughs]!”
“This is a very special picture. When we first started Space, the music used to come through the bar — actually through a window, to be exact — and then out onto the terrace. And at 10am each day, we would turn everything on outside after serving breakfast, that is — it was quite a spectacle. We had no DJ booth at that time, it was literally just the bar. So one day, Carl Cox turned to me and said: ‘Pepe, why don’t we put the DJ booth outside on the terrace instead of inside the bar?’ and I thought ‘Yes, that’s a great idea!’. So we set up a table outside, with sand to help with the vibrations, and some flags from Space, and Carl Cox spinning his vinyls.
“One day, soon after we had started running the music outside on the terrace, it was extremely windy. Carl Cox was playing ‘One More Time’ by Daft Punk and the vinyl literally flew off the deck and into the crowd. Everyone went crazy, the music stopped completely! Eventually, the vinyl found its way back to the decks and Carl began to play it again — that was the REAL beginning of the Space terrace!”
“[Laughs] Ah! You know this is my mother on the bottom-right? This photo was taken in 1963 at the first club my family owned. She used to come to the club every week. Okay, I know what you’re thinking, Playboy Club with my mother there? Bit strange! [Laughs]. It was in San Antonio and it was the first place on the island where people would listen to only vinyl. Most clubs used live bands, no DJs, no vinyl. But at the Playboy club, we had both live music and turntables together. I always loved the idea of records, of the dancefloor dancing to vinyl — this was very revolutionary at the time!”
“This is the live band playing in the Playboy Club. Just to the side of this stage, we used to have the vinyl decks — it was so much fun!”
“This is one of our best birthday parties ever for Space! It was in ‘92 and they (the dancers) are covered in whipped cream. It was pretty messy to be honest, and we needed a lot of water to wash off afterwards. We danced until dawn and it was totally crazy! It was pretty spectacular!”
“This is the carpark. It was the first time we ever opened the carpark up for a show — it was with Carl Cox in 2003. It was the first time we had built a stage out there, it was so heavy we had to fix it to one of the walls. There was definitely a bit of trial and error going on [laughs]. This was how the Opening and Closing Fiestas outside began. People always said: ‘The season officially starts when Space opens, the season officially ends when Space closes'. And I promise, this year, for the final Closing Fiesta — it will be something incredible. I’m very excited but I’m also very scared — wait and see what we have in store for everyone!”
“Well, of course, this is David Morales. This picture is legendary. You can see this is before we took the terrace outside with Carl, this picture is still behind the bar. I remember this day very well. We opened the window and there was David Morales — shirtless, handsome and looking amazing! Never before had a DJ been without a shirt on in the club, never had a DJ been so wild, been so free as David was. He was playing the most incredible music as well — it was a bit of a scandal, actually.
“On this day, I had another very famous DJ come up to me and say, ‘Pepe, maybe I can DJ without a shirt as well. Will you let me?’ Of course, I said no. A few days later, he came to play at the club and arrived without a shirt on. I was horrified! I said, ‘What are you doing — look at you, look at David Morales, put your shirt on!’. [Laughs] He never took his shirt off ever again after that!”
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