Ibiza Calling 

Understanding Andy Callaway’s I Love Ibiza.

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Ex-New Yorker Andy Callaway launched the I Love Ibiza (as in Spain, the party capitol of Europe) series in 2002 “after being disappointed in the lack of musical diversity in Utah’s club scene.” Since then, he’s booked countless international house-music DJs into a variety of Salt Lake City venues, the latest being The Hotel’s Elevate club, where celebrated Miami DJ Oscar G will be kicking off Callaway’s fall string of parties Friday night. For more information on Ibiza and house music than you could possibly imagine, check out his extensive Website: ILoveIbiza.us. For the basics, City Weekly talked to the man himself.

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City Weekly: What’s the I Love Ibiza agenda?

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Andy Callaway: In Ibiza, and Europe in general, people age 16 to 60 go to the clubs to listen to and dance to house music from the DJs and producers who actually make the music. It’s an uplifting and exhilarating experience that was missing from Utah’s clubs, and I wanted to offer an alternative to the crap that radio and MTV force-feeds America. It’s unfortunate that the dance genres have been overshadowed in clubs by music that typically glorifies violence and degrades women.

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CW: Did you have any initial doubts that it could work in SLC?

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AC: Salt Lake had a great dance-music scene in the 1990s up until about 2001, when we saw a rapid increase in new clubs opening up to capitalize on the Olympics. Everyone wants to be at the new hotspot in town or follow the latest trends, and as a result, the club crowd turned its attention from dance music to hip-hop that began dominating all the clubs. I knew there were still people in Utah who loved the DJ scene and dance music, but I never thought it would become as popular as it has.

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CW: Have any of your visiting DJs been apprehensive about coming here?

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AC: Almost every DJ, in the beginning, couldn’t believe there was a “scene” in Utah! But after coming out here and being blown away by the unbelievable energy from the fans on the dance floor, the DJs quickly changed their minds. In fact, Roger Sanchez, the world’s No. 1 house DJ, continues to say his favorite U.S. gig is in Salt Lake City'and he definitely doesn’t need my booking to pay his bills!

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CW: Has it been difficult finding venues to host I Love Ibiza?

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AC: Yes and no. We greatly appreciate all the clubs that have worked with us in the past to build what we are today, but it’s been very difficult maintaining high enough standards from décor and sound systems to play host to the world’s top DJs, while providing the patrons a quality experience from the moment they walk in the door. Utah’s absurd liquor laws and operational restrictions'like you can’t dance after 2 a.m.!'leave a lot to be desired in this regard, but we hope to change this attitude over time. And Elevate at The Hotel seems like the perfect place to start; I’m looking forward to some great parties there.

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CW: What kind of people do you want to discover I Love Ibiza'and, maybe more importantly, what kind do you suggest stay away?

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AC: I hope that everyone gives us at least one chance to experience something that the rest of the world has been crazy about for as long as I can remember. House music has stood the test of time, for over 20 years. If people can adjust their perceptions of what dance music is'it’s not “techno” or a “rave”'they’ll be pleasantly surprised. I Love Ibiza is about the music, first and foremost, and we want everyone to feel welcome and unintimidated. But, if you want to come to dry-hump ladies on the dance floor and grope our dancers while acting out the latest hip-hop video, then maybe it’s not the right fit for you …

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OSCAR G
The Hotel/Elevate
155 W. 200 South
Friday, Sept. 29
9 p.m.
24Tix.com

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