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Aloki Batra: ‘Pacha Ibiza will be at the forefront of introducing the sound of a new generation’

The Pacha Group and FIVE Hospitality CEO Aloki Batra speaks on a monumental Pacha Ibiza 2024 season and FIVE Music as the dual Entertainment Behemoths of Pacha Ibiza and FIVE Hotels and Resorts are poised for global domination

  • 29 May 2024

Dubai’s FIVE Hospitality acquired The Pacha Group in 2023, in a strategic move to bolster its global footprint in the entertainment and hospitality industry. Under the leadership of CEO Aloki Batra, FIVE has seamlessly integrated this iconic Spanish nightlife brand into its expanding portfolio. Pacha's rich history and enduring popularity align perfectly with FIVE's innovative approach, creating a synergy that promises to elevate the nightlife experience for a worldwide audience.

By bringing Pacha under its umbrella, FIVE Hospitality aims to leverage the nightclub's renowned reputation and combine it with FIVE's distinctive experiential approach. This move is expected to enhance Pacha's global appeal and provide new opportunities for growth and development in the entertainment landscape.

Mixmag MENA sat down with Aloki Batra, who emphasised the essence of preserving Pacha Ibiza's storied legacy while introducing modern elements to appeal to a diverse, global audience. He also highlighted that Pacha Ibiza would continue to provide a multi-sensory musical journey, ensuring every night at the venue remains extraordinary.

What strategies will you use to maintain the spirit and legacy of The Pacha Group?

It's already a very successful and intuitive culture so I'm not looking to transform the cultural ethos. I plan to focus on a modern approach revolving around how Pacha speaks to a global audience of ‘Pacha Lovers.’ I'm a curator for a multi-generational brand - and will hand over the baton to the next most deserving person to continue to preserve the legacy of these iconic twin cherries.

What would be the three words to define Pacha Ibiza as a legendary hotspot from a past, present and future perspective?

Love, Connection, Iconic!

What has been your guiding principle in creating the musical direction for Pacha Ibiza?

It's important to create an experience for ‘Pacha Lovers’ that is extraordinary - a multi-sensory musical journey that visitors to the Island can't get anywhere else. It’s my job to ensure that every night at Pacha Ibiza is the most spectacular night of their lives. With over 50 years of dancing, coming to Ibiza - and then coming to Pacha Ibiza, is akin to a pilgrimage for a global community of music lovers.

What should fans expect from Pacha Ibiza’s line-up this season?

An exciting evolution of Pacha Ibiza’s legendary Flower Power! Now, reimagined for a new era while staying true to its core ethos of love, freedom, connection and acceptance, Flower Power 2024 is led by resident DJ Bora Uzer, and a remarkable total of 74 guests including Grace Jones, Boy George, Róisín Murphy and Sophie Ellis-Bextor throughout the 21 week season.

Dedicated to showcasing the world’s most sought-after artists, Pacha Ibiza will host a series of limited events with artists such as Anitta, Keinemusik, Peggy Gou, Hugel, Roger Sanchez, ANOTR, Köslch and Ida Engberg, Ben Böhmer, Loco Dice, Purple Disco Machine, Dixon and Jimi Jules, Adriatique, WhoMadeWho, amongst many more.

Additionally, we have very special one off performances by Tyga and Jason Derulo who will be playing their only performances in Ibiza this year at Pacha Ibiza. Former Spice Girl Melanie C will also perform 3 times throughout the season at Robin Schulz’s Pure Pacha parties. We are super excited about all of our residencies this year. They all bring something totally unique that makes every night so different and exciting, From Bedouin on Wednesdays to Marco Carola on Friday to Camelphat on Tuesdays and of course the now legendary Solomun +1.

At Cova Santa we have parties like WooMoon and Storytellers which are totally different from anything else on the island. They focus on bringing fantasy to reality, all within an exhilarating environment of multi-sensory immersion. With decorations, stage and lighting design as well as performers, it's a complete multifaceted performance.

There's also a lot of AI generated content, including more enhanced visuals. Are you also thinking of creating a new digital environment with high level visuals in the future?

Holographics are currently often being used by various industries, but I'm not excited by the use of them. However, we would be very interested in developing a presence in the Metaverse or a Web3 activation in the not so distant future - where we can actually bring a surreal clubbing experience to wherever you are. However, within the physical space of a nightclub, I am focused on fostering connections between people rather than on providing an AI-driven environment.

What do you think about how FIVE’s acquisition of The Pacha Group impacts the global entertainment industry?

I hope we’ll create a positive, perhaps even revolutionary, impact. (smiles) After all, we are only competing with ourselves.The 2024 Pacha Ibiza line-up is a celebration of the stalwarts of the industry, generational icons - and artistes who I believe are set to be the superstars of tomorrow, as Pacha is famed for setting the stage for many legends till date. I believe that Pacha Ibiza will be at the forefront of introducing the sound of a new generation. Stay tuned.

With FIVE continually growing under your leadership, how does the integration of music into FIVE’s worldwide destinations enhance the guest experience?

Today, music is the greatest connector on a worldwide stage. It's the ultimate form of global content. From Pacha Ibiza to Sao Paulo to Toronto to Dubai, everyone is listening to the same tunes and filling their Instagram and Tik Tok feeds with the same beats and lyrics. Music is ever present in all our lives. Music creates a universal space where people can engage, converse and connect; so for us it's important to develop diverse musical identities that unites people through music.

What would you like to say about the strategic joint venture between the Warner Music Group and FIVE Music - how does it best represent your vision to cater to a global music-loving community?

Throughout this partnership, FIVE Music aims to set new standards, offering a platform for emerging artists and exclusive experiences for guests. This collaboration highlights the convergence of hospitality and music industries, blending luxury with dynamic music. Integrating Warner Music Group with FIVE Music underscores FIVE’s commitment to elevating music in hospitality, pushing boundaries, and contributing to the overall evolution of the music industry.

The latest single on FIVE MUSIC is a perfect example of this joint venture. 808 by local Emirati artist DJ Bliss and American multi-platinum rapper BIA. This spectacular collaboration is the exact kind of physical manifestation of two powerhouses from different parts of the globe coming together to make something amazing.

The partnership also transcends FIVE, because I'm currently in talks with their CEO, Max Lousada about collaborating with artists for the Pacha Ibiza nightclub, as well as for Pacha Records - and Merchandise.

The Warner Music Group brings a storied understanding of the business of music. While we know the business of music - in nightlife. FIVE and Pacha are entertainment destinations, where the knowledge of the dancefloor is an unmatched resource to monitor musical trends, spot the next rising musical star and observe real-time audience reactions to different styles of music.

It's an unbeatable combination.

What will be the unique offering that FIVE Music brings to the industry?

For us, prioritising an investment in the music industry and scouting for upcoming talent was crucial. Music trends are constantly evolving and the FIVE Hotels and Resorts destinations offer invaluable insights into emerging market trends and firsthand comprehension of industry dynamics. Without such engagement, one may rely solely on peripheral sources such as news coverage or interviews, which lack the depth of direct industry involvement. Staying ahead of the curve enables us to identify potential breakout stars early on. Moreover, knowing how to apply this knowledge effectively in our entertainment endeavours proves more beneficial than merely bearing a label. We're strategically leveraging our music label vertical to enhance our live entertainment business.

We are also focussing on providing more physical resources that can act as a breeding ground for talent at our very own FIVE Music Studio at FIVE Palm Jumeirah. It is a futuristic creative hub that provides an imaginative space for high end production. We want this to be a playground where artists, both local and international, can come to create, collaborate and most importantly enjoy the process of bringing original music to life.

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