Ricardo Urgell is the incarnation of the “isla”: he has recently sold the Pacha group – 50 years old – for 350 million euros but has clear ideas for the future and much to say about the past
50 YEARS FROM “PACHA” The name was an idea of Urgell’s first wife: “Call it Pacha and you will live by it.” So it was: in these pages, photographs of Hotel Pacha and Urgell’s office within the “payesa house” that deals with club and restaurant. In a detail, the formidable volume “El Baile”, the 25th anniversary celebration of the group, just 25 years ago
Crossing the cape island – including its two “ultra-marine” propaganda: on the one side, the 382 m altitude of Es Vedrà, the rocky tooth wrapped in the myth of the third most polar magnetic pole on the planet; on the other, Tagomago, the private island favorite of rock stars and footballers (Cristiano Ronaldo usually rent it, Gareth Bale chose to declare himself to his future wife) – they perceive the aesthetic motives that led the island to be contended for hundreds of years. Ibiza was born Phoenician, like Ibusim, in the 7th century BC, then became Roman, vandalized, Byzantine, Saracen (Yebisah) and finally Catalan under the name Eivissa, before the Catalan banning of the caudillo Francisco Franco it would pass on to the present statement. The primal nature of the island is well visible from the first portrayal of god Bes, an Egyptian masculine goddess depicted as cheerful and stubborn, sometimes obstinate in his genitals, always dancing.
It is an island of singular beauty even in the Mediterranean context, with cascades and coves that open suddenly after woods and pine forests, with a deep field alternating with ancient masses and crystallized villages over time. It is also an island that has known the blackest misery: not even half a century ago, ibizenchi were considered little more than muertos de hambre not only in the Iberian continent but also in the nearby Majorca, then the undisputed Queen of the Balears.
Things have changed, though it is true that Ibiza is now simply the most fashionable place in the world and one of the most expensive: and last year’s record-breaking tourist season was followed by the richer one this year. Yet today’s business successes are based on a strange yesterday’s migratory spirit, when a handful of “unadorned” unknowingly chose it as a free alternative port, adding its name to the grand tour hippie that already included San Francisco, Kathmandu, Amsterdam and Goa.
That was the basis of the island’s wealth: the people, the people who chose her when nobody chose her. Los pioneros call them here, and if the summer 2017 saw the disappearance of a pillar of the “first” group, Angel Nieto, the great motorcycle champion, nobody more than Ricardo Urgell incarnates the island of the beginning, the borders of the old town was all over.
Urgell, Barcelona and family born, arrived in Ibiza in 1968 after opening the first Pacha disco in Sitges in 1967. In the year of the 50th anniversary of the Pacha brand, Urgell decided to sell 90 percent of the group for a figure of around 350 million euros. We meet him in his historic office, within the same mass which also occupy the club and the restaurant. Behind the desk stands an immense black and white of Pacha Ibiza at the time of its opening: a white spot lost in the meadows, in front of the sea.
“There is an Ibiza that has nothing to do with the common and popular Ibiza whose image is sold in the world. The vulgarity of today’s millionaires, summed up with the superhuman growth the island has been subjected to and a certain general mediocrity in Spanish culture, has meant that the show is now not the best. This was a lost world, a wonder. When I arrived without a penny in 1968, Pacha had no phone, water was carrying her with tanks, and everyone had watched the bankruptcy because, to come to me, she would have to take the car, an absurdity for those days. “