BBC Radio 1 in Ibiza

BBC Radio 1 in Ibiza 1995-2020

25 Years of BBC Radio 1 in Ibiza by Eddie Gordon (KINGS of Spins).

1995-2020 - 25 years that changed the world in dance music. Until these broadcasts hit the air internationally dance music was traditionally localised, every country had their scene with some countries like the USA, Italy, Germany, France and Spain exporting their music productions around the world plus some DJ's traveling but only a small number of big names.

Now it's a global thing with DJ's from all over the world traveling to every corner of the world every day playing House music in all its forms from traditional house to electronic, techno, trance and even lounge-chill out house.

Ibiza had a very special local scene that few outside an immediate group knew much about, Cafe del Mar, Space, Amnesia, Pacha, Ku (Privilege) and Cafe Mambo all serviced in the summer seasons by DJ’s such as Jose Padilla, Alfredo, Oliver, Pippi playing an eclectic mix of Balearic, House, Disco, Trance, World music. With the clubbing experience a virtual 24 hour journey in the early 90’s it was truly a different world to anything else offered anywhere else and magical too.


Getting BBC Radio 1 to broadcast their dance music shows from the island took 8 months of me persuading the then Controller Andy Parfitt until they finally agreed to a tiny budget and to facilitate their services to get the shows ‘aired’ live as they happened with the venues mic’d up so the listeners could hear the music and atmosphere as if they were there too.


The summer of 1994 all the club promoters in Ibiza were declaring the Island finished – a non-interest to the British public. After those July 1995 broadcasts on BBC Radio 1 everything went Ibiza crazy, MTV, VIVA, Sky TV, Channel 4 all piled into the island along with the BBC to broadcast the music and hedonism from the “white island’ as it became known. White hot for music and everything else that went with the scene.


The BBC Radio 1 Controller, Andy Parfitt, called me in for a meeting in Oct 1995 to discuss those broadcasts from Ibiza with me hoping the budgets had not been overcooked only to be told by Andy that the research from the shows was so mind-blowingly strong in terms of audience reach that the next year (1996) he wanted the station to broadcast a full weekend of its shows from Ibiza – virtually the entire station. They’ve been doing it for 20 years now and every major DJ from all over the world has played in Ibiza, every major dance record has either started its life on the Ibiza dance floors or filled them as the international DJ’s brought in their specialized music.


The change from 1995 to 2018 is a totally different world and very much the ignition that exploded dance music into a $6 Billion industry with dance music festivals in every major country full of thousands of people. It started with a kiss – a kiss for Ibiza from BBC Radio 1.


You have to have a vision of what will put a smile of people’s faces – that’s the key and the truth…. Tong has said on record that it was his idea and he persuaded Radio 1 to broadcast from the island. Unfortunately that’s another Tong (Trump) whopper..

When I proposed the idea to Andy Parfitt it was just me. Tong’s reaction was that he didn’t want to do his Radio 1 show from Ibiza, “I’ll be in a goldfish bowl” were his words. As his manager at the time I just ignored him, knowing that it was set in stone with the BBC and he’d work through it. 2019 he’s touring the UK doing the Ibiza Classics show – 24 years of business he’s had out of that island and my intelligence..


Russell Cleaver’s Clubavision with Lisa Nash interviewing DJ Tony DeVit, Jose Padilla, Danny Rampling, Lisa Loud, Tong, myself plus others about BBC Radio 1 being in Ibiza.


Danny Rampling – They were great golden times working with you and the team Ed thank you


Rich Hikins – Certainly was amazing times. I was watching the Ibiza prom last night and said to Sherryn how instrumental you were to radio 1 and Ibiza. A true pioneer and gent.


Rob Pickup – Great clip Ed – who’s that young bloke that looks like you? wink emoticon. Rich is right – international legend and all round nice guy. One of life’s good uns! Really hope that all’s well in your world. x


Greg Young – Loved working for you Eddie Gordon, Jeff and Ann… best years of my life!


Ruskie Cleaver – Hey Eddie , that just about sums it up verbatim as I recall , the truth is now out there. Remember shooting this as if yesterday, twas like a DJ / Act jamboree with a conveyor belt of faces out side Mambo and afterwards at Amnesia chatting away… Produced 2 Ibiza shows before this on Video via Virgin Mega but this stands out in pole position… It’s the 20th Anniversary of Clubavision on TV in 2018 so watch out for something special…maybe.


Paul Dakeyne – Eddie Gordon #R #E #S #P #E #C #T #X


Stephanie Reid – Eddie Gordon… L.E.G.E.N.D…


Norman Bates – Eddie is a true pioneer


Adrian Lawrence – Eddie Gordon is by far the greatest person to have developed house music into the global brand that is has become!


Robin Palmer Hosking – Dance and electronic music owes Eddie Gordon a huge debt of gratitude for his vision by persuading the then controller of Radio 1, Andy Parfitt, to broadcast from Ibiza 20 years ago. The early broadcasts allowed teenagers like me back then, an idea what Ibiza sounded like, and I loved what I heard. From a hedonistic Balearic island to a small tranny radio in a semi-rural Cheshire town, I was part of the experience.


Dance and electronic music is huge and Radio 1’s continued support of the genre helped bring it from the underground to the overground.


Dance and electronic music hasn’t just had an impact on music. It has had an impact on everything from fashion (some not so good), to architecture and design, and more. It’s characters are now common place names, with one being rhyming slang.


Dance and electronic music has given people jobs and careers. It continues to support the many associated cottage industries, global superstars and visionaries/mavericks.


Dance and electronic music has created more genres under it’s umbrella than any other. Whether you are a purist, whether you prefer the commercial leanings of artists like David Guetta etc, it matters not. What matters is you enjoy what you’re listening to and that it makes you dance or want to dance.


Dance and electronic music is global, but it’s very heart is in Ibiza.


Cheryl Schayer – Fantastic post and read! EG , you are one of the true great innovators! You never toot your own horn and you’ve changed the face of music in so many ways! Especially in promoting it to a global audience! Much congrats on all you do Eddie! Fantastic Robin.

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