Pacha New York chief Eddie Dean chatted to Skrufff this week about the impact of the credit crunch and revealed that the Manhattan superclub is increasingly cutting DJ fees to balance the books.
“DJ' fees are really coming under scrutiny,” Eddie confirmed.
“Certain DJ's that have a proven track record can still demand a good price but other DJs either have to come down or you have to pass because you just can't afford to pay them based on their history. In the past you could say, ‘well, we can pay the extra 5k (US$5,000) because we know we will be packed out’. Now, that isn't always the case. You have to be very cautious, if you misjudge a DJ's value you could get hurt.”
“In New York City the weather is a factor too,” Eddie continued, “We have had seven weekends in a row where it has been raining, snowing or brutally cold. That’s made a difference,” he said.
However he was much more relaxed about the recent opening of Ministry Of Sound’s first ever club in New York following bullishly competitive comments
from Ministry boss Mark Baker in a recent interview.
Speaking to Blackbook’s Steven Lewis (a legendary New York promoter who previously worked for clubs including Limelight and Danceteria), Baker declared ‘we do not have a dance floor, and that makes a huge difference. It's more about table service, sitting, more about entertainment, production, aerialists, and performers’, prompting much amusement from Eddie.
“I'm not sure of the last time Mark Baker was here but we actually have tables and aerialists too,” he chuckled, “Though admittedly we do have a dance floor.”
He also conceded that bottle service, the practise popular with rich bankers who’d pay thousands of dollars for bottles of spirits and private tables, ‘certainly isn't what it used to be’.
“Up until quite recently a good client would come in every week, now you may see them two times a month. Some people will still come but no longer hire a table. Either way it has had an effect on all clubs in New York,” he said. “Our VIPs come from all over, we get a lot of Euros and South Americans (Brazil/Columbia/Venezuela) and they have all been hit with the economic downturn as well and aren't traveling so much. We still attract a lot of hedge fund VIPs as well, let's just say they aren't spending like they used too,” he added.
“Is recession good for nightlife? Only time will tell,” he mused, “A place like Pacha has to work very hard to overcome the economic downturn and that’s what we’re doing, we’re working our butts off because people have high expectations when they come here. We have to make sure they have an amazing experience,” he said.
“And as far as Ministry Of Sound opening in New York is concerned, I think it is good for the overall dance scene. It will be interesting to see if their style will translate here,” he added.
Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)