Access All Areas – We go behind the scenes with seminal global brand, ANTS

ANTS took the world by storm with a series of packed events in 2013/14. After securing a prestigious summer residency at Ushuaïa Beach Hotel in Ibiza; one of the best parties in the Ibiza calendar, the colony spread exponentially. This year has already seen parties across Europe, the UK and beyond, and its only April!

Joining brand ambassador and returning resident Andrea Oliva, are a group of internationally renowned DJs including monthly residents Kölsch and DJ Sneak as well as Timo Maas, Ben Pearce and Maya Jane Coles. In addition to special guests throughout the season at Ushuaïa, ANTS will also welcome Spanish heroes Los Suruba and UNER for select dates.

We caught up with promoter Yann to discuss the night, the glitz and glamour of Ibiza and his plans for the future.

Hi guys, thanks for finding the time to chat with us at Decoded Magazine. So tell us about ANTS. You started in Ibiza didn’t you?

Its a pleasure and an honour to have a chat with you. Yes we started ANTS in Ibiza and this year will be our fourth season. The idea was to create a great party with many of the new emerging underground talent all under one in house brand. Ants are underground, black, so I thought it was a good way to start the colony!

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Ibiza has a long history of hosting parties both legal and illegal. What sets you apart from other promoters?

I came from clubs and after hours in Barcelona and the first Ushuaïa as you know was on the beach, so I have done this all my life. Now Ushuaïa is a fully licensed Party hotel and we can work in a different way which makes things easier normally, however, nothing in life is ever 100% easy!

2016 has seen you take the UK by storm with a series of parties around the country. How do you think you’ll translate that Ushuaia glitz and spectacle to the cold and wet shores of the UK?

UK people have electronic music in the blood, they are the best party people on the planet! They have the sun in their heart and I always try to bring the essence of ANTS and Ibiza with the best music and our production. This gives people a taste of summer and gets them in the mood for Ibiza!

Where are the remaining European events being held?

In  April we are taking the brand to Snowbombing as well as another UK gig in Bristol the end of April. Throughout the summer we will be hosting our own stages at Extrema Belgium, Holland, Creamfields & Electric Zoo NYC.

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And after the summer months, more international parties? Where would your dream party be?

Yes, we are working a lot on different parties for next year, we have several cool and interesting projects in the pipeline for the brand and we are taking them around the globe. I really love to create events in very special spaces with as much soul as possible and preferably open air …we have in mind a few crazy locations for next year that we will be able to reveal soon but we are always looking out for unique and historical open air venues.

Over the winter months while festival season is in hibernation, the clubs find themselves able to offer the audience a great night out again. But do you feel there too much emphasis on festivals in the summer months which force clubs to shut or struggle to compete? Can there be room for both?

Festivals are great because they allow the promoter to create amazing experiences based on super productions, and the budgets to build these one-time events are much higher than those for the clubs, but I think there is room for both. Clubs are able to create a different atmosphere because of their lower capacity; you can often feel the most amazing vibes in a little club, the energy can be crazy when everything is prepared consciously and the music is good.

Are there any DJs on your wish list still?

Yes for sure, a lot of them! I can’t really tell who though in case the fees are gonna get higher! haha

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Promoting has long been a draw for those who think it’s a quick way of making a lot of money. However the reality is much different. Were there times where you’ve though of quitting and getting an office job instead? 

I have had to fight a lot, I have had good times and really hard times too. I am in this business for more than 20 years now and most of the time it’s not as easy as it looks. You need to keep working, never give up, and never stop dreaming. Music has always been my energy to keep going. I think every promoter has had some moments where they wanted to stop but the show must go on, and the feeling you have when the club is full and everybody is putting their hands up is priceless.

The way events are promoted has changed dramatically with the upturn in social media usage. Now promoters spam your feeds but rarely flyer in person or put posters up. How do you use online promotion effectively?

I think online promotion has to be used obviously, but must also be complementary with the classical external promotion and street PR. It is an amazing tool but I I don’t see it working alone. I love billboards, magazines and street marketing. Maybe I am a bit old school, but I love classical promotion. Balance is the key as in everything. Not too much, not too little.

A lot of promoters I know have a certain ritual on the day of a show to make sure it goes well. Do you have any rituals or things you must do on the day of your events?

Not really, if you think positive, work hard and love what I do “everything is gonna be alright”. I also have a special deal with the weather master in Ibiza!

Lets finish with a cool tour story. Something incredible that’s happened in the last year?

We just did BPM for the 2nd year in a row with ANTS. This year we had the opening night of the whole festival at Blue Parrot with Andrea Oliva, Sasha, Gorgon City, Uner and Secondcity. The place was full and the vibe was amazing.

We had our black ANTS acrobats all over Playa Del Carmen promoting it was something that Mexico had never seen but yet so many people recognised them and knew what it was all about, it was really great to see that response and know that the Colony is touching people all over the world!

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About the author

Before Decoded started, UK Editor, Simon Huxtable ran a successful podcast for new and established artists covering many forms of electronic music. No slouch on the decks himself, he has DJed at some of the countries best venues and has an ever-growing portfolio of releases under his current production moniker - Real Gone Kid.

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