Ibiza unlocked are honoured to have with us today a man that started at the bottom and now he is a serial entrepreneur and owner of a number of successful businesses on the island. Not only is he a businessman, but he is also a gentleman. Ladies & gentlemen, I present you, Nick Ferguson.
(haha, can I have this on my gravestone mate?!)
Hahaha, no problem Nick!
It’s a pleasure to have you here with us today. We originally planned to do this blog into an interview last year, but we both got super busy with our companies. However, here we are. How’s it going?
Everything is great thanks, Howard. We have had a really lovely winter, even managed to get as far as the Maldives and Thailand with my wife and baby and enjoy a proper family English Christmas! But now back to business, so much to crack on with for this coming summer!
That’s great news! So, how old is the little fella now?
Misha is 15 months, going on 3 years! He is a constant ball of energy, always looking to learn, relentless in his pursuit for entertainment and very good at staying up all night. They say the apple does not fall far from the tree 😉
I don’t know how you find the time to juggle family life with your several businesses that you run at the same time!
So, let’s start from the start, we are interested to know your first experiences in Ibiza, what was your first season working in here and what was your first job?
Funnily enough, I had no interest in Ibiza when I was a teenager. I was a true indie kid from the Britpop era, who thought dance music was tacky. Myself and two of my best friends decided to go on our first lads holiday in 1999 and after watching Ibiza uncovered, there was only one choice of where to go. Ibiza was just as insane in real life! I was from a quiet Cornish town, with not a lot of nightlife, so Ibiza blew my little mind. My first tastes were sunset at Café Del Mar, Clockwork Orange, Cream and Manumission….yep, I finally got it!
A couple of years later, I was doing a Music Industry Marketing degree and during the summers decided to come and work in Ibiza, as my interest in dance music grew. I spent three summers as a PR and ticket seller at Bay Bar, before moving to Mambo Group in 2004 & 2005 as their PR manager on the sunset strip.
The following year, Kanya was relaunching and poached me to be their head of promotions. This lead to me working with the legend Mo Chaudry, who made me his number two at Cream, Tiesto and various Radio 1 projects.
After deciding that I wanted a career as a promoter, I moved to Leeds and in no time was putting together the biggest show’s in the city, with the likes of The Swedish House Mafia, Deadmau5 and Carl Cox.
Within a few years, I was working full time for Cream Group internationally, running Ibiza and learning a lot from the brilliant Barton family. These were amazing years. We sold out many shows at Amnesia, as well as at Privilege, Ushuaia and Space. In fact, I am unsure any other promoter has been lucky enough to achieve this feat!
I left Cream after ten amazing years at the start of 2018, around when my son was born. We bought a villa to finally settle here properly, and I felt compelled to start my own business. This gave me the freedom to work across many exciting new projects.
Wow, you really have come a long way since then! So, since you left Cream you’ve been very busy with setting up you many companies under ‘Supanova group’ Tell us a little about your latest ventures?
My idea with ‘The Supernova Group’ was to firstly represent club brands, artists and products who want a presence in Ibiza, but without needing the infrastructure to do it themselves. I brought over my main team from Cream Ibiza, including my number two, Mark Brewer to help me.
Our first client was, Defected which was a huge step for us, being such an incredible institution, with such a brilliant team. We ran their island operations last year which was a fantastic season for them in Eden.
We also worked with my old friend, Paul van Dyk to create a new trance brand called Shine, which started in Privilege Vista club but has now moved to Eden and already has its own stage at Tomorrowland and events in clubs, like Ministry of Sound.
We worked with the wonderful Heart venue on a new project last year, and have become consultants on a few projects this year, which has opened up doors in Mallorca, Croatia and beyond.
I have always been interested in other businesses outside of promoting events, so I made a couple of other investments. One is a very cool traditional barbers in San Antonio (called the Alchemist, with Tom) and the other, www.acid87.co.uk clothing (with Adam), which is really popular in electronic music. Both have been an interesting learning curve but are in very good position already!
I have to say, it’s very impressive what you’ve achieved in a short space of time, however, it’s all the hard work leading up to this moment that has made your success come to fruition. Well done!
So, what can you reveal to us about what you have you have in store this summer with Defected at Eden after last years huge success in San Antonio?
Defected are a really impressive company, they get everything right from their music and line ups to their socials, their team and how the business is run. It is clear why they are going from strength and to strength and it is great to be a part of that for Ibiza. Last year saw a big rise on numbers from the previous year and I am confident this year will be the same. We have moved to a new slot on Friday nights, kicking off the weekend in style. The line ups are really solid, I think this is the best night San Antonio has ever had and long may that continue.
Sound’s like you have a huge summer planned with some very exciting projects in motion. And let’s not forget the mighty ‘One More Time’ Reunion party that you and Dexter Jones are organising in October. I’m personally very excited about this and I take my hat off to you guys for doing such a great job in pulling it all together, I think it’s just what is needed for all the old workers to come back to the island and relive those magic years of working here and not only that, you have managed to bring back some of the legendary brands from that era, from Garlands, ‘We love’& ‘Retro to name but a few. Please tells us some more of what you have planned for this 5-day event?
Well, this is probably the most fun and creatively rewarding project I have ever worked on! My good friend Dexter created a nostalgia group on facebook for old school Ibiza workers and within a week 7000 people had joined, with many screaming out for a reunion!
Dexter and I put together some initial fun ideas, having everyone stay in Ibiza Rocks hotel, bringing in a few of the worker’s favourite parties like ‘Filthy Gorgeous’ and ‘Ketoloco’, and then bit by bit it has developed into an absolute beast. We have ended up working with the likes ‘We Love’, ‘Judgement’, ‘Retro’, and ‘Garlands’ and creating a week full of events that hundreds of people are very excited about!
The concept is quite simple…going back to the golden 2000-2010 era and bringing back it’s favourite brands, DJ’s, artwork, venues and the carefree vibe that seemed unique to that period…just ONE MORE TIME!
I’ve got goosebumps and can’t wait for this event and to catch up with some old friends!
Lastly, as a true San Anontio based businessman, what’s your thoughts on the way that the town that we all love is changing in terms of the new music restrictions, venue closing times on the West -End and the political situation?
It is really sad to see the oppression from the local council towards nightlife businesses here. However, I have to say, since I started coming to San An 20 years ago it is a lot cleaner, carefully developed and forward thinking place. Back then there was no real beach along the promenade, there was no real sunset promenade, no decent hotels, there was music blaring out everywhere all the time, there were people openly selling and consuming drugs, there were flyers all over the beaches. Of course, there are many negatives too but I think sometimes we need to focus on the positives of change! I am very confident San An has gone through it’s toughest time and will once again be the most important place in Ibiza for the younger market, as well as more seasoned visitors.
It’s great to get your insight on this topic and to catch up again with you. We wish you all the very best of luck with all of your ventures this summer and beyond.
Thanks mate, an absolute pleasure and look forward to seeing go somewhere dark and loud soon!