This is our eighth year since Andy and I took over Pikes from Tony and we’ve gone through lots of changes. Initially it was known as the Ibiza Rocks House, but now we’ve really embraced Pikes’ authenticity and what it means to the island, the people on it and not only its regulars but for people who are experiencing it for the first time. It is a special and unique part of the island that we’ve taken on–I look at it like an old piece of art that we’ve tried to restore and to regenerate the life back into.
We’re now in a position where not only has it come back to life but I think it’s definitely more successful than it’s ever been in its whole history now. In previous years we’ve had some issues with things like too many people trying to get into the venue and this year we’ve really taken heed of that. Our whole thing is about preservation of the building and with part of the ethos that we’ve tried to create is that we’re just relaxing into letting Pikes live itself in a really natural way so we’re not forcing anything onto it.
We’re making it much harder to get in, we’re refining the menus, we’ve created new areas like our new Curiosity Shop cocktail bar, we’re bringing in a new exhibition dome that will enable us to put on exhibitions and become a cultural hub for the island. Later this year we’ll be hosting a two-day, laid back literary festival, which will feature the likes of Irvine Welsh and John Niven, as well Tracey Thorn – we’ve probably got the best line up for a literary festival in Europe! Next year we’re looking at doing a film festival to build on the literary one this year. There is no set map or agenda that we’re following; it’s a very free flowing collection of its parts.
We’re being a lot more selective because we’ve got to the stage where we’ve realised that we want to keep what we’ve created very special, and the way to do that is to preserve it. To do that we can’t have five parties every night with loads of people coming in because the building will physically start to crumble around us!
You’re going to have to really, really want to get in to come to the parties this year! The changes we’re bringing in includes things like for nights like DJ Harvey’s Mercury Rising, we’re going to be closing at 4am. This has been really well received by everyone because it’s just more sustainable, it’s a slightly more grown up attitude to how we’re going on this journey. It’s not about the end point; it’s about this journey that we’re on and how we can really make the most of it.
What makes Pikes really special is all the people that work here and also the people
it attracts. It’s something that really goes back to the family ethos that we have. The staff really do feel like one big family and the people who come to stay with us feel like they’re part of that extended family. I think that’s what makes everything click here. With Pikes I do loads of collaborations and the place really is a sum of its parts. Every year we work with new people who genuinely love the place and by working with them we get to retain a little essence of them each time. For instance, people like Starlover this year who have given us pieces of artwork (and my awesome leather jacket) and Diana Gomez who did an open air exhibition here last year and has left a piece of her art at the bottom of the swimming pool. Or the artist Rory Dobner who left his mark on all the walls, whether it’s the room numbers, singing chameleon or Cheshire cat… This place is a tapestry and each year the fabric gets richer because it builds up and builds on. Sure we might lose a few things along the way, but it keeps organically growing and the concept gets stronger.
Change is a good thing. Every great thing that’s come out of mine and Andy’s work life has been out of change. I think that’s true in life in general – great things come out of adversity and change. It makes you take more creative routes. The only thing that’s wrong with change is fear, but once you grab hold of that it can be amazing.
It’s inspiring to be able to change direction and plot a new course for Pikes. And I’m glad you’re coming with us.
Words by: Dawn Hindle, Creative Director