Antonio Piacquadio Gives the 411 on Space Nightclub
Space, the long anticipated Ibiza brand, will open September 12 on Manhattan's far West Side on 50th and 12th and it’s determined to answer the needs of a burgeoning music scene. No expense has been spared in sound and lights. Nightclub & Bar caught up with the Managing Director, Antonio Piacquadio and asked him all about the new nightclub.
Space New York is to say the least an ambitious project with an investment of well over $10 million. Have you built a better venue? Is the public demanding a club like this?
NYC Nightlife has been a passion of mine since the mid 90’s. Back then clubbing had a purpose; you went for an experience. I feel in the more recent years operators have lost sight of that. A nightclub needs to have a pulse. It’s not just dollars and cadavers. Where has the energy gone? I miss it and so do those who have experienced it and wish it would return. Those who haven’t are in for a wild ride. With that being said… YES - The public is demanding it and we are going to deliver it to them without prejudice!
With a huge move into sound and lights, big name DJs surely must follow. What is your DJ philosophy?
Our philosophy is the DJ / Artist comes first. After all, the crowd is coming to see their favorite artist. If that artist isn’t fully satisfied then he may not perform as well as he could, therefore not delivering the customer the value that they are paying for. Being an artist myself I tend to go a bit overboard in the technical aspects of my venues. Sound, lighting, acoustics and DJ booth are my first budgeted items then I work the rest of the project around that. Room acoustics also play a big role in the sound quality of the venue. Although this is not an exact science, we have a few tricks that will make the room sound warm and inviting.
Tell us about the DJ booth and the system.
We contracted the top sound company in the country, Anthem SSL, to design and install our sound and lighting system. Our sound system is collaboration between Anthem and FunktionOne, which will deliver amazing results as this is the first time these two monsters had worked together on an install. The DJ Booth is designed and fabricated by Dan Barnes. It will be unlike any other booth in the world. The one thing I can’t stand is in between a DJ’s set, some sound tech leaning over the equipment pulling wires and changing mixers or replacing CDJ’s with turntables. It’s kind of an eyesore, especially when it happens at the peak of the night. You also run the risk of losing signal or even worse… Dead Air. From turntables, to mixers, to CDJ’s, I will be able to control all of this with a touch of a button. No more need for the awkward sound guy to risk ruining your set. It will also have the custom Funktion One Booth monitors as well as a height control switch to accommodate any size DJ. Oh did I mention the DJ will have his own private bathroom and service bar. They are the Show. Why should they wait for anything?
Is it admission, bottles, bar sales or corporate events that will whittle away investment debt?
This is a multi-faceted venue that will rely on all of these revenue streams to be successful. Not only was it expensive to build, it’s immensely expensive to run. We feel that the design, concept, and key team members along with the selected talent will maximize the potential of each revenue stream.
We’re told you’ll open for Friday and Saturday nights and corporate functions. Can a third night survive?
Let’s just say that is our opening program. We expect to be doing at least five solid independent in-house events within our first six months of operation. Crawl before you walk. Get it hot and running like a clock then expand. I’m confident we will be able to create revenue streams that most clubs of our size cannot. It’s all about the windows overlooking the Hudson River.
You are on 12th avenue and 50th street, off the beaten path. Is the location ideal or challenging?
I personally love the location. Far enough away from residents so were not bothering anyone yet very easy to get to. This was one of my main objectives when originally looking for a space. The last thing I want to do is disturb the peace. Happy Community, Happy Club. To me we are creating an experience, a destination, not just your average run of the mill nightclub. Six Flags is off the beaten path too, but people go there because it’s fun! We will show the world that you can still have fun in a nightclub in New York. Not just in Ibiza.
Old mega clubs were a mix of people from many backgrounds. Who will come to Space New York?
Our attitude is similar to that of the mega clubs of old. If you’re here to party, you have the right look and style, and you have a positive party attitude, our door people will pick up that energy and welcome you with open arms. If you come with a negative attitude and look lost or your vibe is off, you will most likely be denied. First and foremost, this is a party, not a baseball game; energy matters, money doesn’t. Just because you have a black card that doesn’t mean you will be admitted. The whole thing needs to work together – music, crowd, entertainment, customer service, and vibe. We will not risk that on any night for a few extra bucks. To us it is just not worth it.