Tristan Ingram passes Judgement
Reported by Adam Symbiosis
Submitted 27-08-08 15:24
Ibiza, Ibiza, Ibiza. It’s a subject and a place to divide the most ardent of clubbers, jaded or still going strong. Despite the criticism the party isle carries on regardless, well at night time these days anyway, and one place that is still going on strong is Judgement Sundays. A key player at the Judgement team is Tristan Ingram, so during this year’s HF Ibiza tour, HarderFaster sent Adam Symbiosis to find out more about this enigmatic PR manager, promoter and DJ.
Enigmatic – adj. resembling an enigma, perplexing, mysterious. That’s certainly how I felt about my subject as I sat researching Tristan Ingram before meeting up with him in the centre on San Antonio’s nightlife at Judgement Sundays in Eden. In fact as I trawled the web I could find next to nothing about one of the key players of one of the most successful parties on the White Isle over the past 9 years. With little in the way of real information on his MySpace page, no particular web presence and no background info, I argue with the HF team about who he might actually be and, pretty stupidly, confuse him for a time with Tristan D from Peach and Roman Trystam from Strike Artists. I was going in blind, but sometimes that's not such a bad thing!
In we went into the heart of Eden. Inside Judge Jules was already getting a packed crowd crazy, quite impressive considering complaints had been heard about the lack of people and places had been shutting early over the past few nights. Upstairs Funkdeluxe hosted the bar while in the back room, Utah Saints were ripping things up – obviously they’d been practising for the past 6 or so years since Two and Lost Vagueness were released.
But they and the beautiful people collected around me on the dancefloor were not why I was here and so I went to hunt out Tristan. Finally finding him, he leads me up to a balcony area. Here Jules shows me his wallet (silver), the Heat promoter Damian tries to answer questions (ok then) and the view of San An is spectacular (wow). How did he get to such a position within the cut throat market that is Ibiza? A little surprisingly, our man came out here as an 18 – 30’s rep at 18, ten years ago and, like many, fell in love with the place. Not so surprisingly, it was the three years of dealing with promoters, parties and bar owners that set him up so well for Judgement Sundays.
He’s not always been here though. Some of you might have seen him as the In Bed With Space regular for the previous four years. I ask how he compares the two now and he laments the passing of the daytime parties and his residency on the Terrace. As promoter however this clamp down hasn’t affected him as every party he’s done, which include Judgement and his new brand Random, have been night time ones.
Of course the contrasting news this year has been one of less people in Ibiza due to (depending on who you believe) a falling out of love with the Island or the strong Euro, or on the flip side the resurgence of San Antonio as the place for stars and other people to been seen. Of course with Pete Tong deciding to host his party Wonderland there along with Koolwaters and others, maybe there’s a turn around for the area? “Judgement has been here for 9 years now” he enthuses, “And it’s always been San Antonio's busiest night'' . But having other, good, credible parties here brings more people to San Antoino. The last three years has seen the whole of the West End pedestrianised, there’s a brand new walkway along by Kanya and they’re building it out further to the end of the bay. It makes the whole place nicer, cleaner. The only bad thing is the price of the Euro.” Of course, there it is the dreaded exchange rate but what he says is true, the area around San Antonio and the walkway along the bay round to classic bars Kanya, Mambo and Café Del Mar completely change the feel for the area and more improvements on the way can only serve to make San An even better.
But it does make me think that maybe prices should come down across the island to bring more people in as it’s well known that clubbing and drinking on the Island ranks among the worlds most expensive, Tristan disagrees. “It’s never going to happen. Simple reason is there are only four months in the year for people in the clubs & bars to make money.” He does agree that prices can be shocking, especially in VIP areas where you’ll be shelling out nearly £25 for drinks like Vodka Redbull but he strikes me as a realist on the whole subject, people will come and pay the prices as generally as they are only here for a week or two and the bars will charge as there’s no other way for them.
I had to ask him about the MySpace page. A lot of flyers, a lot of dates of parties but actually not much about him at all; what was it about, was it building a mystique, that enigmatic aura? The answer was a bit more mundane, “A lot of people here know me as a promoter and I’m just trying to promote myself as a DJ but people tend to take you seriously in one thing, not two things. It’s only really this year that I’ve stepped it up another gear by getting more gigs and getting remixes out there.” With tracks alongside BK’s new alterego Black Russian, his own remixes like his pair up with Jason Still to rerub Shine On and appearances in 2008 in Miami, Canada, Germany, The UK and of course back in Ibiza at Eden, Amnesia, El Divino and more, you’ll start to see a lot more from this busy guy.
On the flip side of his promoting Judgement Sundays, Random and himself, we talk about his annual charity festival for Breast Cancer Research, returning again this year in Ibiza having made £7500 last time round. It’s a charity that’s important to him following his mum’s own breast cancer diagnosis, “Since she had her treatment I just want to be able to give something back and to put on a wicked party for the people who are helping me support it.” I ask how he compares the two strands of commercial and charity promoting and in a glimmer of vulnerability that all big promoters must have but never show he tells me bluntly he’s not scared of losing lots of money putting on the charity show. It’s also a refreshing display of utter honesty, again something you won’t often see from a big promoter.
I push it further then, interested to know how hard he think thinks he’s worked over the last 10 years to get to where he is now, “Militantly,” is the simple answer, with the hardest thing of all? ''Getting people to take me seriously as a DJ and setting up my own club night, purely for funding it, putting my own money on the table. But”, with complete confidence returned he tells me, “I think I’ve got a strong brand and Jules helped me launch it!”
But after all the hard work, blood, sweat and tears, where does he want to see himself in a year? This time the old promoter blurb is back but still tinged with the honesty he’s displayed over the course of our chat. “I’ll be more than happy to be working with Judgement Sundays for the next 10 years, as long as I can crack on with the DJing, get about and build the Random brand up.”
After another drink we wrap things up and I’m left with an interesting impression of this key player on the White Isle. In a way the enigma had been answered, but it had also been replaced by a real person, rather than a persona. Too often in clubland I’m confronted by the ‘sun shines out of their arse’ brigade, this time the confidence shined through but also decency and honesty. Maybe, just maybe, with Tristan as part of the team, that’s why Judgement Sundays has been an unwavering Ibizan fixture for so long!
For more info on Tristan Ingram: www.myspace.com/tristaningram
Photos courtesy of Tristan Ingram and The HarderFaster archive. Not to be reproduced without permission.
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Other Features By Adam Symbiosis:
Godskitchen Xmas Party: Reviewed
The Big Chill: Reviewed
Tiësto at Victoria Park: Reviewed
Lilly Allen: Reviewed
Digital Society May 2009: Reviewed
The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.