“People keep coming back for more!”: A Q&A with Pete Tong ahead of the Ibiza Classics UK Tour



Out this week is the latest album from Pete Tong, ‘Chilled Classics’, featuring Tong’s orchestral spin on classic dance music. The record, with Jules Buckley and the Heritage Orchestra, will see collaborations with the likes of Wiley, Boy George, MNEK, Zara Larsson, Alison Mosshart, Grace Carter, Todd Edwards and more, and we can’t wait to hear it.

The album comes ahead of Pete Tong’s Ibiza Classics UK tour, which hits arenas in December. We caught up with Pete Tong about what you can expect from the live shows, and how they perfectly encapsulate the essence of Ibiza.

Where do you feel the appetite for the classical take on dance/electro music came from?

When we did the BBC Radio 1 Ibiza Prom in 2015, people were blown away by the fact a 65 piece orchestra were playing these legendary club tunes. The fact that an orchestra can actually play them adds gravitas to the writers and producers that made them. It adds to the whole legacy of dance music in a positive way. From the moment we did that, there was hunger for more.

What do you think is the reason it has remained so popular in the live arena?

The massive audience participation that goes with these shows makes for a very unique atmosphere. People keep coming back for more. There is something about standing in an arena alongside 10-18,000 people that makes it very euphoric and addictive!

How do you feel that Ibiza Classics brings authentic Ibiza vibes to UK venues, and what do you aim to do to keep it feeling authentic?

A lot of creative energy goes into the show. It’s a pretty amazing production. During the show we take people back to the island for just one more night. Can you resist?

Having been a resident DJ in Ibiza for many years, and remaining a part of the Ibiza scene today, how do you feel that Ibiza changed over the years?

The island has evolved enormously over the past 30 years. Ibiza has had to regenerate and modernise to cater for more and more visitors from all over the world, but the spirit remains. You just have to dig a little deeper to find it. It’s still home to five or six of the best clubs in the world.

What’s your favourite Ibiza classic to perform? And which song do you feel gets the best reaction?

‘Cafe Del Mar’ always brings the goosebumps out. For the December 2019 shows we are playing 10 new arrangements which I’m also very excited about.

Your latest album ‘Chilled Classics’ is due out this week! What’s your favourite track from the album, and the most interesting collaboration in your opinion?

‘Every Heartbeat’ feat Zara Larson really sums up the soul of the album. Plus the news songs have been really inspiring; working with the likes of Boy George, MNEK, Shungudzo and Todd Edwards.

What are you most looking forward to about the upcoming Ibiza Classics shows?

Just getting back on the road with this team and the audiences in the arenas is the highlight of my year. I have a huge smile just thinking about it!

Pete Tong kicks off the tour in Bournemouth on Wednesday 4th December, and there’s still a few tickets remaining for the tour! Be sure to grab yours while you can – tickets on sale now!

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Sarah is the Digital Marketing Manager at See Tickets, and a Journalism graduate from the University of Portsmouth. Life-long music lover, cat fanatic, and advocate for the physical format, you'll often find her front and centre at gigs and festivals across the UK and beyond.