#PBTM: Michael Ibarra, Programming & VIP Director of Metropolitan Nightclub

Metropolitan Nightclub / Generations Hall is at the top of the list when naming high-quality New Orleans venues. This nightclub and event space has held some of the most prestigious and sold-out shows in the city, always executed seemingly with ease. Throwing flawless events is Metro’s claim to fame, and at the core of that is Metropolitan Nightclub’s Programming and VIP Director, Michael Ibarra.

As someone is truly passionate about his career, Mike Ibarra has kept the love of his craft alive and continues to be a pioneer in the event-planning business. The sky’s the limit for Metropolitan Nightclub and as they continue to grow and reach out to new audiences, we can’t wait to see what is in store next.


Full Name

Michael Jason Ibarra

Position/ Company
Programming & VIP Director of the Metropolitan Nightclub / Generations Hall
Event Manager Crimson Entertainment

What was your first step into the industry? 

“I’ve been in the bar & nightclub business for 16 years. I really wasn’t involved in the music side of things until September 2014 when I accepted the Management position at The Metropolitan Nightclub. With Zero experience in booking talent or programming, I was given the task of booking the talent for our big Halloween Event.

So with the help of my good friend Silo Ortiz, we started sending offers and going back n forth with agents until we finally confirmed our first Metro booking together….The Chainsmokers. It’s been my job ever since, and I can honestly say that I LOVE what I do and who I work with.”

What was the first moment you knew you wanted to be involved in the arts/music/culture scene?

“After pulling off The Chainsmokers, it was safe to say that I had an interest in doing more shows at Metro, but I didn’t have the knowledge or experience to do it all on my own. The best decision I ever made was partnering with Disco Donnie and Amps Events. They have taught me every aspect of the business (booking, advancing, marketing, production, hospitality, settlements and the most important thing GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT!

We have only been working together for less than 2 years, but we’ve accomplished a lot in a short time, and have some big things coming in the near future :)”

What has been your biggest accomplishment?

“I can honestly say that being acknowledged by River Beats for #PBTM is an honor and truly humbling. Most of the work that I do is behind the scenes, so for someone to see that and give me recognition for it feels awesome. I’m extremely thankful!”

Proudest moment?

“My proudest moment would have to be Sunday, November 1st, 2015. We had already pulled off two successful events the two nights prior. We were running on practically no sleep, and we got the news that Voodoo Fest was canceled. Rob Brunet (Amps Events), Amin Mohabbat (Disco Donnie Presents) and I immediately got on a conference call and started the process of getting Eric Prydz to come back to Metro and play for all of his fans from around the world who traveled to New Orleans to see him play the festival. It was a long process, but we eventually got it done, and within one hour of confirming the show, we had artwork done, tickets available online, the venue fully staffed, production set, and doors open.

It was a sold out show. Eric played for over 4 hours. The energy in the room was electrifying. Eric even talked about the show on his radio show. We definitely gambled by trying to execute a show with such short notice, but the whole team came together, and we made it happen. It was a great feeling.”

Who are you listening to right now?

“Florian Picasso, Adventure Club Red // Blue, Eric Prydz, Joyride, Alesso, Stadium X, The Chainsmokers, Dash Berlin, Tritonal, Odesza, Nicky Romero, and pretty much anyone on the Protocol roster. I love their sound.”

What is your life motto?

“Enjoy the ride. Work hard but party harder.”

Where do you see yourself in five years?

“That’s a tough one because I love what I currently do, so it would take a lot for me to move on, but I would really like to put together a new festival in New Orleans. Hopefully, we can make that happen a lot sooner, though.”

Where would you like to travel to?

“Anybody who knows me would guess Vegas since I go there all the time (currently answering these questions on a flight to vegas lol) but I’ve always wanted to travel to Europe and see France, Italy, Spain and Amsterdam. My plan is to make that happen next year when I go to ADE & Tomorrowland. I’ve heard from so many people that Tomorrowland is the one festival that everyone MUST go to. It’s not super commercialized. It’s pure, and everyone is there for one thing and one thing only….their love for the music.”

What is something you are really excited for in the next year?

“My good friend, Jason Ehrilicher (DJ TAF), and I are #festivalbros. We’ve done Voodoo, BUKU Music + Art Project, Tomorrowworld, Hangout and EDC already. This year we plan on adding Ultra Music Festival, Tomorrowland, and Coachella to the list. Might be tough to make them all happen, but it’s the goal, and you have to have those right?”


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