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SA’s Howler expands globally with Elrow deal

South African cashless and ticketing payments platform Howler has signed a global ticketing deal with Elrow, the Superstruct-owned Spanish party promoter.

In normal times, Barcelona-based party brand Elrow hosts more than 150 productions annually, attracting millions of fans in 26 countries.

The four-year partnership with Elrow (formerly Elrow Family) will see Howler enter into new European markets and “across more global operations than ever before”, according to Howler CEO Shai Evian. “I have been following the Elrow brand for a number of years,” comments Howler CEO Shai Evian.

“Anyone in the industry knows that Elrow has globally set the benchmark. To work with them at the highest level is a dream come true. The entertainment technology industry is one of the most competitive in the world and it goes to show that South Africa is a breeding ground for next-gen tech. This is a massive vote of confidence, especially in the times we’re in today.”

“This is a massive vote of confidence, especially in the times we’re in today”

Elrow joins existing clients in Europe, including Sónar in Barcelona, Kappa Futur Festival in Italy, Monte Verde in Portugal and Oasis in Morocco, as well as soon-to-be-announced new year’s eve events in New Zealand.

“We are so excited to put Howler on the global events stage, working with the best in the business and helping make moments matter,” continues Evian. “This partnership is especially exciting as technology becomes the cornerstone of events, and as customer behavioural analytics become more and more valuable in creating success for future events.”

Founded in 2015, Howler’s end-to-end platform includes solutions for ticketing, cashless, access, insurance and more for event organisers.

The Johannesburg-company announced the new deal at the virtual Amsterdam Dance Event last month. To watch the webinar back and learn more about the partnership, register at the Howler website.

 


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Spain’s Monegros festival back after 5-year break

The Arnau family, the group behind Spanish promoter Elrow, has announced the return of electronic music event Monegros Desert Festival, which has been on an extended hiatus since 2014.

The last edition of Monegros festival attracted 40,000 fans to dance in the desert to sets by Skrillex, Carl Cox, Steve Aoki and Boys Noize. The 2015 edition, which was to see a reduced capacity of 20,000, was “suddenly suspended” two months prior to the event, according to local media.

After days of teasing, the festival’s return was revealed on Facebook, with the bilingual statement: ¡Monegros ha veulto! Monegros is back!

The 2020 festival, which will include more than 20 hours of music, will take place on 1 August in the eponymous desert in northeast Spain, marking the 21st edition of the event.

“We are not coming back to do something predictable”

“We are not coming back to do something predictable,” says festival owner Juan Arnau. “We want to produce the biggest festival ever seen in the history of Monegros.”

Arnau’s father, Juan Arnau Duran, launched Monegros Groove Parade in 1994, later renaming the event to Monegros Desert Festival. Arnau Duran’s children, Juan and Cruz Arnau, now own and run the event.

The pair are also the current owners and managers of the Elrow brand and the founders of the Elrow parties, which happen at major clubs and festivals worldwide. James Barton-led Superstruct Entertainment invested in the Barcelona-based promoter in 2017.

Acts to have performed at past Monegros festivals include the Prodigy, Underworld, Public Enemy, Justice and Richie Hawtin.

Fans can sign up for pre-sale tickets, which become available on 15 October at 12 p.m. (CET), here. Priority access to tickets is limited to 3,000.

 


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Eventbrite signs partnership with Elrow Family

Ticketing and event technology giant Eventbrite has signed a multi-year partnership with the Barcelona-based event concept and party series, Elrow Family.

The partnership will see Eventbrite manage the ticketing of more than 2.4 million attendees a year, and over 100 shows, for the company – which will celebrate its eighth birthday this year – over several continents, including shows in Dubai, Madrid and Ibiza.

Elrow Family is an award-winning series, which has wowed audiences with a unique circus-like style to its shows, mixing elaborate production with spectacular visual effects. The company put on its first London event in August, as a full-scale festival event at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

It has since last February been partially owned by James Barton’s Superstruct Entertainment, which also holds a majority stake in Sziget festival.

The first event to take place as part of the partnership with Eventbrite will be Elrow Family’s eighth anniversary party in Viladecans, Barcelona, on 15 July.

“Elrow are without doubt one of the most impressive independent club and festival promoters.”

President of Elrow Family, Vicenç Marti, comments: “With many additional projects around the world planned over the next years, the time to join up with a global partner like Eventbrite felt right. 

“We share an international outlook and set-up, [and] an independent spirit, and they’re constantly pushing innovations such as integrations with Facebook and Instagram, which are crucial to connecting with our fans in new and engaging ways.”

“Elrow are without doubt one of the most impressive independent club and festival promoters,” says Paul Everett, head of music at Eventbrite UK. “Tthey are leaders in their field, constantly innovating and delivering exceptional events that combine a unique blend of party, music, arts and breathtaking visuals. 

“As people look for greater and more fulfilling experiences, the Arnau family are redefining festival and party culture. Working with them has been at the top of our wish list for a long time.”


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Elrow moves into new ‘global’ HQ

Elrow last Friday held a launch event to inaugurate Elrow House, the eclectic, ostentatious new headquarters in Barcelona the party promoter says marks its transition into a “truly global organisation”.

Designed by architect Marino Casas Rodriguez, each room of the building reflects an Elrow event theme, including the Enchanted Forest, Mafia Secret Room, Wild West Saloon, Bollywood Boudoir, El Bronx and Rowgelia’s chicken coop, in reference to the company’s chicken-suited mascot.

Spanning two levels, plus a terrace, garden and several open-plan work spaces, Elrow says Elrow House (pictured) provides its “growing team with the space and freedom to unleash the full potential of their exceptional creativity, as they continue to push Elrow to new and exciting places for 2018 and beyond”.

More than 450 industry and media figures attended the launch party, which was streamed live via DJ Mag and featured performances by Melé and Elrow’s resident DJs.

“Elrow House is an unbeatable combination, with the best of a showroom and a unique space to work and create”

Elrow, since February part of the James Barton-led Superstruct Entertainment group, hosts theatrical electronic music parties at clubs and festivals across Europe. It had also planned to launch its own festival, Elrow Friends & Family, this year, before the project was torpedoed by hostile local authorities in Salou.

Elrow founder Juan Arnau Snr says Elrow House is an “unbeatable combination, with the best of a showroom and a unique space to work and create. A new concept of facilities that pretend to be an extension of our shows. Most of our shows are here represented in their small thematic corner.”

CEO Juan Arnau Jr adds: “[It is] the ideal place to create and improve all our shows.”

Watch the live stream of the launch party below:

 


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Debut Elrow festival axed over “political tension”

Elrow Friends & Family, the much-anticipated inaugural festival by Barcelona-based party promoter Elrow, has been called off amid a spat between two Spanish local authorities.

The festival was announced in April, less than two months after the acquisition of Elrow by James Barton’s Superstruct Entertainment. It was due to take place on 15 July (originally announced as 15–16 July) at a beachfront location in Salou, described by company founder and CEO Juanito Arnau as “the perfect spot to put on the most creative show ever done by the Arnau family in all their long history”.

However, in the months since that location has become less than perfect, with the festival becoming a political football in a war of words between the neighbouring municipalities of Salou and Vila-seca.

While Elrow Friends & Family had the backing of Salou, its tourist board and the CiU–PSC coalition which governs Tarragona, Vila-seca’s mayor, Josep Poblet, and local opposition politicians have been vocal in their opposition to the festival. Poblet called plans to hold the 20,000-capacity event in Salou “a grave error”, while Sandro Boquet, a spokesman for the Republican Left of Catalonia (RLC), said having “15,000 ravers” in Salou will “not bring anything good to the city”.

“We have been advised to cancel the event in order to not contribute any further to the political tension”

According to Spanish media, Boquet added that having another electronic music festival in Salou reminds him of the “bad taste left by Saloufest”, the controversial festival axed in a crackdown on “binge [drinking] tourism” last October.

In a statement, Elrow says it took the decision to cancel to avoid further inflaming political tensions. “We regret to announce the cancellation of our upcoming Friends & Family festival,” it reads. “Due to the recent controversy between local councils, shown publicly in many local newspaper headlines, we have been advised to cancel the event in order to not contribute any further to the political tension.

“Elrow always strives to have a perfect working relationship with the authorities and politicians at our events. Once we arrived at this point, we regrettably have no other choice but to take this decision.”

In its place will be a party at Row 14 – an Elrow-owned club in Barcelona – with the same line-up, including house DJ Adam Beyer, techno heavyweight Richie Hawtin, Glaswegian DJ and label boss Jackmaster and local hero Paco Osuna. Ticketholders can exchange their tickets for the Row 14 event or return them for a refund.

 


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Superstruct’s Elrow announces first festival

Spanish promoter Elrow – along with Sziget Festival, part of the fast-expanding Superstruct group – has revealed plans for its first fully fledged music festival.

Elrow Friends & Family will take place on 15–16 July at a beachfront location in Salou, running for 16 hours from 10am to 2am. Billed as Elrow’s “biggest and craziest party to date”, the festival will expand the promoter’s flagship ‘playground’ concept to three stages of music featuring “world-class electronic music headliners”.

Barcelona-based Elrow – known for its playful parties at a number of major clubs and festivals, including Snowbombing, Mysteryland USA, Parklife, Hideout and Electric Zoo – was partially acquired by Superstruct Entertainment in February.

Superstruct, led by Creamfields founder and former Live Nation president of electronic music James Barton, is also a 70% owner of Hungary’s Sziget, and in January announced plans to launch up to ten new festivals in the next few years.

“Get ready to experience something you’ve never ever seen before”

“After seven years offering shows all over the world, at last we’ve found the perfect spot to put on the most creative show ever done by the Arnau family in all their long history,” says company founder and CEO Juanito Arnau.

“For the first time we’re joining forces with some of the most crazily, imaginative people we’ve met around the world, from countries such as Brazil, Portugal, the United States, South Africa, the Netherlands and the UK. Get ready to experience something you’ve never ever seen before.”

The Arnau family previously ran the Monegros Desert Festival in Aragon, which ended in 2014.

Tickets for Elrow Friends & Family go on sale next Thursday (6 April), with the line-up due to be announced in the coming weeks.

 


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James Barton’s Superstruct buys again

Superstruct Entertainment – the hitherto unnamed live entertainment platform formed earlier this year by Creamfields founder James Barton – has entered into an investment agreement with Elrow, a Barcelona-based promoter of electronic music parties at clubs and festivals throughout Europe.

Providence Equity Partners-backed Superstruct made headlines last month when it made a surprise acquisition of a majority stake in Hungarian festival mainstay Sziget. It is led by Barton, formerly president of electronic music at Live Nation, and Paul Bedford, the former financial director of Impresario Festivals (Boardmasters, Field Day, SW4).

Elrow, a trading name of Entretenimiento Musical, says an injection of private-equity cash “will help the company expand its concept globally”. Barton and Providence’s Roderik Schlösser join the company’s board.

“The Elrow team has created a unique experience that is loved by fans. We are excited to partner with and support such an impressive team”

Elrow CEO Juan Arnau Jnr comments: “We are excited to partner with James Barton and Superstruct and are looking forward to growing the company together. James’s global network in music festivals, and Providence’s global expertise and resources, will strengthen our position and enable us to explore opportunities in key markets.

Barton adds: “The Elrow team has created a unique experience that is loved by fans. We are excited to partner with and support such an impressive team and look forward to unlocking new growth opportunities for their business.”

Elrow, founded in 2010, hosted 88 events in 14 countries in 2016.

 


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