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Chicago industry veterans launch Auris Presents

Auris Presents, a new promoter and event production company led by seasoned local live music professionals, has launched in Chicago.

The firm is co-founded by partners Nick Karounos and Stuart Hackley and managing partners John Curley (Paradigm Presents) and Joe Quade (Bam Creates). Karounos is owner of venues Radius (4,000-cap.) and Prysm (650-cap.), partner in Concord Music Hall (1,450-cap.), and former partner of React Presents (Spring Awakening Music Festival), while Hackley is the founder and operator of Loud Crowd, a national events company, and a former senior talent buyer at promoter Disco Donnie Presents.

“I’m excited to bring this strong Chicago-based team together, along with Stuart and the Loud Crowd team, who will continue to produce events throughout the country,” comments Karounos. “They bring incomparable energy and experience to Auris Presents’ midwest focus.”

“The formation of Auris Presents and bringing this team together was essential for our venues to survive”

Joining the team as operating partners are Carson Rhoads, Dom Brown and Mike Lang, with Garrett Birch and Joe Calderone rounding out the team in marketing and design.

Auris will promote “innovative, experiential and curated events at unique locations”, including owned venues, as well as partnering with other promoters and venues in the midwest and across the US, with a slate of socially distanced shows for the remainder of 2020 set to be announced soon.

“The formation of Auris Presents and bringing this team together was essential for our venues to survive, especially Radius, which opened just two weeks prior to the pandemic,” continues Karounos.

“The survival of independent promoters and venues is important to ensure one company isn’t able to monopolise the industry, causing [fewer] options for the artists and fans, inflated service fees and complacency with the fan experience.”

 


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LiveXLive acquires EDM promoter React Presents

Festival streaming platform LiveXLive has acquired React Presents, a Chicago-based promoter of electronic dance music events, for US$2 million.

React Presents, which puts on events including Spring Awakening Festival, Summer Set Music Festival and Mamby on the Beach, as well as over 250 club and venue shows a year, was formerly part of the LiveStyle portfolio (previously SFX Entertainment). The promoter generated $15m in revenue last year.

“This is a transformative moment in the evolution of LiveXLive,” comments the company’s CEO and chairman Robert Ellin. We have quickly become a leading livestreaming and original music content platform with a large global audience and more than 820,000 paid subscribers.

“By acquiring this key asset in the EDM space, we expanded our audience reach with the addition of more than 250 programmes and events”

“By acquiring this key asset in the EDM space, we added $15 million in revenues, expanded our audience reach with the addition of more than 250 programmes and events, and continued to fill in our flywheel with event ownership and management.”

In addition to its livestreaming platform for festivals including Rock in Rio, EDC Las Vegas and Montreux Jazz Festival, LiveXLive produces its own original music content, and also owns ticketing company Wantickets, management firm LXL Influencers, digital radio business Slacker and has partnered with esports venue giant Allied Esports.

Photo: swimfinfan/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) (cropped)

 


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Function(x) future unclear as Sillerman heads for bankruptcy

Robert Sillerman’s troubled Function(x) web business is edging closer to insolvency following attempts by creditors to force the former SFX Entertainment chief into involuntary bankruptcy.

Chicago-based EDM promoter React Presents and its ticketing platform, ClubTix, in December 2017 won a judgment against Sillerman over an unpaid US$10m promissory note relating to the company’s 2014 acquisition by SFX. SFX filed for bankruptcy in February 2016 owing almost half a billion dollars.

Sillerman has since filed a petition to convert React’s request for ‘chapter 7’ (ie straight, or liquidation) bankruptcy into chapter 11 bankruptcy, wherein the bankrupt debtor is able to keep the company alive while they restructure.

Now, Sillerman’s current financial woes have caused his new company, Function(x) – an online news outfit specialising in clickable ‘viral’ content, which Sillerman has grown aggressively through rapid SFX-style consolidation – to warn the company could be facing a difficult future without monetary support from its CEO.

“There are no assurances the company will be able to secure an alternative source of funding”

In its latest current report filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Function(x) explains to shareholders that, as executive chairman and CEO, Sillerman has historically provided “support to the company in form of cash and guarantees of company’s obligations”.

However, it warns, Sillerman may now “be unable to provide financial support to the company in the foreseeable future”, and that “there are no assurances the company will be able to secure an alternative source of funding.”

Function(x) furloughed three quarters of its employees last September after finding itself unable to pay their wages. In June, the company was delisted from the Nasdaq stock exchange after failing to meet the deadline for filing its quarterly report.

 


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