Access talks to Cruz Arnau, co-founder of Elrow, one of the team behind the uber-successful touring experience.
How did Elrow get started?
We are a family that has followed the history of electronic music which we have lived and enjoyed from generation to generation since we were kids.
A few years ago, Juan and I began to notice and feel that the scene was needing a change. The night was starting to become boring, dark and linear… and people asked for something new to have fun and be part of the show. They wanted to forget their problems and find their inner child. Then, little by little, we started to investigate and try to make something new.
Firstly, we decorated the room. Secondly, we got some costumes “like a present” for the crew and we added the confetti during the show. People loved that. The audience was now part of the spectacle and light and colours came back into the scene. We gave inflatables and toys for people to interact with each other, play and take as a souvenir. Elrow is polyhedral, poetic and inexplicable. A remix of several worlds, that we now call themes.
What kit does it include and how has this expanded?
Elrow is the brainchild of the sixth generation of the Arnau family, a dynasty of show business entrepreneurs from a small town in Spain between Barcelona and Madrid. The family had run casinos, restaurants, nightclubs and cabarets for many decades.
The sixth generation, Juan Arnau Jr and myself developed eight years ago (2011) a very grassroots concept of immersive parties under the philosophy of turning upside down everything that was boring or dull about clubbing, and Elrow took off first in its hometown of Barcelona, then in Ibiza and from there to the rest of the world. We currently run 150 events in 30 countries, employ 120 people in the headquarters in Barcelona and have two additional commercial offices in New York and Shanghai.
What does the future hold for Elrow?
We always opted for a different concept from the rest of the industry. When Elrow was created, the electronic scene was dominated by a certain darkness that always characteriSed this sector. Since the beginnings of Elrow, we were clear that we wanted to differentiate ourselves from the others and create our own new concept. The concept ‘row’ is given by a summer atmosphere, as colourful as it would be in a daytime party. We try through the daylight to give our clients the emotion and sensation to move into a colourful world.
“Elrow is polyhedral, poetic and inexplicable”
What are the logistical and organisational challenges touring Elrow and how are they overcome?
Elrow has grown exponentially the last four years and we have had to adapt the logistical aspect of the company while we were, effectively touring the world many times over.
We currently have five different teams capable of delivering five shows on the same day in five different cities on five different continents. But imagine the work that goes before and after each show: set and decorations need to be produced and get to places on time as well as the right people.
After every show, the equally important take down happens and we are on to the next city. I try to explain that besides being the most creative company in the industry, we also need to excel in logistics, operations and the technical and engineering aspects of the show. We have become truly a left side brain – right side brain type of company.