Have you ever been hit on the head with an inflatable shark whilst watching Eats Everything or seen a pizza delivery man try not to drop his 15 boxes as he is running across a stage mid-way through a Sasha set?
Have you ever been getting down with a woman dressed as a toad during Art Department or been asked to cheer on a boxing match in the middle of the dance floor; referee, ring girl and all?
If the answer to all of the above is no, then you haven’t experienced the most famous party in the world.
Not so long ago ravers would cringe at the idea of confetti cannons and on stage entertainment – as they notoriously came hand in hand with the shitness that is an EDM event; hosting a talentless douchebag masquerading as a DJ, forcing whack tunes onto his teenage audience.
However, as the dance music scene evolves, it seems so have people’s tolerance – and appreciation for obscurity.
Of course, a banging sound system and state of the art visuals definitely add to the enjoyment factor of seeing your favourite DJ. Yet it appears that in this current climate, there is a demand for more.
With underground house and techno gaining more and more exposure, not only through social media but mainstream platforms too (all hail Pete Tong for flying the flag) – expectations, just like ticket prices, are higher than ever.
Elrow has recently sold out a 15,000 capacity London event in less than five hours. Word has it, it could have sold three times the amount of tickets. This is a brand famed for its stilt walkers, acrobats, fire-breathers, dancers, actors and entertainers, who get right amongst it, in the middle of the dance floor, just like everybody else.
It must be asked, why was it embarrassing when Steve Aoki or Martin Garrix spent thousands on production, but all of a sudden it’s the best thing ever?
What Elrow has always maintained is its cutting edge sound. They have never had to book a DJ who plays anything outside of the stuff they ever-so-purposely look to achieve, just to pack out a show.
The promoter’s have kept their ethos identical from day one; great music in a fun packed environment. The parties may be bigger, but the style remains the same.
Maybe a generation of young EDM fans have matured into a bunch of tech-house lovers; so while their music taste may have evolved, they still crave people hanging from the ceiling.
Perhaps people never actually had an issue with the entertainment, and it was solely the EDM DJ ruining everything for everybody (not for the first time) – but punters took their anger out on the confetti cannons.
Or perhaps you need to experience Elrow a dozen times before you tell yourself, “yep, that’s me done with it. It was fun the first time, but now it is annoying. The smell of hot dogs is making me feel sick and I cannot be bothered to pretend the acrobats are enjoyable to look at anymore. I came here for the music, not this shit.”
No matter which camp you are in, Elrow isn’t going anywhere. The event is pleasing on the eyes and the ears – gaining loyal followers by the mass; demonstrating that underground music doesn’t have to be so bloody serious all the time, and definitely isn’t as far below the surface as it was ten years ago.
If you don’t give in and embrace it, you’re most likely missing out.