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A few years back, dance music was in danger of becoming a bit too strait-laced for its own good. There was a very clear divide in clubland: you could either go out and hear the best DJs in electronic music, but in a slightly stale, mundane environment. Or you could go to a super poppy club where your night would be a blur of confetti cannons, dress-up, glitter face make-up, and inflatables chucked around the room.
Elrow – a Barcelona-based team of creatives and clubbers – have broken the mould by fusing the two. Since their first London party in January 2015, they’ve created some of the most unashamedly fun, throbbing and full-on club nights seen here in years. It’s a global affair too – last year, people all over the world – in Buenos Aires, Napoli, Manchester, Ibiza, New York, Moscow and many more cities – partied with Elrow.
Elrow’s great trick is to marry all that visual pizazz with great DJs who could already guarantee a sell-out – big names from the house and techno world like Skream, Eats Everything, Jackmaster and Seth Troxler have all played Elrow before.
It’s given dance music a new lease of life – and done that rare trick of creating an inclusive party where the focus is no longer on a slightly sullen knob-twiddler in a DJ booth. After rapidly escalating in scale from their first UK event at the Village Undergroud, they’re at a stage where their events at the huge Tobacco Dock in Wapping sell out in under 60 minutes. So today comes the next chapter. Elrow have announced their biggest outdoor event yet –the festival-esque Elrow Town London, which will be a 15,000 capacity event in August.
Held outdoors at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and based around two distinct stages of music, Elrow Town will see whole town squares, markets, cafés, even lamp-posts spring up – all populated by a cast of immersive townsfolk interacting with ravers and offering up the streets to dance on. It should be another fascinating development in Elrow’s story – and a hugely fun party too.
Elrow Town London takes place at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Sat Aug 19.