My Experience at elrow NYC

It’s been a week since elrow made its second appearance at the Brooklyn Mirage, and I’ve allowed all of my thoughts, feelings and experiences to marinate for a most accurate depiction of what went down through my Festie eyes. We shared some kooky interviews and fun recaps, if reading isn’t your thing. =C

I had never been to an elrow event before, and this was my second time at the Mirage after seeing Kaytranada perform last September, which was phenomenal by the way. 

For those who aren’t familiar with what elrow is, they have a longstanding history of pioneering through party history. It began as early as 1870, when a Spanish man, Jose Sattores, discovered that the rural country life wasn’t for him, and went ahead to open Café Josepet, a social meeting spot that eventually  grew to be a large club filled with live music and grand gatherings. 

From Café Josepet (1870), to the launch of harder partying and night entertainment at Club Florida 135, to the likeminded folks who carried on the vision with a first stab at a rave “The Monegros Party” (1993), the European evolution of social club culture from small-scale bar to extravagant and exotic racers began to take charge. From there, the elrow brand carried their vision to Ibiza in 2010 where today, they are now one of the most anticipated international events for considerably one of the greatest parties that one could dream of. All because a man was tired of normalcy!

elrow has since gained a ton of popularity for their extravagant and vibrant parties, blending EDM with theatrical performances and interactive art installations. Most of their identity revolves around immersive themes, like Delusionville and this recent NYC event theme “New World”. 

It grew so successful in Spain that they’ve traveled all over the globe to countries like the UK, the U.S., U.A.E., Brazil, and many more, while collaborating with some of the biggest names in the electronic music industry. It’s worth checking out their previous events

It’s been 12 years since the first elrow event, and I experienced it from an American atmosphere and from an American perspective. So what did that look like? 

I went to Elrow NYC with some other Festisia teammates local to NYC. We have all admired elrow from afar due to their festival-centric initiatives and energy, and it was time for us to collectively experience it ourselves. The Williamsburg-Bushwick border is where some of the city’s favorite clubs are, such as Elsewhere and SILO. So of course, the Mirage was the prime place to host their event. On our walk there, we past a band’s “trashy train set” where they perform occasionally next to the train tracks where the train that takes all of the city’s trash out and away. They described themselves as a mix between Tame Impala and King Gizzard, so that got us stoked for the night. 

Now let’s leave the logistics behind and get to the good stuff… I was super intrigued to see how New Yorkers and tai-state locals would make their appearance at a Brooklyn club, for a cirque-du-soleil/animatronic environment, is how I could try to compare. I saw some wonderful costumes, and some without any style at all. I saw the good, the wonderful, the bad, and the ugly. I prayed for New York’s quirkiest to come out and play, and that I got. I found ravers with their flow toys, breakdancers, and makeout sessions like no other. I also witnessed Jersey clubbers that went too hard, and some very confused people as to what they signed up for, but everyone just wanted a good time. The most awe-inducing moment was during an interview with some attendees when suddenly this very buff man dressed up as a chef started sharing and promoting considerably every possible conspiracy theory on the map. What a trip!

A fellow elrow Festie who let me wear his sweet hat during our interview

And had to include an extravagant fit

I’ve only ever seen videos of elrow in other countries, and it’s challenging to match that Ibiza island energy, when you’re stuck in smelly raunchy New York. But the beautiful thing about a music and entertainment collective that travels from place to place, is that there are no boundaries or expectations in each location. elrow and the streets of New York know nothing about one another, but they know what they’re both capable of. 

The Mirage is such a wonderful place, but I do think in bringing the elrow charisma, the venue can be slightly limiting. I wished for more house music diversity, more elrow decor and immersive experiences, and a few more floaties. I was a bit confused how the “New World” theme manifested in this space. It was also suspicious that Elrow NYC didn’t get as much love as the other two elrow that were happening that same weekend in other countries. 

What we did get was a ton of confetti, dancing like no other, a heavy stage presence, and even heavier bass. There were three different scenes, the main area with b2b house music all night long, a trippy chill out area (where we did most of our interviews), and then this dark techno room. My team and I spent a lot of our work breaks dancing in the dark music scene. It was a perfect mix from seeing nonstop vibrant colors and going between trances of electronica. I’m sure we weren’t the only ones. 

Interviewing the Festies was definitely my favorite part, and it typically always is. It’s wonderful to be gravitated towards someone just by their charm. Music travels from place to place, but conversations are so valuable when faced by new people in our favorite type of setting. I learned that there were Europeans that came to experience the NYC edition, and loved it. I learned that although the other international elrow may be more on-brand, the energy of New York City makes that elrow like no other, so it’s important to eliminate any preconceived notions. Will I go back to Elrow NYC? Probably. Will I fly to my next elrow? Most definitely. 

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