Interview with Michael

Meet Michael, Chief Digital Officer at Elrow. With a diverse background in e-commerce, he brings a unique perspective to Elrow’s fusion of music and entertainment.




Keziah Meeuw



Can you introduce yourself?

I’m Michael. I’m the chief digital officer at elrow. I’m running everything regarding marketing, ticketing, cashless in the company. We’re leading everything worldwide basically. I live in Spain, Barcelona. I work here in the main office. 

What does elrow stand for exactly?

We are an entertainment company; we run various events that are mixing music. In this case, techno and house music with a show that is run with different themes. So, as a company, we are looking a lot on the creative side, we are trying to bring the experience to the user mixed with the show. But there are a lot of factors, a lot of decoration, and we are basically introducing the user to a new world constantly and making him participate with us. 

Can you tell me more about your career/background?

So, my career journey began with a strong focus on the e-commerce side, where I worked as a project manager for various projects and big companies. I also worked for insurances companies and Decathlon. Then I started working in startups that we’re focusing on the digital native aspect, so basically e-commerce. I had the opportunity to lead operations for Privalia, a well-known outlet in Spain, Brazil, Mexico, and Italy. And from there I joined another digital native startup called Hookers, a Spanish company specializing in selling sunglasses, similar to the concept of the American company Knock Around but based in Spain.  

Then, one day, I came into elrow, to sell the experience side of the festivals. Over the years, my focus has been on e-commerce and the digital realm. The ticketing area and everything related to festivals have increasingly leaned towards the digital side, rather than traditional methods like building billboards. With the continuous growth of e-commerce and the digital landscape through platforms like Meta, Facebook, Instagram, and other social networks, I found my way to Elrow, as they needed someone to lead their digital side. 

Had you ever been to the elrow festivals before? 

 No, not at all. I knew about elrow before I joined the company, but I had never been to one of their events. 

What is your favorite music genre?

So, I’m a mix of things. I enjoy electronic music, but it depends on what I’m doing; I can listen to rap music or electronic music depending on the situation. Also, I like blues a lot. It depends on the situation and where I am

Why did elrow choose to collaborate with the students of the IMI lab? 

As individuals who have also been students, it’s always nice when you have direct contact with professionals in the industry or people who are working in the industry to understand their point of view on many things. It’s also not the same to have a teacher who is teaching you something and maybe has some background but isn’t actively working. Since the industry is changing so much and so fast, in general, I think it’s also a great opportunity to offer to the students. 

What do you like most about your profession?

I would say the experience of building festivals from scratch—meaning constructing a festival for 30,000 or 50,000 people in a place where there is nothing. It’s fascinating to see how everything gets built. Everything regarding the decorations is handmade. We work a lot with different artists, essentially turning various artist pieces into reality. 

I also like the madness of making crazy things happen. For example, like renting a full island and having a party there or the crazy ideas that we’ve done with Desperados for parties in some air balloons. There’s also the deepest house party. We took one of the deepest pools in Europe, and we threw a party there. I mean, the situation is that everything is changing. It’s never the same venue happening all the time. There are always new things happening and new adventures. 

For example, last year, we started doing some events on the slopes of the ski resort in Andorra, and this was also a new experience for us. So, it’s about creating new things from scratch and making them happen now. And this is one of the things that I really love about the work— that there are always new things happening. 

How has technology impacted the organization and experience of the events and what innovation have you used to improve them? 

This is a good question. Elrow has grown a lot since 2014; it started becoming like an international brand. Everything related to social networks: Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc., has allowed the brand to be known by people now. So, I would say, on this side of technology, it has helped a lot with what’s happening now. And on the production side, I would say we don’t use technology at all. One of the things about the brand that we have always been discussing is about screens. The brand doesn’t want screens, so we have been avoiding having big screens in the shows. We want people to be somehow in the reality; we don’t want to bring them to a screen because they are already on screens every day with Netflix or on the phone or whatever. So, we want them to truly the show without having screens directing them, as it can be, for example, with Afterlife, Tale of Us. We have been avoiding this, but in terms of technology, I would say video mapping has been a big, big thing in terms of bringing more life and a bigger experience into the decorations that we are doing. So, everything regarding mapping has been a big topic and something that has also helped a lot to bring more of this immersive side to it.

Considering elrow’s significant impact on party culture, what are elrow’s goals for the future? 

For the present and future, sustainability is a key focus. We recycle materials extensively, reuse wood for building tables, and prioritize eco-friendly elements, such as confetti made from rice. We collaborate with local collectives, involving around 2200 actors for festivals, and prioritize local talent, from actors to DJs. Our stages, including collaborations with Desperados and a focus on LGBTQ equality, showcase diverse artists. Inclusivity is not just a claim; it’s our ethos, welcoming everyone with respect. As a company strategy, we aim for continuous growth, expanding into new markets like the U.S., South America, and Asia, while maintaining our brand values of disruption, immersion, innovation, and humor. 

Could you share your favorite inspirational quote?  

One that’s about being better than yesterday. For me, it also represents a lot about elrow. We’re always pushing to make each show better, to be more innovative, and to bring new things. So, it’s always about being better than the last edition or the last show and trying to improve always.