Some of the biggest names in Chicago nightlife are trying a new tactic — unity — to survive the first dark winter in local nightlife history.
Auris Presents is a new independent event production company with a handful of Chicago music industry veterans at the helm. Auris — Latin for “ear” — will be a vehicle for “unique projects and experiences” involving the cooperation of nearly a dozen promoters, producers and venue owners from across the spectrum of Chicago’s nightlife scene.
Partners in the initiative include Nick Karounos (owner of Radius and Prysm, partner in Concord Music Hall and former partner in React and co-owner of The Mid) and Stuart Hackley, founder and operator of Loud Crowd and former senior talent buyer for Disco Donnie Presents. Managing Partners in Auris include Chicago nightlife legend John Curley (co-founder of Paradigm Presents, lead programmer at Spybar and promoter, DJ and all around impresario for much of the last three decades) and Joe Quade, founder of BAM Creates. Rounding out the team are Carson Rhoads, Dom Brown, Mike Lang, Garrett Birch and Joe Calderone.
You don’t bring a team like that together to sit around and talk and hold Zoom chats on “the future of live events.” In fact, I don’t think a promotion team like this has been brought together, ever. Auris is planning what they’re calling “innovative, experiential and curated events” held at “unique locations.”
“We’re looking outside of the box,” an Auris spokesman told 5 Mag. “The fan experience goes beyond four walls and you’ll see that from Auris. That’s all we can say now, but we have announcements coming soon that will give you a better idea.”
Radius will be one of the homes for Auris events that take place inside those “four walls,” however. The new event venue in East Pilsen had their grand opening literally weeks before the coronavirus and subsequent lockdowns hit the United States.
“The formation of Auris Presents and bringing this team together was essential for our venues to survive, especially Radius which opened just two weeks prior to the pandemic,” Karounos said in a statement. “The survival of independent promoters and venues is important to ensure one company isn’t able to monopolize the industry, causing less options for the artists and fans, inflated service fees, and complacency with the fan experience.”
A schedule of “socially-distanced experiences” will be announced shortly which will include dates for the end of 2020 at aurispresents.com.