The EDC King; With The $30 Million Touch

The EDC King; With The $30 Million Touch

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The king of online Business Industry, Forbes; sat down with one of the biggest kings in EDM, Pasquale Rotella.

Pasquale Rotella tells Ryan Mac’s author for Forbes how he spent more than $30 million on this year’s (2014) EDC event and how his company is now working with Live Nation.

For those of you at work; You can also read the interview transcription below.

Insomniac’s founder Pasquale Rotella has gone from throwing illegal raves in Los Angeles warehouses to throwing the nation’s most iconic dance music festival in Las Vegas’ Electric Daisy Carnival.

 

Forbes:

So we’re here with the most powerful man in electronic dance music, Pasquale Rotella. You laugh at the term.

 

Pasquale Rotella:

Yeah.

 

Forbes:

But ugh, you’ve been at it for a while now?

 

Pasquale Rotella:

Yeah, Yeah. I grew up in L.A. and ugh i started going to events when i was 15. And then by the time i was 16 I did my first event, by the time i was 17 I did my first insomniac. My first insomniac had 300 people at it, and i did it in a warehouse on crenshaw blvd and south central.

 

Forbes:

And so the Insomniac brand now encompass a dozen events or so, a dozen festivals?

 

Pasquale Rotella:

Yeah, Incomsinac use to be the name of the show, and I did that every Friday in a different ware house every week, every weekend. It was like a weekly pop up underground party and then..

 

Forbes:

Was it legal?

 

Pasquale Rotella:

Ugh, It wasnt. It wasnt. And then, I was tired of that because I had got in trouble a few times doing a few a warehouse parties, and decided to go legit and make the event name the company name.

I have to pitch myself sometimes, even when walkin around you know when Im settin up the shows and Im lookin up at the stage and its 116 feet I mean we, you know, I use, you know just put the DJ on the floor and he was in the corner, and it was you know, It was tough making paper mache props you know leading up to the event date. So its a whole new world you know the music’s different, the crowds are different. Everything is different about it.

 

Forbes:

So lets talk a little bit about the budget, um and just the size and scope of this event this year. How much did it take to put the whole event together?

 

Pasquale Rotella:

Over $30 million dollars, The largest line item is production, and then there is everything else.

 

Forbes:

A large part of the growth there is the partnership with Live Nation, How has that helped Insomniac partnering with a public company?

 

Pasquale Rotella:

Well were still getting into the groove it still fairly a new relationship. Where they’ve helped the most as of right now is out of the United States. Like they have offices everywhere there the biggest entertainment company in the world. And we were able to do Mexico, and London. In a years time.

 

Forbes:

A lot has been said about the growth of companies like SFX, and how that has changed the game and now there battling with Live Nation, And the golden voices of the world in events. Did you feel like because of that you had to partner with a bigger player in a way?

 

Pasquale Rotella:

Yeah, You know I was definitely, I wanted to stay independent. And i still operate independent of Live Nation. But it just got too out of control. You know. people just throwing money around. And It would been tough cuz you know, I was living from event to event. I mean my brands are worth a lot and our fan base are worth a lot to me, but the business you know the people you know I wasnt making crazy money you know, and at times i was actually loosing money. Um, First time I did EDC in Vegas I lost $3 million dollars. People thought i was rich, because they look around, and you know. This many people times the ticket price, omg hes killing it. You know. But they just dont know what it takes to do these events.  Live Nation, you know was my last choice to partner with. Until i got to know them. Till i got to know Michael Rapino. Because he sold me on believing in my vision, you know that’s what he was excited about you know, He liked what I was doing and didn’t mess with it.

Oh the record label. Insomniac records partnership with Interscope which i mean I been a fan of what Interscope’s been doing forever

 

Forbes:

So, Jimmy Lovine, have you spoke with him about that?

 

Pasquale Rotella:

Yeah, yeah yeah. Absolutely.

 

Forbes:

Hows that relationship?

 

Pasquale Rotella:

Great, yeah. He now you know, did a deal recently. He wasnt doing day to day. But he was ugh, defiantly supporting the deal. And Eminem. And Dre. And you know, were the dance arm of Interscope. The foundation is there and we’re excited.