Business

Radius Founder Teams Up With Chicago Music Veterans to Launch Auris Presents

DonIdio for RADIUS

Led by veteran promoter Nick Karounos, the group will manage Radius, Prysm and consult for Spring Awakening Festival

One of North America's largest music markets has a new indie promoter bringing together a diverse group of professionals for concerts, special events and festivals. Auris Presents is led by veteran venue and nightlife owner/operator Nick Karounos with partners Stuart Hackley, who is founder of national event company Loud Crowd, John Curley from dance and electronic promoter Paradigm Presents and Joe Quade from BAM Creates.

Karounos was former principal and managing partner of React Presents, one of North America's largest dance music promoter and operators of iconic Chicago venues like The Mid. In 2016, React Presents was sold to SFX and is now owned by LiveXLive. Karounos left LiveStyle, the company that emerged from the SFX bankruptcy, in January 2018 but still consults on Spring Awakening, the long-running electronic dance music festival created by React Presents in 2006.

"Auris is really multi-genre and across the board, but there definitely is going to be a focus on the electronic side," Karounos explains.

"We're not just starting from scratch because we've already been in it with venues like The Mid," a beloved West Loop venue that opened in 2010 and closed last year, Karounos said. "With everybody coming together from a lot of smaller, independent promoters and bringing different skillsets together, we have the right venues and right team to produce unique experiences and events at a variety of locations."

Auris will produce events four properties in Chicago — the 4,000-capacity venue Radius which opened on Feb 29, just weeks before the COVID-19 shut down. Karounos also operates Prysm nightclub and is a partner in the 1,340-capacity Concord Music Hall in Chicago. Joining the team as operating partners are Carson Rhoads, Dom Brown, and Mike Lang, with the Auris team rounded out by Garrett Birch and Joe Calderone.

"We want to support artists of all genres through every stage of their career from small venue to large venue and to a larger scale, whatever that may be," says Hackley. "We feel building towards relationships with artists will really set us apart. And we are able to create events outside of the traditional hard ticket venue — we're really set up to be successful in both of those worlds."

Karounos said discussions on launching Auris Presents started prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the urgency to launch the company picked up after venues began closing.

"We started realizing the different skills and the synergies that brought everybody together, and then once COVID hit, we saw the opportunity to work under one umbrella. We are a diverse group, but everyone has the same passion for producing events and taking it to the next level," Karounos said.

Auris is a member of the National Independent Venue Association and the Chicago Independent Venue League. A slate of socially distanced experiences for the remainder of 2020 will be announced soon. More info can be found at aurispresents.com.

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