Michael Wekerle and his team at the El Mocambo have appointed Ticketmaster Canada to handle ticketing services once the Spadina Avenue music venue reopens in the spring of 2018 and separately has signed a distribution deal with Universal Music Canada for its El Mocambo Records division.
Pictured at the UMC signing, front row. left to right: El Mo chairman/CEO Michael Wekerle, UMC VP Label Partnerships' Jon Box. Back row, left to right: AJ Newton, Partner, Remark Music Ltd. El Mo's head of production, Eddie Kramer; UMC Sr. Business Affairs Manager Joe Ferland; UMC Label Partnerships' Rep Angie DeMedeiros; UMC Catalogue Marketing Coordinator Heather Wallace; and UMC Distributed Labels Coordinator Brittany Watkins.
“As we prepare to relaunch the El Mo in time for its 70th anniversary next spring, we’re thrilled to have this important service looked after by the pros at Ticketmaster Canada,” Wekerle, owner of the El Mocambo and CEO of El Mocambo Productions said in a prepared release Monday. “The music fan experience is paramount to my team and me. We want the El Mo concert-going experience to be both amazing and seamless, and obviously, that experience begins with purchasing a ticket. We’re proud to have an industry leader managing this transaction for us, as well as the follow-up needed to help us maintain and grow the El Mocambo community.”
“Working with such an iconic venue as the El Mocambo is a dream come true for us at Ticketmaster,” Patti-Anne Tarlton, COO, Ticketmaster Canada said. “Its relaunch will be the talk of the town and the start of a new chapter for our relationship as their official ticketing and technology partner. We simply couldn’t be more excited to service the fans going to see shows at the El Mo.”
Andy Curran, GM and head of A&R for El Mocambo Entertainment, helped facilitate the deal. “It’s important for the legacy of the venue and for future generations of music fans who will attend El Mo shows that we offer the best service possible. Our partnership with Ticketmaster goes a long way in sending the message out globally that we’re doing everything first class. We’re excited to get some shows up on sale finally.”
The El Mocambo is nearing the end of a major renovation led by New York’s Walters–Storyk Design Group (WSDG), a leading acoustical architectural firm. The reno transforms the historic venue into a state-of-the-art entertainment, recording, and production facility, complete with an in-house studio run by the famed producer-engineer, Eddie Kramer. Kramer and WSDG co-founder John Storyk first collaborated in the late ’60s, when they built Electric Lady Studios in New York for Jimi Hendrix.
Michael Wekerle, co-founder and CEO of merchant bank Difference Capital and a panelist on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, purchased the club in 2014 for a reported $3,780,000. The club has been closed for a complete teardown of the premises ever since.
The new edition is to include a recording studio and a VIP section on the third floor. The club will be more an entertainment complex when the doors open and serve as the brand headquarters for many offshoots that include a store selling El Mo merchandise, El Mocambo Records, and a rich line-up of products highlighting the venue’s historical past.
The first signing to the El Mo imprint is Vancouver band 54-40. A debut single is on release and and the similarly titled album, Keep On Walking, is expected in early 2018.