Embrace’s Adam Gill Knows How to Throw A Party
Embrace is an entertainment company that is fully plugged into the future. You can call it Music Promotion 2.0. Adam Gill, President and Founder of Embrace, has taken event production by the horns, branded it and let a whole new promotional beast loose in North America. Members of Toronto’s Embrace aren’t just event promoters, even though they’re responsible for a lot of Toronto’s nightlife—they’re a “strategic music service company.” That means, they book shows and tours across Canada and the U.S., hook up artists and events with sponsors, do corporate events, and generally take event promotion and social networking to the next level.
“Embrace was started in 2001 when I was in college in Montreal. We started throwing parties at Stereo and other venues,” Adam Gill tells Société Perrier. The Toronto native may have practiced the dark art of party promotion in the notorious Montreal party scene but he perfected his craft in Toronto and ended up reshaping the city’s electronic music and party scene. In many ways, he helped boot up Toronto 2.0.
“Toronto is an amazing city to work and live in. I grew up in Toronto and this city has gone from being pretty boring to being one of the best cities, culturally, in the world,” says Adam, listing Zeds Dead, Austra, PS I Love You, Azari & III, Art Department, and The Weeknd as evidence of the city’s arrival. “We just kind of grew with the market and it made sense to expand into other markets as the electronic scene was growing,” says Adam, explaining Embrace’s phenomenal growth over the last decade.
“The last few years have changed a lot, everyone is trying to get into the electronic music space as the music we've been involved with has become more mainstream.” This expansive, globalist perspective (globalist both in physical and conceptual terms) is part of Embrace’s success. It’s led the company to have reps and a presence in cities from Toronto to LA, to partnering with festivals like Société Perrier-sponsored Mad Decent Block Party and Toronto’s NxNE, to booking and promoting tours across NA, and owning spaces like The Hoxton and Danforth Music Hall. Adam Gill is obviously ambitious but it’s really all about making the connections—with the artists, sponsors, venues, clients and, ultimately, you and me.
While Adam Gill pours his heart and soul into creating the high life and parties, you might be surprised to learn that his favourite cocktail is water (he loves Perrier). So what excites this sober man of the party people? Today, it’s a bit of a case of back to the future via the Full Flex Express Tour by Embrace, featuring Skrillex, Pretty Lights, Diplo and Grimes. “The tour is modeled after the original Festival Express Tour in the 60s with Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, etc. All these artists are travelling around Canada on a VIA train,” explains Adam. “I’m also excited about the Mad Decent Block Party. Last year, we held these parties in Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, and this year we are adding Toronto.” That’s Toronto 2.0—when you embrace change and opportunity, great things can happen.
Embrace will be presenting Hard Toronto: Justice & M83 with Austra & Buraka Som Sistema