Pasquale Rotella, Founder and CEO, Insomniac

Pasquale Rotella
– Pasquale Rotella

The Maestros

Executives who have a concept and vision and turn it into a brilliant show or event.

Pasquale Rotella
Founder and CEO, Insomniac   

If there is one lesson Pasquale Rotella has taken away from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the importance of diversifying one’s business. 

“I’ve always had things like fashion and media on my mind, but live events have been at the center and take up so much time that I haven’t been able to give the other areas of our business as much attention as I would’ve liked,” Rotella tells Pollstar. “The pandemic has given me the opportunity to focus more on these other areas, all of which tie into one another, and it’s now become a priority to make these other areas of our business strong enough to hold up on their own.”

And focus on them he has, as Insomniac’s fashion business has had its biggest sales numbers ever and the media division has produced a seemingly endless river of content. Insomniac Records has also been working with new artists to release music and, of course, prepare for the eventual return of touring.

When the business does return, Rotella and Co. will be ready, as they are already doing drive-in shows and are always thinking about EDM mega-fest Electric Daisy Carnival. 

“One good thing that will come out of this is it will force all events to step up their game when it comes to health and safety, which will ultimately lead to events being cleaner and healthier,” Rotella says, adding “the ones who adapt and evolve during this time will come out strongest on the other end.”

Rotella is most proud of the fact that he is still able to do what he loves in a business with so much turnover, and he hopes the live industry will continue to invite people from more diverse backgrounds into it. Insomniac has over the years donated millions of dollars to children in low-income areas, but Rotella says a new goal he is setting for the company is to invest in education programs that give youth the tools and confidence to take career paths that lead to happiness and success. 

The child of immigrants and entrepreneurs himself, Rotella refers to his parents as mentors and his memories of his father working construction and owning pizza joints inspire him to this day. 

Hot Takes

What first inspired you to get into the concert industry? 

Underground rave culture and the music that stems from it.

The show that changed your life? 

Apocalypse 1991

Artist to watch breaking in the next year? 

DJ Rainbow Rotella and DJ Forrest Rotella back to back sessions. They’re killing it!

Technology most impacting your daily work or personal life? 

Zoom-a-Zoom-Zoom-Zoom and a Zoom-Zoom. (says while laughing)

Best/worst career-related advice you’ve received?

If you’re so passionate about it that it’s the first thing you think about when waking up,    then commit, take the risk and never give up.

The best live show you saw this year? 

Virtual rave-a-thons on Insomniac TV.

Your favorite venue to see a show at and why? 

Any old warehouse with graffiti on it.

The role of live-streaming going forward?

Livestreaming is having a moment right now while everyone’s at home, but I think it will continue to stay relevant when things go back to normal. This pandemic has opened peoples’ minds to being entertained in a different way, and I think it’ll still be something that people will want to engage in and will still be important as a way for people to connect and enjoy music.