You can dance if you want to

Alexandra Karatassa, from Plus One Co. & Five Four Entertainment, won the Creative Thinker gong at this year’s 40 Under 40 Awards for her exceptional COVID pivot to ensure the music kept playing across the state and the nation.

Jun 16, 2022, updated Jun 16, 2022
The KWP! Creative Thinker for 2022 Alexandra Karatassa. Photo: Morgan Sette

The KWP! Creative Thinker for 2022 Alexandra Karatassa. Photo: Morgan Sette

“The loss of dancing for me was the loss of everything,” Karatassa said of the restrictions in South Australia.

And for a person who keeps Adelaide’s nightlife alive, she is right. Her companies employ a  team of 10 who take their unique brand of music entertainment across 52 venues in 42 cities across Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

“Navigating the music industry during COVID 19 was one of the hardest things I have ever had to face,” Karatassa said.

“Unfortunately, the bands could not play shows, the festivals could not happen and the nightclubs could not open.”

Instead, she pivoted to create opportunities in other territories where dancing was not restricted.

“Our pivot included booking shows exclusively in regional locations in Darwin, Western Australia and also many cities in New Zealand,” she said.

“We operated completely remotely and ran over 300 shows across these locations to see 80,000 people through the doors during a pandemic.”

The doyen of Adelaide’s club and music scene said that each event adds to the vibrancy of the city’s nightlife, creates work for local creatives and patronage not just for the venues but also surrounding businesses.

“The opening of Hindley Street Music Hall will also create at least 60 direct employment opportunities and pathways for industry professionals, and numerous positive economic impacts to other local businesses in the South Australian hospitality and live music ecosystems,” she said.

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Karatassa was awarded the Creative Thinker Award, by customer experience agencyKWP! for her ability to think creatively in relation to any aspect of their business or endeavours, and showing the use of innovation to progress.

She isn’t stopping now that restrictions are over, and has plans for even more events.

“There is currently a large hole in the South Australian Festival market, being that there is no heavy or alternative music festival for fans of this type of music,” Karatassa said.

“In Australia, there is only one major heavy and alternative touring company and they continue to neglect the Adelaide market on all tours and festivals and monopolise the market completely unchallenged in other cities.”

Pushing for more and varied music events aligns with the rule she lives her life by.

“Say yes to as many opportunities as possible! You never know what door it might open in the future,” Karatassa said.

The creative thinker now joins the 200 alumni of South Australia’s 40 Under 40, a leadership network that is gaining influence across the state.

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