Echostage is DC’s newest and largest nightlife concert venue. Between a sprawling, 30,000 plus sq. ft. layout, top-tier sound design, and advanced LED visual displays, it’s no surprise that the versatile space – which opened in September, 2012 – has already attracted industry heavyweights such as David Guetta, Calvin Harris, Avicii, Armin van Buuren, Hardwell and Tiesto. Though the bulk of Echostage events originate from owners Antonis Karagounis and Pete Kalamoutsos’ preexisting entertainment repertoire – which includes Club Glow and Panorama Productions – the site was renovated to accommodate live bands, emcees and a myriad of other large-scale productions.
Since its inception, high production values have been paramount at Echostage. From the cutting-edge, German-imported D&B Audiotechnik V series sound system (the first of its kind on the east coast) to interior design that ensures unobstructed sight lines from any seat in the house, the sensory experience of an Echostage event distinguishes the space from other DC entertainment players. Concert-goers can grab a close-up glimpse of the stage from the photo pit, or take a breather at two 60-foot bars that line each side of the dance floor. Visitors looking to enjoy the show from up high can cozy up to seven of their closest friends in one of the 30 bottle service Mezzanines.
At the back of the room, an expert production team orchestrates each show from a raised front-of-house booth. “The permanent stage, the LED wall, the outstanding sound – these are what attract A-list acts,” says Kalamoutsos. “We built Echostage as a concert venue for high-caliber artists. And as a result, those artists are always impressed with the site and the quality of our production here.”
Though the venue’s technical and spatial attributes easily accommodate the kind of crowds that accompany a superstar lineup, Karagounis and Kalamoutsos have established Echostage as a breeding ground for innovative local performers, too – and an integral contributor to DC’s evolving cultural fabric.
ABOUT THE OWNERS
When it comes to DC nightlife, Antonis Karagounis is playing the long game. The Athens-born, business pioneer moved from Greece to DC in 1993. A graduate of the University of Maryland College Park and the George Washington University with a B.A. in Political Science and a Masters in European Studies, respectively, Karagounis made his first foray into entertainment at an early age: he launched Panorama Productions, an event promotion company, before earning his undergraduate degree.
Panorama also marked the beginning of Karagounis’ abiding friendship with business partner Pete Kalamoutsos, who served as music director for the burgeoning entertainment company. Over the next 17 years, Karagounis cemented his role as one of the most influential figures within the DC entertainment and hospitality scene: in 1999, he collaborated with Kalamoustsos to create Glow, a weekly electronic music event that quickly become one the most successful in the country. In 2007, Glow branched out into large-scale EDM events – including a 10,000-person Tiesto concert – with major area concert venues like the DC Armory. Karagounis has also managed and owned some of the area’s most engaging nightlife projects, including Lima Restaurant and Lounge, Ultrabar, Barcode, Josephine, and www.dcclubbing.com, a DC nightlife social network.
In September 2012, Karagounis and Kalamoutsos partnered for their biggest undertaking yet: Echostage, DC’s largest standing-room concert hall. In less than two years, the 30,000 sq. ft. venue has already welcomed internationally-renowned entertainment like David Guetta, Armin Van Buuren and Calvin Harris.
Pete Kalamoutsos was born and raised in the Washington Metropolitan region. Pete and business partner Antonis Karagounis met each other while both attending the University of Maryland. They quickly discovered they had the same passion for nightlife and dance music.
In June 1999, Karagounis and Kalamoutsos started a new weekly event called Glow. Under the management of Karagounis and musical direction of Kalamoutsos, Glow became one the most financially successful and critically acclaimed weekly electronic music events in the country. In 2007, Glow made inroads into mass concert events by collaborating with major DMV concert venues like the DC Armory. Throughout the aughts, Kalamoutsos became a managing partner in several serious nightlife ventures, including Panorama Productions (2003), Ultrabar (2005), Barcode (2010) and Josephine (2011). Kalamoutsos also played an influential role in creating a partnership between Glow and IMP/9:30.
In September, 2012, Kalamoutsos joined forces with Karagounis once again to launch Echostage. At 30,000 sq. ft., Echostage is the region’s largest standing room concert venue. In addition to notable technical and spatial components, the space also provided Kalamoutsos an opportunity to welcome some of the artists with whom he has deep-rooted relationships – including Tiesto, Avicii, David Guetta and Armin van Buuren – to the DC entertainment scene.