As a partner of the Arizona-based promotion company Relentless Beats, Ryan Auhl has built himself into a seasoned operator and live event producer in just over a decade. While he started more organically in dance music, building the Relentless Beats brand into one of the Southwest’s largest independent promoters and operators, Auhl has aspirations to open the brand and himself to new opportunities across the country. Having produced thousands of live music events, Auhl has cultivated the team at Relentless Beats, which has introduced dance music to the masses, into a company that has brought the Southwest into the conversation with L.A., New York, Chicago, and more.
What does it mean to be an innovator to you?
It means continuing to push our company and product further than before in quality or features that aren’t otherwise being done in the Valley. I’m inspired by peers across the globe and am always working towards delivering better and better experiences for our fans here.
Danny Zilesko Presents
Legendary concert promoter Danny Zelisko’s focus has always been on putting the right acts in the right places at the right time with the right ticket prices in order to maintain fun and excitement for audiences and artists alike.
Zelisko began promoting concerts in Arizona in 1974 with Evening Star Productions, bringing such talent to the Valley as Talking Heads, KISS, Bon Jovi, No Doubt and Nirvana to Tempe’s old Dooley’s Nightclub. By the time the ‘80s and ‘90s rolled around, Zelisko was the Southwest’s preeminent concert promoter, including hosting Pink Floyd and Paul McCartney at ASU’s Sun Devil Stadium, and was instrumental in the opening of what is now the Ak-Chin Pavilion (formerly the Desert Sky Amphitheatre).
In 2001, Evening Star Productions consolidated with other fabled promoters nationwide to join SFX, which was later purchased by Clear Channel Communications, now known as Live Nation. Currently, Zelisko owns and operates Danny Zelisko Presents that continues to bring top-name acts to the Southwest and all over the country. www.dzplive.com, @dzpresents
Phoenix concert culture arguably wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for Charlie Levy, who started the concert promotion company Stateside Presents in 1995. Levy went on to launch popular music venues, including Crescent Ballroom, Valley Bar and The Van Buren, bringing more than 700 shows to the Valley each year across a wide range of genres. In 2021, Live Nation Entertainment acquired The Van Buren in Phoenix and Stateside Presents.
Riot Hospitality Group
A third-generation Arizonan, Ryan Hibbert is known as an accomplished and creative CEO leading Riot Hospitality Group (RHG), one of the country’s premier hospitality management companies that has co-created such unique restaurant, nightlife, and hotel food and beverage brands as Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row, El Hefe, Farm & Craft, Hand Cut Chophouse, Riot House, and Cake Nightclub, while also managing The District, Maya Day and Nightclub, and Clubhouse at Maya.
Drawing from his business background and extensive work experience inside the hospitality business over the past 20 years, Hibbert’s innovative idea of using a “culture based on interactive service” has turned RHG into a hundred-million-dollar annual revenue business.
Shady Park & Darkstar
Scott Price is the owner and creative mind behind popular downtown Tempe music venues, including Shady Park, a hybrid restaurant and performance space that’s a favorite among electronic dance music enthusiasts, and, most recently, Darkstar, a 4,500-square-foot venue that features upcoming artists across genres. www.shadyparktempe.com, @shadyparktempe, www.darkstartempe.com, @darkstartempe
After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from Arizona State University, Chris Turner set out to build on his academic achievements and become a leader in the business world. Self-described as a humble innovator who prioritizes a work-life balance, Turner ventured into the niche market of upscale game room furniture. In 2017 he founded Sawyer Twain, a luxury brand offering unique game room furniture, gaming tables such as table tennis, billiards, and shuffleboard, and home and recreation décor. With annual revenues in excess of $12 million in under five years, Turner credits continually creating successful vendor relationships to the growth of Sawyer Twain, which will help him achieve his overall goal of expanding its offering of high-quality products that customers can embrace. @sawyertwain