Story by Sarah Deveau
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA — In the 1950s, the kings of Las Vegas wore suit and fedoras, and went by the name of Rat Pack. Their leader was one cool cat — legendary crooner Frank Sinatra. Today’s Vegas royalty is led by a 31-year-old Canadian kid who wears a large LED mouse head for much of his performance. Earning an estimated $425,000 per performance, Deadmau5, the stage name of Toronto-born Joel Thomas Zimmerman, reigns over the electronic dance music (EDM) DJs performing at Las Vegas megaclubs.
Until the spring of 2012, the most prestigious place to see top international DJs was Ibiza, Spain but the Strip’s nightclub wars have led to clubs locking up the best talents at astronomical rates to perform in year-long residencies at their nightclubs and pool parties.
Clubs are packed to capacity — impressive considering some of the clubs top 80,000 square feet. At some venues, limited numbers of tickets are sold inexpensively in advance, allowing the hoi polloi to rage with their favourite DJ mere feet away from high rollers with bottle-service bills that surpass the average EDM kid’s salary. Move over Shania and Celine — these dance-floor kings are ruling Vegas with nothing but USBs. Here’s where you can find the best of the best.
In MGM Grand, Hakkasan Las Vegas opened in April to massive lines and sold-out events. The club is 80,000 square feet of pure opulence. Their day club, Wet Republic, features multiple pools, private couch and cabana service, and an impressive sound system. In addition to Deadmau5, resident DJs includes Tiësto, Steve Aoki and Calvin Harris, with frequent visits from artists such as Hardwell and Laidback Luke.
Newly opened LIGHT Vegas in Mandalay Bay is home to Skrillex, Krewella, former Swedish House Mafia member Sebastian Ingrosso and more than a dozen other artists on a rotating schedule. Many of the artists have dates for performances in the hotel’s DAYLIGHT Beach Club as well.
One of the first clubs to court the dance-floor kings was 60,000-square-foot Marquee in The Cosmopolitan. At Marquee (and its pool) headliners include world-renowned DJs like Kaskade, Markus Schultz, Benny Benassi, Erick Morillo.
Wynn Las Vegas
In Steve Wynn’s Encore and Wynn Hotels, they’ve announced more than 40 EDM DJ residencies for 2013 in Encore Beach Club, Surrender, Tryst and XS nightclubs. Artists include David Guetta, Steve Angello, also formerly of Swedish House Mafia, Afrojack, will.i.am and Red Foo.
They don’t have world-famous DJs and the club’s footprint is a mere 15,000 square feet, but if you need a break from the dusk-until-dawn raging happening at the mega clubs, check out The Act in The Palazzo. Local DJs spin around over-the-top theatrical performances, nightly rituals and audience involvement unlike anything else in Las Vegas.
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