Category Archives: Las Vegas Shows

EDC Music Festival Moves Forward With May Dates, It’s Complicated

The EDC (Electric Daisy Carnival) music festival officially announced the event will move forward with its May 21-23, 2021 dates.

That sound you hear is thousands of people shrieking. Some with glee, some with dismay, but it’s happening.

The startling news came just one day after authorities rejected EDC’s safety plan.

Interestingly, EDC is older than most of its attendees.

The eleventh hour decision to proceed with holding the massive event in May was a nail-biter. Previously, multiple sources shared the event would be postponed to October, but organizers had other plans.

EDC’s CEO Pasqual Rotella announced the big news in an Instagram post. Naturally. Because news releases are drenched in weaksauce.

Rotella, which also happens to be one of our favorite pastas, said, “Electric Daisy Carnival is finally on the horizon. There were times during the pandemic when many of us lost hope. We were challenged to learn and listen to our hearts and trust that the storm would eventually pass, making way for a bright and sunny future for those in our community and around the world.”

Let’s just say Rotella knows his target demo.

He continued, “With the world being shut down for over a year, I’m happy to announce we’re on our way to being able to celebrate in person. Book your flights, hotels and shuttles—EDC Las Vegas is on for May 21+22+23!”

While EDC’s original safety plan wasn’t approved, we trust a variation thereof will be.

The 12-page plan (see it in .pdf format) includes all the things you’d expect, like masks, but two elements stand out.

First, there could be COVID-sniffing dogs, which we didn’t even know what a thing before now. That’s right, rona dogs!

The plan even included an area dubbed the COVID Detection Canine Corral.

We aren’t a music festival person, but we damn well are a canine corral person.

EDC’s proposed plan also relies heavily on Health Pass, an app we predicted would be the next big thing in Las Vegas back in Dec. 2020. Our crystal ball comes in handy, not that we have to make everything about us.

The Health Pass mobile app basically connects I.D. verification, lab results and ticketing, so venues can say those entering have been vaccinated or tested negative for COVID.

Sounds like fun!

Health Pass

Before you get all indignant, use of apps and attendance at music festivals are both voluntary.

Given EDC’s plan was rejected by authorities, we honestly have no clue how organizers decided to move forward.

It could be organizers go the O.K. to proceed with adjustments to its plan, or they decided, “Thank you for your input, but we’re holding our rave, anyway.”

Given this is an outdoor event, and there’s relatively little serious risk for younger people (the vast majority of EDC attendees), we say full steam ahead, EDC.

This huge gathering (EDC expects 200,000 people to attend), held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, is likely to do just what EDC says it will: It will be the first major live concert event in a year, and will symbolically “kick-start the event and hospitality industries” in Las Vegas and beyond.

EDC says the event contributes $300 million to the Las Vegas economy, and those dollars will be welcome in a tourism-based town especially hard hit by the pandemic.

There’s been some glorious drama behind the scenes with EDC, and we can’t wait to see how the saga unfolds.

Rumor: Franco Dragone to Bring “Rise” Show to Resorts World

Our badass, yet modest, cavalcade of scoop of about Resorts World continues! Celine Dion, boom. (Not yet announced.) Katy Perry, boom. Zedd, boom. Tiesto, boom. (Also, not yet announced, but that’s how we roll.) Giant lucky cat, boom. Next up, some Franco Dragone boom!

A source tells us Franco Dragone, the creative force behind some of the most successful and lauded shows in the history of Las Vegas, will bring his new show, “Rise,” to Resorts World.

We just got a boom cramp, give us a minute.

Rise

Bottom line: Dragone’s pretty much a creative genius. Unrelated: Dibs on Boom Cramp as a band name.

While our source has been reliable in the past, it’s worth noting this rumor is unconfirmed and Resorts World denies it’s happening.

Dragone, at one time associated with Cirque du Soleil, co-created “Mystere,” “O,” the now-closed “Le Reve” at Wynn and Celine Dion’s first Las Vegas residency at Caesars Palace, “A New Day.”

We understand “Rise” will be performed outdoors, a new twist on the traditional Cirque-style production.

“Rise” was created during the pandemic, and was showcased in a warehouse in late 2020. The original intention of the show was for it to be a one-night experience, to raise awareness about the plight of entertainers during the COVID-19 crisis. Here’s more.

Dragone shopped “Rise” to a number of Las Vegas casino companies, including Caesars Entertainment, but Resorts World is rumored to have put a ring on it.

While we didn’t catch “Rise” when it was showcased, we’re pretty sure there will be music and acrobats. It’s also pretty much guaranteed to have an incomprehensible “story.” We kid because we love, Dragone.

During its showcase, “Rise” was titled “Rise: A Socially Distanced Entertainment Experience.” We trust that last part will be dumped when the show opens at Resorts World.

Here’s a fun fact: Should Celine’s residency be confirmed at Resorts World (it will be) and Dragone’s show be confirmed (it will be), it would mean the pair will working under the same roof for the first time since “A New Day.”

Although, we’re using the term “roof” very loosely here, as “Rise” will be performed outdoors, but just go with it.

Hey, Resorts World, leave a little awesome for everyone else. Thanks.

In unrelated Dragone news: Dragone recently announced he would collaborate with magician Criss Angel on an “interactive immersive euphoria” experience. If you’re scratching your head right now, join the club. Here’s more, but good luck.

Resorts World has already built so much buzz, we’re surprised there could be any more surprises, but clearly there’s a lot more in store for this new Strip resort expected to officially open July 4, 2021 (also unconfirmed).

After a rocky year of WTF, folks are ready to “Rise” and enjoy bendy people again. Should this rumor come to fruition, we look forward to the triumphant return of Dragone to the Las Vegas Strip.

Update (4/10/21): We reached out to Resorts World and were informed there are “no plans to bring ‘Rise’ to the property at this time.”

Katy Perry Residency Confirmed for Resorts World

Way back when things were relatively normal (Feb. 2020), we shared some scoop Katy Perry would have a residency at Resorts World.

That rumor has finally been confirmed. Thanks, Billboard, despite your irksome paywall.

Katy Perry’s residency at Resorts World is expected to begin toward the end of 2021 and will run into 2022, about a four-month run (although everything’s negotiable if a show’s a hit in Las Vegas).

Katy Perry

Prediction: Katy Perry’s Las Vegas show will feature “Waking Up in Vegas.” We’re prescient like that. We’d actually put money on that being the name of her show.

Katy Perry’s show will run in Resorts World’s 5,000-seat theater, sorry, Theatre.

Resorts World sign font

We exclusived the hell out of this Resorts World sign.

The deep pockets at Genting Group (owners of Resorts World) snagged the Katy Perry residency, but they weren’t the only suitor(s).

Perry was also wooed by MGM Resorts, and she is rumored to have stayed at the Mansion at MGM Grand during the holidays of 2019 as she was being unsuccessfully sweet-talked.

Few confirmed details are available about the specifics of the Katy Perry residency at Resorts World, but the headline-making booking should provide a nice awareness bump for the resort that opens in summer 2021.

Among the rumors floating about the residency: Her show will be circus-themed, like her most recent album, “Smile.”

There are also some rumblings Perry could follow in the footsteps of Lady Gaga with two versions of her show. Gaga did one over-the-top extravaganza (as Perry’s is expected to be), as well as a more intimate version.

Katy Perry

Dismiss our drunken Tweets at your own peril.

As we’ve shared (also more than a year ago), Celine Dion is also expected to have a residency at Resorts World, and a number of other high-priced (sorry, world-class) performers will reportedly be joining the line-up of talent. Money is no object in Las Vegas!

Resorts World is making a play to become a heavy-hitter in Las Vegas entertainment, and Katy Perry’s residency is just the beginning.

Life is Beautiful Unfurls 2021 Artist Line-Up

Downtown’s Life is Beautiful music festival has revealed its 2021 line-up.

You remember music festivals. They’re back, finally.

Life is Beautiful happens Sep. 17-19, 2021.

Festival organizers have put together a diverse line-up of more than 60 artists, several of whom we recognize. Admittedly, we aren’t exactly the festival’s target demo.

Life is Beautiful’s line-up is touted as “transcending genres and generations.”

Life is Beautiful 2021

Green Day is the one with the Fremont Street Experience light show. See? We know music!

Top draws include Billie Eilish, Green Day, Tame Impala, A $AP Rocky, Illenium and others.

The line-up also includes Haim, Young Thug, Glass Animals, Fisher, St. Vincent, 6lack, Modest Mouse, Dillon Francis, Ludacris, Don Toliver, Lany, Brittany Howard, San Holo, J.I.D, Surfaces, Gorgon City, Earthgang, Death From Above 1979, All Time Low, Ekali, Purity Ring, Ashnikko, Shaed, Trevor Daniel, Drama, Cash Cash, Surf Mesa, Still Woozy, Noah Cyrus, Caamp, Yaeji, CloZee, Shiba San, Lost Frequencies, Emotional Oranges, Joel Corry, Remi Wolf, Celeste, Half Alive, Jamila Woods, White Reaper, Slenderbodies, Bia, Lsdream, Notd, Ant Clemons, Mob Rich, Amy Allen, Evan Giia, ford., The Backseat Lovers, Sir Chloe, Teddy Swims, Brijean, PoorStacy, Ekoh, Midnight Kids and Monoky.

Yes, it took us 20 minutes to fix all the random capitalization and self-indulgent stylistic nonsense in these artist and band names. You’re welcome.

Meerkats Las Vegas

Life is Beautiful means more weird things to see downtown.

Life is Beautiful got its start in 2013 and immediately made a splash in downtown Las Vegas, despite the festival losing money for several years (as they pretty much all do in the beginning).

The festival reportedly lost $10 million in its first three years of existence.

Organizers managed to lower costs (by booking less expensive bands) and increase sponsorship deals, so the festival is back despite questions related to the COVID-19 crisis.

LiB’s Sept. 17-19 timeframe gives the festival a bit more distance from the pandemic than EDC (Electric Daisy Carnival) scheduled for May 21-23, 2021. There’s a good deal of skepticism about whether EDC will be able to stick to those dates.

Some were concerned about the future of Life is Beautiful following the death of former Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh.

Hsieh was an investor in Life is Beautiful, along with Insomniac CEO Pasquale Rotella (owner of EDC).

Wendoh Media owns 50 percent stake in Life is Beautiful. Wendoh was founded by Justin Weniger and Ryan Douherty, the indefatigable force behind a number of downtown venues like
Commonwealth, Park on Fremont, Discopussy and Lucky Day. He also has a sweet bar at Area 15, Oddwood.

Life is Beautiful tickets can be purchased at LifeisBeautiful.com starting March 12.

LiB mural

Life is Beautiful doesn’t must mean music, it’s also about big-ass art.

General Admission 3-day tickets are $330; VIP 3-day tickets are $685; VIP+ 3-day tickets cost $1,495; and All-In 3-day tickets will be available for $2,995.

Life is Beautiful is billed as more than just a music festival. Organizers say it “exists to build a more beautiful world, to shift perspectives and create feelings of satisfaction and well-being.”

Given the past year, delivering upon any of those noble goals makes Life is Beautiful worth the price of admission.

Because we could all use a reminder life is, actually, beautiful.

Bonus: We finally get to share our love of music with other human beings again.

Nevada Dumps 25-Foot “Moat” Rule for Shows, It’s a Big Deal

State officials have nixed a ridiculous rule that required a 25-foot “moat” between performers and audience members at Las Vegas shows.

The rule meant dozens of shows couldn’t break even, especially coupled with extreme capacity rules.

Reversal of this rule opens the floodgates for Las Vegas shows to return.

Atomic Saloon

Lots of mid-sized shows like “Atomic Saloon” are expected to return now. They should offer tickets for $69.

In other fairly common sense changes, the minimum distance between masked performers has been reduced to six feet. If performers are unmasked, they must be at least 12 feet apart.

These changes are effective immediately, or as it’s known in entertainment circles, “a substantial number of months later than they should’ve been in effect.”

A majority of Las Vegas shows have been closed for a year, a painful irony given Las Vegas is often touted as being the “Entertainment Capital of the World.”

Even prior to the latest rule changes, several shows returned to the stage, with more planned,  but removal of the 25-foot rule should spark a new wave of reopenings.

And if you’ve ever tried to spark a wave, you know how difficult that can be.

A year of downtime has been tough for performers, producers, technicians and myriad others involved with Las Vegas shows. It’ll be great to see them doing their thing again, and we may even hold off on writing bad reviews for awhile just to give them a minute to regain their footing.

Emphasis on “might.” Looking at you, Gordie Brown.

Madison Square Garden Crew Hoists Huge-Ass Sphere Topper

It’s time we got around to a Sphere update.

Construction crews at MSG Sphere (that probably won’t end up being the name, as a naming rights deal is anticipated) recently lifted a 170-ton compression ring into place.

Our friends at Maverick Helicopter passed along some sweet shots of the Sphere.

Las Vegas Sphere

Get it? When we said “around” in that opening sentence, it was because the MSG Sphere is round. We’ve won a lot of awards for this crap. Srsly.

The Las Vegas Sphere (we like that a lot better than Miller Lite Sphere or whatever it’s going to be called) is an entertainment venue likely to cost more than $1.66 billion.

Yes, that’s a lot of money. It’s best not to ask too many questions.

Here’s a better look at the compression ring. The ring is 100 feet across and is 285 feet up.

Sphere

This isn’t the first time somebody in Las Vegas has put a ring on it.

To lift the huge-ass compression ring (340,000 pounds) onto the huge-ass temporary support tower, crews used a huge-ass crane, the DEMAG CC-8800.

Yes, there are crane nerds who actually care about that kind of thing. It’s possible we are one of them.

The Sphere sits behind (just east of) Venetian resort.

Sphere

It’s like a sports arena, but better because of the lack of sports.

It’s expected the Sphere will be completed in 2023, but trust us, given the project’s bumpy ride to-date (exacerbated by the pandemic), everyone’s fingers are crossed it will open period.

The Sphere was originally slated to open in 2020. Not so much.

Here’s one more look at the Sphere. Thanks, Maverick.

Sphere

A 1,000 foot bridge will connect the Sphere to the Sands Expo convention center. Bring your Birkenstocks if those are still a thing.

The Sphere project has faced a series of challenges, much of it glossed over, of course, because Vegas is always gonna Vegas.

The budget for the project has ballooned. In Feb. 2020, it was announced the cost of the Sphere would be nearly 40 percent more than initially announced. It was one of many “Nothing to see here!” moments related to the Sphere.

Construction on the Sphere was temporarily halted in April 2020.

In August 2020, MSG was hit by $3.3 million in subcontractor liens. Not a ton of money given the total budget for the project. Unless you’re one of the subcontractors, of course.

Back in December 2020, MSG took over construction of the Sphere from its general contractor, AECOM. Awkward.

Still, our bulbous entertainment auditorium continues to take shape. Here’s what it will look like when it’s done.

MSG Sphere Arena Las Vegas

“Careful.” ~The Globe Theatre

Setting aside one’s opinions about the potential financial success of the MSG Sphere (so much supply, so many questions about demand), it’s a wonderful and weird venture.

The Sphere will seat 18,000 people and its exterior dome will have 190,000 feet of LED lighting.

The interior will boast a 360-degree IMAX experience with four acres of high resolution video across the dome’s roof.

We saw this on a slot machine. Placeholder name! You’re welcome, Madison Square Garden Corp.

The space will have 157,000 speakers and some kind of acoustics technology that uses planar audio waves to direct sound to specific locations. For example, two people sitting next to each other could hear different audio without one sound bleeding into the other. Crazy talk.

It’s wild stuff and this project needs to reach completion, if you get our drift. Read more about the Sphere.

More to come!