When people think of Las Vegas, they think of glitz, glamour and casinos. One thing they may not really think about is electronic music, and more specifically electronic dance music, but they should do. Now most of us may think of electronic music and associate it with bands like Electric Six. A band who released popular tracks like Danger High Voltage, which was a huge success and even was the inspiration for a Big Time Gaming slot game.
However, electronic music and EDM as a genre is actually dance music which was encompasses various styles including beatless ambient music to 200 beats per minute hardcore, with electro, techno, house, trance, drum and bass, etc being well known examples. This music is commonly found at rave venues in the likes of Ibiza and Magaluf. But electronic music has been bubbling under the surface in Vegas for a while, with Vegas even once labelled “the new Ibiza” by legendary DJ Paul Oakenfold.
Las Vegas, famed for its deserts amongst other things, had an electronic music and EDM community who would gather for parties out in said deserts throughout the 1990s. However, it was only in 1996 when the movement really took hold, thanks to the Desert Move party. The Desert Move party saw the beginning of the electronic and EDM boom in Vegas which is still alive and kicking today. With big brands sponsoring, radio support and an all-star line-up, Desert Move was a huge success, with many looking back on the event fondly.
Desert Move then became the inspiration behind the creation of Utopia, a nightclub based on the Strip which was all about electronic music. Utopia became one of the most recognised nightclubs in the world for EDM fans, with the likes of Paul Oakenfold, Sasha, John Digweed and Goldie all delivering iconic performances. The venue, the music and the experience were unrivalled and had a huge impact where the nightlife scene in the USA was concerned.
The electronic music scene began to boom at this stage, with various venues now being turned into homes for EDM, and then things took another huge step forward when Paul Oakenfold arrived to become a resident DJ at Palms Casino. It was a game changer as it also saw other nightlife venues raise their own game after Oakenfold had managed to raise the bar to fresh heights.
All this combined saw the likes of Light Group, Play Management, Tao Group and Wynn Resorts get involved in the electronic music scene, with new venues and mega shows transforming Vegas into the EDM capital of the world, as it is still seen as today. The 2010s saw EDM clubs appearing one after the other, with 7+ popping up on the scene, and of course some of the biggest names in the genre were appearing, with state-of-the-art sound systems and special effects lifting the elevating the experience even further.
Electronic has certainly come a long way since the 1990s and is said to be worth in excess of $7 billion on a global scale. Las Vegas is and will remain the hub of the EDM scene, especially when they have top earning DJs like Calvin Harris, Tiesto, Davide Guetta, Skrillex and Afrojack performing on a regular basis. Vegas has consistently found ways of taking the EDM experience to the next level, and this innovation is set to continue, with it remaining the EDM capital of the world.