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las-vegas-live-music-capital-thefutureparty

Las Vegas gambles on live music

las-vegas-live-music-capital-thefutureparty
Las Vegas music // Illustration by Kate Walker

Las Vegas gambles on live music

 

The Future. Las Vegas is becoming the capital of live music. Music festivals are migrating over, top artists are booking months-long residencies, and even the Grammys are now taking place in Vegas. In a digital world where music can travel everywhere without the physical presence of a touring artist, Vegas might provide a stable, safe harbor for artists that still want to put on a big show.

Up in lights
Vegas is booking a different kind of show.

  • Several top acts still in their prime (or just past it) are booking residencies on The Strip, including Lady Gaga, Silk Sonic, Katy Perry, and Adele.
  • It’s also become the home of many big music festivals, including Life is Beautiful, the iHeartRadio Music Festival, and the upcoming Where We Were Young.
    • It’s also the longtime home of EDM acts and the Electric Daisy Carnival.
  • And, for the first time, the Grammys are even heading to Vegas and will be held at MGM Grand Garden Arena.

All signs point to Celine Dion’s extremely successful (and extremely long-running) A New Day residency for bringing a sense of glamour back to the Vegas stay-put concert lifestyle — a far cry from when Justin Timberlake called it “planning your retirement” back in 2018.

Here for a good time
However, Kyndall Cunningham at The Daily Beast says that the uptick in residency stays of reaching-middle-age stars goes beyond just money.

  • It’s a sort of active lifetime-achievement celebration in an industry that’s running out of them (see the declining viewership of awards shows and complicated process of booking the Super Bowl Halftime Show).
  • It helps them stand out in an increasingly digital world (what’s bigger: TikTok or the MGM Grand?).

Maybe Vegas residencies are really just the “old” guard’s way of sticking it to intangible Gen-Z habits.