Exclusive: Skrillex, David Guetta,Diplo, Many More Added toWynn Resident-DJ Roster

Wynn Las Vegas upped the ante
on Sin City’s high-stakes EDM
game this week, announcing 34
artists contracted for exclusive
residencies across its four venues
(Encore Beach Club, XS, Tryst, and
Surrender). The roster includes
powerful names like David Guetta,
Skrillex and Swedish House
Mafia’s Steve Angello and
Sebastian Ingrosso, as well as
previously announced mega-stars
like Tiësto and Deadmau5.
The sheer strength of the line-up
gives Wynn a leg-up on its only
major local competitor, Strategic
Group, which manages the DJ-
focused Marquee Nightclub &
Dayclub at Cosmopolitan (as well
as Lavo at Palazzo, and Tao at The
Venetian); and further
demonstrates the level of
investment casino-hotels are
willing to make to lock in lucrative
stars, and lock out each other. But
regardless of who’s writing the
checks, the artists are benefiting.
“The casinos aren’t screwing
around,” says Joel Zimmerman,
head of William Morris Electronic,
which books Wynn residents
Afrojack and Deadmau5, and
Marquee resident Kaskade. “And
it’s not just about the big guys.
For an artist on their way up, part
of the biggest chore is
awareness, and casinos are
facilitating that with the money
they’re spending on marketing to
get the tourists. Guys like Calvin
Harris and R3HAB have
experienced tremendous growth
because of it. It’s a great platform
for everybody.”
The idea of a DJ residency is a
relatively new one for Las Vegas:
Until as recently as two years ago,
touring jocks would pass through
Sin City for the occasional one-off,
with no loyalty to one venue or
another. But seduced by
reportedly higher paydays than in
any other market – driven even
higher by the competition – and
those very tempting marketing
budgets, artists and their agents
started to cut deals.
For DJ/producer Afrojack – a WME
artist who was the first to sign a
residency agreement with Wynn
in 2010, and renewed again this
year – the question is rhetorical.
“Of course [the residency affected
the progress of my career],” he
says. “But outside of the big
promotion, it’s also one of the
most fun experiences, and it feels
like home nowadays.” Afrojack
cut fan-favorite track “No Beef” in
the Wynn’s onsite studio with
fellow resident Steve Aoki, and
shot its troublemaking video
inside Wynn venue Surrender,
and at some of The Strip’s seedier
landmarks, including Bonanza Gift
& Souvenir Shop. The clip has over
8.5 million YouTube views to date.
That symbiosis – promotion
feeding promotion – is part of the
value for the casinos. “A residency
is something we truly look at as a
partnership,” says Jesse Waits, co-
owner and managing partner of
XS and Tryst. “We invest in these
artists, in building their brand,
marketing them, and providing
unique press opportunities. In
return, our clubs are allowed to
be associated with talent of the
highest caliber. They help us gain
recognition in new markets by
sharing details of their sets,
photos and videos shot in the
venues, with their hundreds of
thousands of fans worldwide. It
really helps to build enthusiasts
for our clubs.”
And it’s safe to say that they’re
making money too: XS is already
on track to be up 20% in revenue
this year according to Waits,
which the venue credits largely to
its music program. On an average
Sunday night without marquis
talent, XS usually draws around
3,000 people, its approximate
capacity. When Deadmau5 played
on October 30 last year, 8,500
flowed through the doors
throughout the night, according
to the venue.
But if you ask Zimmerman, the
dancing days might not be here
forever. “Now it’s healthy because
there are two big players in the
market, Wynn and Cosmopolitan,”
he says. “If you had four big
residencies going up against
each other at competing clubs,
there might not be enough
people to go around.”


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