At 8:30 p.m. the line was already snaking past the slot machines, down the hallway, in front of the reception desk by the fortune teller and out towards the blackjack tables.
Partiers in their sequined and pin-striped New Year’s best formed a queue that wound from the rope outside of Rain nightclub through the casino to almost reach the Palms’ front door.
While Paul Oakenfold’s Saturday night Perfecto party and live show always draws large crowds, the New Year’s Eve line-up had two notable differences – it arrived a full two hours before normal club traffic gets heavy and it came bearing passports.
From 9 p.m. to midnight hosts and security staff outside the club shuffled an estimated 2,000 guests past the ropes, Weekly’s “red carpet” photo booth, a few Pefecto cast members in full alien attire and into the club.
Pouring in to hear Oakenfold spin for his first Vegas New Year’s, many of the club goers had come from overseas to hear the legendary DJ play for a packed house.
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- New Year's Eve 2008
- Beyond the Weekly
- Paul Oakenfold
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Famous for his epic performances in Europe and on the party island of Ibiza, Oakenfold said he expected plenty of visitors from his home country of England to make the trip to Vegas for his Perfecto New Year’s Eve.
And they came – from England, South America. Asia and all over Europe.
Security staff managing the busy lines for the last party of 2008 handled all manner of IDs – inspecting drivers’ licenses and passports from across the globe – as they ushered in the eager guests. A wide range of accents floated down the long hallway, mixing with the thumping beats emanating from the Rain’s glowing red entrance.
With the first moments of 2009 approaching, a group of energetic revelers bounded down past the ticket collector and under the lights of my photo booth. Debating whether they wanted to pose for a picture, a young man turned to his friends and offered his take on the historic party and capturing their image in front of it: “It’s proof that we were here.”