For the first year in recent memory (three years, to be exact), Tao Group did not hold its 10-day roster of wild and crazy nights at Park City’s Harry-O’s nightclub during the Sundance Film Festival. An anchor in past years, Tao’s spectacle brought celebs (onstage and in the audience) and the masses to Park City’s largest permanent nightclub. Says a rep for Tao, the brand was lured away this year (the Weekly notes: breaking a five-year contract) by the opportunity to be involved in an officially sanctioned venue, the Sundance Lift, which also included the Stella Artois Cutting Room, the MySpace Café and the Entertainment Weekly Loft. Below that, at the center of the action, Tao constructed a dimly lit Asian-inspired lounge over the bones of an existing bar, where DJ Reach spun, and everyone from Paris Hilton to Aubrey O’Day graced (read: danced upon) the cushy banquettes, strangely at the same time.
- From the Archives
- Sarah Larson’s sexy surprises startle Sundance (1/22/09)
- Toujours Paris (Hilton) (1/20/09)
- Las Vegas sets up shop at Sundance, and celebrities from Sting to Paris show support (1/20/09)
“It was an attractive thing to do,” says Dustin Esson, director of VIP services at Harry-O’s, of Tao’s move down the street. “[Tao Group is] the best at what they do, and they’ve really taken Sundance and Harry-O’s to the next level ... it’s been the place to be.”
Esson continues, “It’s been a pleasure working with them [in past years], and we’d love to have them back.” While this year’s turnout was soft overall, with fewer hangers-on than in past years, Esson got word out that Harry-O’s would still be providing Sundancers with a stellar lineup of talent, including Young Jeezy, The Cult (not seen at Harry-O’s since the mid-’90s), T.I. and DJs Irie and Vegas’ own Clinton Sparks of E!
Sparks—a Body English resident—also worked the decks at the Hollywood Life House for an away-game version of Body English’s Smashtime Saturday party. There, Vegas’ sort-of-Cinderella, Sara Larson, danced it up with girlfriends while Body English’s Mike Myers manned the ropes. Later on in the week, LAX Director of VIP Services Steve Kennedy and Marklen Kennedy of Vegas’ Avedon Hospitality Group joined the team at Harry-O’s, further ensuring that Las Vegans were greeted by familiar faces.