Seventeen years ago, the Attic’s owner gutted the now-closed vintage shop’s first story to make way for a dancefloor. Comedians performed upstairs, bands played out back and around 700 partygoers flooded the Downtown venue. The occasion was Great White Entertainment’s very first Fetish & Fantasy Halloween Ball.
Since then, the annual event has grown in size, scale and celebrity, evolving into an adult extravaganza that draws more than 5,000 costumed partiers each year. It has jumped from venue to venue, even staging one installment at the Stardust shortly before that hotel’s implosion. This year, Fetish & Fantasy returns to the Hard Rock Hotel, and a Great White representative confirms the event will be there in 2013, too.
- Fetish & Fantasy
- October 27, 9:30 p.m.-4 a.m., general admission $88, VIP $250.
- Hard Rock Hotel, 693-5000, halloweenball.com.
Over the years, Fetish & Fantasy has seen setbacks in the form of tightening regulations, primarily concerning clothing (or guests’ lack thereof). The party’s official dress code encourages latex, lingerie, leather and Saran wrap—and makes it clear that promoters take the costumes very seriously: “You must be dressed in the decreed attire or you will not be allowed to enter. There will no longer be a party pooper fine for looky loos and those who refuse to participate.” The dress code also includes a cheeky nod to local laws on exposure. “No nudity will be allowed. Pasties and liquid latex are no longer acceptable, due to the wisdom of our elected officials.” Also banned: rubber or other artificial genitalia. “The fragile reputation of Las Vegas is at stake, after all.”
Still, Fetish & Fantasy remains decidedly adult. One room includes an audience participation/exhibition stage with fetish toys (think ties, ticklers and wands), an “erotic fairground” and a highly suggestive mechanical banana. This year the event adds a “human petting zoo” to the mix.
Initially sponsored by a classic rock station, the festival’s music has come a long way from its roots. The main room will please house heads, with DJs Bad Boy Bill and Head Hunterz on the decks, while other DJs play hip-hop, Top 40 and pop in the secondary room. More than 90 performers from several performance art troupes have been hired to roam the halls on stilts, breathe fire and do aerial acrobatics above the dancefloor. If you tough it out until 2 a.m., an afterparty with the performers at Vinyl will take the festivities to dawn.
Although the event strives for over-the-top production and out-of-the-box adult fun, Fetish & Fantasy’s best asset might just be its partygoers. Halloween is, after all, about the fun of costuming, and the crowd at this Las Vegas classic never disappoints.