A dragon lurches toward us. So does a sword-wielding samurai, who leads the beast and the usual squad of attractive, light-waving women. Tonight, those luminous ladies aren’t flattering a VIP or delivering a magnum of Grey Goose—they’re part of a small parade cutting through a tight dancefloor and bewildering clubbers.
It’s what Mike Snedegar, founder of Tao Group’s Entertainment Marketing department and a Tao Nightclub veteran since its 2005 opening, calls “a moment.” The dragon is part of the Venetian megaclub’s new Tokyo-themed promo, Sakebomb Fridays, which symbolizes Tao’s general focus shift from celebrity hosts to something more experiential, making an unpredictable clubbing night more memorable.
“That’s why for Friday we wanted to focus more on the elements of the party, because Tao is such a special room,” Snedegar says. “The design of it and the way the dancefloor and tables are arranged—it holds a lot of energy.”
Which is present, thanks to the interaction of staffers dressed in party-specific costumes and Tao’s new LED screens—to say nothing of DJ Politik’s blend of hip-hop, R&B and dance-pop hits. With sister club Marquee focused on EDM, Tao remains the open-format alternative, its patronage both grinding to Jay Z and bopping to Calvin Harris.
“I think as a brand we’re always looking to evolve with times,” Snedegar says. “I think we know what fits for us, and we’ll do those things better and better. That’s why people keep coming.”