How is it possible, you might ask, that Memorial Day Weekend in Las Vegas can continue to outdo itself as the most massive, music-charged superparty year after year? Well, in the case of MDW 2015, you have to consider that the Strip didn’t have the gigantous Omnia Nightclub in the mix last year, nor the SLS resort’s dynamic duo of Life Nightclub and Foxtail Pool Club. Plus, Drai’s had just barely opened in time for Memorial Day 2014, whereas today it’s a fully functional, three-pronged party machine with intriguing nightlife, daylife and afterhours activity.
Add ’em all up and it becomes obvious: This (five-day!) weekend will be bananas. Chart a course for excessive fun with our checklist of globetrotting DJs, parties and events, and don’t forget to take some pictures ... you may not remember everything on Tuesday.
THURSDAY MAY 21
DILLON FRANCIS AT SURRENDER Francis recently made waves in the EDM world via an unexpected collaboration with PartyNextDoor, who assembled some tracks for Drake’s last record. Look for literal waves when you launch your MDW at this nighttime pool party, which spills from Surrender into Encore Beach Club. 10:30 p.m., $25+ women/$35+ men.
METHOD MAN & REDMAN AT FOXTAIL POOL CLUB If you missed Meth and Red at Brooklyn Bowl in November, get with the program Thursday night, as SLS continues to fashion its indoor/outdoor venue with interesting versatility. 10 p.m., $20+/$30+.
BRODY JENNER & WILLIAM LIFESTYLE AT TAO 10 p.m., $20+/$30+.
DJ ROSS ONE AT DRAI’S 10:30 p.m., $20+/$30+.
STEVE AOKI ALBUM RELEASE PARTY AT HAKKASAN The cake-slinger’s new Neon Future II, featuring Snoop Dogg, Rivers Cuomo, Nervo, Linkin Park and more, just dropped last week. So even though Aoki’s doing Wet Republic Friday, Hakkasan might be the set to catch, with guest Kryoman. DJ Crooked plays the Ling Ling Club. 10 p.m., $20+/$30+.
ZEDD AT XS Looking for more fresh music from a DJ who also just happened to unleash a new album? The suddenly omnipresent Zedd is prepping for a fall tour behind the days-old True Colors. Check him out at home-court XS before the world sees him at the Staples Center and Madison Square Garden. 10 p.m., $20+/$30+.
FRIDAY MAY 22
FEDDE LE GRAND AT FOXTAIL POOL CLUB 10:30 a.m., $30+/$40+.
MORGAN PAGE AT DAYLIGHT BEACH CLUB Let’s take a break from all this partying to recognize that versatile, Grammy-nominated DJ/producer Morgan Page drives a Tesla powered by the solar panels that also power his home studio. What does that mean? Well, in more ways than one, your Daylight experience with Page will be powered by the sun. DJ Scene and DJ Sincere will be there, too. 11 a.m., $20+/$30+.
CHROMEO AT DRAI’S BEACH CLUB Yes, Drai’s is doing lots of live shows these days. No, this Chromeo gig is not one of them. But yes, when Dave 1 and P-Thugg get behind the booth, it’s for real. 11 a.m., $30+/$50+.
ZEDD AT ENCORE BEACH CLUB 11 a.m., $30+/$50+.
CLINTON SPARKS AT LIQUID Perhaps you haven’t noticed the way the posh Liquid Pool Lounge can come alive when energized. Rest assured that will be the case when the Grammy-nominated DJ, all-star musical collaborator and TV personality lands to help launch Memorial Day Weekend. 11 a.m., $20+/$40+.
ANDREW RAYEL AT MARQUEE DAYCLUB Twenty-two-year-old Moldovan DJ/producer and trance mainstay Rayel—actually Andrei Rata, which is, let’s face it, just as cool a DJ name—has been referred to as the new Armin van Buuren. And that, friends, is the beauty of MDW Vegas, as the old Armin van Buuren is here, too, playing a half-day later at Omnia. 11 a.m., $20+/$30+.
STEVE AOKI AT WET REPUBLIC 11 a.m., $30+/$50+.
FATMAN SCOOP AT DITCH FRIDAYS AT PALMS POOL The Friday before Memorial Day must be the most-ditched-Friday of the year, so you’re just not making any sense if you don’t swing through the Palms Pool institution. Hypeman extraordinaire Fatman Scoop supports, along with DJ Supa James. Noon, $20+/$25+.
KASKADE AT XS All the heavyweight DJs will be making the Vegas rounds for MDW, and right now it doesn’t get bigger than Kaskade, who attracted some of the biggest crowds in the history of the Coachella music festival last month as one of two electronic artists to play the main stage. On the Strip, XS is his main stage. 9:30 p.m., $20+/$50+.
CLOCKWORK AT LIGHT Clockwork’s big, bassy sound got him signed to Aoki’s Dim Mak label. His remix of Avicii’s “Levels” took over radio and YouTube. As RL Grime, he’s produced music that plays around in that hip-hop/EDM/trap world. Step into the Light and see which musical personality shows up. 10 p.m., $20+/$30+.
ARMIN VAN BUUREN AT OMNIA Plus Rev Run & DJ Ruckus at Heart of Omnia. 10 p.m., $30+/$50+.
PORTER ROBINSON AT MARQUEE The self-taught North Carolina native and multi-genre producer is off to the East Coast for some festival gigs right after he finishes his Memorial Day Marquee DJ sets, because even though he’s been a big deal since the age of 18, he’s still an artist on the rise and still riding high after last year’s debut album Worlds. Frank Rempe supports. 10 p.m., $20+/$40+.
FABOLOUS AT TAO 10 p.m., $30+/$75+.
KHLOE KARDASHIAN HOSTS AT 1 OAK 10:30 p.m., $60+/$70+.
ARIANNY CELESTE & BRITTNY PALMER HOST AT THE BANK With DJ Que. 10:30 p.m., $20+/$30+.
50 CENT AT DRAI’S After almost 15 years, big hits and bigger money, nine bullets and G-Unit and a movie career and Vitaminwater ... after all this time, you can still find him in da club. 10:30 p.m., $20+/$50+.
HARDWELL AT HAKKASAN DJ Mag’s two-year reigning No. 1 DJ brings his fusion-y electro/nu-progressive house beats to Hakkasan. Joining him in the main room will be his fast-rising fellow Dutchman Kill the Buzz, and catch DJ Irie in the adjacent Ling Ling Club. 10:30 p.m., $30+/$50+.
ZEN FREEMAN AT HYDE Freeman—the guy who co-created “Dance Bitch” with Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad—has transitioned from a Hakkasan residency to a spot in the rotation at SLS’ Life. Now he slides over to the other SBE club in town, Hyde Bellagio, which kinda makes sense considering his popularity on the fashion and film circuits and the cinematic style of this fountain-fronting venue. 10:30 p.m., $20+/$30+.
R3HAB AT LIFE 10:30 p.m., $30+/$40+.
LIL JON AT SURRENDER 10:30 p.m., $30+/$40+.
SATURDAY MAY 23
KASKADE AT ENCORE BEACH CLUB 10 a.m., $40+/$100+.
FRENCH MONTANA AND DJ SPADE AT PALMS POOL 10 a.m., $22+/$44+.
R3HAB AND GARETH EMERY AT FOXTAIL POOL CLUB 10:30 a.m., $30+/$40+.
SCOTT DISICK BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION AT BARE And now a special message from Bare Pool: “Please be aware that during Scott’s appearance, bathing-suit tops for all patrons will be required.” So yeah, plan accordingly. Disick is back at the Mirage Saturday night at 1 OAK. 11 a.m., $30+/$50+.
ALESSO AT DAYLIGHT BEACH CLUB You’ll notice many of the biggest and baddest DJs in town for MDW start with a night set and hit the affiliated dayclub the next day. Swedish superstar Alesso is doing it his own way, Daylighting Saturday with DJ Stellar and DJ Kidfunk before moving inside Mandalay Bay at Light at night. 11 a.m., $20+/$40+.
ADVENTURE CLUB & 3LAU AT DRAI’S BEACH CLUB Now that it’s been open for a full year, Drai’s Beach Club has found its groove. It is, after all, the only venue of its kind, a rooftop pool with peerless views, knockout programming and all the VIP trimmings. A couple of its most intriguing artists, Las Vegas’ own 3lau and high-powered Canadian duo Adventure Club, team up for a Saturday to remember. 11 a.m., $40+/$60+.
WYCLEF JEAN AT LIQUID Live performance plus DJ Scene. 11 a.m., $40+/$75+.
BENNY BENASSI AT MARQUEE DAYCLUB With Investo. 11 a.m., $20+/$50+.
KESHA AT REHAB Simply put, this performer and venue were made for each other, in every possible way. (And we don’t mean that in a mean way; Kesha isn’t the first to do Rehab after rehab.) 11 a.m., $50+/$80+.
CALVIN HARRIS AT WET REPUBLIC With Burns. 11 a.m., $60+/$125+.
AVICII AT XS After a health-oriented hiatus, Wynn cornerstone DJ Avicii is back, having returned to Vegas to headline XS Nightclub’s sixth anniversary in March. The club was recently renovated, too, and now everything is ready for the big weekend reunion of XS and one of its most beloved residents. 9:30 p.m., $20+/$50+.
JOE JONAS AT HYDE DJ set. 10 p.m., $20+/$30+.
DASH BERLIN AT MARQUEE With Lema. 10 p.m., $20+/$50+.
MARTIN GARRIX AT OMNIA In some ways, you’ll have more fun than Martin Garrix this MDW in Las Vegas. He’ll turn 20 next year, so you can do things he can’t. Then again, he’s played the biggest festivals in the world since “Animals” catapulted him to dance-music fame and up the DJ Mag Top 100 chart. But you can buy drinks. And you can catch D-Nice at Heart of Omnia. 10 p.m., $20+/$75+.
SNOOP DOGG’S SNOOPADELIC CABARET AT TAO Snoop’s got some surprisingly fresh sounds at his disposal, as the Pharrell-produced Bush just arrived this month, album No. 13 for the Long Beach legend. Will you get a taste at Snoopadelic Cabaret? Seems likely. 10 p.m., $30+/$75+.
WALE WITH DJ HOMICIDE AT CHATEAU 10:30 p.m., $30+.
PUFF DADDY AT LIFE 10:30 p.m., $40+/$60+.
THE WEEKND AT DRAI’S How big can The Weeknd get? Ariana Grande collaboration “Love Me Harder” and 50 Shades of Grey soundtrack smash “Earned It” are inescapable hits, and he closed out his final victorious Coachella set by bringing out Kanye. The Weeknd is a major score for Drai’s live lineup and an edgy artist for the Strip. Catch him while you can. 10:30 p.m., $60+/$100+.
CALVIN HARRIS AT HAKKASAN With Burns, plus Jesse Moreno at Ling Ling Club. 10:30 p.m., $50+/$100+.
GARETH EMERY AT FOXTAIL 10:30 p.m., $30+/$40+.
DIPLO AT SURRENDER 10:30 p.m., $25+/$35+.
SUITS FOR NO REASON WITH JERMAINE DUPRI AT TRYST 10:30 p.m., $20+/$30+.
SUNDAY MAY 24
PUFF DADDY AND RAE SREMMURD AT FOXTAIL POOL CLUB 10:30 a.m., $75+/$100+.
AVICII AT ENCORE BEACH CLUB 11 a.m., $40+/$100+.
DJ E-ROCK AT LIQUID 11 a.m., $20+/$30+.
CEDRIC GERVAIS AT MARQUEE DAYCLUB With Investo. 11 a.m., $20+/$30+.
BAD BOY BILL AND JUMP SMOKERS AT REHAB 11 a.m., $50+/$100+.
FABOLOUS AT TAO BEACH 11 a.m., $40+/$125+.
MARTIN GARRIX AT WET REPUBLIC 11 a.m., $40+/$60+.
SUNDOWN WITH DANNY TENAGLIA AT DAYLIGHT BEACH CLUB With Justin Baulé, Frank Rempe and Brett Rubin. Noon, $20+/$30+.
NAS AT MARQUEE Nas loves Vegas. He’s co-owner of the Linq’s supercool 12AM Run sneaker store. He swept through Cosmo’s Boulevard Pool last fall to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the classic Illmatic with a classic concert. And he’s back to blow up MDW at Marquee with versatile LA hip-hop DJ Politik. 10 p.m., $20+/$30+.
AFROJACK AT OMNIA Another Dutch dance-music titan, Afrojack also falls into the category of an artist completely enamored with Las Vegas. Last year, he told DJ Mag, “There’s a lot of people working or living there with the same passion for music,” but more obviously, he named his daughter Vegas. That’s devotion. He takes over at Omnia with Apster, plus DJ Jazzy Jeff at Heart of Omnia. 10 p.m., $20+/$30+.
KEVIN HART AFTER PARTY AT TAO Not only does he do approximately 800 movies a year, he’ll also play Mandalay Bay Events Center Sunday and pop up at Tao to keep the party rocking. 10 p.m., $40+/$50+.
T-PAIN AT THE BANK Certainly there will be some folks trying to “Blame It” on the alcohol this weekend, but did you know you can go to t-pain.net to answer the question, “Which drink are you?” Pick your favorite T-Pain song and discover your boozy identity; “I’m N Luv (Wit a Stripper)” is peppermint Schnapps with Irish cream and coffee liqueurs. 10:30 p.m., $30+/$50+.
CHRIS BROWN AT DRAI’S During his last long weekend in Vegas, Chris Brown partied, got his picture taken a lot, got into a scuffle while playing basketball at the Palms and fell off a stage. Pretty typical long weekend in Vegas, no? 10:30 p.m., $60+/$100+.
WALE AND DJ DRAMA AT FOXTAIL 10:30 p.m., $40+/$60+.
RAE SREMMURD AND DJ KONFLIKT AT HYDE 10:30 p.m., $20+/$30+.
TIËSTO AT HAKKASAN With Tigerlily, plus DJ Ruckus at Ling Ling Club. 10:30 p.m., $20+/$30+.
ERICK MORILLO AT LIFE Dance legend and hard-house pioneer Morillo is a prominent presence in every destination where clubbing is a big deal. In Vegas, he has a new home on the north Strip, sliding from Marquee to SLS’ signature nightlife experience at Life. 10:30 p.m., $30+/$40+.
SUNDAY NIGHTSWIM WITH DAVID GUETTA AT XS We can’t decide if Guetta’s anthemic style—he has sold 30 million singles—plays better at Encore Beach Club’s daytime parties or at these rowdy XS night gigs. Maybe go to both? 10 p.m., $20+/$50+.
AFTER HOURS WITH CARL COX AT LIGHT House legend and dance-music pioneer Cox’s Light residency has been a smashing success, and he’s always been all about the afterhours in Vegas (think Utopia). Sunday night, he’s going to keep you moving until 7 a.m., at least. 11 p.m., $20+/$30+.
MONDAY MAY 25
EC TWINS AT FOXTAIL POOL CLUB Manchester brothers Marc and Allister Blackham have been dedicated for a decade now to their mission of spreading EDM across the U.S. Monday morning marks only the second time the twins’ high-energy production lands at Foxtail Pool Club. 10:30 a.m., $20+/$30+.
DAVID GUETTA AT ENCORE BEACH CLUB 11 a.m., $40+/$50+.
CASH CASH AT MARQUEE DAYCLUB With Eric Coomes. 11 a.m., $10+.
TIËSTO AT WET REPUBLIC With Tigerlily. 11 a.m., $20+/$30+.
CARNAGE AT MARQUEE The Guatemalan-raised, Chipotle-loving, trap-evolving Carnage might just be the most fun way to finish your MDW. With Lema. 10 p.m., $20+/$30+.
CALVIN HARRIS AT OMNIA It’s a tough life if you’re Calvin Harris, one of the most recognizable DJs and most sought-after dance-music producers in the world. And then, you know, there’s that whole Taylor Swift girlfriend thing. Poor guy closes out the wild weekend with Burns at the hottest new spot on the Strip, with Fred Matters at Heart of Omnia. 10 p.m., $20+/$30+.
DIPLO & SKRILLEX AT XS What do Ü get when Ü put these two mega-DJs together? The trap team-up known as Jack Ü, that’s what. And if you’re skipping town early, Ü can always come back and catch Jack Ü at the Gumball 3000 Las Vegas Festival on May 30. 10:30 p.m., $20+/$30+.