Las Vegas is a special place for me because I grew up there in the mid 90’s, right before I moved across the desert to Phoenix. Some of my first memories are walking around downtown Vegas, and many of my best childhood friends still live there to this day.
But that was all before I was 21…
Since I’ve turned 21 years old, I’ve raged in Sin City over a dozen times. It’s only a 4 hour drive from my home in Phoenix.
Las Vegas is just epic. It’s as crazy as every movie makes it out to be.
But all people don’t go to Vegas for the same reasons.
The people of Generation X (born between 1965-1980) mostly flock to Vegas to sip on their fancy martinis, enjoy their Cirque de Soleil shows and gamble their life away at world-class casinos…
But for us Millennials (born from 1981-2000), Las Vegas is the mecca city for partying to EDM in America. It is home to not only several of the best night clubs in the U.S., but in the entire world. Combine the night clubs with pool parties, raves, music festivals and DJ shows, and Las Vegas remains THE place to rage 365 nights of the year.
The thing that makes Vegas’s nightlife so unique for our generation is that people from all over the world go there for the exact same reason: to escape from reality. People go to Vegas to forget about real life, to party all night long and get so fucked up that they won’t remember anything besides the pictures. (I am generalizing when I talk about the Millennial generation. I’m not saying that people from Generation X, or any previous generation can’t party like we can!)
While Vegas has always been a hotspot for partygoers, it wasn’t until recent years that the city began to embrace Electronic Dance Music (EDM) and has emerged into a year-round version of Ibiza in the U.S.A. Although this should come as no surprise to you, because you’ve already heard my argument for How EDM is taking over the world.
Most hotels/casinos on the strip have night clubs attached to them. There are more than 40 clubs in the city, but in this post, I will only talk about the best EDM clubs where you can see your favorite DJs and dance to the best electronic/house music.
Seriously guys, I can’t begin to describe how much fun and over-the-top the clubs are in Vegas. The only other city in the world that can compete on the same level is Seoul, Korea – where I taught English for 18 months and raged in the night clubs in Gangnam every weekend.
Vegas is also home to one of the biggest EDM music festivals in the world called Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC). I went in 2013 and it was the craziest 3-day rave I’ve ever been to! This photo was during Armin Van Buuren on the main stage.
If you want to find out current news about all EDM events, DJs & pool parties in Vegas, then check out Electronic.vegas.
Before you go clubbing in Vegas, here are a few more things to note which apply to all clubs:
– Dress code is strictly enforced. For guys, that means button downs, dress shoes, slacks, tucked in shirts. For girls, that means dresses, etc. If you don’t look nice or sexy, then you will be denied entrance.
– Everything is expensive. Cover charges can be anywhere from $30-150 depending on the event for guys (girls usually get in for free). The cheapest drink inside the club is about $12-15 (for a domestic beer). I once paid $60 for two small rum and cokes.
– Many times girls will get into clubs for free, but you’ll have to check with each specific club
– All clubs employ many big-armed security guards and they have a zero tolerance policy. Don’t do anything stupid or they’ll kick you out
– Lines can get VERY long if there is good DJ playing, so get there early (before 11) if you don’t want to wait for hours.
– If you have a big group, consider getting a table with bottle service. It’s well worth the experience and you can cut the line!
– Clubs stay open late – until 4 or 5 AM
So now, I present you with detailed descriptions of my 8 favorite EDM clubs in Vegas. Everything you read is coming from my personal recommendations. The clubs are in order with #1 being my favorite.
Have something to add to this list? Please comment below and let me know! Also, don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any more questions about clubbing in Vegas!
1. Light at Mandalay Bay
Light is by far the most visually amazing club on the strip. It combines a nightclub with a live Cirque du Soleil show in one. I can’t take a trip to Vegas without having an epic night at Light.
The Cirque du Soleil aspect provides a new and innovative night club experience that focuses on entertainment. Imagine a nearly 40,000 square foot venue with cutting-edge creativity, world-renowned DJs playing amazing EDM music, insane visuals and real-life acrobats coming down at your from the ceiling. All of that, with an innovative acrobatic LED screen that acts as a playground for performers and makes you feel like you’re partying in the year 2020.
During the daytime, this club turns into the best pool party in Vegas called Daylight Beach Club. Especially in the summer months, there is no better place to rage to EDM under the sunlight in your swimsuit!
If you one have one night to rage in Vegas, then go to Light and you won’t regret it!
Current Resident DJs: A-trak, Alesso, Axwell, Baauer, Carl Cox, Clockwork, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Dyro, Sebastian Ingrosso, Krewella, Laidback Luke, Nicky Romero, Skrillex
*Resident DJs means that these DJs have signed contracts to frequently play shows at this club, so it’s likely that one of them will be performing when you visit*
2. Marquee at The Cosmopolitan
Club Marquee was my very first clubbing experience in Las Vegas, so it has a special place in my heart. I have seen Kaskade and Porter Robinston perform here!
There is no doubt that Marquee is the most “ravey” club in all of Vegas. They recruit the highest number of resident DJs to play shows for a crowd who is always young and crazy.
Inside this 60,000 square foot mega-club is 7 different bars spread out over 3 rooms – the Main Room, the Library and the Boom Box. Each room has a different musical experience and overall feel, but you will probably spend most of your time in the main room because of the 40 foot LED DJ booth. The unparalleled multi-million dollar sounds stage consists of 32,000 subwoofers that surround the elevated and massive dance floor. Woah, I am out of breath.
The Library Room offer a more laid-back vibe with pool tables, fireplaces, and the Boom Box Room has nice views of the strip. Both rooms have different music like hip hop or deep house. I promise you won’t regret a night at the Marquee!
Current Resident DJs: Armin Van Buuren, Benny Benassi, Borgore, Carnage, Cedric Gervais, Chukie, Dash Berlin, Ferry Corsten, Gareth Emery, Kaskade, Markus Schulz, Paul Oakenfold, Porter Robinson, Sander Van Doorn, Trional
3. Hakkasan at MGM Grand
At 80,000 square feet, Club Hakkasan is the largest club in Las Vegas and is one of the newest to hit the scene.
Hakkasan is 5-stories tall, which is a crazy achievement in itself. The club offers a variety of experiences that is suitable for anyone. The main club is located on the 4th floor and stretches up to the 5th floor. The dance floor is gigantic and the lasers will put you in a state of trance. This massive club has a floor-to-ceiling LED screen to showcase the lights for DJs like Above & Beyond, Calvin Harris, Afrojack and Hardwell.
Hakkasan is truly a class of it’s own. Being located in the largest hotel in the world (MGM Grand), Club Hakkasan sure as hell lives up to all the hype! But the line here can get extra long, so try to get there early (around 11) to avoid waiting.
Current Resident DJs: Above & Beyond, Afrojack, Bingo Players, Calvin Harris, Dada Life, Danny Avila, Fergie, Hardwell, Martin Garrix, Michael Woods, Nervo, R3hab, Steve Aoki, The Chainsmokers, Tiesto, W&W
The previous 4 clubs (Light, XS, Marquee & Hakkasan) are what I refer to as the “Big 4” – meaning the best of the best EDM clubs in Vegas. The next 4 below are second-tier EDM Clubs.
4. XS at The Wynn Encore
XS has been the front runner of Las Vegas’s clubbing scene for several years, and it’s one of the most expensive clubs ever built. In 2014, XS was the highest grossing night club in the U.S. at $105 million.
The interior design of XS is reminiscent of the shape of a human body with its flowing lines and curves. All over the ceilings and walls are gold, black and bronze decorations, mixed together with over 10,000 sparkly lights. Club XS recruits some of the best big-name DJs in all of Las Vegas.
The dance floor is extra large and is surrounded by VIP tables for the ballers. The speakers are so loud that you won’t do much talking, but rather smile and dancing all night. Outside is a giant patio and pool area that offers a nice place to get fresh air and flirt with your dance partner.
Current Resident DJs: Avicii, Cazzette, David Guetta, Deadmau5, Diplo, Fedde Le Grand, Skrillex, Steve Angello, Tommy Trash, Zedd
5. Omnia at Caesar’s Palace
Omnia is the newest club to hit the scene in 2015, and it’s already received the reputation as the best club in Vegas!
What used to be Club PURE inside Caesar’s Palace has transformed into a bigger, more luxurious and over-the-top night club called Omnia. The main room is breathtaking, with a gold and black theme and a HUGE chandelier in the middle which moves up and down and spins around. The dance floor is massive and it fills up very quick. There is also another dance floor and DJ which plays hip hop if EDM isn’t your thing.
It’s guaranteed that you will have a wild and memorable experience if you decide to rage at Omnia. It’s really taking the whole EDM/clubbing scene in Vegas to the next level.
The club has already secured up an amazing resident list of famous DJs, so you can see the best-of-the-best perform on any given weekend! Don’t miss out!
6. Tao at The Venetian
Tao is the only Asian-themed night club in Las Vegas. And it’s really freaking sweet!
The sexy go-go dancers dancing on tables, combined with a huge dance floor and state-of-the-art speakers gives Tao one of the best reputations around Vegas. And the giant Buddha statue inside gives off nice Asian vibes.
There are several different rooms inside the club, each playing different music. The main room plays electronic house music, ususally put on by a famous DJ. If you need to get some fresh air, then head out to the huge outdoor terrace that overlooks the strip!
Tao isn’t just a nightclub – it’s also an Asian restaurant (mmm sushi), lounge and pool party club. If you love all aspects of nightlife, then Tao is your place. This is a great club to go to if you have yellow fever like I do…
Current Resident DJs: Borgore, Carnage, Tritonal
7. Hyde at The Bellagio
The Hyde Bellagio is one of the swanky clubs on the strip and a night spent here will never be forgotten.
This club is much more laid back – when compared to the madness of the Big 4 (XS, Marquee, Hakkasan, Light) – because it opens up early in the night as a lounge and terrace. As the night progresses, Hyde essentially combines a lounge with a nightclub atmopshere.
It’s a great place if you want to start the night early, sip on some cocktails, and ease your way into partying until the wee hours of the morning. The club attracts a bit of an older crowd, but it’s always a good time. The doors outside open up to fresh air and an amazing view of the Bellagio fountains in the background.
8. LiFE at SLS Las Vegas
LiFE isn’t one of the better-known clubs around Vegas, but I like to consider it a hidden gem.
This 20,000 foot nightclub is located on the way north end of the strip, in the SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. I know the size doesn’t impress you, but the 60-foot ceilings with aerialists and performers soaring above you might spark your attention!
LiFE is known for recruiting those up-and-coming DJs, so you likely won’t see any big name DJs. There are 3 full service bars and VIP seating with nice views of the stage. It’s a nice place to party if you want something a little less crazy than the Big 4.