Las Vegas has raised the (already insane) value of DJing to a completely different level. Certain artists are making more per gig – Calvin Harris rakes in $400,000 – than the average lawyer in five years (Source: Payscale), and that’s not even the tip of the iceberg. The advantages of playing in Vegas expand far beyond the hot deserts of Nevada. Numerous billboards are put up around Hollywood/Los Angeles for DJs such as Cedric Gervais, Carnage, Dirty South and more, causing the extensive marketing to become invaluable – not terribly surprising considering the kind of clientele that Vegas clubs attract. Vegas must be making a killing off of these DJs to support this kind of lavish cost, and I’m not surprised. With EDM taking the world by storm, DJs are becoming the hottest commodity on the market. Though it wasn’t always that way.
“[In 2009,] it felt like they’d seen the world’s best magician the day before, and now they were seeing the fancy, fun DJ,” says Guetta, 47. “There was no scene.”
Ravers and rockers alike are willing to spend a Friday night raging to big-name DJs with their friends. Thousands and thousands of dollars are spent on bottle service, not even counting door commission, as people just want to lose themselves to the music.
“It’s insane marketing,” [says A-Trak.] “I can’t think of anywhere else that has that kind of trickle-down effect. You want to see how big Vegas EDM has become? Drive down Sunset Boulevard.”
Vegas has created an immensely coveted environment for DJs, but they wouldn’t throw them money for no reason. It’s a mutually agreed upon situation where they can completely take advantage of the worldwide movement that is the EDM bubble.
It’s not as if a lot of this wasn’t already known, but just seeing things as they are in the present, and comparing it to how it was in the past, is always an important exercise in learning how things will be in the future. And as far as Vegas is concerned, that future looks very bright.