Top DJs have been doing residencies in Las Vegas since the Nineties, when guys like Erick Morillo and Paul Oakenfold planted their roots in Sin City. And more recently, the Wynn and Cosmopolitan hotels locked up Kaskade, Deadmau5 and more. But no EDM act has made a commitment quite like the one Tiësto is making in 2013.
"I'm going to dedicate my year to Las Vegas. Just Vegas, maybe a couple of festivals. I haven't decided yet," Tiësto tells Rolling Stone. As part of his pledge to spend the year in the desert, where he has entered into a new partnership with Hakkasan Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Hotel, he is bypassing Ibiza, Spain, the long undisputed dance capital of the world, for the summer entirely.
"With the scene blowing up in America, Vegas is so much fun now," he says. "It's the right time to do it. I do everything on my gut feeling, and I felt like it's gonna be awesome there. I've been to Ibiza for 10 years, and I love Ibiza, but I always look for something new and a new challenge."
As part of his 20-month deal with MGM, Tiësto will perform more than 20 daytime shows at the Wet Republic outdoor pool. But the crux of his residency, which begins in April, will be more than 40 gigs at the new five-level Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant and Nightclub, an ambitious space that holds more than 7,000 people. "They want to make it an experience," he says. "For sure, the production inside the club is going to be amazing."
Tiësto plans to deliver a new show each week to keep audiences on their toes. "I think nowadays, with people having mobile phones and the Internet, you have to be even more aware that people see the show even before they come. You have to make sure you can always surprise them every time you do a production," he says.
Part of how he intends to do that is by bringing fresh talent with him. "I love that I can bring some of the new DJs to my home," he says. "I want to have new DJs every week there."
For longtime admirers of the DJ, the move shouldn't come as a complete surprise. In 2011, while speaking to Rolling Stone about his College Life tour across universities, Tiësto admitted that after two decades of nonstop touring around the globe he was looking to settle down a bit and be closer to the music industry hub of Los Angeles.
"I can be more in the studio with artists [this way] instead of just bouncing tracks back and forth, and really produce other people's albums and songs. So that's going to be the biggest change," he says. "It doesn't matter if they're famous or not – I just want to meet other creative people who can maybe bring something different to the studio than what I have. I think that's the most important thing for me."