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The fourth installment of Arizona’s biggest New Year’s Eve festival, Decadence Arizona, went down at the Rawhide Event Center located in the heart of Chandler, Arizona during the final weekend of 2017. Thousands of attendees from across the nation came together to ring in the new year and enjoy music, art, activities, food, and everything in between. This year’s lineup included a unique array of headliners including artists such as Justice, Zedd, Armin van Buuren, Black Tiger Sex Machine, Louis the Child, Oliver Heldens, Deorro, Galantis, Snails, Tchami, What So Not, Zeds Dead b2b Jauz, and ZHU.
A rush of pure exhilaration set in as attendees filled the festival grounds at the Rawhide Event Center. The Rawhide Event Center is Arizona’s largest Western-themed attraction and is considered by Chandler locals to be the best Western destination in the State. The Western Town portion of the venue, modeled after an authentic replica of an 1880’s Western town, was closed during the festival but could be viewed from the top of the Ferris Wheel ride.
We were awestruck by the outstanding production at each of the three stages. The main stage, better known as the Diamond Atrium, was located towards the front of the festival entrance inside of a covered pavilion that had plenty of room for dancing and flow arts. Massive LED panels, beaming lasers, smoke cannons, confetti, balloons, and bright flashing spotlights took big name DJ sets to another dimension. Performing artists from silk aerialists to go-go dancers graced the stage in their stunning costumes to dazzle the crowd with their remarkable talents.
The second biggest stage, called the Sapphire Ballroom, was located across the way from the Diamond Atrium. This stage, like the Diamond Atrium, was inside of a covered pavilion that contained the same type of production that the main stage had on a smaller scale. Having the two biggest stages right next to each other assured easy travel between them and made it easy for attendees to catch as many artists on the impressive lineup as possible.
The Ruby Courtyard was the smallest stage located completely outdoors. Despite temperatures being slightly chilly during the weekend, heat lamps were spread out in front of the stage to keep everyone nice and toasty as they got down to some funky beats. The Ferris wheel, located to the left of the Ruby Courtyard, gave attendees the opportunity for a prime 360° view of the festival grounds as well as a breathtaking view of the Arizona sunset
Crystal clear melodies and face melting bass echoed through the loudspeakers at each stage. The sound systems were even able to withstand bass heavy sets delivered by Snails and Zeds Dead b2b Jauz. The high-quality sound systems and acoustics were the cherry on top of the festivals production.
A diverse spread of food vendors were located across the festival grounds. No matter what you were in the mood to eat, there was always something to satisfy your appetite. Guests were able to indulge in enticing offerings including caffeinated beverages from Gypsy Cup to popular fast food items such as pizza, burgers, and tacos.
Several art pieces graced the front of the venue grounds. Iridescent icicle sculptures engulfed by clouds and a multi-colored spray-painted collage of letters that spelled out “Decadence” made great backdrops for attendees to take social media photos in front of. Our favorite art piece was a set of big white letters that spelled out “NYE.” Colored sharpies were passed around the art piece for festival goers to write their New Year’s resolutions on each letter.
Having access to VIP amenities at Decadence AZ came with many perks. The VIP viewing decks at the Diamond Atrium and Sapphire Ballroom gave guests a chance to get close to the action. Clean A/C restrooms made the festival experience a breeze as there were no lines to wait in. The cozy VIP lounge area had heat lamps, a private bar, and a buffet with a spread of delectable hors d’oeuvres and desserts for guests to munch on after working up an appetite from dancing the night away. We were personally fond of the dessert choices, especially the rich cheesecake bites and decadent red velvet cupcakes.
Shout out to Relentless Beats for bringing the fire to this year’s Decadence Arizona. My experience was beyond exceptional and will be cherished for years to come. We hope that you join us for next year’s 2018/2019 Decadence AZ. Wishing you peace, love, laughter, and many more festival experiences in the New Year.
By: Rachel Willars