If you’re an international headline DJ and you’re not playing the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix…are you really an international headline DJ?
That’s a legitimate question given the DJ lineup for Formula One’s return to Sin City November 15-19. It’s like an EDM music festival on the scale of Tomorrowland or EDC taking place concurrently with an F1 race week. But all of the shows are found at clubs and venues around The Strip i.e. the actual F1 racetrack. There is far more music than anyone could possibly see, as so many of the shows will take place simultaneously. In the interest of maximizing your time and making good choices, here is my top-10 list of shows I want to see, along with the full schedule should your musical preferences vary from mine.
1. Calvin Harris plus Diplo and Dom Dolla, Saturday, November 18th at XS Nightclub
The most important thing to note about Saturday evening shows is that they’ll take place during and directly following the race, which will go from 10:00pm until about midnight. So we’ll carry the excitement of watching F1 cars top 200mph on The Strip—with hopes of an upset by Ferrari, McLaren or Mercedes—right into the clubs. The headliners won’t take the stage until about 1:30am, so there will be plenty of time to sort yourself out and get there.
My top pick is an incredible trio that brings the most DJ star power for any single show of the week. While Calvin Harris is the elder statesman and Diplo has been crushing for more than a decade, Dom Dolla is the Oscar Piastri of this group with recent hits and remixes including Eat Your Man, Rhyme Dust and Miracle Maker that most house DJs are currently dropping in their sets. Perhaps we’ll be treated to a guest appearance by Nelly Furtado if she’s attending the race. With this much talent on stage, the show will likely last well into Sunday morning.
XS Nightclub is located in the Wynn Las Vegas, which faces the F1 track at the corner of Las Vegas Blvd. and Sands Ave. This is certain to be one of the premier locations for the entire Grand Prix week.
2. Fisher, Friday, November 17th at Hakkasan
Saturday’s qualifying takes place at 12:00am, which really means it’s happening Friday night in Las Vegas time. The entire F1 schedule is time-shifted for Vegas. This will wrap up at about 1:00am, and if this session is anything like what we’ve seen this season, it will be the highlight of the weekend. Who would I want to see after an epic qualy session, where McLaren takes pole? The Fish.
I saw Fisher play at Tao Beach earlier this year. It was just following the Aussie DJ/producer’s release of Take It Off. This smash hit has since become one of the EDM songs of the summer for 2023. Fisher’s been dropping it at shows from Ibiza to Bali and New York City with sold-out crowds chanting the lyrics back to him. He’s also been playing Wuki’s Sunshine (My Girl) remix, a killer “Somebody That I Used to Know” remix and his most recent hit release, Atmosphere. Fisher’s shows are too much fun to miss.
Hakkasan is located at the MGM Grand, which is just south of the F1 circuit. This could make it easier to access than those on the course, though we won’t know for sure until we get there. Just be sure to use the dedicated Hakkasan entrance to avoid the casino.
3. Tiësto, Saturday, November 18th at Zouk Nightclub
This next DJ needs no introduction, as the dude has 40 million monthly listeners on Spotify. But he’s playing one of the newer Vegas nightclubs on Saturday night (Sunday morning) following the race. Zouk is located at Resorts World, which is the newest mega hotel on The Strip with three different properties in one: The Conrad, Hilton and Crockfords. You’ll find it to the north of the actual F1 race track, which comes down Sands Ave. and makes a left onto Las Vegas Blvd. I’ve yet to see a show here, but the venue looks impressive with state-of-the-art sound, lighting and effects.
Tiësto’s catalog is so deep that he could play all of his own work for a two-hour set, and that would just be the hits. I’d be looking for him to drop fresh takes on Hot In It, Lay Low and his recently released BOTH…along with his remixes of Bittersweet Goodbye and Doses & Mimosas.
4. Steve Aoki, Thursday, November 16th at Omnia
Steve Aoki has had a Tao Group residency for as long as I can remember, and he knows how to rock the Omnia space as well as anyone. Located at Caesars Palace, this happens to be the best nightclub venue in Vegas, mostly due to its famed chandelier and all the lights and effects it generates to complement the music.
Formula One cars will hit The Strip for the very first time on Thursday night at 8:30pm for the first practice session (FP1), and the second practice (FP2) will follow at 12:00am. They’ll be driving right in front of Caesars—in about fourth gear—after making the turn off of Sands Ave. Practice will wrap at about 1:00am, and Aoki will likely take the stage from the opening DJs between 1:30am and 2:00am.
5. Swedish House Mafia, Friday, November 17th at XS Nightclub
Update: This show is no longer on the schedule.
6. Major Lazer, Friday, November 17th at T-Mobile Zone at Sphere
In addition to late-night shows happening in Vegas nightclubs, there are a handful of prime-time shows being hosted and promoted by the Las Vegas Grand Prix and F1. The primary venue is the T-Mobile Zone at Sphere, which is at the corner of Sands Ave. and Koval Ln. i.e. Turn 10 on the F1 track.
Major Lazer, which is the DJ/producer trio led by Diplo, is scheduled to take the T-Mobile stage at 10:00pm on Friday, which follows the third practice session (FP3) and sets us up for qualifying later in the evening. Entry to this show is included with F1 tickets. There will likely be a VIP area, but those details are not available at press time.
7. Martin Garrix, Friday, November 17th at Omnia
The Dutch sensation Martin Garrix played an incredible show at the Fontainbleu Miami Beach during the Miami Grand Prix earlier this year, so he’s no stranger to playing F1 events and will certainly be pleased that fellow countryman Max Verstappen has already wrapped up his third consecutive drivers’ title. Playing at Omnia on Friday after qualifying is an ideal way to celebrate.
Notable tracks to look for include the singalong classic High On Life, along with more recent hits like Hurricane and his hard-hitting remix of Cocoon with 070 Shake. All under the iconic Omnia chandelier.
8. RÜFÜS DU SOL and Black Coffee, Sunday, November 19th at XS Nightclub
Assuming I have any energy left and plan to stay until Monday, this is where I’ll be Sunday night after I’ve recovered from Saturday’s insanity. The trio that is RÜFÜS DU SOL is exactly what we’ll need to cap off the week with grooves like You Were Right, Underwater and Treat You Better. The vibe of South African house music DJ and producer Black Coffee is quite similar. His big hit Drive and others like Never Gonna Forget and Ready For You are an ideal recipe for wrapping up the inaugural Vegas GP week at The Wynn’s XS Nightclub.
9. Loud Luxury x Nelk Boys / Happy Dad, Friday, November 17th at Marquee Dome
It’s been more than two years since I interviewed Canadian DJ duo Loud Luxury. Andrew and Joe have been on a tear since then, landing their own show on Sirus/XM’s BPM and playing some of the biggest festivals and clubs on the international circuit. Afterparty and If Only I are two big hits they’ve released since their masterful remix of Sunroof.
Loud Luxury was recently tapped to open the new Marquee Dome at The Cosmopolitan. This is a day club in the summer months and will go year-round thanks to, well, a dome. But not just a glass roof. The 23,000-square-foot orb pumps out two million BTUs of heat to recreate a typical 90-degree spring day in Vegas. So the dress code of bikinis and board shorts still applies. This show starts at 11:00am on Friday, which fits nicely in between the second and third practice sessions.
10. Marshmello, Wednesday, November 15th at XS Nightclub
The 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix festivities officially kick off on Wednesday. Which is not normal. Whether in Monaco or Abu Dhabi or Miami, the action doesn’t really get started until Friday night. Even Thursday nights in Austin, renowned for its nightlife scene, is just a bunch of team employees and F1 insiders going out on Sixth Street. But the Vegas GP is the biggest party of the year, and the place to be on Wednesday night is XS Nightclub to see the masked legend Marshmello.
With more than 53 million monthly listeners on Spotify, his music should be familiar to pretty much everyone…especially hits like Stars, FRIENDS and Alone. Just be sure to save energy for the rest of the week, because there’s a long way to go to Sunday.
Other Notable Las Vegas Grand Prix DJ Shows:
Wednesday, November 15th
Las Vegas Grand Prix Opening Ceremony (details to follow)
DJ Snake at Zouk Nightclub at Resorts World
Thursday, Nobember 16th
Sports Illustrated Circuit Series with The Chainsmokers at XS Nightclub at The Wynn
Friday, November 17th
Dom Dolla and Purple Disco Machine at Encore Beach Club at The Wynn
Zedd at Zouk Nightclub at Resorts World
Saturday, November 18th
Alesso at Omnia at Caesars Palace
Martin Garrix at Marquee Dome at The Cosmopolitan
ESPN’s Official Pre-Race Party with Marshmello and Tyga at Encore Beach Club at The Wynn
Sunday, November 19th
The Chainsmokers at Encore Beach Club at The Wynn