How AREA15 Is Changing the Fabric of Vegas Nightlife With the World's Most Immersive Adult Playground

4 Aug, 2023 | Admin | No Comments

How AREA15 Is Changing the Fabric of Vegas Nightlife With the World's Most Immersive Adult Playground

They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But what if that owes not to your debauchery, but to the fact that you can’t quite put your experience into words?

That adage has always been more of a verbal hall pass for bad decisions, but now it’s being redefined by AREA15, the world’s most immersive adult playground.

Vegas is where wallets come to weep—but for what purpose? To be a sardine in a kitschy nightclub and hear three different DJs butcher Daft Punk? To experience the thrill of a dealer crushing your soul with a backdoor blackjack?

AREA15, however, is the ultra-rare Vegas house that doesn’t always win. Prestige ranks low on its list of priorities—though they have plenty of it—and pales in comparison to their selfless determination to cultivate an unforgettable experience.

“With so much overstimulation around the Internet, you lose yourself in the present moment. I think AREA15—from my perspective—brings people into the present moment through immersion,” Noah Kessler, AREA15’s Head of Entertainment, told “You’re here, and you’re here now. You forget about everything else you’re bombarded with all day, every day. And you can have a present moment to really enjoy what life is.”

The sensorial experience began as soon as we walked in, the phantasmagoric room opening up before our eyes. Perhaps most striking is the “Oddwood,” a bar situated under a giant, artificial Japanese maple tree adorned with thousands of pulsing LED lights.

The “Oddwood” inside AREA15.


Sin City has always been a butterfly effect of deception, and the word “immersive” is its latest red herring. After the pandemic-era explosion of livestreaming, the term was plugged ad nauseam by the entertainment industry’s many silver-tongued puppeteers. For that reason, their strings have since frayed and consumers are seeing through the makeup of their marionettes.

The Omega Mart, which took three years to build, is the epitome of immersive. There exists no experience that stacks up to this inconceivable installation, the brainchild of the unrivaled Meow Wolf.

The anchor tenant of AREA15, Omega Mart looks like an ordinary grocery store—but this is Meow Wolf we’re talking about here. Their tagline says it all: “You have no idea what’s in-store!”

Vegan Goat Pus, Aspirational Carrots, Mammoth Chunks, Leprechaun Kidneys and a Canned Romantic Dinner are just a few of the bizarre items you’ll find, and the level of detail on each is astounding. And nearly everything is actually for sale.

The entrance to Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart installation at AREA15.

Christopher DeVargas/Meow Wolf

It gets much, much weirder. Hidden “portals” in the grocery store lead to its mind-bending underbelly, a giant labyrinth of trippy interactive art.

Here, time becomes irrelevant and you find yourself entangled in an iridescent matrix. There is a palpitating web of surrealist art behind every door.

Meow Wolf has embedded a serpentine storyverse in the Omega Mart, inviting you down the rabbit hole to uncover the secrets hidden by its fictitious parent corporation. That’s where the immersion comes in. We engaged with many of the installations, like when we encountered a poster for a missing woman and entered a nearby phone booth with a list of numbers on its interior wall. Calling those numbers led to eerie voicemails with clues about her disappearance.

That all merely scratches the surface. We could’ve easily spent hours in the Omega Mart.

Leaving Omega Mart doesn’t teleport you back to reality, however. It’s just one of AREA15’s countless illusory spaces, which function as blank canvases that constantly interchange and transform into new experiences, like concerts or projection-mapped visual shows.

The best way to describe AREA15 is as a living tapestry. It’s this adaptability that makes the venue the iconoclastic architect of Vegas’ nightlife future.

Jaded by a moth-eaten festival blueprint, today’s leading musicians crave innovation and many adopt a contrarian approach in their pursuit to connect with fans by virtue of their performances. Naturally, they’re racing to AREA15’s spaces like paper boats rushing down a rain-soaked street.

“I think artists are seeing AREA15 as another artist, not just another promoter or venue,” Kessler says. “So they’re starting to look at AREA15 as another artist that they can almost collaborate with. Like, ‘I want to go to AREA15 because of this special, quirky, wild, weird space, and I can curate my art within it.'”

Take, for instance, “The Portal,” a massive room cocooned by a customizable 360° wraparound LED wall. Here, renowned electronic music producer What So Not activated his Anomaly album by headlining a preternatural rave as his visuals mutated and morphed across the wall in real-time. Next up is trance icon Gareth Emery, who is poised for an exclusive residency in “The Portal.”

“The Portal” in AREA15.

Proto Images

Just next door is the adjacent AREA15 “A-Lot,” an open-air concert space with festival-grade production capabilities. Despite its grandiose feel, Kessler says DJs can “come in, plug in and just rock it.”

CloZee, a rising superstar in the world of electronic music, is primed to bring her breathtaking “Microworlds” tour to the “A-Lot” later in 2023. She follows in the footsteps of Bonobo, deadmau5’s TESTPILOT, Zeds Dead and the viral “Shrek Rave,” among others.

DJs performing in AREA15’s “A-Lot.”

Bright Light Digital Art

Just like those artists are prioritizing new and unique nightlife experiences, so are consumers. In an ecosystem as cutthroat as Las Vegas, nightlife brands swirl and vanish like withered leaves in a winter storm. But the disruptive AREA15 has found solid ground, precisely because it’s not a nightclub.

According to the movies, luxury in Vegas comes in a handful of forms: a woman sauntering past the Bellagio fountains carrying a giant Chanel bag; a suited-up high-roller playing craps with a Rolex on one arm and a chesty blonde on the other; a group of frat bros showering each other with $1,000 bottles of Dom Pérignon at a table.

Deep pockets are rewarded but they’re usually in the silk-lined pants of the vapid. It’s an axiom that true hedonism is typically reserved for those sorts of people.

But AREA15 offers a different kind of indulgence, one whose gates aren’t blocked by guards with superficial dogmas. Immersed in the whimsy of AREA15, even the most introverted misfits feel at home—and thriving.

AREA15 Las Vegas (; 0:33)

The scary part? AREA15 is expanding. They’re currently developing “District 2,” a gigantic space spearheaded by a gigantic tenant: Universal Studios. AREA15’s proprietors are also transforming the complex’s West Lot, Kessler says, into an “outdoor festival site” where up to 15,000 can rave together.

Shared experiences are Kessler’s love language. The nightlife vet, who also produces electronic music as SWAYLÓ, grew up in the enchanting Zuni Pueblo of New Mexico, where he says art “really is a way of life.” He then started designing music programs with community centers and incarcerated youth in Albuquerque, where he developed a series of off-the-wall events like breakdance battles and jam-skating sessions.

Eventually Kessler found himself at the Santa Fe-based Meow Wolf, with whom he cut his teeth organizing parties at the intersection of music and thematic art. He then spent five years at C3 Presents, one of the nation’s leading concert promoters, before returning to Meow Wolf for another four and ultimately landing at AREA15.

An EDM concert at AREA15.

Bright Light Digital Art

Kessler and his cohorts are now on pace to deliver roughly 250 shows this year, the majority of which are owned and operated by AREA15. They’re also co-producing events with Live Nation and electronic music titan Insomniac Events, as well as with local promotion powerhouses like RVLTN. They’re even in talks with major casinos for strategic collaborations, the promise of which represents a watershed moment for a brand who would otherwise be considered an interloper.

And therein lies AREA15’s X-factor. Kessler says the main ingredient of their winning formula is collaboration, rejecting the tired ideology that nightlife businesses must maul each other in the name of competition.

“We approach things very collaboratively. I think that’s the paradigm we live in,” Kessler explains. “It used to be competition… what we’re doing is really pioneering collaboration over competition. I feel like we’re unifying the market.”

The big vision, he adds, is to turn the AREA15 campus into a festival metropolis where all of its properties are enkindled to ignite a cohesive latticework of branded experiences. For now, they’re establishing the building blocks with “Massives,” a series of psychedelic events they call “a hybrid between your typical concert and over-the-top festival experiences.” The next one is “Galactic Zoo,” which is scheduled for September 16th.

The “Vortex” walkway to enter AREA15.

Laurent Velazquez

That brings us to the aliens. Unless you’ve been hibernating in a knowledge-proof cave, odds are you’ve heard about the impending invasion, so says every shamelessly fear-mongering media outlet on this planet.

A whistleblower named David Grusch, a former intelligence official, went public with claims that the U.S. federal government maintains a highly secretive UFO recovery program and is in possession of “non-human biologics” from alleged crash sites. Those revelations led to a Congress hearing wherein he and two other former military officers testified under oath that they believe the government knows much more about UFOs than what they’re telling the public.

It couldn’t have come at a better time for the team behind AREA15, who are developing bespoke experiences to summon the “aliens” to Galactic Zoo.

“It’s inherent to what we are… a spinoff of Area 51, which is sort of this highly classified military base where you don’t know what’s happening,” Kessler explains. “Are they cloning humans? Do they have aliens? Are they creating weapons? We don’t really know… but weaving the mystery of life of the universe and the unknown in a positive and trusting way has always been part of our story, and continuing to weave it into the narrative is exciting to us.”

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