Jackie Gaughan Plaza, outside the 71-year-old El Cortez, probably isn’t the first place you’d go to discover fresh musical talent. But El Cortez, Insert Coin(s), Slidin’ Thru and others have helped the monthly Vegas StrEATs become a hotbed for emerging talent.
“Vegas StrEATs has been really great at fostering a sense of supporting local DJs,” says El Cortez executive vice president Alexandra Epstein. “There’s an accessibility at StrEATs that you might not find at a club. Not to say that a club or a bar isn’t a good venue, because you’re certainly reaching a lot of people, but the DJs at StrEATs are more of an entertainment focus. They’re really on a center stage in the middle of the event, and a lot of attention is on them, so they’re getting their face, their name, their brand in front of a ton of people that are really active listeners and participants.”
Alonzo Valencia (a.k.a. DJ Zo) and Jordan Hutchison (DJ Air Stegosaurus) handle that aspect, booking their fellow local DJs for StrEATs, including OB-One, M!keAttack, Josh Swissman and Bad Beat. “A lot of tourists are just walking around, and a lot of local people come downtown if a certain DJ is their friend,” Valencia says. “But they also check out the opener or who’s [on] after. There’s something for everyone; it’s not like we’re playing dubstep all night. If you don’t like indie rock, stay for an hour and we’ll have something else playing.”
The next Vegas StrEATs kicks off at 6 p.m. July 14 with drink specials, food trucks and, of course, DJs. Spinners interested in getting a StrEATs gig can send demos and press kits to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Visit Facebook.com/vegasstreats for more info.