Everyone who’s anyone in Miami during the Winter Music Conference/Miami Music Week knows Robbie Rivera’s annual Juicy Beach is a must-see (and hear) event. And Las Vegas fans who’ve been waiting for the legendary party to find the perfect home in our city can finally get a taste when it launches April 20 at the Hard Rock Hotel’s pool complex. Rivera gives us a peek at what’s in store for Juicy Beach’s Las Vegas edition.
Las Vegas party people have been hearing about the possibility of Juicy Beach here on and off over the years. How did you decide upon the pool at the Hard Rock Hotel?
We’ve been looking for a spot in Vegas for a while—a few years already. Hard Rock came to us, which is always a plus when you have a hotel coming to you—that means they already know your history. They gave us a really good deal, not only financially, but they were really open to do a lot of things, and they are investing a lot of money as well on branding in Las Vegas. Also, the pool is awesome, the hotel is great—the Hard Rock is a great brand to be associated with. The thing that I really liked about them was the music. They gave me a list of DJs playing there, and I loved their list, because it was a pure underground house sound, which is what I try to mix in with contemporary DJs. The fact that they’re supporting that style of music, that was a big plus.
What will the Las Vegas experience be like, and which DJs will be joining you?
I’m excited because the Hard Rock is already a big pool; it fits like 4,000 people. There’s actually sand at the pool, and since there’s no actual beach in Las Vegas, that makes it more of an authentic place to bring the Juicy Beach party. You know me—I also like to bring DJs who play good house music, not the usual people that you see all the time in Las Vegas. It’s a risk sometimes. But for the opening we have Manuel De La Mare playing with me, Felix Cartal and somebody else that we’re trying to confirm now.
How will Juicy Beach Las Vegas compare to the original party at Nikki Beach in Miami?
The one we did in Miami a few weeks ago was the best one to date; every year it gets better. This year we had 4,000 people, but we had a really huge stage compared to before, and a lot of lighting and special effects. But you know what I noticed that people really love about the party? It’s the vibe. You can do a lot of pool parties and have DJs playing horrible music, just banging it out or playing the same shit everybody plays, but Juicy Beach? There’s something special. Every time I bring these DJs, they play completely different. It’s got a happy vibe—I don’t know, you just have to be there to experience it—it’s hard to explain it.
Is there anything that’s going to be unique to Juicy Beach Las Vegas?
Mostly the lineup and the type of music you will listen to at the party. We’re going to be announcing all the DJs for every single party soon. We’re trying to lock it down, but being that it’s Vegas, there’s a lot of exclusivity; a lot of DJs are exclusive to certain hotels, plus EDC [Electric Daisy Carnival]. It’s not like back in the day where you could play anywhere you want. EDM is so big in America, it’s kind of friggin’ corporate now.
You’ll be playing at the Hard Rock pool and again at Body English the same night?
Yeah, I’m going to be playing two sets, one during the day and one at night. That’s the way we do it in Miami; it’s like a long party. It opens early, we end the pool around 7 p.m., and then you go change [clothes], have dinner and then continue at the club, which will be more of an underground set, darker.
How many Juicy Beach dates will there be this summer?
We’re doing six events, usually on the most popular weekends in Vegas: Memorial Day, EDC week, Labor Day—those weekend we’ll be there on Saturday.
You’ve also got your Juicy Music label. What new tunes should people check out to gear up for the first Juicy Beach date?
The label is doing great, and I produced a track called “That Sound.” It’s very underground and has an electro melody—not electro like the Dutch sound, but electronic I guess, because everything is so confusing right now with all the genres. It’s a unique track; I’m trying to change the perception of the music that I produce.
I’m trying to produce music the way I used to do it back in the day, just more groovy and more tribal sounds—still very energetic, but more underground, not so commercial.
I produced it with a friend of mine in Italy named David Jones, and I got the best feedback from so many DJs. I’m talking DJs all the way from PvD [Paul van Dyk] to Luciano. I was like, “Whoa! That’s really cool!” I checked on Beatport, and it was No. 7 on the electro-house chart next to the typical electro tracks like Bassjackers and Tiësto, those type of sounds. It’s cool to see a completely different track, so the track is doing well. That’s a good day.